U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Selects New Refuge Manager for Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Paul has a great deal of experience in refuge management and his skills are going to be useful at Pond Creek, particularly his knowledge of bottomland hardwood forests which the refuge has in abundance.,” said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more than 12 years,
Gideon has served as the Deputy Refuge Manager of White River National
Wildlife Refuge in St. Charles, Arkansas. He helped make many improvements
to the refuge including replacing six bridges and replacing more than
a million dollars worth of gravel on 75 miles of refuge roads. He
spearheaded a pest control program that removed up to 1,000 beavers
annually, and oversaw the refuge’s law enforcement program.
During his tenure, several major water control structures were replaced
and a 10,000 square-foot-office and visitor contact station was built.
He also assisted on the construction of two parking lots, an observation
deck, two boardwalks, and three nature trails.
“I hope to be able to restore Pond Creek’s habitat back to its natural bottomland mixed-hardwood ecosystem,” said Gideon. “I have also been impressed with the positive greetings from the community to my family and me.”
He says that a high priority over the next few years will be focused on re-establishing native mixed species hardwoods on the thousands of acres of pine plantationsestablished by former landowners of the area.
Gideon holds a bachelor’s degreein Fish and Wildlife Management from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas. He and his wife Betty have three children, Rachel, age 14, Matthew age 13, and Rebecca, age 11. Gideon enjoys hunting and fishing. He is active in church work and is also involved with Gideon's International.
Established in 1994, Pond
Creek National Wildlife Refuge is 27,300 acres of mostly bottomland
hardwoods. It provides breeding and nesting habitat for wood ducks
and other migratory waterfowl such as mallards, gadwall, and American
wigeon. The refuge also hosts wintering bald eagles and is home to
American alligators, bobcats, red and gray foxes and wild turkeys.
Herons and egrets nest at the refuge. More than 12,000 visitors annually
enjoy hunting, fishing and wildlife observation opportunities at the
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Atlanta, GA 30345