North Carolina Bear Hunters Association

North Carolina Bear Hunters Association


The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (updated 2/28/2014)

It was a splendid idea. The Wildlife Resources Commission of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was to consist of a group of citizens of North Carolina. Each member of the commission is to be an experienced hunter, fisherman, farmer, or biologist, who is generally informed on wildlife conservation and restoration problems.

The Early Days Of The Commission

Those of us, who understand the history of the Wildlife Resources Commission, can remember when the hunters and fishermen of the state had direct involvement in who would be considered for and appointed to the commission. During the early years of the commission, there was a conscious effort to appoint serious hunters and fishermen, farmers who had a genuine interest in habitat and conservation, and ever a few people who would qualify as biologist and zoologist. They were, for the most part, North Carolinians who looked and acted like the hunting and fishing citizenry they were regulating. Even as late as the 1980s the appointments were typically taken quite seriously by the district hunters and fishermen and at least some consideration of the experience and education of prospective commissioners were taken into account by the appointing authorities.

Commissioners Today

Today, our commissioners don't much look like the typical North Carolina hunter or fishermen. Instead, they have every outward appearance of being politically connected men. Frankly, who could argue that point, for if they weren't politically connected, how could they be on the commission in the first place? And while some of the commissioners are exceptionally interested in wildlife and fishery management, not every member holds such qualifications and interest.

The Current Selection Process

It's time for our governor, president pro-tem, and house speaker to take their appointment responsibility seriously. Stop using the NCWRC as a checkbook to fulfill political debts. Our elected politicians should never send us anyone who isn't a real hunter and/or fishermen, doesn't cut and clear their own shooting lanes, doesn't erect their own tree stands, and doesn't plan his or her own hunts and take off vacation days to do it. They especially need to make sure that every person appointed values and shares the long-held hunting and fishing traditions of North Carolina.

Proposed Changes To Selecting NCWRC Members

As an additional improvement to the process, just imagine if North Carolina's hunters and fishermen were allowed select the NCWRC members. Such a change could certainly broaden and improve the effectiveness of the commission and remove any questions about why unelected people sit on a commission governing us.