Stokes to lead new DNR

Married. Divorced. Re-married. Divorced. That’s the continuing saga of Michigan’s Natural Resources (DNR) and Environmental Quality (DEQ) Departments.

Governor-elect Rick Snyder announced his intention to re-separate the two departments after  Governor Granholm brought them back together last year.

How does this affect us? Perhaps not much. There was a concern about combining the two departments and losing some focus on natural resources.

The DNR, DEQ, and Department of Agriculture will now report to Quality of Life group executive Dan Wyant, a former director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture .

Snyder said, “I’m bringing in a business model approach that is much more effective and efficient.”

This management model is similar to the one Detroit Mayor Dave Bing implemented last year.

New DNR Director

Perhaps what will affect us more than this re-structuring is  Snyder’s naming of Rodney Stokes as DNR Director.

Stokes has been with the DNR for many years and filled many roles, including director of state parks from 1996 to 2002. He is currently chief of the DNRE Office of Science and Policy.

He even retired from the state at one point and worked as the deputy director for the Detroit Recreation Department before returning to the DNR.

Stokes was also a member of the East Riverfront Study Group in 2002 which helped get us to the Detroit RiverWalk we have today.

He is well aware of the importance of trails and urban parks — and we think that’s a very good thing.

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