Rick Watkins of Little Rock, the printing tycoon, is Beebe's first Game and Fish Commission appointment. News release on the jump. If the FAA did profiling for Game and Fish appointees, he'd be pulled aside quickly -- rich white guy. A couple of African-Americans have made it onto the commission in the wayback, but still no woman has been appointed to a full term. (Jim Guy Tucker appointed a woman to complete an unexpired term.)
No knock on Watkins, but we still have yet to see a commissioner appointed strictly from the wildlife appreciation/preservation end of the spectrum. I know. I know. All hunters and anglers want to protect wildlife, etc. But in an era when hunting and fishing are declining acros the U.S. on account of urbanization and habit changes, Arkansas lags behind other states -- hated Texas comes to mind -- in capitalizing equally on other parts of the outdoor picture. There are people who spend a lot of money to visit Texas to enjoy the outdoors with no guns or fishing rods. Instead, they are equipped with cameras, binoculars and hiking boots. End of my regular rant. Congrats to Watkins.
BEEBE NEWS RELEASE
Governor Mike Beebe has named Rick Watkins of Little Rock as the newest commissioner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
“Rick has long been a champion for educating our youth about the outdoor opportunities that Arkansas provides us all,” Beebe said. “He understands and values education as a vital component of the services that Game and Fish provides Arkansans of all ages.”
Watkins, 50, has spent the past five years as a board member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, which supports conservation- and outdoors-education efforts throughout the state. He has also spent most of his life actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America, as both an Eagle Scout in his youth and as an adult volunteer. Last month, Watkins received national recognition as a recipient of the Silver Antelope Award, which is presented for outstanding volunteer service to the Scouts.
Born and raised in Little Rock, Watkins graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a degree in Business Administration. He is the owner and president of the Watkins Company, a regional printing and advertising-distribution company. He also serves on the board of Arkansas Children’s Hospital.