AGFC celebrates 100 years of conservation

AGFC celebrates 100 years of conservation

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is celebrating 100 years of conservation on March 11 this year and to celebrate they have released a special video.

The video focuses on the organization's success in conservation over the past 100 years helping to form "The Natural State."

The movie shows why the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission was formed in the early 1900s to regulate hunting after many species of animals saw large declines in the state.

Shaun Merrell at Crowley's Ridge Nature Center said that there are a lot of big things that have happened in the past 100 years in the way of conservation, but the comeback of the black bear stands out in particular.

"Our black bear population in the state, right now it ranges somewhere around 5,000 black bear and really it's recognized as one of the most successful restoration projects as far as large carnivore projects go in history," Merrell said.

Merrell says the organization has taken steps in the past to help species return and conserve those species.

While over-hunted species was the main issue for the formation of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Merrell said hunting is now one of the most important tools they have, and they plan to continue to move forward in the direction they are going with it.

"So with deer and waterfowl and turkey and everything else we just keep moving forward like we're going," Merrell said.

Merrell said that with all of this hard work done through the past 100 years the organization has earned its nickname "The Natural State."

"From the bottom land hardwood timber that you can get up here in Northeast Arkansas, down around Stuttgart and in the Delta, down over to the Ouachita Mountains in the Ozarks, it's just that we have such a diversified state when it comes to topography and wildlife species within those topography," Merrell said. "I mean where else do you need to go but Arkansas?"

Merrell said that on March 14 they will be celebrating the 100 years of conservation at the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center with several events.

You can find out more about those events here.

The organization has also released a special history book and a cookbook in honor of the 100 years.

To watch the AGFC's movie "A Century of Conservation" just click here.

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