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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The director of Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources is stepping down next week.

Chuck Gipp announced his retirement Thursday in a news release. He submitted a resignation letter dated April 2 to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. His retirement begins Tuesday.

Gipp has been director for six years. He previously served nine terms in the Iowa House, including as majority leader.

He says in the letter that running the DNR was “the crowning achievement” of his public service career.

Gipp says he plans to spend more time with his family in Decorah. Deputy Director Bruce Trautman will take over as acting director.

The DNR oversees environmental regulation, state parks and natural resource stewardship programs in Iowa. Some DNR programs have seen significant cuts, and a proposed budget backed by Republicans would spend less on the agency next year than when Gipp became director six years ago.