Commissioner Biographies

Louise Klarr

Louise Klarr of Jackson was appointed to the Natural Resources Commission by Governor Snyder in January 2013 and reappointed in December 2016.

She is a team member of the Kinship Conservation Fellows, a groundbreaking environmental leadership program that embraces market-based solutions to environmental problems. The organization concentrates on connecting with alumni, collaborating on projects, and impacting with environmental solutions. Kinship fellows hail from around the world. Klarr also is chairman of the Maggie Creek Ranch LP, located in Elko, Nevada. Maggie Creek is an Angus-based cow/calf operation that spans 400,000 acres in arid high desert in northeastern Nevada. Maggie Creek is very involved with local ranching outreach events and collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to continually improve the land. Maggie Creek Ranch has received several certificates of merit for their management of their riparian areas.

Klarr has taken whitetail with bow, muzzleloader and gun. She is happy to catch a bluegill on #14 dry fly or through the ice with a mousey worm. She attended the University of New Hampshire and has a degree in animal science. She and her husband have five children who also love to hunt and fish.

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.

Anna Mitterling

Anna Mitterling was appointed to the Natural Resources Commission by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on December 18, 2019. 

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.

Rex E. Schlaybaugh, Jr.

Rex E. Schlaybaugh, Jr. of Birmingham was appointed to the Natural Resources Commission by Governor Rick Snyder in January 2012. Schlaybaugh is chairman emeritus of Dykema Gossett, a national law firm, having served as chairman and chief executive officer from 2002 through December 2011. His professional practice involves extensive work in the mergers and acquisitions area, counseling boards of directors on corporate law matters and related securities law matters. He has received a number of recognitions with respect to his professional achievements.

Schlaybaugh earned a bachelor's of arts degree from Albion College in 1971 and a law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1973.

Throughout his career, Schlaybaugh has served on many civic boards, including 15 years on the Board of Trustees of Oakland University, where he served a term as chair, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, where he also served as chair. He currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Economic Club, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the Board of Directors of The John Hancock Life Insurance Company, and is vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition.

Schlaybaugh is an avid fly fisherman, hunter and sailor. He resides in Birmingham with his wife of 40 years, Jan, and has one daughter, Casey, who works in advertising in New York City.

John W. Walters

John W. Walters of Vanderbilt was appointed to the Natural Resources Commission by Governor Rick Snyder, with his term beginning January 1, 2018.

 

John works for Roseburg Forest Products (EWP), based in Eugene, Oregon; manufacturing engineered wood products, softwood and hardwood plywood, particle board and lumber.  John works for EWP from his home office as the Territory Sales Manager, selling and traveling in four states.  In 1988, he began his career in Gaylord, in the residential building materials industry. 

As John was growing up in Clawson, MI, his parents (Bill and Irene Walters) and his Boy Scout Master (Bill Lee) taught him about the outdoors and respecting our natural resources. They emphasized, “Leave it better than how you found it.”  John was raised hunting and fishing and appreciating the great outdoors. John is an Eagle Scout with a Bronze Palm.

  

Throughout John’s life, his parents traveled with him and his younger brother, Todd, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Houghton, MI) to visit his Grandparents and relatives. He was taught at a very early age how special the UP is and appreciate its beautiful natural resources and wonderful people.

 

As a result of his affection of the Upper Peninsula, John attended Northern Michigan University. While enrolled at NMU, he was introduced to many rivers & streams, trail systems, hunting & fishing experiences and snowshoeing. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Northern Michigan University (Marquette, MI) in 1987.

 

He has served:

  • State Chairman of Michigan Trout Unlimited (2014-2015)
  • President of the Headwaters Chapter of TU (2005-2013)
  • Board Member & Vice-President of Anglers of the Au Sable (2010-2017)
  • Pigeon River Country State Forest – Advisory Council Member (2007-2017) served as Chairman since 2010
  • MDARD – Rural Development Fund Board (2015-2017).

 John and Sue Walters have been married since 1992 and are very close hunting and fishing partners; spending much of their time chasing trout, in the woods hunting upland game birds with two German short-haired pointers, George and Winston, bow and rifle hunting deer, or snowshoeing throughout the winter in northern Michigan.