In 1987, the state legislature passed an endangered species law, which required the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to form an advisory committee tasked with overseeing operations of the new nongame and endangered species program. The Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee (NWAC) comprises a board of North Carolina citizens that provides advice to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) on nongame wildlife conservation issues across the state. Members meet four times a year, usually at the NCWRC's headquarters in Raleigh. Members of the NWAC serve without compensation.
The expertise and guidance from outside the NCWRC provides beneficial insights and ideas to evaluate threats scientifically and suggest regulations and statutes vital to the conservation of our natural resources. Committee members have taken a leading role in providing the information needed to protect turtles in our state from overexploitation. They also have exhibited exemplary courage in supporting the conservation of six venomous snake species, helping ensure that these often-maligned reptiles remain a part of our natural heritage.
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Thomas L. Quay Award
Per G.S. 113-335, the Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee (NWAC or Committee) is to be “composed of knowledgeable and representative citizens of North Carolina whose responsibility shall be to advise the Commission on matters related to conservation of nongame wildlife species in the state”. Additionally, the powers and duties of the NWAC are listed in G.S. 113-336. The NWAC was established through resolution by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC or Commission) on July 14, 1986. This resolution was revised and reaffirmed in 2014 by vote of the Habitat, Nongame and Endangered Species Commission Committee (HNGES). WRC’s resolution enumerates several functions of the NWAC.
The NWAC has no rule-making authority but is regularly requested to provide input and recommendations to the WRC regarding the conservation of nongame wildlife species and their habitats. Authority for enacting rules regarding protected animals or other matters rests with the WRC, pursuant to provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act (G.S. 150B). Furthermore, the NWAC promotes collaboration between WRC and the academic community.