RELEASE: MUCC on Changes at the Natural Resources Commission

MUCC Thanks Outgoing NRC Chairman for his Commitment to Youth and Conservation

Contact:          Erin McDonough (517) 775-9500
LANSING, MI — Today, Governor Snyder announced that Natural Resources Commission (NRC) Chairman Tim Nichols will be stepping down from his position and Commissioner J.R. Richardson from Ontonagon will be taking over the reins of the NRC. Nichols will remain on the NRC as a Commissioner.
“We have enjoyed working with Chairman Nichols and feel he did a tremendous job in his time as chair of the NRC.  Under his leadership, Michigan ushered in of a new era for engaging youth in the outdoors with the recently enacted Mentored Youth Hunting Program and the launch of the Youth Advisory Council,” said Erin McDonough, Executive Director of MUCC. “He has also been supportive of working through tough issues among stakeholders and the DNR in an open and transparent manner.”
Nichols, as a grandfather of three, deserves personal credit for helping to engage youth in the outdoors, and also encouraged youth to give input on natural resources decision making at the NRC and DNR. The process to develop the Mentored Youth Hunting Program included youth on the workgroup and the Youth Advisory Council will more effectively engage youth in giving input to the DNR’s programs, while at the same time developing the next generation of Michigan’s conservation leaders.
Commissioner Richardson, who works for Traxys, an alternative energy company that  was awarded MUCC’s Industry Conservation Award,  just completed work as chair of the NRC governance workgroup to prepare a report of recommendations to provide more structure to the advisory role of the Natural Resources Commission and to enhance the efficiency and productivity of NRC meetings. Among other things, the report provides a number of capacities in which the NRC can contribute beneficial advice to the DNR director and outlines a plan for laying out the goals of each division annually and improved budget reporting.  He also is current chair of the Timber Advisory Council.
“We welcome Commissioner Richardson as the new chair of the NRC,” said McDonough. “He has a good understanding of why science, not emotion, should be used to manage our natural resources. He has always been a good convener of disparate interests with the goal of finding common ground to move forward. We hope he continues in that role as Chair of the NRC. ”
Michigan’s outdoor heritage and our hunting, fishing and trapping traditions are vital, long-standing pieces of this state’s fabric. MUCC hopes that this heritage, tradition and pride will be reflected under Chairman Richardson’s leadership and that the commitments made under Nichols’ term to fully engage youth are fulfilled. # # #
Michigan United Conservation Clubs is largest statewide conservation organization in the nation. Through over 42,000 members and 260 affiliated clubs, MUCC works to accomplish its mission of Uniting Citizens to Conserve and Enhance Michigan’s Natural Resources and Protect OUR Outdoor Heritage.

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