Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is MNACP?

MNACP is a nonprofit association of professional conservation workers from all disciplines. Wildlife, fisheries, forestry, native plants, water and soil all represent specific disciplines that are represented by conservation programs in Minnesota. MNACP promotes communication, training and policy coordination among these disciplines, but outside of the federal, state, and local agencies and organizations where its members are employed.

The agencies that employ these conservation workers presumably offer training and coordination. Why is a separate nonprofit organization necessary?

Each conservation agency or organization has its own scope of responsibility, chain of command and political culture. As employees, conservation workers are appropriately expected to conform to agency or organization policies.

Does this mean that agencies and organizations aren’t doing their job?

Not at all. However, everyone should recognize that appointees lead agencies and organizations. These leaders are typically chosen by either elected officials or boards of directors. Communication is directed through a chain of command that can significantly filter employee communication. While we recognize the importance of agencies and organizations maintaining conformity, we also believe that conservation workers ought to have an avenue for safely expressing opinions or advocating for policies based on their professional expertise.

Don’t professional organizations like the Wildlife Society, American Fisheries Society, and the Society of American Foresters already provide this forum?

Minnesota is blessed with very active professional organizations that do provide professional forums. However, the membership of these organizations is comprised almost solely of professionals of each respective discipline. In addition to the opportunities these professional societies offer, MNACP believes in the importance of interdisciplinary communication and discussion. This is particularly true as Minnesota embarks on a new era in conservation with constitutionally dedicated funding. There is a real need for open discussion between conservation disciplines that are not constrained by agency or organization policies and priorities. We hope that MNACP can provide that forum.