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Former AGFC director dies


LITTLE ROCK — Loren Hitchcock, who was Arkansas Game and Fish Commission director for almost two years during 2011-12, died May 28 at his home in Higden (Cleburne County). He was 70.
Hitchcock started his career with the AGFC as a game warden in 1985. He became chief of the Enforcement Division in 1989 and was named deputy director in 2001 (he held both titles until he became a deputy director exclusively in 2003).
When AGFC Director Scott Henderson announced he was resigning his position Sept. 1, 2010, Hitchcock was tapped as interim director. He was promoted to director Jan. 20, 2011, and retired from the agency Oct. 27, 2012.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be asked to lead the dedicated, professional staff at our agency,” Hitchcock said when he became director. “It is with these wonderful people that we can build a new era of efficiency and professionalism at Game and Fish. We’ll work together as a team to take advantage of the opportunities we have ahead of us to tell Arkansans about the wonderful opportunities that exist in Arkansas’s incredible outdoors, and the role this Commission plays in managing those resources.”
Hitchcock led the Enforcement Division’s role in the passage of the Amendment 75 Conservation Sales Fund in 1996. He was lead administrator in the agency’s acquisition of a large conservation easement – 16,000-acre Moro Big Pine Natural Area Wildlife Management Area in Calhoun County – plus 4,000 acres in fee title property in Searcy County for elk restoration.
He also negotiated with Chesapeake Energy in its acquisition of mineral rights and natural gas exploration on WMAs in the Fayetteville Shale play. The deal brought $32 million in mineral lease bonuses, plus gas royalty payments, to the AGFC.

Loren “Gib” Hitchcock was born to Margaret and Gilbert Hitchcock Oct. 9, 1953, in
Batesville, where he was raised. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He’s survived by his partner, Shawna, as well as two sons, two stepdaughters and eight grandchildren.