New Deputy Regional Director Named For Southeast Region Of The U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mike Oetker, a fisheries biologist with extensive experience in interstate water issues, will be the new deputy regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta.

Mr. Oetker, a 13-year Service veteran, has been the assistant regional director for the Fisheries Program in the Service’s Southwest Region since 2008.

“Mike has a track record of cultivating strong, effective partnerships, particularly in the controversial and complex Colorado River Basin,” Southeast Regional Director Cindy Dohner said. “I’m excited to bring his leadership, expertise and partner experience to the Southeast.  He will fit in wonderfully, helping us continue a proud tradition of building rock solid relationships and producing conservation results with our State and Federal partners, as well as Tribes, non-governmental organizations and private landowners.”

In the Southwest Region, headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M., Mr. Oetker developed collaborative approaches to manage shared resources such as combating invasive quagga and zebra mussels throughout the western United States. He was heavily involved in negotiations with numerous agencies over water management, recovery of federally listed species, water transfers and movement of injurious species.

“I enjoy working in areas where unique ecosystems and species are faced with competing demands on those resources,” Mr. Oetker said. “I am also a longtime hunter and angler and know I will feel at home in the Southeast where these values are strong.”

Mr. Oetker got his start in natural resource management and policy development as a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow, working for the Committee on Natural Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives. While there, he worked on the reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration Program championing an effort to restore more than $135 million to State agencies.

Hunting Opportunities For The Wheelchair Bound

Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area provides hunting opportunity for wheelchair bound hunters.  A wheelchair bound hunting zone on Cordell Hull WMA provides 6 blinds on a first come, first served basis. This zone is open only to hunters who are totally and permanently confined to a wheelchair as certified by a physician. On wheelchair-bound deer hunts, each wheelchair-bound ... (click for more)

Claire Henley: Adventures West (So Much All At Once)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon). “We were very tired, we were very merry—/ We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.” -Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Recuerdo” We had come through very much. So ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing Concerning Volkswagen To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Readers Are Right

Jeffrey Cross is a community activist in the very finest way. He has no idea that I and many others have followed what he has done, and tirelessly I might add, to enhance the St. Elmo neighborhood at the foot of Lookout Mountain. I wish this world had a million Jeffrey Crosses. So when he wrote in protest of my Monday story, “We Want Our City Back,” I was more than eager to read ... (click for more)