Several months after running into criticism from elected members who oversee Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, administrator Tia Nelson announced Tuesday that she is resigning.
Nelson, the daughter of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, drew criticism from the Republican leadership of the panel earlier this year because of her previous work on a task force that focused on global warming. The Board is overseen by the state’s Secretary of State, Attorney General and Treasurer, two of which are Republicans.
Newly-elected state Treasurer Matt Adamczyk in particular had been critical of Nelson’s work on climate change issues, and pushed for her removal and a resolution that barred Board staff from discussing global warming. The policy generated national headlines and board members revised it earlier this summer to clarify that staff could not lobby on the issue without permission.
Nelson did not cite the dispute in her resignation letter, choosing instead to highlight her 11 years overseeing the Board. She said she is “immensely proud” of what has been accomplished in that time frame.
Nelson said she has reached an agreement with a new employer, which she avoided finalizing until work on the state budget was completed. She singled out Attorney General Brad Schimel and Secretary of State Doug La Follette “for continuing BCPL’s long tradition of bi-partisan stewardship of school trust assets on behalf of the children of Wisconsin,” but made no mention of Adamczyk.
Adamczyk said in a statement that he wishes Nelson “the best of luck,” and looks ” forward to finding a new executive secretary that will focus exclusively on making money for our beneficiaries.”