News release: DNR seeks applications for advisory committee on natural heritage

October 22, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is recruiting six new members to serve on a key advisory board. The Natural Heritage Advisory Committee (NHAC) advises the DNR on issues relating to sustaining the state’s natural heritage, biological diversity and ecosystem services.

Members make recommendations that protect high quality prairies, forests, wetlands and other native habitats, and the diversity of plants and animals they support.

As of Jan. 1, there will be six appointments to fill with three-year terms that begin in January 2022 and extend through December 2024. The DNR seeks an inclusive and well-rounded advisory committee, encompassing differences including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, life experience, ideas, knowledge and learning styles.

Current members have a rich range of personal and professional experience with biodiversity and rare resource issues, including backgrounds in natural resource management, academia, communications, law, environmental education and more.

Since 1966, the committee has made recommendations and given support to state Scientific and Natural Areas, a system of exceptional places where native plants and wildlife flourish and rare species are protected. The committee’s scope has since expanded to include advising additional DNR programs, including nongame wildlife, Minnesota Biological Survey, native community management, rare resources, pollinator conservation, and terrestrial invasive species.  

Any Minnesota resident with interest or expertise in sustaining our state’s natural heritage may apply online until 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22 at Applicants should have knowledge, demonstrated dedication or experience related to natural area systems, conservation biology, ecology, geology, ecological education and outreach, natural resource management, protection of Minnesota's rare species, or marketing, communications or promotions focused on natural resources.

Members are expected to participate in five half-day meetings per year and one field trip of one or two days. Members are also expected to prepare for meetings in advance and may also choose to participate in subcommittees outside the regular meetings.

Meetings have typically been held in St. Paul, with options for remote meeting participation. Travel mileage for meeting attendance can be reimbursed. The DNR Commissioner will appoint committee members for terms starting in January 2022. 

Interested applicants can learn more by visiting the Committee’s website at