Gov Shumlin Appoints New Fish & Wildlife Board Members, Names Board Chair
Posted on 03/26/2015
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Media Contacts:  Commissioner Louis Porter 802-828-1000

Governor Shumlin Appoints New Fish & Wildlife Board Members, Names Board Chair

Governor Peter Shumlin has appointed two new members to the Fish & Wildlife Board and has appointed a new board chair.

Dennis Mewes of Dummerston has been appointed from Windham County to replace the outgoing board chair Brian Ames.  Bill Pickens of Lamoille County has been named to replace Bob Shannon.  The terms of both Ames and Shannon expired in February.

Governor Shumlin has also appointed current board member Kevin Lawrence of Orange County to the position of board chair. 

The fourteen-member Fish and Wildlife Board is a group of Vermont citizens appointed from every county that enact fish and wildlife regulations.  Members serve for six-year terms. 

“I appreciate the invaluable role that the Fish and Wildlife Board plays in the conservation of our natural resources in Vermont,” said Governor Shumlin.  “The board is made up of well-informed citizens who thoughtfully represent the perspective of Vermont’s hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers, and conservationists.”

Mewes was born and raised in Windham County and has worked for 27 years as a self-employed finish carpenter.  He is an avid hunter, angler and outdoorsman, and has enjoyed spending time in the woods since he was young.  Mewes credits his love for the outdoors to his family, particularly his parents and grandparents, who first introduced him to wildlife and nature.

Pickens is the former long-serving president of the Vermont Trappers Association and has worked closely with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to create trapping regulations that help conserve Vermont’s furbearer species.  He is a native Vermonter who is originally from Northfield and recently retired from E.J. Prescott.  When Pickens is not out deer hunting, he is working to foster cooperation and communication among Vermont’s various sporting clubs and organizations. 

“Mewes and Pickens are both avid sportsmen and they both share a strong interest in the sound management of these resources,” said Commissioner Louis Porter.  “I’m sure they will add additional depth of knowledge on the issues facing Vermont’s sporting and conservation community to the board.”

Incoming board chair Kevin Lawrence is an educator and farmer from Bradford. Lawrence holds a master’s degree in natural resources management from Norwich University and comes from a strong hunting and fishing background. His father, Leo Lawrence, has been a hunter education instructor since the 1960s and raised four sons who are all certified instructors. 

Lawrence has had a decades-long connection with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.  He worked for five summers at the department’s Green Mountain Conservation Camps as a natural resources instructor and as the director.  He has been a certified bow hunter education instructor for 32 years and is currently working to organize a ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ clinic at his local elementary school to teach kids about fishing and aquatic ecology.    

“Kevin Lawrence has demonstrated a thoughtful and deliberate approach to debating hunting and fishing regulations as a board member,” added Commissioner Porter.  “His composed demeanor and ability to see an issue from all sides will serve him well in the role of board chair.”

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