Natural Resources director wants to keep job under Hickenlooper

The man who has headed the Colorado Department of Natural Resources under Gov. Bill Ritter since May wants to stay on with the new administration.

Mike King, a Montrose native who has served in several roles in the department, which frequently is a lightning rod for controversy in resource-laden Colorado, said he wants to remain there.

King on Friday said he submitted his application to the incoming administration of Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The Department of Natural Resources oversees the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Colorado Division of Wildlife and other agencies that frequently play significant roles in western Colorado.

No single issue was inspiring his interest in remaining at the head of the department, King said.

“I love what I do,” King said in an e-mail response to an inquiry from The Daily Sentinel. “That and I still have not figured out what I want to be when I grow up.”

King is one of two members of Ritter’s Cabinet with deep Western Slope roots.

Rifle native Russ George, who headed the Department of Natural Resources under Gov. Bill Owens and then the Colorado Department of Transportation, didn’t immediately respond to The Sentinel’s inquiry.

King, a hunter and angler, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989 and a law degree from the University of Denver in 1992. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from CU-Denver in 1998.

King replaced Jim Martin, who was appointed to head the Region 8 office of the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver.

Hickenlooper has reached once across the Continental Divide already, tapping state Rep. Christine Scanlan, D-Dillon, as director of legislative affairs and strategic initiatives. Scanlan will lead Hickenlooper’s legislative strategy and work on initiatives such as economic development, Interstate 70 transportation and forest health.

Hickenlooper’s transition team includes residents of northwest and southwest Colorado, as well as Reeves Brown, executive director of Western Slope lobbying and promotional organization Club 20.


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