WIldlife Resources

Who Watches The Wildlife?

By Steve Stone


Did you ever wonder what happens to the money you pay for a boat registration, or a fishing or hunting permit?  Most people don’t think about it, but wildlife licenses and permits actually go to fund the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.  NCWRC is the state government office that is in charge of all aspects of wildlife; but what does that mean exactly?


First, NCWRC employs several biologist and enforcement agents.  The biologist’s main  job is to make sure the balances of nature are maintained in NC.  They are there to make sure no species is hunted out of existence, and no species overruns the state with population bursts.  To give an example, when the deer population rose sharply recently, the biologists made the suggestion, which became the permit rules, allowing for more deer to be taken in a season.


Enforcement agents job is to make sure that wildlife laws are followed.  A wildlife enforcement agent can arrest people just like any other law enforcement agent.  They also give tickets and fines, inspect wildlife areas  and rehab organizations, and generally maintain safety for the animals. If you have a problem with wildlife, they answer the phone when you call (no automated menu!) and give assistance if they can.  


Aside from the decisions about wildlife and the enforcement of the laws, NCWRC also has a huge education program.  The programs are split into several sections.  Hunter education is one of the largest sections.  Face it, hunting is a dangerous sport.  People have guns, knives, arrows, and sometimes alcohol.  The only reason we do not hear about daily “hunting accidents” is the education programs NCWRC teaches. 


NCWRC helps sponsor huge events like the “Dixie Deer Classic” at the NC state fairgrounds, and a “Hunt and Fish Day” at their own facilities each year.  Additionally,  at their centers in Raleigh, Fayetteville, and other points around NC they have auditorium presentations teaching about all aspects of wildlife.  


The second part of NCWRC  education agenda is general wildlife education.  They have mobile exhibits for bringing the education to fairs and events.  They have several events that they regularly attend, including creating a large tented exhibit at the NC State Fair.  The fair exhibit includes a gun safety target practice area and displays about several NC wildlife areas.


The Wildlife education centers are actually miniature museums with classrooms and amphitheaters for wildlife based educational programs. 4 times each year our raptor refuge put on programs at NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Raleigh Education Center.  Other presentations include; seminars on nature photography and journalling, a study of how local animals hide in the wild, classes on navigation in the wild (not getting lost!), information on animals like bears and foxes and wolves, outdoor skills, and more.

Additionally there are workshops on nature put on at the educational centers.  These workshops teach you anything from how to find and use earth friendly building materials, to creating active rain gardens and retention wetlands, to solid waste management.  There are events and workshops each month to teach child level and adult level information.


Whether it is hunting or rescuing wildlife, educating people or arresting them, the North Carolina WIldlife Resources Commission is there.  With them around we can be assured that wildlife will remain in NC for the rest of our lives.


NC Wildlife Resources Commission Website:

www.ncwildlife.org



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