LITTLE ROCK – Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission today honored several employees for their service to the agency. The awards were part of the Commission’s monthly meeting in Little Rock.
Among the employees honored today were two wildlife officers.
Meyer is a wildlife officer from Cross County. He was honored for his heroics that saved a drowning victim from floodwaters on Arkansas Highway 1 in Wynne. Meyer has been a wildlife officer with the agency for almost three years.
Brown is a wildlife officer from Union County. Brown was honored for his induction into the Arkansas Military Hall of Fame. Brown has been a wildlife officer for six years.
Five employees also were honored for their efforts during and after the March 29 oil pipeline rupture in Mayflower.
Mike Walker was one of the first people on the scene and was instrumental in building two earthen dams to slow the progress of the flow of oil.
As initial details of the spill were being reported, Matt Mourot was contacted to deal with cases of oiled wildlife. Matt took the lead as the Wildlife Management Division point of contact for wildlife recovery and rehabilitation efforts.
Due to his agency experience, local knowledge and organizational skills, Tom Bly was appointed by agency administration to coordinate the long-term fisheries and wildlife response on the ground.
Lake Manager Matt Horton worked alongside Mike Walker and others helping to stem the flow of oil. The two AGFC employees worked closely with local officials to block the Arkansas Highway 89 culvert, a 24-inch pipe that connects Dawson Cove to the main body of Lake Conway, with sand, sheet board and rock.
Matt Schroeder used his aquatic resource expertise and knowledge of GIS to interface with a variety of entities engaged in the oil spill incident. Matt was solely responsible for maintaining an aggressive Fisheries District 10 spring sampling effort.
Three other employees received the Campbell Award. It is presented to the three Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Employees of the Year. The Campbell Award originated with Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner Craig Campbell to honor his grandfather, a former AGFC commissioner, and his father, a great outdoorsman.
Campora made the ultimate sacrifice doing what he loved. He died May 31 during a water rescue effort that took the lives of three other people. Campora had been a wildlife officer with the AGFC since 2007. He was assigned to Scott County and lived in Waldron with his wife and two children. A family member accepted the award.
Pennington oversees the maintenance of AGFC’s Little Rock headquarters. He supervises and performs numerous maintenance tasks on the structures and grounds of the central office building.
Cpl. Ryan Hollowell
Hollowell has been a wildlife officer for the past seven years. He is noted for his excellent leadership skills and positive attitude. He is very involved in his community both on and off duty.
In other business, the Commission:
*Approved three new lifetime licenses for totally disabled military veterans. The totally disabled military veteran lifetime fishing or hunting license will cost $1.50 each. The combination hunting and fishing license will cost $3.
*Sold the boat of fallen wildlife officer Joel Campora to his family. Campora died trying to rescue two women in flood waters earlier this year.
*Due to increased project costs and other factors, the Commission voted to deauthorize a project on the St. Francis River known as the Deep Landing Access.
*Approved a budget increase of $58,838 for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Money for the increase comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
*Authorized a .73 acre land swap on the J. Perry Mikles Blue Mountain Special Use Area.
*Approved the demolition of a residence on the Petit Jean River Wildlife Management Area. The residence was once used by AGFC area personnel, but is now structurally unsound and dilapidated.