Game & Fish taps Knoedl as director
Posted: October 25, 2012 at 11 a.m.
Updated: October 25, 2012 at 12:44 p.m.
LITTLE ROCK The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission selected its new leader during a meeting Thursday in Little Rock.
After a 20-minute executive session, the board voted unanimously to appoint Mike Knoedl to the role effective Sunday.
"I'm just honored and humbled," Knoedl said shortly after being named. "I've been here since I was 21, and I'm looking forward to carrying the agency into the 21st century and preparing that next person to take over when I'm gone."
Knoedl, currently a deputy director within Game and Fish, was a wildlife officer for 23 years before becoming a field supervisor in 1998. He succeeds Loren Hitchcock, who announced in April that he would retire but extended his directorship until a replacement was found.
Hitchcock was named interim director in 2010, and his tenure was marked by several controversies, including criticism over the agency's large vehicle fleet, a failed move to implement a new freedom-of-information policy and an attempt by commissioners to dismiss him shortly before he announced his retirement.
Knoedl said his chief goals as he gets started will be to better agency morale and "repair some issues with our legislative branch."
"When you get to this level, it's about two things," he said. "It's about managing people and money. And the people thing, I've been blessed with that attribute of being able to lead people in the right direction."
For more on this story, read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.