The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will host a public hearing regarding the use of the Pond Mountain and Three Top Mountain game lands from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Ashe Arts Center.
“We are revising our game land management plans and are seeking input for using the game lands,” said Jodie Owen, spokesperson for the Commission.
The Wildlife Commission is looking for people who use the game lands to give suggestions to guide activities on the lands over the next decade. For people who don’t use the lands or are unfamiliar with them, the meeting will also be an introduction to what the game lands are used for.
“We want to get everybody familiarized with the two tracks of land,” said Gordon Warburton, the mountain ecoregion supervisor of the Wildlife Commission. “If we have enough folks, we’ll break into groups and provide opportunities for people to give their input.”
Several of these meetings have taken place across the state. In the mountain region, there were meetings for the Sandy Mush game land in Buncombe and Madison counties and the Green River game land in Henderson and Polk Counties.
An additional meeting will focus on the Needmore game land in Macon and Swain counties on Feb. 20 in Franklin.
“The meetings have gone really well,” Warburton said. “It gives us a chance to interact with the people who use the game lands and familiarize people with the tracks. A lot of people are familiar with state parks and national parks, but the meetings give folks an opportunity to find out what we do with our lands.”
The game lands are purchased by the state and are used for several purposes including: hunting, bird watching and hiking.
“These are public places purchased with public money,” Warburton said. “We like to see what the public would like to do with it.”
Pond Mountain Game Land is 2,272 acres, while Three Top Mountain Game Land is 2,891. Species on these game lands include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, squirrels, rabbits and ruffed grouse.
If conditions are bad, the meeting will be rescheduled for Feb. 24. If the meeting is canceled, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will post the notice on ncwildlife.org/
“We encourage folks to come out,” Warburton said. “We like to meet people and have them know what we do.”
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty