News Releases

FWC names new general counsel

News Release

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Media contact: Wendy Dial, 850-488-9477

Harold G. "Bud" Vielhauer will become general counsel for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Jan. 25. Vielhauer replaces James Antista, who is retiring.

FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley noted that Vielhauer has a distinguished career working in environmental law. "He has extensive experience working with stakeholders, local governments, other state agencies, and the governor and Cabinet," Wiley said in making the announcement.

As director of the FWC's Legal Office, Vielhauer will lead attorneys providing legal services for the FWC and coordinate through the Attorney General's Office and the Florida Division of Risk Management. The Legal Office represents the FWC in litigation, prepares legal opinions, develops and reviews contracts and other legal instruments, drafts and reviews legislation and rules, and provides general legal counsel relating to FWC operations.

Vielhauer is deputy general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of General Counsel, Public Lands Section. He represents the department's Land and Recreation Program, including the Division of State Lands and Division of Recreation and Parks.

He acts as counsel to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the Acquisition and Restoration Counsel. He handles land acquisition, land management and state-owned submerged land issues for the board.

Vielhauer worked in the department's Enforcement Section as the waste supervisor, handling hazardous waste and waste cleanup issues. He was a staff member of the 2000-2001 Florida Growth Management Study Commission and has represented Clean Water Act issues in Ohio as senior assistant attorney general there.

His education includes a juris doctorate, with honors, from the University of Toledo, Ohio, and a master's degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, in environmental and marine affairs. Vielhauer is married and has a 7-year-old son.

FWC's current general counsel, Antista, has had a long and distinguished career with the agency, Wiley said. "He has worked diligently behind the scenes on many, many issues that have been important to our agency, to our fish and wildlife resources, to our Commissioners and to our staff."

FWC Facts:
Florida is the only place where the Osceola subspecies of wild turkey can be found.

Learn More at AskFWC