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Governor Appoints Director of Natural Resources Department

A Southwest Missouri man has been appointed to head the Department of Natural Resources. KSMU's Missy Shelton has more on the governor's announcement.

Former state senator Doyle Childers of Reeds Spring is the governor's choice to serve as director of the department that's responsible for environmental protection and regulation.

Before becoming a senator, Childers taught science at Reeds Spring High School and spent time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central America.

During his 20 year career in public service, Childers worked on a wide range of environmental issues'from tree-harvesting to clean water initiatives.

Childers says being from Southwest Missouri, clean water especially is an important issue for him.

Childers' record on water quality is something that has caught the attention of the Sierra Club, an environmental lobbying group.

Carla Klein is the Chapter Director of the Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The Department of Natural Resources or DNR often deals with competing interests from businesses and environmental groups.

Governor Matt Blunt says Doyle Childers will be able to balance both sides.

Specifically, Blunt says DNR has been too slow in responding to permit requests from businesses.

But Sierra Club Ozark Chapter Director Carla Klein says the state has given too many advantages to businesses.

But Childers the state can protect the environment without creating obstacles to businesses.

Childers says as DNR Director, he hopes to make the department more responsive to businesses.

As DNR director, Childers faces a number of challenges.

Sierra Club Ozark Chapter Director Carla Klein says one of those challenges has to do with funding.

During the press conference announcing his appointment, Childers was asked if he considers himself to be an environmentalist.

The senate must confirm Childers' appointment.