Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

OK: Wildlife Conservation Commission establishes new officers

At its June meeting, the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation
Commission established new officers to begin serving next

The Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing
board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and is
responsible for establishing state hunting and fishing regulations,
setting policy for the Wildlife Department and indirectly
overseeing all state fish and wildlife conservation activities.
Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by
the Senate.

Commissioner Mike Bloodworth will serve as the new Commission
chairman. Bloodworth represents District 3, including LeFlore,
Latimer, Pittsburg, Atoka, Pushmataha, McCurtain, Choctaw, Bryan,
Marshall, Carter and Love counties. Bloodworth was named by Gov.
Brad Henry in 2007 to serve on the Commission, and his term will
run through 2015.

A lifelong resident of Hugo, Bloodworth founded an independent
insurance agency in that Choctaw County community after serving as
a sixth-grade teacher and elementary school principal for 10 years.
He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from
Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. He is also an
active duck and goose hunter. In addition to his outdoor pursuits,
he serves as a board member of the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma,
the local school board and the Oklahoma State School Board

Bloodworth and wife Martha had two children, a son, Chad, who is
deceased, and a daughter, Misty, who lives in Paris, Texas. The
Bloodworth’s have two grandchildren – grandson Ryan and
granddaughter Laci.

Serving as Commission vice-chairman will be District 1 Commissioner
M. David Riggs. District 1 consists of Ottawa, Delaware, Craig,
Mayes, Nowata, Rogers, Washington, Tulsa, Pawnee and Osage
counties. Riggs was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Brad Henry,
and his term will expire in 2013.

A lifelong resident of Sand Springs, Riggs is a partner in one of
the state’s largest law firms – Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison
& Lewis. Riggs also served as a member of the Oklahoma House of
Representatives from 1971 to 1987 and in the Oklahoma Senate from
1987 to 1988.

Riggs is active in a number of local conservation organizations,
including serving on the board of trustees of The Nature
Conservancy and as the chairman of the board of directors for the
Sutton Avian Research Center.

He graduated from Phillips University in Enid in 1959, received a
Masters of Arts from the University of Oklahoma in 1962 and
graduated first in his class at the University of Tulsa College of
Law in 1968.

Serving as Commission secretary will be District 6 Commissioner
John P. Zelbst. District 6 includes Blaine, Kingfisher, Canadian,
Caddo, Grady, Comanche, Stephens, Jefferson and Cotton counties.
Gov. Brad Henry appointed Zelbst to the Commission in 2010, and his
term runs until 2018.

Zelbst has 30 years experience as a trial lawyer and is the
managing partner at Zelbst, Holmes & Butler law firm. The firm
serves Oklahoma City, Lawton, Edmond, Norman and with the
assistance of local counsel, all of the United States. His legal
career has focused solely on representing people who have been
injured, wronged, falsely accused and mistreated.

A member of the Oklahoma Association for Justice (formerly the
Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association), he served as the Association’s
President in 2000. He also holds the distinction of having secured
$24 million in the largest known personal injury verdict in state
history. Along with other professional memberships, recognition and
awards, he was awarded the title of Oklahoma Super Lawyer for the
years 2006-2010,; and is a member of the Bar
Register of Preeminent Lawyers, 92nd Edition, Martindale Hubbell
and is also Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Zelbst received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cameron
University in Lawton in 1976 and earned his Juris Doctorate from
the University of Tulsa, College of Law, in 1980. He is a graduate
of and a board and faculty member of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers
College, DuBois, Wyo.

Zelbst and his wife, Cindy, own and reside on the U2 Ranch in
Meers. They have a son, Clay, and are actively involved in cattle
operations on the ranch. He also supports numerous civic and
community development programs, and currently chairs both the
Comanche County Board of Trustees and the Comanche County Memorial
Hospital Trust.

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