LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – (9/28/19) Schools and education groups throughout Arkansas will have additional funding for conservation education thanks to fine money collected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Commissioners unanimously approved all fine money collected from wildlife fine violations in Fiscal Year 2019 to be transferred to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Division of Rural Services at today’s regularly scheduled meeting.
The Division of Rural Services distributes the fine money through grants for which any teacher, principal or other educator may apply. These grants can enhance learning opportunities for youth, especially in some of the rural areas of Arkansas, where education dollars are at a premium. Many grants help promote AGFC programs such as Archery in the Schools, Project WILD and the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program. Many educators also use the grants to fund expenses for conservation-oriented field trips, such as those taken to AGFC nature centers and hatcheries.
All fine money collected in a county goes back to these education grants for that county. A list of available funds and a downloadable application is available at the Division of Rural Services website, https://www.arkansasedc.com/Rural-Services/division/grants/wildlife-education-grant.
In other business, the Commission:
- Recognized Sandee Schultz, Mike Schiefer and Adam Baker as recipients of this year’s annual Campbell Awards for their dedicated service to conservation and their communities.
- Recognized nine employees representing 185 years of service to the natural resources of Arkansas.
- Approved a budget increase of $400,000 for repairs to the Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, which was significantly damaged by flooding of the Arkansas River in June.
- Authorized AGFC Director Pat Fitts to enter into agreements to accept a land donation from the National Wild Turkey Federation and Greene County Wildlife Club to remove an inholding from W.E. Brewer Scatter Creek Wildlife Management Area.
- Authorized Director Fitts to dispose of property on Lake Overcup at fair market value to resolve a landowner encroachment issue.
- Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with a total original cost of $244,937.85 and a net book value of $1,581.33.
- Heard the first reading of a proposal to introduce a new voluntary turkey stamp that will be used to generate funds for turkey habitat work in Arkansas.
- Heard the first reading of captive wildlife regulations change proposals to add some large mammal species to the permitted captive wildlife list and extended the period to apply for a breeder/dealer importation permit for these species until Dec. 31, 2019.
- Heard the first reading of regulations to create a veteran and active-duty military waterfowl hunt to coincide with the current youth waterfowl hunt following statewide bag limits and regulations.
A video of the meeting is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ArkansasGameandFish.