Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
Alan Matheson, Jr. poses at the Capitol in this file photo in Salt Lake City Monday, November 21, 2011.

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed Alan Matheson as the state planning coordinator.

Mike Mower, Herbert's deputy chief of staff, previously held the post in addition to other duties but will now focus on local municipality and county outreach for the governor. Matheson will continue to serve as the senior environmental adviser to Herbert.

"Long-term strategic planning and resource coordination is essential as we address growth, one of Utah's greatest challenges, and Alan has a strong portfolio in this arena," Herbert said. "In overseeing the development of our outdoor recreation vision and through his work on the Balanced Resource Council, Alan has consistently demonstrated the ability to bring diverse parties together and tackle challenging issues."

As state planning coordinator, Matheson will work with local and regional planning organizations throughout the state to update the Quality Growth Strategy. Issues to be addressed include water; mobility and urban form; cost of living and housing; air quality; energy, infrastructure and disaster resilience; natural lands, agriculture and recreation; economic development; and healthy living.

In addition, the state planning coordinator will continue to serve as a resource for Utah's communities.