LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today that Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) member J.R. Richardson of Ontonagon will assume the responsibilities as commission chair, effective immediately. NRC Commissioner Tim Nichols of Cadillac has resigned as chair but will continue to serve the commission as a full member.
The NRC, a seven-person public body whose members are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, works with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to conserve, protect and manage the state's natural and cultural resources for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.
"The NRC's work is vital to the health and sustainability of our state's natural resources, as well as to ensuring broad public access to them," Snyder said. "I thank Tim for his insight and commitment in soundly leading this commission. I have full faith in J.R.'s ability and vision to protect Michigan's special places and thoughtfully nurture the state's strong natural resources-based economy."
Richardson, a lifelong resident of the Upper Peninsula, has served as a member of the NRC since 2007. He enjoyed a 31-year career in the paper industry, including work as a paper machine laborer, recovery boiler operator, process engineer, engineering supervisor, production supervisor and quality and environmental manager. Since December 2007, Richardson has worked for the New York-based TRAXYS Corp., which creates renewable energy alternatives for power production in the U.P.
A graduate of Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Richardson holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and has completed course work toward a business engineering administration degree.
Currently serving as chair of the Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee and the Michigan Timber Advisory Council, Richardson is an avid fly fisherman, hunter and backpacker. To learn more about Richardson and the work of the NRC, visit www.michigan.gov/nrc.