Goal 4: Operational Excellence

DNR demonstrates operational excellence and continuous improvement in service to Minnesotans.

Accomplishing our natural resource goals requires operational excellence. DNR must continually seek to improve efficiency and effectiveness on behalf of Minnesotans. Increasing efficiency alone cannot address today's conservation challenges that operate at a larger and more complex scale than in the past. Investing in our employees is crucial to maintaining our ability to support core operations, be nimble in the face of new challenges, and recruit and retain tomorrow's workers. To succeed in a changing world, DNR staff must bring diverse perspectives, skills, and focus to their work.


The following strategies serve to guide targeted actions related to Goal 4:

  • Commit to workforce development. Develop a workforce that is representative of all Minnesotans by enhancing a safe, respectful, and dynamic work environment to retain high-quality performers and continue to attract top talent.
  • Employ adaptive management practices. Practice adaptive management, learning as we go, to respond to rapid and long-term changes, new insights, and unanticipated events while delivering safe, effective, and efficient work processes.
  • Make smart investments to manage future operational costs. Invest in DNR's facilities and fleet to ensure the safe and effective delivery of public services and efficient internal operations for the long term.
  • Reduce energy use and invest in renewable energy. Improve the efficiency of DNR facilities, vehicles, and equipment and increase our use of renewable energy in order to reduce our department's greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Enhance transparency. Provide easy and transparent access to information so the public can understand and participate in the DNR's work.
Forester talking with woodland owner.

mechanic working on a truck

two women at the service desk. One of them signing in.

group a people sitting around tables talking.


Four key trends informing Goal 2 strategies:

  1. Participation in outdoor recreation is evolving, with changes in user demographics and some uses declining and others emerging or increasing.
  2. Use of public outdoor spaces has been increasing, with people seeking both mental and physical health benefits of nature.
  3. Demands on outdoor recreation infrastructure are increasing and changing, while funds for maintenance and upgrades are not keeping pace.
  4. Minnesotans enjoy the outdoors in a wide range of ways, some of which can be difficult to accommodate in close proximity to other users or sensitive resources.

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