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Environmental notebook

by Ashton Eley | January 31, 2021 at 3:42 a.m.

Corps names new operations chief

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District has a new chief of operations, appointed earlier this month.

Chris Roark of Concord replaced Kevin McDaniels, who transferred to the Corps' Detroit District, according to a Jan. 20 news release on the district's website.

Roark has 38 years of federal experience with the Little Rock District, serving as a park ranger, chief ranger at Greers Ferry Lake, deputy chief of operations and executive officer.

Roark will serve as the main technical adviser and consultant to the district engineer for the operations and maintenance program. He will lead a support team for navigation, flood control, recreation, natural resources management, and hydropower production, according to the news release.

He will also manage a water resources infrastructure worth $7 billion.

Fisheries biologist black bass official

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission named Vic DiCenzo as coordinator for its Black Bass Management Program last week.

DiCenzo is a veteran fisheries biologist with an additional background in human dimensions.

He and black bass program biologist Jeff Buckingham will serve statewide in the commission's effort to focus on largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass and the needs of anglers, according to a Wednesday news release.

Den Batten, commission fisheries division chief, said Arkansas is the only state he knows of that devotes a position solely to black bass management.

Daniels honored as conservationist

The Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference and the Judd Hill Foundation named Mike Daniels the 2021 outstanding conservationist during the 23rd conference and expo Wednesday.

Daniels is the co-director of Arkansas Discovery Farm Program, which conducts on-farm water quality research to determine the effectiveness of conservation practices.

"Mike's passion for conservation and agriculture, and his collaboration with other conservation organizations, has made our program the success it is," according to statement released Twitter by the program.

Daniels is soil and water conservation specialist with the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture and is one of the division's longest-serving conservation experts, according to the division.

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