The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the North Carolina Alligator Task Force are holding six public forums to present a draft of the state’s proposed alligator plan and receive input on the plan.
The management plan was developed by the North Carolina Alligator Task Force, which was established in 2016. It provides biological information on alligators, identifies knowledge gaps and additional needed research, identifies areas of alligator overpopulation and recommends strategies to address alligator management issues.
Among the proposals in the plan is to create an alligator hunting season that would be restricted to the southeast coast. Alligator hunting has not been allowed in the state since 1973 and a proposal to allow it was struck down by the commission two years ago. Since then, additional research on the state’s alligator population prompted the agency to consider a limited hunting season.
“Hunting provides a legal means for a person to reduce a public trust wildlife resource to lawful possession for personal benefit,” the plan states. “Hunting removes a surplus of animals and does not violate the public trust by destroying the wildlife population.”
Each sentence of the plan is numbered to simplify the public comment process. People interested in commenting can attend a meeting or comment online or by mail.
Comments must be made by June 25.
Meetings will be held the following dates and locations. All meetings begin at 7 p.m.
- June 5: Pender County
Hampstead Annex Auditorium
15060 U.S. 17
- June 13: Bladen County
Bladen Community College, Parker Building 17, Room 113
7418 N.C. 41 west
- June 14: Brunswick County
Brunswick County Complex
Co-op Extension Training Room, Building N
25 Referendum Drive NE
- June 15: Onslow County
Sturgeon City Environmental Education Center
50 Court St.
- June 20: Craven County
Craven Community College, Orringer Auditorium
800 College Court
- June 21: Beaufort County
Goose Creek State Park, Visitor Center
2190 Camp Leach Rd.