Focus Group Sessions Scheduled
August 29, 2014
Tom MacKenzie, USFWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded a contract to conduct a review of the Eastern North Carolina non-essential, experimental red wolf population to the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI), of Cabot, Virginia. Founded in 1911, WMI is a private, non-profit, scientific and educational organization, dedicated to the conservation, enhancement, and professional management of North America's wildlife and other natural resources.
The evaluation will be completed in 60 days by October 10, 2014. Under the Service’s contract, it will be peer reviewed and then used to help the Service determine the program’s future. That determination is expected to be finalized in early 2015. The evaluation will cover three primary areas: scientific, management, and public attitudes.
“Program evaluations are a normal practice to ensure optimal effectiveness and have been conducted in other recovery programs, such as the Mexican wolf recovery program,” said Leopoldo Miranda, Assistant Regional Director of Ecological Services in the Service’s Southeast Region. “Once we receive the final evaluation, we will review it and make a decision to continue, modify, or terminate the red wolf recovery program non-essential, experimental population in North Carolina.”
"The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission fully supports this evaluation to ensure the red wolf recovery program is based on sound-science and is managed in full alignment with the Red Wolf Recovery Plan,” said Gordon Myers, Executive Director, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
“We are committed to assisting the Service any way we can throughout this process.”
"We are interested in the public’s perspectives regarding red wolves, and red wolf recovery efforts in Eastern North Carolina," Miranda added. “As part of the human dimensions portion of the evaluation, the Service also asked WMI to conduct two public focus group sessions.”
WMI will host the first in Swan Quarter, North Carolina, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 10, in the Mattamuskeet High School Cafeteria located at 20392 U.S. Highway 264. The second will be held in Columbia, North Carolina, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 11, in the Columbia High School’s Auditorium at 902 East Main Street
Interested individuals may submit comments, concerns, or information regarding the Eastern North Carolina non-essential, experimental red wolf population and the program evaluation to the following e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. WMI also is conducting a brief voluntary online survey that does not request any personally identifiable information. Interested individuals may submit input to either, or both. To access the survey visit the following link: http://jgassett.polldaddy.com/s/red-wolf-restoration-recovery-program.
Any comments should be submitted no later than September 12, 2014. This will allow WMI time to review the comments and ensure relevant information can be considered during the review. Comments received after that date will not be considered in the program evaluation.