NOVEMBER 9, 2011

Seven finalists selected to be interviewed for AGF Commission seat

PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Commission Appointment Recommendation Board on Nov. 3 selected seven finalists from a field of 46 applicants to be interviewed on Nov. 15 for the upcoming available seat on the civilian policy-setting board that oversees the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Those selected for interview for the 2012 vacancy on the Arizona Game and Fish Commission are:

James R. Ammons, Yuma (Yuma County), Republican;
Kurt R. Davis, Phoenix (Maricopa County), Republican;
Wayne W. Lackner, Klondyke (Graham County), Republican;
Keith D. Manning, Mesa (Maricopa County), Republican;
Brian D. Pinney, Chandler (Maricopa County), Independent;
George Z. Taylor, Rio Rico (Santa Cruz County), Republican;
Bob W. Thomas, Phoenix (Maricopa County), Republican.

The Commission Appointment Recommendation Board will interview the finalists on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and select the candidates to be forwarded for the Governor’s consideration. The meeting will be held at the Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Highway in Phoenix and is open to the public.

The finalist list and the Nov. 15 meeting agenda are posted at
Per Arizona State Statute 17-202 (which became effective in July 2010), the Arizona Game and Fish Commission Appointment Recommendation Board shall assist the governor by interviewing, evaluating and recommending candidates for appointment to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

As per the statute, the Commission Appointment Recommendation Board shall recommend at least two, but no more than five candidates to the governor. The governor must select and appoint a commissioner from the list submitted by the board.

Members of the Recommendation Board are Phillip D. Townsend (chair), Susan E. Chilton, W. Hays Gilstrap, Donald R. Johnson, and Leonard G. Stinson.

For additional information about the Commission Appointment Recommendation Board, contact the Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions at 602.542.2449 or toll free at 1.800.253.0883 or on the web at

For more information on the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, visit

NOVEMBER 9, 2011

County parks unveil 100-Miles of Hiking program

MARICOPA COUNTY – How does the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department plan on celebrating Arizona’s centennial? With 100-miles of hiking! So lace up your hiking boots, grab your friends, backpacks, water bottles and plan on joining the program.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor Arizona than by connecting people with nature so they can learn more about what this great state has to offer,” stated Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek. “When I heard about their plan, I was thrilled to see the department was showcasing one of their greatest assets, their trails. I was especially pleased to learn hikers will receive credit for miles hiked on the Maricopa Regional Trail System.”

“Participating in the program is simple. Hikers can either get creative and chart out their own course of action or use the blueprint outlined by the department. However, hikers must visit at least three parks in the County’s park system to be eligible for the chance to win the grand prize, an annual mountain park pass and $25 Nature Center retail voucher,” said R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director.

The program runs through January 30, 2012. To honor those who complete the 100-Miles of Hiking, celebrations have been scheduled at seven of the County’s regional parks. In addition, everyone who completes the program will receive a limited edition tee-shirt at the celebration.

For additional information including the brochure and entry form visit

NOVEMBER 9, 2011

2011 shows increase in Arizona boating fatalities

Officials urge life jacket use, boater education to help enhance safety

PHOENIX – Arizona has experienced 10 boating-related fatalities so far in 2011, the most since 2006, when 14 boaters died.

Four of the 10 fatalities resulted from injuries sustained in accidents, while six were drowning victims. Of the six, three were not wearing life jackets.

The spike in fatalities this year has officials strongly reminding boaters to exercise safe boating practices, including wearing life jackets, making sure their watercraft equipment is in good working order, and taking a boating safety class. 

Most recently, a 57-year-old Arizona man died at Roosevelt Lake on Sept. 30 as the result of a fall overboard. He and his 32-year-old son, along with the boat operator, launched in calm water in the early evening. Winds soon increased and the 16-foot boat, which was headed into the wind, reversed course and soon became swamped by 4-foot waves.

The man and his son were both thrown from the boat and tried to swim for shore, according to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office. While the son made it to shore, there was no sign of the father. GCSO divers recovered the father’s body the following afternoon.

“No life jackets were worn by the three occupants of the vessel”, said Gila County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brian Havey. “Had the jackets been worn, the chance of survival would have been significantly greater.”

With these unfortunate and tragic circumstances, the Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds boaters to always think safety first.

“Always wear your life jacket when you are on the water,” said Kevin Bergersen, Arizona boating law administrator. ”There is no substitute for proper safety precautions, particularly at night and in rough weather.”

Boating Safety Education Administrator Ed Huntsman advised people to take a boating education course.

“Educated boaters are safer boaters,” said Huntsman. ”Boating accident statistics indicate that more than 70 percent of all operators involved in boat accidents have not attended any formal boating safety education classes.”

Boating safety classes provide the fundamental information and training that boaters need to remain safe on the water. Even experienced boaters are encouraged to take these courses as a refresher. To sign up for a boating safety class, call the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 623.236.7219 or go to and click on the “boating education” link.

Officials also advise boaters to make sure their safety equipment is on board and in good operating condition, and to not drink and operate a boat.

“Remember, Boat Safe, Boat Smart and Boat Sober,” said Bergersen.

For more information, visit