RALEIGH – Tracy Davis of Raleigh has been named as director of the N.C. Division of Land Resources and assumed his duties today. Additionally, Dr. Kenneth Taylor, chief of the N.C. Geological Survey, has been designated the state geologist.
Davis, a career staff member in the division’s Land Quality Section, replaces Jim Simons, who retired effective May 31. DLR promotes the wise use and protection of North Carolina's land and geologic resources. Within the division, Land Quality Section programs regulate and provide technical assistance related to mining, dam safety and sedimentation control; the N.C. Geological Survey performs scientific investigations, provides technical assistance and maps the state’s geological resources; and the division as a whole supports public education in the earth sciences.
“Tracy’s engineering background, regulatory experience and managerial skills combine to make him a good fit for this very challenging position,” said Dee Freeman, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “Tracy has extensive field knowledge, technical expertise and exceptional communication skills, and will lead the division in its environmental protection mission, while at the same time keeping in mind the practical concerns of the regulated community.”
Davis, a licensed professional engineer and certified public manager, has worked for DENR for nearly 25 years. He started his career as an assistant state mining specialist in the Land Quality Section, and was then promoted to manage the section’s mining permit program. Davis has served as the Section’s chief engineer since 2003. In that role, he managed the Section’s engineers and environmental professionals across DENR’s seven regional offices, and led special projects, including the statewide implementation of the express permitting program for erosion and sedimentation control projects.
Davis has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from N.C. State University. A native of Dayton, Ohio, he has lived in Raleigh since childhood, where he still resides with his wife and son.
Since 1851, state law has recognized the need to have an expert on the geology of North Carolina within state government. Simons, who is a licensed geologist, served as the lead state geologist prior to his retirement. Freeman designated Taylor as the new state geologist in concert with his duties leading the N.C. Geological Survey.
Following ratification of Session Law 2012-143, the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act, the Division of Land Resources on Aug. 1 will be renamed as the Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources.