Brad Loveless, secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, appears at a March 17, 2021, hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Loveless plans to retire after fire years as department secretary. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Legislature video)
The secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism plans to retire, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.
Brad Loveless has led the department since the start of Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration in January 2019. He intends to retire in 2024, when a new secretary is appointed.
The governor’s office said the administration will begin its search for a new secretary in coming days.
“In retiring from this role, I won’t be running away from this great work but rather running toward more time with my wife, Mindy, my boys and their kids, and my mom back in Ohio so that I can enjoy more days with them and all of our friends in the Sunflower State,” Loveless said.
Loveless led the agency as it established the Little Jerusalem Badlands and Lehigh Portland state parks, and extended the Flint Hills Trail. He advocated for incentives for landowners who make conservation efforts and clashed with lawmakers over a proposed transfer of deer permits to out-of-state hunters.
The governor’s office said the agency successfully stocked three protected species under his watch — Plains Minnows and Neosho and Fatmucker Mussels.
“It’s difficult to express how grateful I am to Gov. Kelly for this opportunity to work with my smart, dedicated, hard-working colleagues at Wildlife and Parks,” Loveless said. “By supporting staff and their good ideas for how to best accomplish promoting the health and wise use of our fish, wildlife, and abundant recreational resources, a dream of mine was fulfilled — serving the people and state that I love.”
Kelly congratulated Loveless on his “well-deserved retirement” and said his “expertise will be greatly missed.”
“I thank him for his commitment to conservation, to our state parks, and to ensuring Kansans can enjoy the great outdoors for generations to come,” Kelly said.
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