Outdoor Briefs

FWC OKs new alligator harvest opportunity

At its February meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved rule changes to establish a special-use alligator harvest opportunity to take effect for the 2024 alligator harvest season.

The new opportunity will complement the existing statewide alligator hunt and create a flexible alternative that allows permittees to hunt at multiple alligator management units during a longer season than the statewide hunt.

This opportunity is similar to other special-opportunity hunts the FWC implements in that applicants pay for each application and can apply as many times during the application period as desired to increase their chances of being drawn. The 2024 application period will run from May 3 to June 3.

The number of permittees will be established annually and will be selected through a random drawing process. Up to two alligators may be harvested per permit and selected permittees will be allowed to hunt at any legally accessible alligator management unit from Aug. 15 to Dec. 31.

“This option will give our stakeholders an exciting new opportunity to hunt at multiple alligator management units throughout the state,” said FWC Vice Chairman Steven Hudson. “I hope the commission will continue to expand statewide alligator hunting opportunities.”

FWC law enforcement achieves highest accreditation level

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement was awarded the Excelsior Status, the most prestigious achievement in Florida accreditation, by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation at their February 2024 conference. 

Excelsior Recognition is reserved for criminal justice agencies that have received accreditation five consecutive times over 15 years. 

The FWC Division of Law Enforcement has been an accredited law enforcement agency since receiving its initial certification in February 2009 and is the largest conservation law enforcement agency in the nation to achieve accredited status. To achieve this status, the FWC must prove compliance, uniformity and consistency with CFA accreditation standards, which reflect best practices regarding life, health and safety issues, and essential law enforcement requirements. Accreditation helps ensure accountability and transparency that enhances confidence and trust in law enforcement among the communities they serve. 

“It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement,” said Col. Brian Smith, director of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement. “The guidance and leadership from our accreditation team combined with the hard work and dedication of our officers and staff is what led to this great accomplishment and is to be commended.” 

Accreditation is a voluntary independent review process that demonstrates the agency’s commitment to complying with CFA’s 240 accreditation standards. The Division of Law Enforcement received its most recent re-accreditation status after findings revealed no instances of noncompliance or issues requiring corrective action. 

Reaccreditation status is valid for three years.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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