Prior to 2009, bipartisan commissions controlled the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with the power to hire directors of the respective departments.
We strongly support this historical commission system of government. Commissions should provide oversight and set policy for the department, conduct appeals, and employ the director. The historical commission system allowed for continuity, transparency and accountability of programs. We support restoring all duties of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Commissions, including the ability to employ the director.
Future appointees to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) should be balanced, not only in their passion for outdoor recreation, but also with regard to the ecological and business environments of the State. A farmer representative from production agriculture should be on the NRC.
Furthermore, we insist the Michigan Legislature or Governor create a commission for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. We urge appointments to include agricultural representation in proportion to other interests and follow guidelines similar to those listed above.