TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) — Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto is stepping down Thursday after ten years on the board, seven as chairman.

Barreto, an influential Miami developer and lobbyist, sent a letter to fellow commissioners this week announcing he’ll resign. It’ll become official at an agency meeting Thursday near Tallahassee.

Barreto was named chairman by former Gov. Jeb Bush and reappointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist. He told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that he hadn’t sought reappointment from Gov. Rick Scott, but said there was no political reason for his departure. The position is unpaid. Barreto’s resignation will be effective June 1, two months before his term would expire.

In a letter delivered to fellow commissioners, Barreto praised FWC leadership and the agency’s accomplishments.

An avid hunter and angler, Barreto wrote that he was proud of adding 30 new areas and 135,000 more acres for hunting along with programs to maintain the state’s biodiversity and health of its wildlife and fish stocks. A former police officer, he also said he was proud of securing a small wage increase and better gear for wildlife officers in a tough budget era and for raising the profile of the agency through fishing shows and other efforts.

Barreto, a supporter of term limits, said it would be “hypocritical” to seek a third five-year term.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)


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