DNR commissioner resigns

One of the leading figures behind the development of a trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline has announced his resignation. In an email to employees of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Mark Myers announced he will be retiring effective March 1.

“After much soul searching, I have decided that it is time for me to retire from state service,” he wrote. “Retiring is not difficult, but leaving DNR is.”

In the email, Myers said he was retiring for personal reasons and looks forward to spending more time with his family.

“Due to the nature of the jobs I have held over the last decade, I have deferred or delayed much on a personal level, including my own retirement,” he wrote.

Myers, a geologist by training, was appointed to lead the state division of oil and gas, something he did until 2006, when he was named head of the U.S. Geological Survey. He returned to Alaska in 2009, when he was named head of the state’s gas pipeline program under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, a program supported by then-Gov. Sarah Palin.

He joined the Walker administration in January 2015.

Myers will be replaced on an interim basis by deputy commissioner Marty Rutherford; no timeframe for the appointment of a permanent replacement was immediately available.

“I hate to lose Mark from the team,” Gov. Bill Walker said. “He had told me back in October that he wanted to retire, but I wanted to give him time to reconsider. I’m grateful the administration and the state were able to benefit from his experience, knowledge and expertise for as long as we’ve been able.”

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