The Iowa Department of Natural Resources went more than a year without a permanent director and months more filling some of the other key posts. Now, some who have regular contact with the department wonder if the new lineup will show a strong dedication to environmental protection and natural resources, or lean more toward making regulated industries happy.
Some of those questions surround Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ pick as the new DNR director, former ag group lobbyist Kayla Lyon, who still faces confirmation in the Senate. While some question if Lyon will approach DNR issues objectively, leaders of the pork industry, for example, said Lyon’s understanding of farming already has paid dividends on topics as complex as preparing for international animal diseases. They say they don’t expect favoritism.
No one is saying that Lyon is expected to be unfair. Only that she is unproven in a top administration job that regularly attracts controversy.