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Published: Tuesday, 3/9/2010

Longtime wildlife leader stepping down

Howard Calhoun of Akron, the longest-serving member of the important, rules-making Ohio Wildlife Council, is stepping down after a 46-year stint, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Calhoun was recognized for his long service at last week's monthly Council meeting, though his appointment actually runs through the end of April.

“I feel both proud and privileged to have been a member of the Ohio Wildlife Council,” he said. “It has been very rewarding to be a part of the development of programs that have benefited Ohio's wildlife.”

His tenure includes 19 years as chairman. Calhoun was appointed by Governor James A. Rhodes in 1963 and has served under all six governors since. He has worked with nine directors of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the wildlife division's parent, and 13 wildlife chiefs to date, from Dale Whitesell to Dave Graham, the current chief.

“Howard's insights into wildlife policy and direction have contributed much to the Buckeye State's conservation success story with numerous species restored to the landscape, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, bald eagles, paddlefish, wood ducks, peregrine falcons, and more,” said Graham.

Opportunities such as crossbow and handgun deer hunting, dove hunting and Sunday hunting are just some of the accomplishments which inspired Calhoun to remain on the council for such a long run.

Among other things he also drew much needed attention to special, high-quality youth hunting opportunities, reduced price licenses, and apprentice licenses. As an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, Calhoun has led many volunteer efforts to raise the funds needed for habitat restoration projects and legislative initiatives.

A founding member of the Akron Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, started 37 years ago, Calhoun, an attorney, also formed the Ohioans for Wildlife Conservation [OWC] committee for Summit County. He was a member of the U.S Sportsmen's Alliance-OWC board of trustees and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

As chairman of the Wildlife Council, Calhoun became a member of the ODNR Recreation and Resource Commission, which he chaired and of which he served as secretary several times. In this capacity he met nearly monthly to review the practices and issues of the various ODNR divisions with other commission members and the ODNR director.

The Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all division of wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Appointed by the Governor, no more than four members may be of the same political party and two of the council members must represent agriculture.

Each term of office is four years. Gov. Ted Strickland has not yet announced a successor to Calhoun.

“During my tenure on the Council I have seen a continued effort from the division of wildlife to improve wildlife resources,” Calhoun said. “Through its efforts, Ohioans now have dove-hunting, Sunday hunting, elimination of gillnets on Lake Erie, cleanup of Lake Erie and other waters, and the return of the bald eagle, Canada goose, trumpeter swan, and river otter. And there are probably more deer and turkey in Ohio today than when the settlers arrived.”

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Applications for the 2011 Pure Michigan Hunt, which allows participation in every limited-entry hunt offered in Michigan, are on sale at all license vendors and online.

Individuals also can purchase E-Gift Certificates online through the state Web site, michigan.gov/dnr. The certificates can be redeemed online for any hunting or fishing license or snowmobile or off-road vehicle trail sticker.

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The Monroe chapter of Ducks Unlimited has been named to the organization's President's Top 100 elite chapters in the country.

Every year, the list is reserved for the 100 chapters among 3,500 chapters nationwide who raise the most grassroots dollars for DU's habitat conservation work. The Monroe DU Chapter made the list as one of the organization's highest fund-raising chapters.

“These fund-raising events are the backbone of how DU conserves habitat and the volunteers who make up these chapters are the on-the-ground conservationists making a difference for North American waterfowl populations,” said John Pope, president of DU. “It takes a lot of effort to crack the Top 100 and these chapters deserve to be congratulated from every person who enjoys the outdoors.”

DU's grassroots system has become a model for other conservation organizations worldwide and has funded a portion of the more than 12 million acres DU has conserved since 1937.

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On the weekend — Friday, 31st annual wild game dinner, Spicer Sportsmen's Club, at St. Clement's Hall, 3030 Tremainsville Rd., doors open 6 p.m., call Jim Cousino for ticket information 734-856-2509 or 419-360-0654.

Saturday, sixth annual fund-raising dinner, Fallen Timbers Chapter, Ducks Unlimited, at Graystone Banquet Hall, 29101 Hufford Rd., between East River Road and State Rt. 795, Perrysburg; doors open 5:30 p.m.; advance tickets, call Cornelia Wagener 419-877-0587 or Heather Schramko 419-467-2850.

Saturday, volunteer training day, Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor, 10 a.m., at Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center complex; call Marry Warren at Magee 419-898-0960 extension 31; also at Magee Bird Center, landscaping for wildlife, 2 p.m.

Contact Steve Pollick at:spollick@theblade.comor 419-724-6068.



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