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Snyder creates Blue Ribbon Panel on State Parks and Outdoor Recreation

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today created a blue ribbon panel that will ensure the role of state parks evolves to meet the needs of Michigan's diverse and changing population.

Snyder issued Executive Order 10 on Mackinac Island, one of the state's crown jewels, creating the 16-member panel. The Blue Ribbon Panel on State Parks and Outdoor Recreation will conduct a yearlong review of state parks and recreation areas, exploring innovative models that will help these assets better serve current and new generations of Michiganders.

"State parks are integral to Michigan's identity," Snyder said. "They preserve and protect some of our most significant natural and cultural resources. Their natural beauty, recreational opportunities and economic power enhance every corner of Michigan. By working in a thoughtful, visionary manner, we will ensure that these treasures adapt as we enter the New Michigan."

The system contains 100 state parks and recreation areas, drawing more than 25 million visitors annually.

Appointed to the panel as co-chairs are:   

Jon Allan of East Lansing, executive director of environmental policy and intergovernmental affairs for Consumers Energy Co. He serves on the Environmental Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Allan earned a bachelor's degree in fisheries and wildlife and a master's degree in zoology from Michigan State University.

Erin McDonough of Williamston, executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC). She previously served as director of the Institute for Conservation Education for MUCC, resource policy specialist for MUCC and water resources coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. McDonough earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science from Central Michigan University and a master's degree in resource policy and behavior from the University of Michigan.

The other 14 members are:

Thomas Bailey of Petoskey, executive director of the Little Traverse Conservancy. He co-founded the Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy and the Harbor Area Board of Resources. Bailey earned a bachelor's degree in park and recreation resources from Michigan State University.

Bryan Barnhill of Detroit, director of policy and legislative affairs for the Detroit City Council, Office of the President. He previously worked on real estate development and neighborhood planning for the Southwest Housing Solutions. Barnhill earned a bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University, completed coursework at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and is a currently fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program.

Rich Bowman of Grand Rapids, director of government relations for The Nature Conservancy. He previously served as the executive director of the Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited, executive director of the West Grand Development Corporation and executive director for Neighbors of Belknap Lookout Inc. Bowman earned a bachelor's degree in food systems management and economics from Michigan State University and was a fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program.

Ryan Cartwright of Petoskey, who completed his Eagle Scout project with the Little Traverse Bay Conservancy, focusing on erosion control along the banks of the Pigeon River in Cheboygan County. He is a National Merit Scholar finalist and a freshman at the University of Michigan's School of Engineering.

Julie Clark of Traverse City, executive director of Traverse Area Recreation & Transportation Trails Inc. She previously served as the division director and senior greenway planner for Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Greenway Planning and Development Services in Charlotte, North Carolina. Clark earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Miami University (Ohio) and a master's degree in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida.

Bradley Garmon of Lansing, director of conservation and emerging issues for the Michigan Environmental Council, where he develops contracts, strategies and policies to enhance economic development through natural resource protection. He previously served as editor-in-chief of Capital Gains Media. Garmon earned a bachelor's degree in earth science from Emporia State University in Kansas and a master's degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State University.

Jefferson Gray of Alpena, superintendent of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He is the sanctuary's first superintendent. Gray oversaw the design and construction of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. He earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Beloit College in Wisconsin and a master's degree in maritime history and underwater archeology from East Carolina University.

Rachel Kuntzsch of Grand Ledge, president of Kuntzsch Business Services Inc. and executive director of Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conversation Policy. She also manages the Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities. Kuntzsch earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and exercise science from Michigan State University.

Lydia Lohrer of Oak Park, founder of Outdoor Explorers in the Classroom. She has years of experience successfully pioneering approaches to recruit women and children to traditional and non-traditional outdoor experiences. Lohrer teaches fly fishing, archery, survival skills and identifying wild edibles to families.

Amy McMillan of Flint, director of the Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission, the largest county park system in Michigan. She has held executive leadership positions in local and regional governments specializing in the revitalization of parks and recreation services in diverse and economically challenged urban communities in Michigan over the past 20 years. McMillan earned both a bachelor's degree in recreation and parks administration and a master's degree in science administration from Central Michigan University.

Faye Nelson of Troy, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. She previously served as vice president of government affairs at Wayne State University and as director of government affairs at the Kmart Corp. She earned a bachelor's degree from Mercy College of Detroit and a law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law.

Timothy Nichols of Cadillac, one of the founders and managing partner of Labor-Management Fund Advisors LLC. He also serves as chair of the Natural Resource Commission. He has more than 25 years of senior management experience in the building and construction trades. Nichols holds a journeyman's certificate from the University of Michigan's Mott Campus Trade School.

Bradley Petzke of Marquette, owner and operator of Rivers North Fly Fishing Guide Service. He holds a 50-ton master captain license from the U.S. Coast Guard and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources inland captain license. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Northern Michigan University.

Mary Treder Lang of Grosse Pointe Farms, owner of Mary Treder Lang CPA, a financial and public sector consulting service firm. She previously worked for Accretive Solutions, Siemens Building Technologies Inc., Mosler Inc. and KPMG. Lang earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Dayton and is a certified public accountant.

The appointees will serve one-year terms at the pleasure of the governor.

The attached EO is official Monday, Sept. 26.