Many Alaskans experience wildlife every day. Alaskans eat wild game, watch birds, hunt and fish, and may encounter porcupines, moose, and even bears on the way to work or school. Wildlife is one reason why people live in Alaska, and a big reason why visitors come to Alaska. The people at the Division of Wildlife Conservation are charged with managing Alaska’s wildlife.
The Division of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) is one of seven divisions in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). DWC has management responsibility for all wildlife except marine mammals.
DWC employs about 230 permanent staff, 175 full-time and 55 seasonal. A rough breakdown of staffing includes about 5 percent in leadership or managerial positions, 20 percent in administrative positions, 48 percent are biologists, 15 percent are wildlife technicians, about 10 percent are involved in biometrics and planning, and 2 percent are involved in education, outreach, and publications. Personnel are located at the headquarters office in Juneau, in five regional offices in Douglas, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Palmer and Nome, and twenty-two area offices around the state.
The state is divided into 26 Game Management Units (GMUs) (many containing three to five sub-units) for the purpose of management and regulations. Twenty-three area biologists oversee the GMUs.
In fiscal year 2012, the division’s budget is about $43 million, with funding coming primarily from the State’s Fish and Game Fund (revenue from the sale of licenses and game tags, about 22 percent), the federal Pittman–Robertson program (about 38 percent), the state’s General Fund (about 17 percent), and some grants and special projects funding.