NRA launches Community Engagement Division

The National Rifle Association, in Fairfax, Virginia, is launching the Community Engagement Division to renew its commitment to NRA members, affiliated clubs and organizations, and the shooting community. The new division will provide NRA members, youth and others with educational resources and programing such as Eddie Eagle GunSafe, Refuse To Be A Victim, Women’s Wilderness Escape, Youth Hunter Education Challenge, Hunters for the Hungry, online hunter education and the Range Technical Team. “These programs, coupled with NRA School Schield and our outstanding civilian and law enforcement instructors, provides a wide range of opportunities to those who want to gain experience and train,” said Joseph DeBergalis Jr., executive director of operations, in a news release. To learn more about NRA’s programs and opportunities, visit https://explore.nra.org.

Registry allows deer hunters to connect with landowners

INDIANAPOLIS — Deer hunters seeking private property in Indiana to hunt on can connect with landowners, golf courses, parks, land trusts, farmers and communities interested in letting them do so. The Deer Hunter Registry system is being administered by the DNR’s Fish & Wildlife division. Signing onto the registry, however, does not guarantee additional hunting opportunities or placement in a managed hunt.

Louisiana asks public help with invasive Asian swamp eels

BATON ROUGE, La. — An invasive species of swamp eel has been found in New Orleans, and a state biologist says it’s the first time this species has been found in the United States. Investigators don’t know whether the Asian swamp eels were released accidentally or on purpose in Bayou St. John, said Robert Bourgeois, aquatic nuisance species coordinator for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. They might have been released from an aquarium or for food, he said. They eat the same things native animals and fish do — fish, frogs, shrimp, crawfish, and other aquatic invertebrates, such as worms and insects — but their effect on native species is not known, Bourgeois said. Other species of Asian swamp eels have been found over the years in New Jersey, Hawaii, Georgia and Florida. The brown, gold-speckled eels don’t have fins, while native eels do, he said. They can grow up to 2½ feet long. The department is checking nearby water bodies to see whether the eels have spread. “Currently we have not found them anywhere outside the bayou,” Bourgeois said.

Maine to use herbicide to eradicate invasive plant from lake

WINTHROP, Maine — Maine environmental regulators are planning to use a herbicide on a portion of a large lake in the central part of the state that is popular with fishermen and boaters. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection says it’s holding a public meeting on July 10 about the treatment of part of Cobbosseecontee Lake. The DEP says the goal of the herbicide treatment is to get rid of Eurasian watermilfoil, an aquatic invasive plant, in the lake. The DEP says the aquatic herbicide would be used on a four-acre area of the 5,516-acre lake. The treatment would take one day and would result in a handful of safety advisories.

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