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Steve Oats New WLF Chairman 

  Members of the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission recently elected a Lafayette-based attorney with recreational leanings to serve as its chairman for the next year. The new chairman is Steve Oats, managing partner of Oats and Hudson law firm and an at-large appointee to the commission. His background includes membership in Ducks Unlimited, the National Rifle Association and the Coastal Conservation Association. Oats replaces Bobby Samanie of Houma, a shrimp processor by trade who was appointed by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco to represent commercial fishing interests. While Samanie served his final year as chairman, Oats does not rotate off the panel until 2013. In a prepared statement, Oats says he plans to use his experience and upbringing as a compass when making decisions this year. "My education and background have prepared me to assist in supporting the wildlife and fish habitats of Louisiana for future generations," Oats said. Elected vice-chairman was Stephen Sagrera of Abbeville, who also serves as president of Gators Unlimited and vice president of the Vermilion Gator Farm. Sagrera is a commercial fishing and fur representative on the commission and, as tradition dictates, he is in line to become chairman in 2011. — Jeremy Alford

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