Working together helps Florida's resources
As I See It
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Media contact: Rodney Barreto
It takes a broad range of expertise for the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to manage Florida's
valuable natural resources.
One critical member of our FWC team is the Division
of Law Enforcement: an integral part of the agency and vital to
fulfilling its responsibilities. FWC officers rely upon their
unique capabilities, training and equipment to protect resources,
manage boating and waterways and promote public safety.
But one of the FWC's most effective conservation
tools is actually you - the public.
To keep Florida a healthy, beautiful place in which
to work and play, the FWC depends on its relationships with
stakeholders, including boaters, hunters, anglers, birdwatchers,
hikers and more.
When stakeholders attend Commission meetings and
communicate with the Commissioners and employees, the information
they provide helps keep our conservation efforts on the right
There are also other ways you can help the FWC
protect the state we love. In addition to being a good steward of
Florida's resources, you can report those who are not. While FWC
officers direct their patrol efforts to appropriate areas,
depending on the time of year, specific recreational and commercial
seasons and special events, they also rely on the public to report
If you witness a boating accident or hunting or
fishing law violation, or if you spot injured endangered wildlife,
please call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922)
or go online to MyFWC.com and click on the "Reward" logo at the
bottom of the page.
When FWC officers receive a tip through the
Wildlife Alert Hotline, they can plan their actions to be more
efficient. Sometimes they immediately investigate a certain
location. Other times, they might conduct a long-term or covert
operation to target intentional violators.
FWC officers recently made a case in a rural area
northeast of Gainesville after a citizen reported poaching on
Raiford State Prison property. The FWC officers, partnering with
local law enforcement agencies, identified and detained two
suspects in the area, then tracked the suspects' path onto prison
property and a closed area of Raiford Wildlife Management Area. The
team found two rifles there and apprehended a third man.
After questioning the subjects and discovering
other evidence, they arrested the three suspects for introduction
of a firearm onto prison property, attempting to take deer out of
season and hunting in a closed area. All this resulted from an
alert citizen's tip to our Wildlife Alert Hotline.
From the last quarter of 2009 through the first
quarter of 2010, the FWC received 1,038 tips from the public via
phone and Internet. One hundred eleven of those tips resulted in
arrests or citations, earning cash rewards for the people who made
Bottom line: When we work together to stay safe
outdoors and manage Florida's fish and wildlife resources, we all
Again, to report a violation, call 888-404-FWCC
(3922). You can also keep up with the FWC and view a law
enforcement "Case of the Week" at Facebook.com/MyFWC.