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.


Registration Opens March 1 For 67th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage

Registration for the 67th annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage   opens at  8 a.m.   Wednesday, March 1 . Each year, more than 700 people from more than 35 states and beyond descend on the Great Smoky Mountains as the spring flora tints the forest with flowers and vibrant spring migratory birds return to their summer home. This year, the pilgrimage ... (click for more)

Alexander Votes To Confirm Scott Pruitt To Serve As Administrator Of The EPA

Senator Lamar Alexander on Friday released the following statement on his vote to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency:  "I look forward to working with Mr. Pruitt to make sure federal policies put nuclear power on a level playing field, especially since nuclear power produces 60 percent ... (click for more)

Commissioner Boyd Asks County Auditor To Get Detailed Data On Visitors Bureau Spending; Graham Says CVB Should Be Left Alone

County Commission Finance Committee Chairman Tim Boyd said he is asking County Auditor Jenneth Randall to supply him with details about spending at the Chattanooga Visitors Bureau, including actual credit card and travel expense statements. He said he also wanted copies of contracts for office renovations made to the SunTrust Building 18th floor where the CVB has offices and all ... (click for more)

Just 3,267 Have Voted In The City Election After 7 Days Of Early Voting

Just 3,267 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after seven days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

Getting The Message

Our school age youth have inspired me with their responses during “Q and A” sessions after my readings as a volunteer during African American History Celebrations and Read across America Celebration, too.  Before this school year, I read to classes at Orchard Knob Elementary School and at Rivermont Elementary School, here in Hamilton County.   Their answers to factual ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Marshall’s 3% Folly

The National Health Interview Survey is believed to be the best gauge of health and behaviors in the United States. It is under the umbrella of the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so first let me share that the figures I am going to present are directly attributed to what is the best source believed to be out there. I didn’t make these numbers up and I had nothing ... (click for more)