President Obama has nominated Harris Sherman, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources to be the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he will oversee the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Sherman would take the spot last held by the controversial Mark Rey, a former timber industry lobbyist.
Mr. Sherman has been the DNR director in Colorado since 2007 and also served in the position from 1975 to 1987.
His agency’s web site has his biography:
Harris received his B.A. degree from Colorado College and his law degree from Columbia University Law School. As Managing and Senior Partner of the Denver office of Arnold & Porter, his law practice focused on natural resources, environmental, water, public land, real estate, and Indian law.
Harris has also served on a wide variety of public and private agencies and organizations. He has been Chairman of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission; Chair of the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board and Chair of the Denver Regional Air Quality Council. He has served as a Commissioner of Mines; as a Commissioner of the Denver Water Board; and as a Trustee of Colorado College. He is currently a Trustee of the Boettcher Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting, encouraging and promoting the residents of Colorado.
For several decades, Harris has been active in land conservation efforts with the Nature Conservancy, Colorado Open Lands, and the Trust for Public Land.
As a lifelong Colorado resident, Harris is an avid hiker, skier, and cyclist. He spends much of his free time at his ranch in Summit County.
In May President Obama nominated Homer Lee Wilkes, the Mississippi state conservationist, for the position, but Mr. Wilkes withdrew his name from consideration for what was called personal reasons.
The Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, also served in the position of executive director of the Colorado DNR, form 1987 to 1994.