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WV Wildlife: DNR Regulation Meetings

WVDNR biologist, Randy Kelley, listens to a hunters concern at the regulation meeting in Milton. (WCHS/WVAH)

Rules and regulations.

That may sound like a rigid and strict phrase at first.

But our West Virginia DNR doesn't want to be seen that way; they take pride in being open-minded.

That's why recently, DNR biologists and officials met hunters and anglers from all over the state to share comments and suggestions for any possible changes that may be needed.

Gary Foster, Assistant Chief of Game Management with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, says suggestions coming from Anglers and Hunters can help them, too.

“We have an open-mind. We listen to the sportsmen and we value--we definitely value--the input that we're getting tonight. I mean, if we're hearing strongly in certain issues, maybe you need to look at this", said Foster.

Twelve of these sectional, or regulation, meetings are held across the state.

This meeting had to do with proposals in regards to big-game hunting this fall, fishing regulations for 2018 and small game seasons for 2018 and 2019.

"They're allowed to provide input. If they want to see certain regulation changes--you know, they can write them on the questionnaire, or on the flip charts we have here. And everything, all that input, is captured. And all those recommendations and comments will be compiled into a report that will go to the commission, so when they go to vote on these recommendations, you know--they can make an educated decision", said Foster.

It's the Natural Resources Commission that will ultimately give the green light on a regulation change or proposal, but the science and research, done by DNR Wildlife Biologists, first need to show that the resource--our wildlife--won't be negatively impacted.

"The biology really needs to drive decisions. You know, any time we make a recommendation, it really needs to be a biologically sound regulation proposal. So, a lot of times--the research that we're doing, whether it's deer, creel surveys or different fisheries surveys, that information is a big part of the decision-making when you're talking about season lengths, seasons, bag limits, creel limits for fish", said Foster.

The importance of the sharing of ideas between anglers, hunters and DNR officials simply can’t be overestimated.

"It gives them an opportunity to come out and meet one on one with us and talk about proposals and pick up the questionnaires and to make comments; it’s part of the process, the regulation process. We value their input", said Foster.

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