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Capitol Briefs: DNR names new deputy director, head of state parks

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) named a new deputy director and Division of State Parks director Tuesday. 

Mike Sutherland was chosen to serve as the department’s deputy director while David Kelly was tapped as the next head of Missouri State Parks. 

“Mike and David are both longtime supporters of Missouri’s state park system and outdoor recreation,” new DNR Director Dru Buntin said. “Both have been instrumental in building our team as well as relationships across communities that have helped us provide one of the best state park systems in the country.”

  • Sutherland had served as director of Missouri State Parks since January 2020. He previously served as deputy director of the division after joining the department in 2017. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and the University of Central Missouri. 
  • Kelly has worked with Missouri’s State Parks for more than 30 years, having served as deputy director for four years and led various park projects over the years. He is also a graduate of the University of Missouri.
  • Buntin was named to his position earlier this month after stepping in for former Director Carol Comer who died in June after a battle with cancer.