Blunt names St. Louis-area businessman to Conservation Commission

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A St. Louis-area businessman who traces his outdoor interests to childhood fishing trips was appointed Wednesday to the Missouri Conservation Commission.

Don Johnson, 60, of Festus, was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt to a six-year term on the panel that oversees the state Department of Conservation. His service is subject to Senate confirmation.

Johnson, a Democrat, is vice president of human resources at Cequel III, Suddenlink Communications in St. Louis. He also is president of the Conservation Federation of Missouri and helped launch Missouri's Archery in Schools program.

He replaces Cynthia Metcalfe, of St. Louis, whose term expired June 30.

The term for commissioner Stephen Bradford, of Cape Girardeau, also expired June 30, but Blunt has not yet filled that seat.

The four-person Conservation Commission regulates hunting and fishing, and manages land and wildlife conservation efforts.

Johnson said he recalls going fishing with his father beginning at age 3 and now takes his own grandchildren fishing.

Conservation Department Director John Hoskins described Johnson as a "citizen activist" for conservation efforts and praised his business experience.

"His passion for hunting and fishing give him a strong personal stake in the outdoors that has led him to devote thousands of hours of time and immense personal energy to conservation," Hoskins said in a written statement.

Johnson has a bachelor's degree in zoology from Howard University in Washington, D.C. As an Air Force pilot, he flew 130 combat missions during the Vietnam War.

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