Governor Bill Owens will relinquish power five months from now to the winner of this November’s election. No doubt, state department heads have already sent out resumes for future employment. However, there may be one person who won’t have to pack up his bags regardless of who becomes governor.Rifle native Russell George has served as director of Department of Natural Resources (DNR) since 2004. His responsibilities have included overseeing eight divisions, 15 state boards and 2,5000 workers in agencies concerning wildlife, water, parks, mining and forests.
Since George was appointed by Governor Bill Owens, he will resign when Owens leaves office next year. Yet, this former Boettcher scholar, Harvard graduate, country lawyer, state legislator and Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives has done his job so well that Republican candidate for governor Bob Beauprez said he would keep George in the position if elected. Some Democrats predict if Democratic candidate Bill Ritter wins, he could not find a better person for the DNR job and may welcome George to stay, too.
Starting his career as a lawyer in Rifle, George hasn’t ruled out returning to law practice in Rifle either.
George led the Colorado Division of Wildlife before his appointment to the DNR.