A former state lawmaker from Decorah has been named the new director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Governor Branstad has appointed Chuck Gipp to replace Roger Lande, who resigned last week.

The 64-year-old Gipp served 18 years in the Iowa House, leaving in 2008 when he did not seek reelection. The group Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) is criticizing Gipp’s appointment to head the D.N.R.

An Iowa CCI press release claims Gipp’s voting record in the legislature shows he has sided with corporate farming interests over protecting the environment. “If you look at my legislative record, it’s anything but what they claim it is,” Gipp said of Iowa CCI.

“In fact, some of the votes they claim that were taken were probably procedural votes with people attempting to put non-germane amendments on policy bills that it wasn’t germane to.” Gipp was appointed the deputy director of the D.N.R. last summer. Prior to that, he worked in the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

The Iowa CCI release refers to Gipp as a “factory farm insider.” “They’re entitled to their opinion. I’m entitled to what my legislative record actually is,” Gipp responded. “I was involved heavily in providing environmental improvement whether it be at landfill operations, leaking underground petroleum storage tank legislation, or waste tires.”

Gipp also noted he helped create the Environment First Fund. “So, I’ll stand by my record and (CCI) can say whatever they want.” Gipp and his wife, Renae, live in Decorah, but Gipp also maintains a residence in Ankeny.