The N.C. Senate on Tuesday passed a state farm bill that includes measures that would move regulation of captive deer from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to the state Department of Agriculture.
The farm bill contains changes wanted by breeders seeking to expand the farming of captive cervids and opposed by wildlife and conservation groups. The cervid family includes various deer species and elk.
The 44-2 vote on second reading was a setback for opponents. Among their concerns is that importation of captive white-tailed deer could bring chronic wasting disease, known as CWD, into the state whitetail population. The progressive disease has been found in states including Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
“The N.C. Wildlife Federation is very disappointed in the actions of the N.C. Senate and the wildlife commission,” said NCWF Camouflage Coalition coordinator Richard Hamilton, a former commission director. “We plan to continue our opposition in the House.”
An amendment adopted Monday would allow the two agencies to reach a “memorandum of agreement” to give the commission some enforcement capability in the event of illegal importation of cervids.
Senate Bill 513 now goes to the House. Follow at www.ncleg.net.
Wildlife meeting: The wildlife commission will consider adoption of a revised chronic wasting disease plan when it meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 21, at its 1751 Varsity Drive headquarters in Raleigh. Audio will be at www.ncwildlife.org under the Public Notices tab.
Fisheries meeting: The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, which is considering options for managing the southern flounder fishery, will meet at 9 a.m. May 21 and 8:30 a.m. May 22 at the Doubletree by Hilton Riverfront in New Bern. Public comment continues at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 21. Listen online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/listen-online.
Tournament: Anyone looking for a boat, a crew or an angler for the 57th Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament June 5-13 out of Morehead City can check www.thebigrock.com under the “Participants” tab to find a match.
How-to: Families can learn about outdoor activities this weekend at Bass Pro Shops, 801 Bass Pro Lane in Cary. On Saturday, May 23, kayaking is the topic at 11 a.m., and “Local Trails and Treasures” at 2 p.m. will cover family outings. On Sunday, May 24, learn about campfire cooking at 11 a.m., kids and camping at 2 and Dutch oven cooking 1-4 p.m. Call 919-677-5100, or go to www.basspro.com.
Women: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman program will hold a fly-fishing workshop June 13 in Fayetteville. The fee is $20. Contact BB Gillen at 919-218-3638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polo benefit: The Triangle Charity Polo Classic, benefiting Transitions Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center, takes place June 7 at MacNair’s Country Acres, 4321 Tryon Road in Raleigh. Advance tickets cost $15. Call 919-215-9540, or visit www.trianglecharitypoloclassic.com.
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