Incumbent Duane Dahlman and newcomer Lynn Cason run for District V
By Kristen Miller
WRIGHT COUNTY, MN Duane Dahlman of Cokato has served on Wright Soil and Water Conservation District for four terms and has been unopposed at all but one election until now.
This general election, Lynn Cason, also from Cokato, will be running against Dahlman, a 20-year board member.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District is made up of five districts, Cokato being in the fifth district along with Annandale, Howard Lake, and South Haven and the townships of Cokato, French Lake, Southside, Stockholm, and Victor.
The representatives are voted on throughout the county, not just within the district they would potentially represent, Dahlman explained.
The main purpose of the Wright County Soil and Water District is to assist in the protection of the county’s land, water, and natural resources.
According to its web site, “The mission of the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District is to provide local leadership in the conservation and wise use of soil, water and related resources through a balanced program that protects, restores and improves those resources.”
A closer look at the candidates
Lynn Cason has been concerned about conservation issues ever since she worked as a property clerk for Florida’s Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970s.
Cason believes that educating people about the things they can do to keep the land and water safe will promote conservation practices.
“It’s important children and adults are educated and that they learn what’s going on in their environment . . . and thinking about what they can do to help keep the land and water safe,” Cason said.
She is also interested in studying and implementing strategies to help cut back invasions of non-native plants in the county’s lakes and promote good fishing practices that protect populations of fish from parasites and disease.
Cason moved to rural Cokato in 2002 from the Twin Cities and owns 3.5 acres of land that, with her help, is now registered as a national wildlife habitat.
Cason is self-employed and participates in selling and designing advertisements, as well as doing freelance writing for the Drummer.
In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar and singing.
Current board member Duane Dahlman has 20 years of experience on the board and calls himself a “liaison” between the government and the people who work and enjoy the land and water.
He believes in compromising to satisfy all involved.
Dahlman was born and raised in Cokato and owns Dahlco Seeds with his two brothers, Craig and Kevin.
As a soil and water representative, Dahlman has been active in working with lake associations and helping in the clean-up efforts of lakes and rivers.
“We get our fingers into a lot of different organizations, including the DNR and Pheasants Forever,” Dahlman said.
Even after 20 years of serving in the soil and water conservation district, Dahlman hasn’t lost the enthusiasm.
“I can sit on my deck and see Cokato Lake, a wetland, and a field that I farm and think, ‘There’s got to be a way for all of this to mesh together.’ That’s why I run,” Dahlman said.