Beebe names Patterson Game and Fish commissioner


LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe on Friday named Ty Patterson of Texarkana to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Patterson, 35, replaces Rick Watkins, who resigned in late January after he was arrested in Lonoke County and charged with misdemeanor public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Patterson will serve the remainder of Watkins’ term, which will expire July 1, 2014.

Patterson is a partner in the Orr/Patterson Automotive Group in Texarkana and a graduate of the University of Arkansas. He is a member of Ducks Unlimited and the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, and a board member of First Tee of Texarkana.

Beebe announced the appointment during news conference at the Witt Stephens Central Arkansas Nature Center in dowtown Little Rock.

Patterson said he spent much of his youth in the woods or on waterways in his native region of the state.

“As a young boy I was fortunate enough to grow up hunting and fishing in many different areas of southwest Arkansas, from bass fishing on the Little River to trout fishing on the Little Missouri, to duck hunting on Millwood Lake and spring turkey hunting along the Cossatot River and Hurricane Creek areas,” he said.

Patterson later told reporters he plans to hit the ground running on the commission.

“I’m a rookie at this point and I need to … get in here and get my feet wet,” he said. “I look forward to serving on this commission because it’s a way for me to give back to the state.”

Asked about the unusual circumstances that led to the opening on the commission, Patterson said it’s not exactly how one would want to be appointed, “but when the position came open I was fortunate enough … to get the appointment of the governor.”