Tuesday, March 2, 2010

John Arway of North Huntington Takes Over At PA Fish and Boat Commission

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
After months of talking up a nationwide head hunt for a new executive director, members of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission have promoted a 30-year employee of the agency to fill the top job. Commissioners announced Tuesday that John Arway of North Huntington will replace former director Doug Austen, who was pushed from the executive director role last summer and officially left the agency in January. Interim director Brian Barner will retain his position as the agency's deputy director for administration, boating and engineering. Arway, 57, is a lifelong angler, boater and hunter who, like Austen, endorses a "resource first" wildlife management philosophy. For more than two decades he has been the commission's environmental advisor to the executive director. His most recent position was head of the agency's Environmental Services Division. He has served on several boards and committees including the Pennsylvania Biological Survey's Steering Committee, the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited's Environmental Committee and Gov. Ed Rendell's Pesticide Advisory Board and Green Government Council. Arway has a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's in biology from Tennessee Technological University. "I am grateful to the board for providing me the opportunity to lead the agency where I have devoted most of my professional life," Arway said in a written statement. "Our agency has a tremendous responsibility to the resource and to the anglers and boaters who enjoy and benefit from the resource." In a conference call yesterday, Arway hinted of an interest in looking inward at ongoing Fish and Boat Commission conflicts including boosting employee moral, settling a new contract for waterways conservation officers and acquiring alternative sources of funding. Unlike most state agencies, Fish and Boat receives no revenue from the state's general fund. About 67 percent of its $61 million 2009-10 operating budget comes from license fees, 15 percent comes from a federal sales tax on fishing equipment and an additional $1.2 million per year comes from federal wildlife grants linked to specific projects. "We have a very dedicated staff that I am looking forward to working with on the many challenges ahead of us including the protection of water quality from future pollution events, the threat of aquatic invasive species, the increasing loss of habitat and the restoration of American shad to the Susquehanna River," Arway said. "I am also looking forward to working with our staff and the anglers and boaters on improving recreational fishing and boating opportunities throughout the commonwealth." Arway's appointment as executive director must be confirmed by the governor before he is sworn in by commission members. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10061/1039715-100.stm

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