The Colorado Department of Natural Resources announced that Michael Cunningham has been selected as the next Director of the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS).
Michael Cunningham has spent 16 years of his career at DRMS, most recently as a Senior Environmental Protection Specialist. For the past few months he has also been serving in the Acting Director role.
“We are excited to welcome Michael Cunningham to the Director role of the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Mining has a special place in Colorado but we operate today under the careful supervision of DRMS. Michael is the right person and at the right time to take charge of a Division ready and able to take on the challenges of modern mining to ensure it is done to the highest environmental standards, provide needed natural resources, and reclaimed for the benefit of our environment and future generations of Coloradans.”
DRMS’s mission is to protect the public, miners and the environment during current mining operations, restore abandoned mines, and to ensure that all mined land is reclaimed for beneficial use. The Division is committed to balance the need for mineral resource production with protection of the public, environment, and Colorado’s natural resources.
“Colorado has an incredibly rich history of mining which continues today. Mining and reclamation techniques have advanced significantly since the late 1800s and the modern mining industry has made great strides in minimizing impacts from mining operations,” said Michael Cunningham, Director, Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety. “Today, we have a new set of challenges to consider as environmental regulations are strengthened and the demographics and needs of the state change. The Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety is well positioned to address these challenges and to regulate a dynamic industry which touches every aspect of our modern lives. For the past 16 years, I’ve had the honor of working alongside incredibly talented staff that are dedicated to protecting Colorado’s abundant natural resources and I look forward to continuing to guide the Division and ensuring that mined lands are reclaimed to a beneficial post-mining land use.”
Prior to his time at DRMS, Michael worked for the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment where he focused on water quality protection of the lakes and streams in the City and County of Denver.
Michael has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the Metropolitan State University of Denver and lives with his wife and two dogs in Lakewood.