June 15, 2017
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission approved changes to Arkansas’s Nonresident Waterfowl Wildlife Management Area Permit at today’s regularly scheduled meeting in Jonesboro. The changes are an attempt to provide additional hunting opportunity to residents during waterfowl season on AGFC-controlled public lands.
With the changes, the annual Nonresident Waterfowl WMA Permit has been eliminated, leaving only the 5-day permit as a purchasing option for nonresidents who wish to hunt a WMA for waterfowl. The five-day permit is specific to a single WMA, which the buyer will choose at the time of purchase.
Nonresidents will be allowed to purchase six such permits per waterfowl season, and the price has been increased from $25 to $30.50.
Commissioner Bobby Martin of Rogers stated that it is important to keep in mind that this change is meant to be an adaptive regulation.
“Understanding the management challenges we have, particularly in regard to our issues with the health of our flooded hardwoods, it’s important that we visit this issue every year,” Martin said.
Outgoing Chairman Fred Brown of Corning agreed with Martin.
“We don’t know from one year to the next what weather and other conditions may affect our waterfowl areas,” Brown said. “We may need to change it, tweak it or keep it the same depending on what is learned each year going forward.”
In his last scheduled meeting as chairman of the Commission, Fred Brown was praised by many staff and commissioners alike for his example of leadership and courage during his term.
“This is a very bittersweet moment for me,” said Commissioner Steve Cook of Malvern. I have had the opportunity to stand behind and beside this man during my time here. He is a brother and a mentor to me, and our communication will never stop.”
In other business, the Commission:
- Elected Steve Cook of Malvern Chairman of the Commission and Ford Overton of Little Rock Vice-Chairman.
- Approved the AGFC Fiscal Year 2018 operation appropriation funds totaling $97.5 million.
- Approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget for gas lease appropriation funds totaling $359,291.
- Approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Dave Donaldson Black River WMA restoration appropriation of funds totaling $1.2 million.
- Approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Construction Master List for capital improvement construction projects totaling $6.7 million.
- Authorized AGFC Director Jeff Crow to enter into a grant agreement with Rock City Yacht Club, LLC to provide up to $100,000 of unobligated Marine Fuel Tax funds to construct a free public boat ramp and parking to access the Arkansas River at the proposed marina, which is estimated to cost $411,000.00
- Heard the first reading of a regulation restricting the movement of captive cervids within 25 miles of a known positive Chronic Wasting Disease sample.
- Awarded Fred Brown, outgoing Commission Chairman, his service sidearm.
- Approved the removal of equipment and inventory with an original value of $311,382.45 and a current net book value of $59.37.