Myers announces retirement, third Walker cabinet change in three weeks

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Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Myers announced Tuesday that he’s retiring.

Mark Myers announced Tuesday he will retire as commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources. Myers once served as head of the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska. (Public Domain photo from USGS)
Mark Myers announced Tuesday he will retire as commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources. Myers once served as head of the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska. (Public Domain photo from USGS)

Myers wrote in an email to department staff members that he’s retiring for personal reasons. His resignation is effective March 1.

Deputy Commissioner Marty Rutherford will serve as acting commissioner.

It’s the third change in Gov. Bill Walker’s cabinet in three weeks, following changes in the commissioners of corrections and education.

Myers had only been commissioner since early 2015, but has a total of 18 years of service in the department.

Myers worked as a geologist for the state and for private companies. He was the head of the U.S. Geological Survey from 2006 to 2009. And he was the vice chancellor of research for University of Alaska Fairbanks before Walker named him commissioner.

Walker said Myers told him he wanted to retire in October, but Walker gave him time to reconsider.

Myers said, “Retiring is not difficult, but leaving DNR is.”

A spokeswoman for Walker said the governor hasn’t set a timeline for permanently replacing Myers.