MN Wild


Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section

Eldon G. Kaul Distinguished Service Award

The ENRE Section’s Governing Council established the award to recognize a member of the bench or bar who has demonstrated a significant commitment and made an outstanding contribution to Environmental, Natural Resources or Energy Law in the state of Minnesota. Past recipients are James Payne (2016), Beverly Conerton (2014), Alan Mitchell (2013), Brian B. O'Neill (2012), Alan C. Williams (2011), Byron E. Starns (2010), Grant Merritt (2009), Martha Brand (2008), Mac Hyde (2007), Charles K. Dayton (2006) and Eldon G. Kaul (2005). 

Eldon was the first recipient of the Section’s award, in recognition of his 35 years of service in the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. Eldon joined the AG’s office in 1970 as a staff attorney in the State Solicitor General’s office. In 1972, he became MPCA’s chief counsel. In 1976, he was promoted to Managing Attorney for the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Division, a position he held until his retirement in 2004. Among his many career milestones, he represented MPCA in the Reserve Mining Company litigation involving the company’s taconite plant in Silver Bay, Minnesota. The Reserve Mining litigation eventually resulted in the seminal Minnesota Supreme Court opinion on judicial review of administrative decisions, Reserve Mining Co. v. Herbst, 256 N.W.2d 808 (Minn. 1977). Eldon also represented MPCA and MDNR in a series of cases involving forest management policy, which culminated in a favorable decision for the state in Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy v. Minn. Pollution Control Agency, 644 N.W.2d 457 (Minn. 2002).

In addition to his distinguished career, Eldon has provided outstanding assistance to the Section and the MSBA. He has held every office in the Section and has twice served as its Chair. He has also served on the Section’s Governing Council for over 10 years and has been a frequent contributor in planning a variety of the Section’s continuing legal education programs. In 2004, he received the MSBA Public Law Section’s Douglas K. Amdahl Public Attorney Career Achievement Award. In 2012, he received the MSBA’s Citizen Lawyer Award, which is presented to the MSBA member who best exemplifies the Association’s commitment to support and promote public understanding of civics, the legal system, and the rule of law in Minnesota. He has served as Chair of the MSBA’s Civic Education Committee and is a tireless advocate of civic education in the public schools. 

2016 Recipient

Congratulations to Charlie Nauen, the 2016 recipient of the Eldon G. Kaul Distinguised Service Award! Check out the photos below.

Past Recipients

  • Charles Nauen (2016) 
  • James Payne (2015) 
  • Beverly Conerton (2014)
  • Alan Mitchell (2013)
  • Brian B. O'Neill (2012)
  • Alan C. Williams (2011)
  • Byron E. Starns (2010)
  • Grant Merritt (2009)
  • Martha Brand (2008)
  • Mac Hyde (2007)
  • Charles K. Dayton (2006) 
  • Eldon G. Kaul (2005)
Charlie Nauen with Eldon Kaul and MSBA Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Section Chair Lindsay Remakel.
Charlie Nauen speaking at the Environmental Institute luncheon.
Charlie photo
Charlie with fellow LGN Partner David Zoll and Legal Administrative Assistant Janet Harvey

Congratulations to Beverly Conerton, the 2014 recipient of the Eldon G. Kaul Distinguished Service Award!

David Zoll, Section Chair (2012-13); 2013 Eldon G. Kaul Distinguished Service Award Recipient, Alan Mitchell; and Eldon G. Kaul