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Game and Fish tribute honors fallen wildlife officer


LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission paid tribute to a fallen wildlife officer Thursday.

Wildlife officer Joel Campora was killed May 31 in a flash flood in Scott County. Sheriff Cody Carpenter also died as the two officers were attempting to rescue two women when raging waters washed away their house.

A standing room only audience at Game and Fish headquarters Thursday saw a video and Lt. Gov. Mark Darr presented a resolution saluting Campora, who was an officer with the agency for six years. He previously was a Mena police officer.

Campora’s widow, Rebecca, and young daughters Dacie and Bethany, were on hand along with other family members and friends from the Waldron area.

Shikar Safari, an international hunting and wildlife organization, presented a check for $20,000 to Rebecca Campora, a commemoration for her husband having died in the line of duty. Shikar representative Mike Breedlove said his organization awarded 40 college scholarships each year and, “in a dozen or so years, we hope these girls will apply for scholarships.”

Also Thursday, the commission approved restrictions on the importing of primates, members of the ape family. Brad Carner, chief of wildlife management, said the regulations adopted do not add new restrictions beyond what state law requires.

The regulations define a primate as “a live individual animal of the taxonomic order Primates, excluding humans.”

The commissioners approved adding penalty points for reckless operation of boats on wildlife management areas. “Boat races” by duck hunters rushing to favorite spots on Bayou Meto WMA have been a problem for years.

Also approved were six projects to improve access areas, boat launching ramps and parking lots.

These were:

—Pine Ridge Road on De Queen Lake in Sevier County.

—Palarm Creek Access in Pulaski County.

—Ranchette Access on the White River in Marion County.

—Big Hurricane Lake Access on Henry Gray Hurricane Lake in White County.

—Wattensaw Bayou Access on Mike Freeze Wattensaw WMA in Prairie County.

—Old Factory Site Access on the Little Missouri River in Pike County.