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Holman moves to The Conservation Fund

Bill Holman has a new gig: director of The Conservation Fund's North Carolina office.

It's a fitting job for the man who once served as Gov. Jim Hunt’s secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and as executive director of the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Ross heads to Duke

Bill Ross, former secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has accepted a gig as a visiting scholar at Duke University.

Ross will hold a joint appointment in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Nicholas School of the Environment. His work will focus on the development of environmental policies and plans for a new program that will focus on environmental factors that can lead to cancer.

Ross, a native of Marion and an environmental lawyer, was Gov. Mike Easley's DENR secretary from 2001 to 2009. He is the second DENR chief to end up at Duke.

Bill Holman, who was Gov. Jim Hunt's DENR secretary from 1999 to 2000, is director of state policy at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Since 2006, Duke's cancer center and environmental school have been working on nine collaborative research projects exploring how environmental agents interact with genes to promote the growth and spread of cancer.

Pate joins clean water board

House Speaker Joe Hackney appointed former state marine fisheries director Preston Pate to the board of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund Friday.

Pate served as director of the Division of Marine Fisheries from 1997-2007. Before that he was assistant director of the state Division of Coastal Management

He replaces Southport businessman Robert Howard, who served on the board since 1996 and as chairman from 2001 to 2006. Howard's tenure as chair was marked by division on the board and the resignation of the organization's highly regarded director, Bill Holman. Other board members and Holman clashed with Howard over his advocacy for grants to wastewater projects in Southport and Brunswick County.

Hackney praised both Howard's and Pate's service to the state.

The trust fund provides grants to local governments, state agencies and conservation non-profits to buy land and take other steps to resolve water pollution problems. Founded in 1996, the fund has awarded nearly $951 million to more than 1,300 projects.

Another name for Environment

A former lobbyist's name has surfaced for Environment Secretary.

Alexander "Sandy" Sands III is reportedly under consideration by Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue for the Cabinet post heading the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

A lobbyist with Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, Sands has been ranked one of the top in the state by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.

Others in the running include fellow Womble Carlyle lawyer John Garrou, state Sen. Dan Clodfelter, current secretary Bill Ross, corporate consultant Freda Porter, transportation board member Nina Szlosberg, Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss, parks director Lewis Ledford and former secretary Bill Holman.

Update: Greenbridge developer Tim Toben has also been mentioned.

Donations from Environment contenders

How much did the candidates for Environment Secretary give?

Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue will not necessarily make decisions on who to appoint to her Cabinet based on campaign donations, but that's not to say there's no link between the two.

Here's a quick list of donations from the top contenders:

Bill Ross, current secretary: $4,000, most recently on Oct. 2.

Freda Porter, corporate consultant: $4,000, most recently on Oct. 10.

John Garrou, husband of Sen. Linda Garrou: Nothing, but Senator Garrou's campaign fund gave $3,000, most recently on April 18.

Sen. Dan Clodfelter's campaign, $2,000 on Sept. 26.

Nina Szlosberg, transportation board member: $1,500, most recently on Oct. 16.

Dome could find no donations from former DENR Secretary Bill Holman, parks director Lewis Ledford, Conservation Trust Director Reid Wilson or Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss, although his wife Michelle gave $50 on Sept. 4.

Garrou also up for Environment?

One more name has surfaced for Environment Secretary.

John Garrou, a former managing partner of white shoe law firm Womble Carlyle and the husband of Sen. Linda Garrou of Winston-Salem, was reportedly also under consideration for the job. 

He joins a long list of names, including current Secretary Bill Ross, Sen. Dan Clodfelter, parks director Lewis Ledford, former Secretary Bill Holman, Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss, conservationist Reid Wilson, transportation board member Nina Szlosberg and consultant Freda Porter.

One more name for Environment

Dome has heard one more name for the secretary of Environment and Natural Resources.

Sen. Dan Clodfelter, a five-term Charlotte Democrat who currently sits on the Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, is reportedly interested in the job.

He joins a long list of names, including current Secretary Bill Ross, parks director Lewis Ledford, former Secretary Bill Holman, Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss, conservationist Reid Wilson, transportation board member Nina Szlosberg and consultant Freda Porter.

More names emerge for environment job

The opposing pressures from the environmental and business communities are playing out in Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue's search for a Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Eight environmental groups sent Perdue a letter on Dec. 2 asking for a meeting at which they would suggest DENR secretary candidates. Representatives from those groups met with members of Perdue's transition team last week and suggested: former DENR Secretary Bill Holman, currently teaching at Duke; Reid Wilson, executive director of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina and former chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Nina Szlosberg, a board of transportation member and former chair of the Conservation Council of North Carolina's political action committee.

Business groups, though, are unlikely to greet any of those names warmly, and with Perdue understandably focused on job creation, she'll feel pressure from both sides.

Another name in the mix that the corporate side might be more comfortable with is Freda Porter, president of Porter Scientific Inc., in Pembroke, which consults with governments and corporations on a range of environmental issues, including compliance with regulations. She is a Duke-trained PhD in mathematical and computational sciences and did post-doctoral work at UNC Chapel Hill in groundwater contamination. She also is a Lumbee Indian.  

Possible names for Environment post

Who might serve as Environment Secretary?

Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue has not made any announcements yet on her Cabinet pick to lead the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Current Secretary Bill Ross, who has served since 2001, is reportedly interested in sticking around and did not rule it out when asked by Dome recently.

Other names that have come up with varying degrees of likelihood: Lewis Ledford and Bill Holman. 

Ledford currently works as director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, which oversees state parks.

Holman served as executive director of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund until last year, when he left to become a visiting scholar at Duke University.

Changing jobs

Richard Rogers, an assistant secretary at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, was hired Monday as the new executive director of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Rogers succeeds Bill Holman, who left in December to be a visiting scholar at Duke University. Rogers will start Aug. 1 and receive a salary of $125,000 a year, Wade Rawlins reports.

The trust fund, an independent state agency, awards $100 million a year in grants to help finance projects statewide that enhance or restore degraded waters and protect unpolluted waters.

Rogers has worked at the department for 13 years in various roles from legislative analyst to lobbyist to director of conservation and community affairs.

"Richard has demonstrated leadership in protection of North Carolina's natural resources through his work with the land trust community, local governments and of course state agencies," said Phil Baddour, chairman of the trust fund.

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