AR: Commission approves trails and recreation facilities grant programs

LITTLE ROCK – At last week’s monthly meeting of the Arkansas
Game and Fish Commission, commissioners approved up to $1 million
for the Wildlife Observation Trails Pilot Program and up to
$500,000 for the Wildlife Recreation Facilities Pilot Program. The
trails program grants were recommended by a committee of the
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The recreation facilities
were recommended by the Arkansas Department of Rural Services.

The AGFC director is authorized to enter an agreement with the
24 individual recipients for various projects aimed at developing
interest in the state’s natural resources. The list includes 13
trail projects and 11 wildlife facility projects.

Both programs are results of Act 686 and Act 687 from the 2009
Arkansas General Assembly.

Early-season migratory game-bird hunting proposals also were
presented to the Commission. The season selections must be reported
to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Aug. 1. Approval for the
seasons will take place in July. Changes from last season are
minor.

Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared-Dove

Sept. 3-Oct. 18 and Dec. 10-Jan. 2 or Sept. 3-Oct. 30 and Dec.
26-Jan. 6

Teal Season

Sept. 10-25

Early Canada Goose Statewide Season

Sept. 1-15

Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season

Sept. 24-Oct. 3

In other business, the Commission:

*Honored outgoing chairman Craig Campbell by renaming Lake
Conway as Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir. Campbell’s term
ends June 30.

*Heard a presentation about the 2011 spring turkey harvest by
AGFC Assistant Wildlife Chief Brad Miller. Miller told the
Commission that 6,744 turkeys were checked during the season. The
harvest was down from 10,111 turkeys checked during the 2010
season. Fulton County led the state with 307 birds harvested.
During the two-day special youth turkey hunt, 928 turkeys were
harvested, up from 850 turkeys in 2010.

*Approved a code authorizing the director of the AGFC to order
the closure of public access to any AGFC-owned or controlled
property during emergency situations. This also includes closure of
hunting, fishing or trapping in any zones affected by the
emergency.

*As a result of Amendment 88, passed last November, the
Commission voted to amend codes to make certain that adequate due
process is afforded individuals when the AGFC begins revocation or
suspension of hunting, fishing or trapping rights.

*A proposal was made to adjust deer season dates for Bayou Meto,
Dave Donaldson Black River, Ed Gordon Point Remove, Henry Gray
Hurricane Lake, Mike Freeze Wattensaw, Rex Hancock Black Swamp,
Sheffield Nelson Dagmar, Shirey Bay Rainey Brake, St. Francis
Sunken Lands and Trusten Holder WMAs during January. Seasons will
be closed Jan. 2-Jan. 27 to conduct intensive camera surveys in to
collect data for fawn recruitment, buck-to-doe ratios and
population densities.

*Approved the AGFC budget for fiscal year 2011-12, totaling
$71,533,854.

*Elected George Dunklin of Stuttgart chairman of the Commission
to replace Campbell. Ron Pierce of Mountain Home was elected vice
chairman.

 

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