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DNR to Appoint New Species Recovery Program Director

Salt Lake City (Nov. 27, 2017) – Mike Styler, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has named Christopher Keleher as the department’s new species recovery program director. Keleher will assume his new position Jan. 1, following the retirement of current program director Henry Maddux.

Since 2012, Keleher has worked as the recovery program deputy director and has been responsible for administering the Endangered Species Mitigation Fund (ESMF). The fund is designed to prevent new federal listings of species under the Endangered Species Act and to work toward recovering Threatened and Endangered species currently listed under the act.

“Chris is dedicated to species protection and recovery. I’m excited to see him continue to find solutions to resolving conflicts and balancing the needs of our growing society with species conservation,” said Styler. “I know Chris will continue to demonstrate the professionalism and success the recovery program has experienced under Henry’s leadership.”  

As director, Keleher will oversee the ESMF and represent DNR in the June Sucker Recovery and Implementation Program and the Virgin River Resource Management and Recovery Program. Additionally, he will also represent Utah on the Colorado River Fish Recovery Program. 

Recipient of the Nature Conservancy’s 2016 Conservation Partner Award, Maddux, who will retire as recovery program director in December, has served as director for over five years. He is also the current chair of the Management Committee of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. Prior to joining DNR, Maddux spent 26 years working for the federal government with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Navy.

DNR will immediately open a search to appoint a new species recovery program deputy director.

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