By Ronnie Weston| July 31, 2013 at 7:15 PM CDT - Updated July 21 at 6:06 AM
LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) - When the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission collects fines from game law convictions, the money goes back to the county where it was collected. The money is used to fund educational programs focused on fish, wildlife and conservation in the counties where the offenses occurred.
During fiscal year 2013, more than $632,000 was collected in fines. The highest amount of fine money went to Baxter County with just over $24,000. The next highest amount went to Benton County with more than $21,000 in fines.
Each county's quorum court allocates all fine money to their school districts and conservation districts. The AGFC and the Arkansas Department of Education do not have a role in determining which programs are funded. School and conservation district officials must contact their local quorum court with requests for fine revenue and suggestions concerning the best method of distributing funding.
Fine money may be used only for AGFC programs. The Arkansas Department of Education and the AGFC have established school programs for fish and wildlife conservation and for other purposes consistent with the AGFC's mission.
The following AGFC programs meet the criteria for funding:
• Arkansas Has It All Workshops and Professional Development for teachers.
• Arkansas Stream Team Program
• Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program
• Boating Education
• Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs
• Hunter Education
• On Target For Life-Archery P.E. Program (additional matching money is available through AGFC)
• School Yard Habitats Site Development
• Underwater Arkansas
• Watchable Wildlife
• WILD Workshops
• Wings Over Arkansas
• 4-H Responsible Environmental Stewardship Quest (RES-Q). For more information, contact Joel Gill at C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center, 501-821-6884.
• Specialized AGFC conservation education or educator training workshops focused on the programs above (a partnership with county conservation districts). Contact Pat Knighten at AGFC, 870-917-2085.
Funds also may be used by educators to take students on field trips to AGFC nature centers and conservation education centers.