Commissioner Biographies

Louise Klarr

Louise Klarr of Jackson, Michigan was appointed to the Natural Resources Commission by Governor Rick Snyder in December 2012 and reappointed in December of 2016.

Louise is a team member of Chicago based Kinship Conservation Fellows, a groundbreaking leadership program for mid-career conservationists. The program is unique as the main impact is teaching market-based principles and applying them to environmental situations around the world and in North America. Fellows are selected annually and meet for an intensive 30-day program in Bellingham, Washington. There are 18 fellows: nine from North America and nine internationals.

Louise also is the appointed board chair of Maggie Creek Ranch, LP.  Maggie Creek Ranch is a commercial beef cow/calf operator with angus and sim/angus lines operating in the north western part of the United States. Thirty percent of each heifer crop is retained to go into the cow herd and around 50% of steers raised are marketed to Whole Foods. The Ranch also has a grass-fed stocker operation that runs 1000-1800 head annually. The cow/calf pairs are run on 200,000 acres where animals are rotated on pastures as the seasons progress. Maggie Creek Ranch won the prestigious National Cattleman’s Beef Association Environmental Stewardship Award 2015.

Louise has hunted and fished throughout Michigan, North America and internationally, with many hunts on pheasants starting at age 11. She also hunts duck, grouse, woodcock and quail annually.

Louise has fished the arctic circle, Iceland, Alaska, Canada and almost every state. Numerous big game hunts but always in Michigan in November. She has taken whitetail with a rifle, bow, crossbow, muzzleloader and slug. Her best deer scored 1745/8 B&C.  Louise is married with five children and four grandchildren, all of whom hunt except those grandkids that are too young!

Christopher Tracy

Chris Tracy was raised in Clare (the Gateway to the North).  He learned to love Michigan’s natural resources through the example set by his parents.  Chris lives on Gull Lake with his wife, Michelle, who works for the Kalamazoo County Land Bank and their sons.  The Tracys spend a lot of time enjoying Michigan’s outdoors – a fair amount of that time is spent at soccer fields throughout Michigan and the Midwest region as his sons are soccer players.  They also spend time on, in and around Gull Lake and southwest Michigan enjoying Michigan’s abundant natural resources through biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, swimming, kayaking and a number of other outdoor activities.  The Tracys love to spend time at their cabin and property near Cheboygan.  The property is protected by a conservation easement through the Little Traverse Conservancy.  They have a forest management plan in place and have worked with a number of conservation organizations and state and federal agencies to improve the habitat, including with Ducks Unlimited, Ruffed Grouse Society, US Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, MDNR and others.  The Tracy family celebrates every Thanksgiving at the cabin.  Chris formerly served on the Ducks Unlimited national board as the senior volunteer for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Chris also is serving or has served on a number of other boards for conservation organizations, including:  Kalamazoo Nature Center; MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station Advisory Board; Parks Foundation of Kalamazoo; Kalamazoo River Valley Trail; Alliance for the Great Lakes; and the Gull Lake Quality Organization.

Chris is an attorney with Warner, Norcross & Judd LLP in Kalamazoo and was formerly with the Honigman law firm, along with serving as a federal prosecutor in Chicago where his duties included handling matters for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.  Chris is a graduate of James Madison College of Michigan State University and of Chicago-Kent College of Law.

David Nyberg

As a native of Gladstone, Michigan, David had the good fortune of experiencing childhood in the woods and waters of the UP.  Ice fishing on Little Bay de Noc and spending time at camp on the Stonington Peninsula with his family and friends instilled a special appreciation for the recreational and cultural pursuits that are enabled by our state's tremendous natural resources as well as the significant economic imprint of the outdoor recreation industry.  In 1955, David's grandfather, Lloyd, helped to found Bay de Noc Lure Company in his father's blacksmith shop in Gladstone.  David's father, Dave, carries the tradition of the family business forward by maintaining the same craftsmanship and manufacturing process of the original design lures that are a staple in anglers' tackle boxes.  David worked part-time at "the shop" starting at age 14, bending "Do-Jiggers" and buffing "Swedish Pimples," with plenty of knuckles skinned at the buffing wheel.

This upbringing had some influence in David's career pursuits in natural resources law and policy.  After serving as a legislative aid to House Speaker Craig DeRoche, David joined Michigan United Conservation Clubs in 2008 to manage the organization's legislative affairs as it refocused its efforts on advocacy at the state and federal levels.  In this experience, he was able to be a part of several exciting initiatives and collaborations, including legislation to eliminate the minimum hunting age and create a mentored youth hunting program (Public Acts 109 and 120 of 2011 "The Hunter Heritage Bill"), create a new funding mechanism for state parks (Public Acts 32-35 of 2010 "The Recreation Passport"), and authorize DNR utilization of volunteers on state game areas (Public Act 65 of 2011) and Congressional advocacy to support funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. 

In 2011, David returned back to the UP with his wife, Tracy.  From 2011-2012, he worked with Trout Unlimited and a variety of conservation organizations and land-based industry companies through his venture with 3rd Coast Strategies, LLC. 

David joined Governor Rick Snyder's team in August 2012 to serve as Director of the Governor's Northern Michigan Office based in Marquette.  In this capacity, he served as the region's primary ambassador for the Governor and collaborated with northern Michigan business, education, and community leaders to achieve strategic priorities for the region and Snyder Administration.  In 2014, he assumed additional duties as Deputy Legal Counsel, overseeing state-tribal affairs, gaming, and serving as the Governor's liaison to federally-recognized tribal governments located within Michigan.  In this role he worked closely with the DNR, DEQ and MDARD on natural resources policy matters, including government to government consultation with tribal governments under the Great Lakes and Inland Consent Decrees.

David earned is B.A. at Michigan State University and J.D. and Michigan State University College of Law, where he received the Jurisprudence Achievement Award in both Wildlife Law and Land Use Planning Law.  He is a fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.  He was a charter member of the board of directors for Invest UP, a privately-supported regional economic growth organization in the UP, and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Marquette County Bar Association, Economic Club of Marquette County, Noquemanon Skijor Club, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Escanaba River Association, Fred Waara Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Connect Marquette.