The first of the annual big game meetings will be Friday in Ogden. From there the Utah Board of Big Game Control will head off for a five-meeting swing through southern reaches.

With information gathered at the meetings, and from the Interagency Committee, the board will set down June 13 and set deer, elk and antelope seasons and permit numbers.Consensus is is that this year's meetings will be among the most heated in several decades. At issued is a proposal by Greg Cunningham, a Utah cattleman, to take over 53,000 acres of school trust lands for a private hunting club. If is proposal is accepted by the Board of State Lands and Forestry, Cunningham would then go before the board and ask for 10 special elk permits that he would in turn sell to sportsmen for $5,000. A compromise proposal would take keep the lands open and would allow Cunningham three permits for guided hunts on his private property or state lands. Cunningham is currently a member of the Board of Big Game Control.

The meetings are held to offer sportsmen and landowners input into the decision-making process. Comment on the Cunningham proposal are expected to be numerous and the biggest majority voicing opposition against.

The Ogden meeting will be at Mount Ogden Middle School, 3260 Harrison Blvd. On Monday the board will be in Cedar City at the Cedar City High School, 703 W. 600 South; Tuesday in Richfield at Richfield High School, 510 W. 100 South; Thursday in Vernal at Vernal Middle School, 721 W. 100 South; and Friday in Orem at the Canyon View Junior High School, 655 E. 950 North. The board will then meet in executive session Saturday morning at the Division of Wildlife Resourcs offices, 1596 W. North Temple.

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Darrell Nish, a 30-year veteran of the Division of Wildlife Resources, has been named assistant director.

Nish, 56, has served in a variety of jobs at the DWR. He has worked as a conservation officer, game biologist, regional game manger, upland game progrm coordinator and, since 1978, as chief of the resource analysis section.

He holds a master's degree in wildlife biology from Utah State University. Nish is a native of Logan.