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Reynolds Appoints First Woman To Lead Iowa DNR

Kayla Lyon speaks during a subcommittee hearing on February 26, 2019.
John Pemble
IPR file photo
Kayla Lyon speaks during a subcommittee hearing in February.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has chosen a member of her own staff to head the state Department of Natural Resources. Kayla Lyon is the first woman appointed to lead the agency.

Lyon worked as Reynolds’ liaison to the legislature as well as an advisor on issues related to agriculture and natural resources. According to a statement, Lyon also worked on the 2018 water quality funding bill which set aside $282 million over 12 years to improve farm practices and drinking water infrastructure.

Before joining the governor’s staff, Lyon was the government affairs director for the Iowa Institute for Coops, a trade group that represents farm cooperatives.

The DNR operates the state park system, manages wildlife and conservation programs and administers environmental protection and permitting programs. The agency has been under criticism from environmental groups over the impact of farm runoff on water quality.

Lyon replaces Bruce Trautman, who has served as the acting director of the Iowa DNR since May 2018.

Grant Gerlock is a reporter covering Des Moines and central Iowa