As it works to identify key wildlife issues to be addressed in its 2015-2021 game management plan, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is conducting a public opinion survey.
Information gathered from the survey will help department staffers update the current plan, originally developed in 2003 and updated in 2009. The plan guides management of game species for six years and is used to develop three-year hunting packages that set annual regulations for hunting seasons.
The goals of the plan are “to protect, sustain, and manage hunted wildlife; provide stable, regulated recreational hunting opportunity to all citizens; protect and enhance wildlife habitat; and minimize adverse impacts to residents, other wildlife and the environment.”
The plan-revision process began in June, when the department sought the public’s ideas on priority issues.
“The public’s involvement is essential in creating a comprehensive and effective game management plan,” Dave Ware, game division manager, said in a news release. “We look forward to hearing from people as we go about updating this plan that will guide game management priorities.”
The opinion survey addresses game-management issues, including hunter recruitment and retention, hunting regulations, land access for hunting, wildlife conflict, habitat enhancement and questions on specific species
Once the survey results are analyzed, department staffers will incorporate them into a draft plan, which is expected to go out for public comment next spring. The final draft of the plan will be presented to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission during a public hearing at its June meeting. The commission is scheduled to vote on the plan at its August meeting.