In a surprise move, the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Matt Beaton, announced today that after two and a half years as Commissioner, our good friend George Peterson is retiring.

The announcement also included that GOAL’s President Ron Amidon has just been made the new Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game.

“For 32 years in public service, George has never waivered in his support for issues relating to our mission,” said Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL. “We wish him all the best of luck as he enters into the next phase of his life. We also look forward to working with Ron as he enters into this exciting new phase of his life. Ron has been a steadfast supporter of professional wildlife and wild lands management for many decades. GOAL will miss him on the Board, but the Commonwealth will surely benefit from his new position.”

The GOAL Board of Directors will be holding a special meeting sometime in July to elect a new President. Unfortunately, with the new Commissioner position Ron can no longer hold a position as officer or board member at GOAL.

Below is the official release from EEA:

Ronald Amidon Named Commissioner of Department of Fish and Game

BOSTON – July 5, 2017 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton today announced that Ronald Amidon will serve as Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game. Amidon replaces outgoing Commissioner George N. Peterson, Jr. who is retiring after 32 years of state and local service, including two and a half years as Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game.

“I thank Commissioner Peterson for his dedication to the Commonwealth, his continued commitment to the preservation of our natural resources, and his unwavering support of marine and freshwater fisheries, and wildlife species,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Ron knows the Commonwealth’s fisheries and wildlife as well as land protection responsibilities, and I look forward to working with him to continue the Baker-Polito Administration’s support of the Commonwealth’s wildlife, open spaces, and outdoor educational programs.”

“I want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Secretary Beaton for the wonderful opportunity to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game,” said Commissioner Peterson. “Through the tireless work of the professionals within the Department of Fish and Game, we have made tremendous strides towards our combined mission to protect the Commonwealth’s wildlife, natural surroundings, and outdoors educational programs. I am confident in Ron’s ability to lead the Department, and I wish him continued success as he works to protect and enhance the Commonwealth’s outdoor resources.”

Under Commissioner Peterson’s leadership, the Department of Fish and Game made tremendous strides in wildlife protection, land preservation and habitat management, including efforts to protect the commercial fishing industry through the use of an Industry Based Survey, the construction of a nearly mile-long water pipeline and hydropower turbine at the McLaughlin Fish Hatchery, fishing and boating access projects around the Commonwealth, and river restoration efforts statewide.

“I am honored to join the Baker-Polito Administration, and am excited for the opportunity to work with Secretary Beaton and the dedicated staff within the Department of Fish and Game to preserve the Commonwealth’s cherished natural resources while promoting and protecting our state’s wildlife,” said Ron Amidon. “I thank Secretary Beaton, Governor Baker, and Lieutenant Governor Polito for asking me to serve as Commissioner, and I look forward to working with the staff they have assembled within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.”

“I extend my heartfelt thanks and all the best to Commissioner Peterson as he ends a long and dedicated public service career,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “It has been a pleasure to work with him and to witness firsthand his commitment to our natural resources and helping to keep our fisheries and wildlife conservation vibrant. I am very pleased that such wonderful advocacy will continue with the new Commissioner, Ron Amidon. I have known Ron for 15 years and his reasoned and ethical approach to dealing with issues and his absolute love of the outdoors will serve not only the sportsmen and women but all in the Commonwealth.”

“We have enjoyed our collaboration with Commissioner Peterson on conserving wildlife habitat and we wish him well,” said Wayne Klockner, state director for the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. “We look forward to a productive partnership with Commissioner Amidon.”

Ronald Amidon, Commissioner, Department of Fish and Game

Ron Amidon enters public service having had a distinguished career in large-scale construction management as well as an extensive background in wildlife preservation, recreational hunting and fishing, land stewardship, and habitat management.

Prior to public service, Ron spent over 30 years actively involved in the Commonwealth’s sportsmen community. In addition to serving as the President of the Otter River Sportsmen’s Club, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs, President of the Gun Owners Action League, and Moderator of the Massachusetts Conservation Alliance, Ron has dedicated countless years to ensuring the preservation of wildlife and natural resources.

Amidon lives with his family in Templeton and is active in many organizations including Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and continues his work identifying cold water refuges for trout and the restoration of upland bird habitat.

GOAL President Ron Amidon Named Commissioner of Dept. of Fish and Game