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Sneak Peek at Game and Fish, A (FBCEC)

TopicAGFC - Arkansas History
AGFC - Centers
Botany - General
In this lesson, participants are given an overview of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) with some explanation of the agency’s history. Students are introduced to AGFC’s major divisions, support divisions, and the various programs and resources offered. Then, the class will focus more on the Education Division.
Recommended SettingAny
LocationFred Berry Conservation Education Center, Yellville, AR

Education Program Coordinator, 870-449-3484

Duration45 minutes to 1 hour
Suggested Number of Participants10-30
  • Learn the mission of the AGFC
  • Learn the major divisions
  • Discuss the support divisions
  • Learn about various programs and resources provided by AGFC
  • Talk more specifically about the Education and Outreach Division including Nature Centers, Education Centers, and Regional Education Coordinators (REC)
Key Terms*
Natural Resources
State Wildlife Agency
A Sneak Peek at Game and Fish Trunk
AGFC Becoming a Wildlife Officer Brochure
AGFC Conservation Education Center Brochure (s)
AGFC Education and Outreach Division Brochure
AGFC Fisheries Division Brochure
AGFC logo (coloring sheet, sticker, decal, etc.)
AGFC Nature Center Brochures
AGFC Support Divisions Brochure
AGFC Wildlife Management Division Brochure
Any brochures/resources related to the following programs:
Aquatic Resources Education
Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports
Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW)
Boating Education
Conservation Scholarships
Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition
Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs (HOFNOD)
Hunter Education
On Target for Life
Project Wild
Underwater Arkansas
Watchable Wildlife
Wings Over Arkansas Awards 
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) was established on March 11, 1915 by legislative act 124 and signed into law by Governor George Washington Hays. The agency’s direct connect ion with the legislature was severed in 1944 when Amendment 35 was passed by a popular vote. The stated mission of AGFC is “to wisely manage all the fish and wildlife resources of Arkansas while providing maximum enjoyment for the people.” To meet this goal it manages wildlife and natural habitat and sets hunting, fishing, and trapping regulations. AGFC works with public, private, local, state, and federal groups to deliver conservation programs and educate the public about the importance of healthy fish and wildlife populations and their habitats.

The AGFC was operated on hunting and fishing license fees until Amendment 75 was approved by voters in 1996. The amendment levied a one-eighth-of-one-percent statewide sales tax, of which the AGFC receives forty-five percent. This added more than $25 million to its annual budget; and allowed it to expand and improve education and conservation programs.

The AGFC is overseen by a board of seven commissioners. These governor-appointed members serve seven-year terms. An eighth ex-officio member is the chairman of the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville biology department. The agency is led by a director and deputy directors.
  1. Begin by asking participants what the mission of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission might be. Tell participants the mission of the AGFC: “To wisely manage all the fish and wildlife resources of Arkansas while providing maximum enjoyment for the people.” The AGFC began as an agency in 1945. Amendment 35 of 1945 charges the AGFC with the “control, management, restoration, conservation and regulation of birds, fish, game and wildlife resources of the State.” It is user-fee funded (licenses and permit fees) and establishes a game protection fund used solely by the AGFC. A board of eight commissioners governs the agency. The governor approves seven voting members for staggered seven-year terms and one nonvoting member who is the head of the biology department at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In 1996, voters approved Amendment 75 that says Arkansans “find that fish, wildlife, parks, tourism and natural heritage constitute a major economic and natural resource of the state and they desire to provide additional funds….” It authorizes a 1/8-cent sales tax earmarked for the AGFC (45%), Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (45%), Department of Arkansas Heritage (9%), and Keep Arkansas Beautiful (1%). These constitutional amendments provide AGFC with a mix of funding and authority for overseeing all wildlife in the state, being responsible to all the people of Arkansas which includes increased AGFC law enforcement, land acquisition and improvement, conservation education, private lands programs, endangered species and habitat restoration and restoration of existing AGFC programs.
  2. Explain that, in order for the AGFC to achieve its mission, several divisions and support divisions are necessary. Briefly discuss each of the following major divisions:
    • Enforcement
    • Fisheries
    • Wildlife management
    • Education and outreach
  3. After the major divisions have been introduced, explain that in order for these divisions to run smoothly, there must be a support system. Briefly go over the following support divisions:
    • Operations
    • Legal
    • Construction, engineering and real estate (CERE)
    • River basins and government relations
    • Fiscal
    • Information technology
    • Human resources
    • Communications
  4. After discussing the support divisions, switch to AGFC outreach programs. If time permits, provide information about all programs and resources listed above. Start with hunter and boating education. After all programs have been discussed, talk specifically about the education and outreach division and resources available other than programs.
    • Nature centers
      • Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center
      • Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center
      • Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
      • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
    • Conservation education centers
      • Rick Evans Grandview Prairie CEC
      • Potlatch CEC at Cook’s Lake
      • Ponca Elk Education Center
      • Fred Berry CEC on Crooked Creek
    • Regional education coordinators
      • Currently seven RECs assigned to regions in the state
      • Facilitates hunter and boating education instructor training
      • Assists with Project Wild training for teachers. Also assists with HOFNOD, shooting sports, BOW, On Target for Life as needed.
      • Facilitates educational programs for schools and colleges throughout their region by request.
      • Provides resource materials for teachers or participants as needed.
      • Provides agency outreach and educational information at conferences, expos and promotional events.
      • Speaks to civic organizations about natural resources.
      • Aids with development of environmental education curriculum for teachers
  5. If time permits, the focus should shift to the center, region or program the speaker represents. 
  • When was AGFC established?
  • Why was the 1/8-cent sales tax enacted?
  • Name the four nature centers and the four conservation education centers.
  • What is the mission of the regional educational coordinators?
Cache – a small container hidden outdoors for others to find
Commission – a group of people authorized to carry out a duty
Conservation – planned management of natural resources (including wildlife and habitat) to prevent exploitation or neglect and to ensure their availability to future generations
Game – legal name for animals that may be managed and hunted only under regulation; animals with a declared open season
Natural resources – raw materials including nutrients, minerals, water, plants and animals found in the Earth
State Wildlife Agency – agency that manages some or all wildlife including habitat protection, restoration and alteration; planning; land acquisition; research; education; information; endangered species; consumptive uses; nonconsumptive uses and regulations and usually law enforcement
Wildlife – animals that are not tamed or domesticated including insects, spiders, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and mammals