Will any Western Slope resident find themselves serving on Governor Ritter’s cabinet? So far it’s been a shutout. Rifle native Russell George will not retain his position of director of Department of Natural Resources as Ritter’s transition team announced that Harris Sherman, who served as head of DNR under Governor Lamm thirty years ago, will succeed George.
Under the Department of Natural Resources are many key divisions, boards and commissions: the Division of Wildlife, State Parks, State Land Board, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Division of Water Resources, Water Conservation Board and Geological Survey. Naturally, government officials and activists on the West Slope have particular interest in the DNR and many had expressed the desire to have a “local” selected to serve as director.Harris Sherman served as executive director of the Department of Natural Resources from 1975 to 1980 and is currently a senior partner with the law firm of Arnold & Porter, practicing primarily in the areas of natural resources, environment, water, land-use and public-land law. Some of Sherman’s clients have been Summit County and Vail Resorts, which operates Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge and Heavenly.
Sherman is a Denver Water Board commissioner, National Advisory Board member for the Trust for Public Land and is on Denver Regional Air Quality Council. Colorado’s representative to the Western States Water Council since 1975, Sherman has also served as chairman of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission and the Colorado State University Water Resources Research Institute Advisory Committee.
Back when he was director of DNR, Sherman and Gov. Lamm were seriously concerned with the social, economic, and environmental disruptions that oil shale commercialization would bring to the state and so they favored a phased approach to circumvent or mitigate these impacts.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and a law degree from Columbia Law School.