To the Editor:
According to David Whitmire’s recent letters sent to the media in WNC, two pending bills for 2013-14 could have a damaging effect on bear and deer management in Western North Carolina. Whitmire, a hunter from Lake Toxaway and program chairman for the N.C. Bow Hunters Association District 9, states: “Although some changes have good points, by loosening the established management on permit and non-permit depredation we could easily witness over harvest and questionable moral and ethical techniques.” He goes on to say, “It is the responsibility of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to manage depredation harvest of deer and bear in a controlled managed process that will be acceptable to the majority of N.C. citizens.”
To many of us, including Whitmire, it is clear that H-19 and H-20 as written could have a major impact on wildlife and undermine the efforts of overworked law enforcement officers, judges and courts who manage and prosecute unlawful practices such as poaching, out of season hunting and spotlighting. These very important areas of wildlife management need to be strengthened, not made more difficult. (Full details of H-19 and H-20 can be read by going to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission home page. Go to 2013-14 proposed regulations and click on public hearing booklet. Scroll down to page 19 to find H-19 and H-20)
Wildlife in North Carolina belong to all of us, not just a few. Those who value wildlife in WNC, including hunters and wildlife advocates, need to express our concerns and stand up for what is best for our wildlife. Both the NCWRC and our N.C. legislators will hopefully recognize that H-19 and H-20 are unacceptable.
Director of Mountain Wildlife Days