Preston Cole is stepping down as Secretary of Wisconsin DNR

DNR Secretary Preston Cole speaks at the announcement of state funding for the Ozaukee-Washington Land Trust to acquire the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Preserve along Lake Michigan, on Aug. 18, 2022, at the nearby Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve.  On Friday, Cole announced his retirement on November 23.

Madison – Secretary Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Governor Tony Evers announced Friday that he is stepping down after serving as the agency’s chief for four years.

Preston Cole will retire from the department on November 23 after 35 years of public service.

“Preston has been an integral part of my administration since day one, and we regret his passing,” Evers said. “With his help, we put science back on the DNR, help ensure Wisconsinians have access to cleaner and safer water, and tackle climate change head-on, all while supporting the state park system and the outdoor recreational economy that many Wisconsin visitors enjoy.”

Prior to Cole’s appointment in December 2018, he served 11 years on the Council on Natural Resources, the body that sets DNR policy. He was appointed to the board by Democratic Governor Jim Doyle in 2007 and in 2013 by Republican Governor Scott Walker. He served as Chairman of the Board in 2013 and 2014.

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