Alabama DCNR to Reduce Districts to Save Money
In a move expected to save $650,000 annually, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFFD) will restructure and reduce the number of districts statewide.
Under the restructuring plan, which will take effect March 1, 2010, the Prattville District Office will be closed and the counties currently in District IV will be absorbed by the remaining five districts. The attrition of supervisory-level positions in District IV will account for a significant portion of the cost savings.
The cost-cutting measure is a proactive approach to address the effects of the economic downturn on WFFD, which is self-supporting through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and corresponding federal funds.
"As stewards of the license-buying hunters' and anglers' money, we have a strong sense of responsibility to be as cost-effective as possible," said Corky Pugh, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Director. "The Division is financially sound but we are not immune to the economy. The Division is dealing with this in a proactive manner in order to avoid a crisis in the future.
"The Prattville office is less than 11 miles from the central office in Montgomery and we will strive to make this transition as seamless as possible for our customers," Pugh said.
The present number of field-level conservation enforcement officers and biologists should not be affected by the change.
"The service to the public will be the same," said Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley said. "People should not be able to tell any difference. The personnel that had been in Prattville will not be far away and can respond to any situation or need that arises. We need to conserve our money whenever possible, and I'm very proud of Corky Pugh and his Section Chiefs for taking the initiative to make these changes."
The Prattville District Office will be closed at the end of February. Details on new points of contact will be released in February.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com.