Game & Fish Fund Citizen Oversight

Citizen Oversight Membership

The Game and Fish Fund Budgetary Oversight Committee (BOC) is composed of a chair who is appointed by the DNR commissioner, the chair of the Fisheries Oversight Committee, the chair of the Wildlife Oversight Committee and four additional members from each committee.

Budgetary Oversight Committee (BOC)

John Hunt (Chair)

Send a comment for BOC discussion to

Fisheries Oversight Committee (FOC)

Committee liaison

Don Pereira
Fisheries Section Chief

Committee members

An asterisk (*) denotes a member of the BOC.

Wildlife Oversight Committee (WOC)

Committee liaison

Paul Telander
Wildlife Section Chief

Committee members

An asterisk (*) denotes a member of the BOC.

John Christian

John Christian retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after a 43-year career. He worked in many leadership positions, including those for Migratory Birds and State Programs, Endangered Species, Fisheries and Ecological Services. John led efforts to restore lake trout in the Great lakes and also managed the international sea lamprey control program. Working with state and tribal partners, John also initiated restoration programs for coaster brook trout in the Great Lakes and paddlefish and sturgeon populations in the Mississippi River. He was responsible for migratory bird conservation programs that provide more than $165 million to states for fish and wildlife restoration activities under the Dingell-Johnson and Wallop-Breaux grant in aid programs. He enjoys fishing, hiking and birdwatching in Minnesota’s outstanding lakes, rivers and wildlife management areas.

John Hastings

John Hastings, a Minnesota native, is retired and living in Park Rapids after an entrepreneurial career in sales and business management, most of which was in the John Deere construction equipment business. In the past, John was involved as a volunteer with Ducks Unlimited (DU) as a chapter chairman for Itasca County and then a district DU chairman for most of northern Minnesota. He currently is a member of the executive committee of the Hubbard County Coalition of Lakes Association, representing the Potato Lake Association. The association's mission is to protect and enhance the quality of lakes and rivers; preserve the economic, recreational, and natural environmental values of our shore lands; and promote the responsible use of our waters and related habitats. That mission enhances, promotes and protects the interests of lake shore property owners, lake associations, local government, the general public and future generations. An avid walleye fisherman, John also is passionate about the shooting sports.

Mike Hehner

Mike has been fishing ever since he can remember. His father, Hugh, was – and still is – an avid fisherman and had Mike out in a boat at an early age. As a teenager, he spent two summers working and guiding at Bratton's Resort on Pelican Lake near Orr and was there for the glory days of the giant bluegills.

Mike has a bachelor of science degree in fisheries from the University of Minnesota and spent his final two summers in college interning at Cy DeCosse, publishers of The Hunting & Fishing Library (HFL) series of books. After graduating, he was hired full time at HFL and took the path of working on fishing books, as opposed to a career in fisheries management. Mike met Bill Lindner at Cy DeCosse. After their jobs ended there, Mike and Bill started working together as Bill Lindner Photography, shooting and selling stock fishing photos.

Today, he finds himself up in Brainerd, still selling stock photography but also helping with Lindner's Angling Edge and field directing for the Lund Ultimate Fishing Experience television show. Besides spending time with his wife, Betsy, and daughter, Abbi, Mike's favorite activities include chasing smallmouth bass and walleyes on Lake Mille Lacs and ruffed grouse hunting with his cocker spaniel, Jack.

William E. Faber

Dr. William E. Faber, Cushing, is a college instructor of wildlife and natural resources at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in wildlife management from the University of Minnesota and masters’ of science and doctorate degrees in wildlife ecology from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, where his research focused on moose. William is a board member of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society. He is also an active member of the Minnesota Conservation Federation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and the National Wildlife Federation. William spends the majority of his free time with numerous conservation-related activities, in addition to wildflower gardening and other outdoor pursuits.

John Hunt

John Hunt chairs the BOC. He has served in this position since August 2011. Before that he served on the BOC’s Ecological and Water Resources subcommittee for several years. John has also served on the DNR’s motorized trail task force. He is a senior environmental engineer with a Twin Cities-based engineering firm, specializing in the investigation and clean-up of contaminated properties. An avid trout angler and a high school football coach, John is a member of several hunting and angling conservation organizations. He resides in Big Lake with his wife and three children.

Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Minnesota as a state farm loan specialist after 30-plus year career. His primary role was that of an environmental compliance manager. He also supervised the management and disposal of more than 750 farm real estate properties. He is the president of the West Central Chapter of the Minnesota Darkhouse Anglers Association. He has a long history of providing leadership on environmental compliance and training. He has served on numerous FSA national task forces on environmental policy and procedure and provided a key role in supporting both the farm and farm loan programs delivered by FSA. Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors of the Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association. He currently lives in rural New London where he enjoys fishing and other outdoor activities.

Chuck Kartak

Chuck Kartak retired from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources after a 37-year career. He served as deputy director for the Minnesota State Park System, operations manager for the Division of Parks and Trails, and a number of other positions. Chuck has been involved in numerous prairie, wetland, and forest landscape restorations through Minnesota. He is a life member in the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and Pheasants Forever and a member of Ducks Unlimited for 30 years. His passions include waterfowling, upland bird hunting, archery turkey hunting, hiking, triathlons, wilderness canoe camping and wild ricing.

Gregory Kraemer

Gregory Kraemer, a Lake of the Woods county resident, is a fourth-generation Minnesotan who manages Kraemer Family Farms and Kraemer's Duck Factory. In 1875, his great grandfather settled and founded Otter Tail County's Urbank. Kraemer was born in nearby Parkers Prairie and graduated from Anoka High School in 1970. Kraemer served six years in the Minnesota Air National Guard. Married and the father of five children, Kraemer has been an active Ducks Unlimited (DU) member for more than 30 years. He has been a DU committee volunteer for 10 years, serving as the DU dinner chairman, co-chairing DU's major donations fundraiser and serving as DU ambassador to the annual Shot Show, a hunting and outdoor trade show.

John Lenczewski

John Lenczewski of Eden Prairie is a life-long Minnesota resident and avid angler. He enjoys fishing for a variety of different species. He is a long-time volunteer with Trout Unlimited and has been active in securing funding for projects that enhance Minnesota’s trout waters and trout fishing.

Deb Luzinski

Deb Luzinski is a professional landscaper and owner of a small business in the east metro area of the Twin Cities. Deb is on the board of directors with the Metro Bowhunters Resource Base, an active member of North Country Bowhunters and is a volunteer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Becoming An Outdoors Woman program. A wife and mother of two, she is also the director and coach of the Woodbury's National Archery in the Schools Program after school archery program and a former director of Minnesota Bowhunters, Inc. She was appointed to the Wildlife Oversight Committee as well as the Budget Oversight Committee in 2012.

Douglas Odegard

Doug Odegard is semi-retired after serving 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Upon returning to Minnesota and the home in which he grew up, Doug has renewed his love of the local waters, especially the Snake and St Croix rivers. Whether catching his limit or getting "skunked", time spent on or near the water always has been enjoyable to him. Doug is a past member of the Citizen Advisory Committee of the Snake River Watershed Management Board. He currently is a supervisor for the Pine Soil and Water Conservation District; a member of the East Central Regional Landscape Committee; and serves on a taskforce that links sustainable forestry to water quality in the upper St Croix watershed.

Steve Okins

Steve Okins has been in government finance for more than 35 years, the last 27 as the Finance Director of the City of Willmar. Steve has been active in Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. He is married with three children. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and is a resident of Willmar Township.

Peter Perovich

Peter Perovich is a loan officer in the mortgage industry. President of the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation, he is an active member of Anglers for Habitat, an organization dedicated to preserving and improving aquatic habitat, clean water, and fishing in Minnesota. Perovich has shown an aptitude for leadership through his work with various statewide organizations that are dedicated to protecting Minnesota’s natural resources and bolstering the state's sports fishing industry. In 2009 Peter was appointed to the Fisheries Oversight Committee (FOC); in 2011 he was reappointed to the FOC and appointed to the Budget Oversight Committee (BOC). In 2013 Perovich was appointed Chair of the FOC and reappointed to the BOC. Perovich is an avid recreational and tournament angler, and also enjoys waterfowl hunting, skeet and trap shooting, and many other outdoor activities.

Ryan Saulsbury

Ryan has taught science for 17 years, the last 12 years in the Pillager School District. Teaching in the Brainerd Lakes Area allows for a unique perspective to the common beliefs and misconceptions a wide variety of families share on the status of our resources and the way they are managed.

He earned his associate of arts degree from Vermilion Community College in Ely. From there he transferred to Bemidji State University and earned his bachelors degree in science education. He has nearly completed his masters degree in biology.

Bonnie Swanson

Bonnie started bookkeeping when she was fifteen and owned her own business for many years. She became a CPA in 2004, but has been advising businesses for over twenty years. Her goal is to help clients manage their business by providing practical advice, reliable numbers, and addressing their concerns.

Bonnie is a tax manager in the St Croix Valley Office of Wilkerson Guthmann. She currently serves as the treasurer for St. Croix River Association. She is a licensed taxidermist since 1991 and owned a commercial studio for many years. Outside of work, she likes to spend her spare time in the outdoors. Her favorite activities are canoeing, camping, backpacking, snowshoeing and traveling to different state and national parks.

Robert Theobald

Robert Theobald chairs the Wildlife Oversight Committee, which is a subcommittee of the BOC. He has served in this role since Dec ember of 2011. Prior to BOC re-structuring, Robert had served on the previous BOC as a member of the Wildlife Operations Subcommittee (WOS) for several years. Robert is employed by Daikin-McQuay of Owatonna, a manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and A/C equipment and systems. Robert is an active member of numerous local, state and national conservation organizations. One of his passions is teaching today's youth the outdoor lifestyle. Other passions include hunting waterfowl, deer, pheasant, and turkey, plus fishing, camping, ATV riding and target shooting. Robert resides in Owatonna with his wife Sarah and two young children.

Mark Popovich

I earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a landscape design certificate from Hennepin County Technical College and I am currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota's ecological restoration program. I also am a certified tree inspector through the Minnesota DNR and have provided tree inspection services for the past six years. I am currently self-employed as a landscape designer and a sales representative of McKay Nursery. My wife and I own Hungry Point Orchard, where we currently raise cherries, pears and blueberries. I spend my free time deer, duck and turkey hunting and fish year round. I have also participated on the southeastern Minnesota deer citizen advisory team in 2014 and the hunting handbook advisory team in 2013.