State losing another natural resources chief

The Colorado Department of Natural Resource is losing its second leader in a half year’s time.

President Obama has named the department’s executive director, Jim Martin, as the new regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region VIII, which includes Colorado.

Martin is expected to remain in his current job for several more weeks, Gov. Bill Ritter’s office said in a news release. Carol Rushin has been serving as acting director for the EPA region.

Ritter named Martin as DNR chief in October, after the last person to hold the job, Harris Sherman, was tapped by Obama to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for natural resources and environment.

Martin previously headed up the state Department of Public Health and Environment. In that role and his latest job, he served on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as it rewrote the state’s oil and gas rules.

He recently was involved in successful bills to increase the state’s renewable energy standard and bring about more use of natural gas in power plants. He helped revise a proposed plan for roadless areas in national forests in the state and assisted in creating the state’s first Climate Action Plan in 2007.

Ritter congratulated Martin in a prepared statement, adding, “Over the past three years, Jim has served the people of Colorado with great distinction as a key member of my administration. … He is widely respected and trusted by people with diverse and often opposing viewpoints because he is able to work through complex issues and find areas of common ground.”

In a news release, Pam Kiely of Environment Colorado praised Martin’s EPA appointment and his work with the state.

“As a linchpin in Gov. Ritter’s environmental team, Jim has played a critical role in shaping what will be a lasting legacy of environmental stewardship for this administration,” Kiely said.


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