The Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) has hired Jim Akenson of Enterprise to be OHA’s new conservation director.
In the newly created part-time position, Akenson will lead OHA efforts in areas such as reviewing management plans and submitting comments, as well as organizing OHA chapters to make a difference in natural resource management at the local level.
An avid bowhunter and backcountry packer, Akenson served as the first executive director for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, where he secured funding support and coordinated conservation efforts. A member of the OHA Union-Wallowa OHA Chapter, Akenson holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources. He had long tenures working for the University of Idaho and the Oregon Department to Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
In Idaho, he managed a remote field station and did studies on bighorn sheep, and on cougar and wolf predation effects on ungulate populations. While with ODFW, he conducted research on cougars and black bears in the Catherine Creek and Starkey units, respectively.
“We feel really fortunate to have someone with Jim’s qualifications coming on board,” said OHA State Coordinator Duane Dungannon. “He will serve as the staff biologist we’ve needed for years, and he gives us a staff presence in an area of the state where it will really help us.”
“I am really looking forward to helping OHA enhance its conservation efforts and to promote hunters as the real conservationists in America,” Akenson said. “We also need to engage more strongly on the decision-making front for wildlife management. I feel we can elevate our effectiveness by better using biological facts, and our clout with membership numbers, regional knowledge, and active chapter coverage over most of the state.”
The Oregon Hunters Association is the state’s largest Oregon-based pro-hunting organization, with 10,000 members and 27 chapters statewide. Its mission is “to provide abundant huntable wildlife resources in Oregon for present and future generations, enhancement of wildlife habitat and protection of hunters’ rights.”