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.


U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Protects Northern Long-eared Bat As Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Wednesday it is protecting the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), primarily due to the threat posed by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has devastated many bat populations. At the same time, the Service issued an interim special rule that eliminates unnecessary regulatory ... (click for more)

TWRA Requests Public Input For 2016 Fishing Regulations

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is welcoming comments for its 2016 fishing regulations. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns about fishing regulations with TWRA staff. Public comments will be considered by fisheries managers and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Fish Comments, TWRA, ... (click for more)

Autopsy Says 5-Year-Old Whitwell Boy Died Of Blunt Force Trauma

An autopsy on five-year-old Lucas Dillon of Whitwell says he died of blunt force trauma. The TBI is investigating the death, which is being treated as a homicide. The child, who lived on Jewell Lane Road. was injured on Saturday and died in a hospital on Monday. Lucas was a student at Whitwell Head Start. . (click for more)

Officials Expect MLK Boulevard Mural To Be Big Draw; Artist Apprentices To Be Hired For Project

Officials said Tuesday they expect a massive mural planned on a tall MLK Boulevard building by a renowned muralist will be a big draw for the area. City Councilman Moses Freeman said, "This is going to be a destination point. People are going to come here to see it. I guarantee it." He added, "She's world-renowned. We're going to be famous by having her work here." The ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)