Contact: John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager
On August 7, House Bill 597 passed its third reading in the Senate on a 30-2 vote. Sponsored by North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Michael Wray and Representative Larry Yarborough and Caucus member Representative Jay Adams, HB 597 would make a number of changes to license fees and licensing requirements.
Projected to raise significant revenue for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC), the legislation was supported by the North Carolina sportsmen’s community as the WRC is largely funded by licenses sales through the “user-pays, public-benefits” structure known as the American System of Conservation Funding.
Specific changes include:
The legislation would also allow trappers to tag their traps with the trapper identification number provided by the WRC in lieu of using their name and address.
“I was honored to carry the WRC omnibus bill. This legislation will provide additional financial stability to the WRC so it can continue to manage our public trust resources and provide quality hunting and angling opportunities to North Carolinians at a fair cost in line with other Southern states,” Rep. Adams.
In 2018, North Carolina’s sportsmen and women generated more $56 million for conservation funding.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?