Public forums and open houses are being held by the Arizona Game and Fish Department so constituents can provide their input on hunt recommendations, learn about the process, and see the recommended package before it is set by the commission in April.

A local public forum is being held this Thursday, March 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Tucson regional office, 555 N. Greasewood Road.

"If you have ever wondered, why did the department recommend an increase or decrease in harvest in your favorite unit, these public forums offer that level of explanation," said Brian Wakeling, chief of game management. "You will get to hear from a representative who has the knowledge from the survey data, hunter surveys, as well as the on-the-ground reports from wildlife managers.

"This improved hunt recommendation process allows us more flexibility in hearing from our constituents and making modifications, if they are warranted, before presenting the package to the commission."

The final draft of the hunt recommendations will be made available for public review through six regional open houses prior to being presented to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. No formal presentation will be made.

The local open house is Wednesday, April 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Tucson regional office, 555 N. Greasewood.

The department makes recommendations to the commission regarding the management of game species for the annual hunting and trapping regulations, which establish the seasons, dates, bag limits, open areas, and hunt permit-tag allocations based on the framework of the hunt guidelines set by the commission every two years, a release said.

Final proposed recommendations are presented to the commission for consideration during its April 16-17 meeting in Phoenix.

Information is also available at the Game and Fish Department's Web site beginning Saturday, April 3. The site is www.azgfd.gov/huntguidelines.

The Game and Fish Department operates on revenue-driven "user pay, user benefit" business model and relies on non-tax dollars – it receives no tax money from the state's general fund. To learn more, visit www.azgfd.gov/heritagefund.

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