Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
|Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission|
|Common name||Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission|
Patch of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
|Formed||July 1, 1999|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of Florida, United States|
|Governing body||Florida Legislature|
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of the State of Florida|
|Law enforcement officers||722 (2004)|
|Agency executive||Richard A. Corbett, Chairman|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is a Florida government agency founded in 1999 and headquartered in Tallahassee. It manages and regulates the state's fish and wildlife resources, and enforces related laws. Officers are managers, researchers, support personnel, and perform law enforcement in the course of their duties.
In 1998 an amendment to the Florida Constitution approved the establishment of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) with a headquarters in Tallahassee, the state capital on July 1, 1999. It resulted from a merger between three former offices, namely the Marine Fisheries Commission, Division of Marine Resources, the former Florida Marine Patrol (FMP) and Division of Law Enforcement of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and all of the employees and Commissioners of the former Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (FGFWC).
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) since then serves as the environmental regulatory agency for the state, enforcing environmental legislation regarding air and water quality, for example.
In 2004, the Florida Legislature approved to integrate parts of the Division of Wildlife, Division of Freshwater Fisheries, and the Florida Marine Research Institute to create the 'Fish and Wildlife Research Institute' (FWRI) in St. Petersburg, Florida. It has over 600 employees.
As of 2013, the FWC had six divisions:
- Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
- Division of Hunting and Game Management
- Division of Habitat and Species Conservation
- Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management
- Division of Marine Fisheries Management, oversees the State's artificial reef program.
- Division of Law Enforcement
The FWC has the following 11 offices for administrative purposes:
- Office of the Executive Director
- Office of Information Technology
- Office of Community Relations
- Office of Public Access and Wildlife Viewing Services
- Office of Policy and Accountability
- Office of Finance and Budget
- Office of Human Resources
- Office of the Inspector General
- Office of Licensing and Permitting
- Legal Office
- Legislative Affairs Office
The Florida Constitution authorizes the Commission to enact rules and regulations regarding the state's fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people. To do this, the seven Governor of Florida-appointed Commissioners meet five times each year to hear staff reports, consider rule proposals, and conduct other business. Because stakeholder involvement is a crucial part of the process, the Commission meets in different locations across the state giving citizens the opportunity to address the Commission about issues under consideration.
The seven commissioners of the FWC are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Florida legislature for five-year terms. Typically, commissioners come from different geographical areas of the state in order to ensure that the FWC adequately protects the entire state of Florida, but it is not unusual to have multiple commissioners from the same city or region. Their constitutional duty is to exercise the "...regulatory and executive powers of the state with respect to wild animal life and fresh water aquatic life and shall also exercise regulatory and executive powers of the state with respect to marine life, except that all license fees and penalties for violating regulations shall be as provided by law." The Commissioners as of 2015[update] are:
|Member||Current Term||Began Original Appointment||Term Expires|
|Adrien "Bo" Rivard||March 8, 2013||March 8, 2013||January 6, 2018|
|Ronald M. Bergeron||March 8, 2013||August 6, 2007||August 1, 2017|
|Richard A. Corbett||March 8, 2013||February 8, 2003||August 1, 2017 (Chairman)|
|Brian S. Yablonski||January 6, 2009||January 6, 2004||January 5, 2014 (Vice Chairman)|
|Charles W. Roberts III||September 1, 2011||September 1, 2011||September 1, 2011|
|Aliese P. "Liesa" Priddy||January 6, 2012||January 6, 2012||January 6, 2017|
In 2012, the FWC adopted a plan on how the Florida Black Bear should be managed over the next 10 years. It created 'Bear Management Units' based on seven geographically distinct bear subpopulations. In June 2015, the FWC approved "a limited bear hunt to take place beginning October 24, 2015 in four of the seven Bear Management Units".
- Andrews Wildlife Management Area
- Apalachee Wildlife Management Area
- Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Aucilla Wildlife Management Area
- Bell Ridge Longleaf Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Big Bend Wildlife Management Area
- Box-R Wildlife Management Area
- Branan Field Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Caravelle Ranch Wildlife Management Area
- Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area
- Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area
- Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area
- Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area
- Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Fort White Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Fred C. Babcock/ Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area
- Guana River Wildlife Management Area
- Half Moon Wildlife Management Area
- Hickey's Creek Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Hilochee Wildlife Management Area
- Holey Land Wildlife Management Area
- J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area
- Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area
- John C. and Mariana Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area
- L. Kirk Edwards Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Lake Wales Ridge Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Little Gator Creek Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area
- Perry Oldenburg Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area
- Salt Lake Wildlife Management Area
- Spirit-of-the-Wild Wildlife Management Area
- Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Suwannee Ridge Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Tenoroc Fish Management Area
- Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area
- Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area
- Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area
- Watermelon Pond Wildlife and Environmental Area
- List of law enforcement agencies in Florida
- Florida state forests
- Florida state parks
- Florida water management districts
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (September 2014). "Overview - Fast Facts". State of Florida. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (n.d.). "Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, History". State of Florida. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Horn, W; Maher, T; Dodrill, J (2000). "Fish census data from scientific divers of the Florida Artificial Reef Program". In: Hallock and French (eds). Diving for Science...2000. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Scientific Diving Symposium, American Academy of Underwater Sciences. St Pete Beach, Florida. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (n.d.). "AboutThe Commission". State of Florida. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (n.d.). "About: The Commissioners". State of Florida. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Florida black bear". Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. n.d. Retrieved 29 October 2015.