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Sneak Peek at Game and Fish, A (REGPCEC)

TopicAGFC - Centers
AGFC - Arkansas History
AGFC - General
Summary
In this lesson, participants will get an overview of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). They will hear about AGFC’s major divisions, support divisions and the programs and resources offered. Then the class will focus more on the education and outreach division.
Grade LevelK - 12
Recommended SettingAny
LocationRick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center, Columbus
Contact
Education Program Coordinator, 800-983-4219
Duration45 minutes - 1 hour
Suggested Number of Participants10 - 30
Special Conditions
Weather permitting
Objectives
  • Learn the mission of the AGFC.
  • Learn the major divisions and discuss the support divisions.
  • Learn about programs and resources at AGFC.
  • Learn about the education and outreach division including nature centers, education centers and regional education coordinators.
Key Terms*

Cache

Commission

Conservation

Game

Natural resources

State Wildlife Agency

Wildlife

Materials
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)
AGFC nature center brochures
AGFC support divisions brochure
AGFC wildlife management division brochure
Any brochures or resources related to these programs:
  • Aquatic resources education
  • Arkansas youth shooting sports
  • Becoming an Outdoors Woman
  • Boating education
  • Conservation scholarships
  • Federal junior duck stamp art competition
  • Geocaching
  • Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs
  • Hunter education
  • Internships
  • On Target for Life
  • Project WILD
  • Total Outdoor Teaching Experience
  • Underwater Arkansas
  • Watchable Wildlife
  • Wings Over Arkansas awards
Background

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 connection 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.

Procedure
  1. Ask what the mission of AGFC might be. The mission statement reads, “To wisely manage all the fish and wildlife resources of Arkansas while providing maximum enjoyment for the people.”
    • The AGFC began in 1945 with Amendment 35 which gave the agency “control, management, restoration, conservation and regulation of birds, fish, game and wildlife resources of the state.” It is funded through licenses and permit fees which go toward a game protection fund used solely by the AGFC. The agency is governed by a board of eight commissioners. The governor names seven voting members with staggered seven-year terms and one nonvoting member who is the head of the biology department at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
    • Later, in 1996, state voters approved Amendment 75 which authorizes a one-eighth cent sales tax earmarked for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (45 percent), Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (45 percent), Department of Arkansas Heritage (9 percent) and Keep Arkansas Beautiful (1percent). These constitutional amendments give a mix of authority and funding, making it responsible for all wildlife in the state. Amendment 75 funds increased AGFC law enforcement, land acquisition and improvement, conservation education, private lands programs, endangered species and habitat restoration and AGFC programs.
  2. Explain that, in order for AGFC to achieve its mission, several divisions and support divisions are necessary. Briefly discuss each major division:
    • Enforcement
    • Fisheries
    • Wildlife management
    • Education and outreach
  3. After the major divisions have been introduced, explain that they must have a support system. Briefly cover the following:
    • Operations
    • Legal
    • Construction, engineering and real estate
    • River basins and governmental relations
    • Fiscal
    • Information technology
    • Personnel
    • Communications
  4. After discussing the support divisions, switch to outreach programs. If time permits, touch on programs and resources available (listed above), starting with hunter and boating education. Then, talk about the education and outreach division and resources available other than programs.
    •  Nature Centers
      • Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center (870-534-0011)
      • Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center (870-933-6787)
      • Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
      • Witt Stephens Jr. Arkansas Central Arkansas Nature Center
    • Conservation Education Centers
      • Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center
      • Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake
      • Ponca Elk Education Center
      • Fred Berry Conservation Education Center on Crooked Creek
    • Regional Education Coordinators
      • Seven regional education coordinators assigned in the state
      • Facilitates hunter and boating education instructor training
      • Assists with Project WILD and Total Outdoor Teaching Experience, Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs, shooting sports, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, On Target for Life
      • Facilitates regional educational programs for schools and colleges by request
      • Provides resource materials for teachers or participants
      • Provides agency outreach and educational information at conferences, expos and promotional events
      • Speaks to civic organizations
      • Aids development of environmental education curriculum for teachers
  5. If time permits, talk about the center, region or program the speaker represents.
Review
  • When was AGFC established?
  • Why was the one-eighth-cent sales tax enacted?
  • Name the four nature centers and the four conservation education centers.
  • What is the mission of the regional educational coordinators?
Related Documents
Glossary

Cache – a small container hidden outdoors for others to find (Web definition)

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