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Idaho state parks director to step down

Robert Meinen, director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, will step down effective June 15 for health reasons, the agency announced today.

The state parks board accepted Meinen’s resignation today. He has been in that post since September 2004. Meinen also worked for the department as recreation resource manager and deputy director from 1979 to 1984, and served as director 1984 to 1987.

“Although the experience is very rewarding, serving as director is a demanding role,” Meinen said in a written statement. “…(R)ecently, I’ve had health concerns that have forced me to consider what’s best for me and the agency.”

Agency Administrator Dave Ricks will serve as interim director until a new director is appointed by the Idaho Park and Recreation Board. The position will be advertised beginning June 22, and the board anticipates the review and selection of a preferred candidate by fall, according to an agency news release.

At an agency staff meeting this morning, Parks and Recreation Board Chairman Steve Klatt of Sagle said, “Robert Meinen brought a lifetime of experience and knowledge of recreational management to this department, along with leadership based upon building a team around him. His credibility and vision have led IDPR very well as the State of Idaho made sustained investments in our park system; his steady hand upon the helm will be missed greatly.”