John Walters

New Natural Resources Commissioner; Chair of NRC

At the end of 2017, Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of John Walters of Vanderbilt to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. He is taking the place of the former chair, John Matonich, whose term concluded and he was not reappointed after serving nearly 8 years.

“MUCC sincerely thanks Commissioner Matonich for his public service; in his time as chair, he has shown his commitment to scientific management and has been open to hearing the concerns of hunters, anglers, and trappers,” said Deputy Director Amy Trotter.

The new commissioner, John Walters, is a territory sales manager for Roseburg Forest Products and has worked in the forest products services and building materials industry for more than 30 years. He recently served on the Rural Development Fund Board, previously served on the Natural Resources Advisory Council for the Office of Regulatory Reinvention, and is past Chairman of Michigan Trout Unlimited, past president of the Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and past Chairman of the Pigeon River Country State Forest – Advisory Council. He loves to fly fish for trout year round, but can also be found in the woods hunting upland birds and deer. He will represent independents.

Vicki Pontz of Delta Township is appointed chair of the commission, where she has served for the last 4 years.

Walters will serve a four-year term to expire Dec. 31, 2021. Pontz will serve as chair for a term expiring at the pleasure of the Governor. Appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

The NRC is a seven-member body that works with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to conserve, protect, and manage the state’s natural and cultural resources for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations. No more than four members may be from the same political party.


  1. Mark on February 14, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    We want APR’S

  2. Michael on July 30, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    I would say about 90% of Michigan hunters want APR’s. Get them in restricted law and I assure you, we will all remember your name. Don’t let big Insurance make your decision!

    • Kim on December 6, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      I totally disgree with your statement that 90% of Michigan hunters want APRS. Many of our Michigan hunters already practice APRS voluntarily. We just attended an info meeting on APR’s I can tell you that of the 75-80 people in the meeting 90% there support VOLUNTARY APR’s we do not support mandatory APR’s.
      It should be up to the hunter what we harvest.
      The value of the deer harvested should not be placed in the size of it’s antlers!
      We need to rely on actual science NOT “Social Science”.
      Many hunters hunt to put meat in the freezer not for trophies.

  3. dave smith on February 16, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Let’s all hope that the new Director of the Department of Natural Resources is willing and able to direct his enforcement officers to uphold the deer baiting ban that took effect in January 2019.
    The politically expedient action might be to tell his officers to go easy on the enforcement of the ban,
    But that is not what the resource needs right now,
    sound science suggests that deer should not be enticed to congregate any more than they do on their own naturally!!

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