For Immediate Release

August 7, 2006

Contact: Jim O’Brien - 746-2331

Decision should be based on qualifications, not politics

Concord , NH ….The Granite State Conservation Voters Alliance today urged the Executive Council to vote in support of the nomination of Tom Burack as the next Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services at their next meeting on Wednesday in Keene. Tom Burack was nominated by Governor Lynch last month and must be confirmed by a vote of the Executive Council.

“Governor Lynch has done his part and nominated a very qualified individual of high personal integrity to lead this important state agency,” said Jim O’Brien, Executive Director of GSCVA. “It is now up to the Executive Council to discuss the qualifications of Tom Burack and vote on him based upon his personal and professional qualifications and experience. The Councilors have had ample time to meet with Tom Burack and hear from their constituents on this nomination. There is no reason to delay this vote and add more uncertainty as to who will lead this department moving forward.”

GSCVA and the New Hampshire conservation community have repeatedly shown their support for Tom Burack’s nomination. The current DES Commissioner, Michael Nolin, remains in holdover status. Several Councilors have pledged their support for Commissioner Nolin although he is not being re-nominated by the Governor.

“We are disappointed that this nomination has become more about politics and the personal preferences of a few Councilors and not about who is best for DES and New Hampshire’s environment,” continued O’Brien. “We ask those Councilors whose public position is not based upon the qualifications of Tom Burack to reconsider and support the nominee the Governor has put forward.”

“This is a very important nomination for New Hampshire’s environment,” concluded O’Brien. “The actions individual Councilors take will be a direct reflection of their environmental priorities. Tom Burack has shown himself to be a well qualified and extremely capable individual who will be able to lead DES in a positive and constructive manner. We hope that this is what the Council bases their vote on –not political or personal considerations.”

The Granite State Conservation Voters Allianceis a bi-partisan, statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting New Hampshire's environment by making it a priority for our elected leaders. GSCVA was established with the advice and encouragement of many of New Hampshire’sconservation leaders to perform a critical role – hold state Legislators accountable for their votes and inform the public about key environmental issues under debate by the legislature. For more information, please visit