COLUMBUS — Mike Budzik, the long-time sportsman’s and fish and wildlife management advisor to Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio DNR as well as a retired chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, has resigned from his position.
The move came in direct result of Budzik’s belief that the departmental agency and the Kasich Administration are no longer representing the best interests of the Wildlife Division nor the state’s sportsmen, Budzik said.
At the heart of the issue lies the matter of increases to the fishing and hunting license fees paid by resident sportsmen and sportswomen. The natural resources department’s leadership opposes such increases while the Columbus-based Sportsmen’s Alliance and its consortium of sportsmen- and conservation-based groups support such fee increases.
All sides, however, do back increases to the state’s various non-resident deer-hunting tag fees, though by varying amounts.
The matter is presently before the Ohio State Senate, where this week the state’s two-year operating budget is being debated. This proposal was approved by the Ohio House but without any fee increases.
For more on this story, see the July 7 print edition of Ohio Outdoor News.