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Post #1  Post subject: Arkansas Game and Fish Names New Director
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:15 am 
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Little Rock, AR 72205

Dec. 28, 2017


Fitts named new director of AGFC

LITTLE ROCK
– The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission announced today that Pat Fitts will become the agency’s 18th director in its 102-year history. Fitts will replace Jeff Crow, who announced his resignation Oct. 10. The appointment was announced during a special called meeting earlier today and becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Fitts’ previous position was as the agency’s assistant deputy director – a position he’s held since April. Before that he was colonel of the agency’s Enforcement Division.

He has been with the agency for 29 years, and began his career as a fisheries technician at the Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery in Lonoke. Fitts has a bachelor’s degree in fish and wildlife management from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

Cook said Fitts has demonstrated the character, initiative and work ethic necessary to lead the agency.

“Pat’s unique skills, experience and drive make him the right person to spearhead the mission of the AGFC,” Cook said. “His ability to interact with the public and continue to manage this agency made him a natural for this position.”

Fitts said he was determined to strengthen the AGFC’s legacy as he takes over the leadership of the agency.

“I’m blessed to have spent my entire adult life serving alongside amazing people protecting our valuable natural resources,” Fitts said. “It’s a humbling experience and I know there are challenges ahead. It’s just another opportunity to serve the wonderful people of Arkansas.”

Fitts was selected following a search and selection process conducted by commissioners of the AGFC.

Fitts and his wife, Alice, have been married for 29 years. Their son, Austin, his wife, Aubrey, and granddaughter, Amelia, live in southeastern Arkansas. They also have a daughter, Audrey Kay, who is a senior at Arkansas Tech University.

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Post #2  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Game and Fish Names New Director
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:47 pm 
I don't know Director Fitts but I'm sure he's a good man with good intentions. But here we are again. With CWD slowly knawing away at our deer herd, our WMAs growing back up, our website a mere shadow of itself, and Commissioners have yet again given us another Director who comes to the job from the Law Enforcement Division.

But according to the press release, at least this latest Law Enforcement Director, in what's becoming a long line of Law Enforcement Directors at G&F, does have some past experience in fish management. So that's a little improvement although it can't help us much or any with our CWD problem, or probably our WMAs that don't hold fish, or our buggy stripped down user unfriendly web site, to name just a few G&F problems that really make me buggy myself most of the time... :happy0035: But for whatever reason, Commissioners just can't seem to get away from Law Enforcement when choosing someone to run our fish and wildlife agency.... :scratch:

I truly believe if we had had experienced Directors passionate about and with knowledge about wildlife and habitat management and CWD, beginning when the feds cut back on CWD testing money, that those experienced wildlife oriented Directors would have recognized the real threat we faced from CWD and took the bull by the horns and done whatever it took to find new money and move old money around to continue our once aggressive testing program. But we've only had Law Enforcement Directors during that period and none of them did that. That's why we all of a sudden woke up one day and discovered we had the highest prevalence rate of CWD in the country. And being as eaten up with CWD as we are in the core area, we're STILL not gathering enough hunter samples to say for sure where the CWD boundaries are in our state, or know the true prevalence rate.

Yeah I know, any Director regardless of his background can appoint somebody and tell then to take care of whatever. But that's not the same when the Director himself doesn't have the needed training and field experience to completely understand important issue enough himself to passionately and aggressively lead from the front and drive the issue from the top.

Money? Was the problem no money to continue testing and keeping our Wildlife Division fully funded? Then Commissioners and the Director should have forgotten politics and special interests and provided the money for the Wildlife Division to continue their testing and management programs. But apparently Commissioners were no more up to date on CWD and wildlife management issues than those Law Enforcement Directors were and they never provided the agency with a Director that was... :shrug:

We don't need a CEO or a CFO or a C anything O any more than we need a Law Enforcement Official at the top running our wildlife agency at a time when our deer herd is being aggressively threatened with CWD, along with a few other problems on the wildlife side. We need somebody at the top with wildlife management skills who have a pair of old worn out boots in their closet with management mud still on them and old britches saturated with blood stains who are schooled on the latest CWD practices. Somebody who can and will get a little more aggressive with wildlife issues, especially making sure the Wildlife Division has ample money each year for WMA maintenance and habitat management. We need somebody knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife issues who will lead from the front and make sure the needed number of yearly CWD hunter samples are collected each year even if that means samples become mandatory for a period of time during each season in certain areas. Arkansas' deer herd and our hunting community and our WMAs that are all an important part of our state's economy simply can't afford many more Directors from Law Enforcement, even though they are good men all, do a good job, and are dedicated and passionate about what they know and are trained to do.

So since it's too late now to cry overt more spilled milk and missed opportunit, I'm gonna give Director Fitts the benefit of my doubt. I'm sure he will do as good as his knowledge will allow him to do in his new job at G&F. And havin' a fisheries background befor switching over to Law Enforcement hopefully he'll occasionally go to bat for the wildlife division. But I honestly don't think Commissioners deserve any slack for not bein' willing to recruit a CWD/wildlife person to lead the agency at a time when we could really use one....

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Post #3  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Game and Fish Names New Director
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:20 pm 
W, do you know why the other resigned? I don't keep up as much as I used to on such inner workings. Seems odd he didn't retire or maybe he was lured away to another job.


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Post #4  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Game and Fish Names New Director
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:27 pm 
I figured this was how it was going to go. These guys are swapping off this job playing politics and enriching their retirements. The good old boy cop system is well oiled at AGFC.

I honestly have lost all respect and confidence in the agency or the Commission. In my 40 plus years of intimate knowledge of AGFC it is worse now than ever before in its dedication to the resources and real management.


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Post #5  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Game and Fish Names New Director
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:26 pm 
firehog wrote:
W, do you know why the other resigned? I don't keep up as much as I used to on such inner workings. Seems odd he didn't retire or maybe he was lured away to another job.
I haven't heard any inside scuttlebutt firehog. He just said when he resigned that the job had become pretty stressful on him. Which means a number of things unrelated to stress that we'll never know about was probably also involved.... :happy0035:

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Post #6  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Game and Fish Names New Director
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:55 pm 
Congrats to Pat Fitts. :appl:
Pat has loved hunting, fishing and wildlife since a kid and am sure he will do his best in this position.


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Post #7  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Game and Fish Names New Director
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:32 pm 
http://amppob.com/pat-fitts-turns-child ... -lifetime/


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