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Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 12:19pm

Perdue Names New DNR Chief

Governor Sonny Perdue has nominated Jesup State Representative Mark Williams to serve as the next Natural Resources Commissioner.

Perdue made the appointment in consultation with Governor-elect Nathan Deal.

Williams served on the state House Natural Resources committee and was deputy whip in the GOP caucus.

The Georgia Conservancy's Will Wingate says, his legislative experience will help the Department of Natural Resources.

"He's protected our streams by passing a bill that would prohibit all-terrain vehicles from riding though our sensitive streams. He's worked very strongly to promote water equity in Georgia. He's got a strong conservation ethic and has supported land conservation tax credits," Wingate says. "He knows that the department has taken almost a 40% cut over the past three years. I do believe his relationships and his knowledge of how the appropriations process works are going to be huge assets."

The DNR Board will consider Williams' nomination.

He was named to repace Commissioner Chris Clark, who left DNR to become head the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

The next DNR Commissioner will have to enforce environmental laws, run state parks and act on critical water issues all while faced with a declining budget.