Don Parmeter is the founder and president of the Northern Resources Center a firm that helps organize grassroots groups and provides professional services to state and local governments and non-profit organizations. He is building an effective coalition of suburban and rural legislators to promote property rights and more decentralized and cost-effective government. He is co-founder of the Northland Alliance, a coalition of organizations representing agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism, and recreation. He is in the process of establishing the Property Rights and Conservation Association, and the Center for Conservation and Rural Economic Development. He has just recently established a science-based environmental education center in International Falls, Minn.
Don Parmeter was born and raised in northern Minnesota, and is a graduate of the USMA at West Point, N.Y. He received a scholarship from the Environmental Protection Agency to attend an interdisciplinary graduate program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He has been employee as an environmental and land use professional for state and local governments in Minnesota and the Washington, D.C. area.
He was the principal leader of the property rights movement in Minnesota that led to reform of the state wetlands statute. He led the effort to eliminate a proposed international UNESCO Biosphere Reserve along the Minnesota-Canadian border, the first time such a proposal had been defeated in the U.S. He led the effort to prevent designation of several dozen rivers in Minnesota under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. He helped prevent federal wilderness designation for National Park lands in the state.
On behalf of the Northern Resources Alliance of Minnesota, a non-profit organization, he drafted and signed a symbolic agreement with leaders of the largest environmental organization in the former USSR. He was the principal grassroots organizer for three congressional field hearings held in Minnesota, which drew 500, 1,000, and 1,500 people. He co-founded the Northern Counties Land-use Coordinating Board, a joint powers board of elected officials that support local control and property rights. He drafted and successfully lobbied for pilot project legislation designed to decentralize public policy decision-making, hold federal and state agencies more accountable for what they do and don't do, and allow grassroots groups and individuals to empower themselves.
He has testified before various congressional and legislative committees, and has organized and conducted a number of conferences and seminars.