DNR strikes balance between economic development, environmental protectionMany of you know us as the place to come for hunting and fishing licenses, to get your questions answered or find out about adult or youth programs. We are here to provide those customer services.
By: By John Gozdzialski , Superior Telegram
Many of you know us as the place to come for hunting and fishing licenses, to get your questions answered or find out about adult or youth programs.
We are here to provide those customer services.
And we are here to protect our precious natural resources and people, but we are also here to facilitate economic development and job creation.
As Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said at the recent Governor’s Northern Economic Summit: “Come to us early. And come to us often.”
We are here to help you map your way in the woods, navigate your way on the waters and assist you in developing your economic development plan or project.
We need to be brought in at the beginning, not at the end, so we can provide people and resources, and determine what, if any, permits are needed.
Traveling a two-way street is necessary for success. I work with external people or groups to determine their needs and then I work internally with DNR staff on a timely response. Then, together, we bring it to the table and map out what needs to be done.
We are not here to stand in your way; we are here to help pave the way for you to be successful. We are proactive. Our priority is on customer service.
We are the state’s first enterprise agency; we have embraced lean government and have looked at doing old things new ways for our benefit and yours.
One example, and it is a big one, is the creation of the Office of Business Support and Sustainability. This new office will focus on 10 of our most important business sectors, where working relationships between DNR and the sector can build value – both for the environment and the economy.
For each sector we will designate one key staff person as a point of contact within the DNR. Sector teams within the DNR will be charged to provide specialized support for their respective sectors — to walk in the shoes of those businesses, listen to business needs and understand sector trends. I expect these teams to produce business value and environmental results. I will be listening closely to citizens and businesses alike to hear if we are meeting this goal.
This new office will provide a framework within the DNR to ensure the right resources are allocated to do our part for business development. We will make sure the needs of new and growing businesses are addressed and that broad needs for the business sectors are met.
Lastly, we will share sustainable practices and work with partners to assure competitive advantages from sustainability are accessible and achievable.
These efforts will not sacrifice environmental protection, but by working together up-front, we should see better environmental outcomes.
We have a new Spooner-based northern region headquarters to serve you better, a proactive culture and can-do attitude. As we begin our second century in the Northwood’s of Wisconsin, we are excited about working with you in the days, weeks, months and years to come.
John Gozdzialski is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources northern region director.