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Series of public hearings start at BCC

Staff report

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RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will conduct nine public hearings in January on proposed changes to the state’s wildlife management, game lands and fishing regulations for the 2014-15 seasons.

The first of the seven public hearings will be held at Bladen Community College on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Each of the public hearings begins at 7 p.m. The Wildlife Resources Commission also has scheduled a staff presentation 30 minutes before each hearing to discuss statewide black bear management objectives. The 6:30 p.m. presentation and discussion will give background information about rule proposals that further objectives in the North Carolina Black Bear Management Plan, 2012-2022. The plan assists the Wildlife Commission in managing bear hunting to maintain healthy bear populations consistent with habitat where bears occur, and balancing the consideration of stakeholders.

Other hunting proposals make changes to the Western Archery Deer Season, and adjust regulations for black powder firearms and crossbows.

Of interest to anglers is a statewide proposed regulation that encourages private landowners to allow public angler access to inland fishing waters through their property under an agreement with the Commission. The proposal provides landowners the ability to prescribe allowable activities on their property. Each area will be clearly marked with signs identifying activities allowed.

Another statewide proposed fishing regulation will provide anglers the option to label trotlines, set hooks and jug hooks with their names and addresses or with their WRC customer numbers. Allowing anglers to use their WRC customer numbers will help protect privacy by limiting the personal information required on the labels.

The “Public Hearings Applying to 2014-2015 Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Seasons” booklet, which provides a detailed list of all 42 proposed regulations, along with a comment form, is available online.

Meetings to discuss the six bear proposals begin at 6:30 p.m. Public hearings begin at 7 p.m.

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