Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

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OH: DOW names former law officer Lane new chief

Columbus – A former Fayette County wildlife officer is the new
chief of the DNR Division of Wildlife.

Natural Resources Director David Mustine named David B. Lane May 17
to replace David Graham, who retired earlier this year. Since
October 2009, Lane has served as acting district manager for the
DOW’s District One office in central Ohio.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Lane told Ohio Outdoor News. “The
Division of Wildlife has quality employees and partnerships, and I
truly believe it’s going to be a great day.”

Lane said he considers himself an outdoorsman and views the DOW as
a place to promote hunting, fishing and trapping for families with
their children and relatives.

“David’s career reflects a diverse background in conservation and
business, as well as experience with law enforcement and proven
leadership within the Division,” Mustine said in a news release.
“He will be an asset helping the division fulfill its core mission
as well as strengthening our internal and external partnerships to
promote outdoor recreation opportunities and management of public

As DOW chief, Lane will oversee Ohio’s fish and wildlife management
programs, as well as management of more than 170,000 acres of state
wildlife areas, 2.25 million acres of Lake Erie and 451 miles of
the Ohio River.

Lane’s appointment “is way overdue,” said acting chief Vickie
Mountz, who said she expects to move back to her regular job as DOW
information and education administrator. Prior to Lane’s
appointment, several DOW officials, such as Mountz, wore several
administrative “hats” to cover vacant positions.

Mountz, who had been a candidate under consideration for the
chief’s position, served as the first female acting chief since
March. During Mountz’ brief tenture, the DOW started its new
automated licensing and game check system.

“It’s going great except for a few hiccups,” Mountz said.

Lane’s appointment as chief continues a half-century tradition of
the DOW’s chief coming from within the division and Larry Mitchell
Jr., executive director of the League of Ohio Sportsmen, praised
Mustine for honoring the tradition.

“Director Mustine had a number of candidates with excellent
qualifications,” Mitchell said.

In addition to a solid wildlife background and business skills,
“the big thing David brings to the table is he is willing to
listen,” Mitchell said, adding Ohio sportsmen have always asked for
someone to listen to their ideas and concerns for Ohio’s wildlife

“And David has shown that quality in the time I have known him,”
Mitchell said.

Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth echoed Mitchell’s sentiment
about Lane as an amicable good listener from interaction with Lane
at local fish and game meetings.

“He reaches out to everybody to get a consensus, and when he makes
a decision, it will be well thought out,” Stanforth said.

Lane, a West Virginia native, joined the DOW in 2002 as a wildlife
officer in Fayette County; he was promoted to wildlife officer
supervisor in 2005 and later named as acting District One

Lane previously worked for Appalachian Timber Services, Inc., in
West Virginia for 14 years, according to a news release. As vice
president of Appalachian Timber, Lane oversaw all aspects of
marketing and product development, sales training, established
budgets and evaluated financial statements.

Lane earned an associate of science degree in forest technology and
a bachelor of arts in business administration from Glenville State
College in West Virginia. In 1987, he earned his masters of science
in forestry from West Virginia University.

Lane and his family reside in Washington Court House.

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