The Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Natural Heritage (CAC) advises Minnesota Department of Natural Resources programs on issues related to sustaining the state's natural heritage and biological diversity. Minnesota's natural heritage consists of its native prairies, forests, and wetlands and the native plants and animals that live here. The Committee is a citizen voice for protecting high quality natural resources and integrating conservation of these resources.
This appointed Committee makes recommendations to these Minnesota Department of Natural Resources programs:
The Committee provides recommendations concerning:
The Commissioner's Advisory Committee (CAC) was first established in 1966 by Commissioner of Conservation, Clarence Prout. The fifteen member committee first met on September 23, 1966. The Commissioner's Advisory Committee initially was charged with recommending:
The Committee was the driving force behind legislation passed in 1969 for the establishment of state natural areas. The role of the Committee was expanded in February 1984 to include providing advice to the Natural Heritage and Nongame Wildlife programs. This recommendation came from the Committee and the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources.
Members of Committee must have expertise or interest in sustaining the natural heritage of Minnesota - its native prairies, forests, and wetlands and the native plants and animals that live here. Persons are sought who have knowledge, demonstrated dedication to and/or experience related to natural area systems, conservation biology, ecology, environmental education, natural resource management, or protection of Minnesota's rare species, natural communities, geology, and other components of natural diversity. Appointed members of Committee may not be current DNR employees.
The Committee has up to 15 appointed members with terms of up to five years. Committee members receive no compensation for their voluntary services except that they are eligible for reimbursement for travel.
Current committee membership:
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every other month. Most meetings are held at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road in Saint Paul from 10:30 am to about 2:30-3:00 pm. One or more meetings a year may be a field review and could be scheduled at a different time.