Ritter names King to head up Department of Natural Resources

The Ritter administration Wednesday tapped Department of Natural Resources deputy director Mike King to take over for DNR executive director Jim Martin, who was picked by the Obama administration last month to head up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Denver-based Region 8 office.

King is a Montrose native who has served as deputy director of the DNR for the past four years and worked for the department since 1999. Before that he served as an assistant attorney general in the natural resources section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office beginning in 1993.

“From water to wildlife to energy development, the Department of Natural Resources is entrusted with protecting and managing some of Colorado’s most important assets,” King said in a release. “I am deeply grateful to the Governor for his confidence in me, and I am committed to continue working with the myriad groups and individuals who look to DNR for leadership in these critical areas.”

King also worked under DNR executive director Harris Sherman, whom Martin replaced last year. Sherman was another Obama administration call-up, taking over as Undersecretary of Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture – a post that oversees the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Sherman and King worked hard on the controversial Colorado roadless rule, which petitions the federal government to give Colorado more control in managing 4.2 million acres of mostly roadless public lands in the state. Critics say the rule allows too many road-building exemptions for logging, coal mining and ski area expansion, but proponents say it gives Colorado more control and protects more Colorado acreage than federal rules.

King has a journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a law degree from the University of Denver, and a master’s in public administration from CU-Denver.

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