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What is WHEP? 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference February 3, 2007 Renee Strnad NC State University – Extension Forestry Environmental Educator

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Presentation on theme: "What is WHEP? 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference February 3, 2007 Renee Strnad NC State University – Extension Forestry Environmental Educator"— Presentation transcript:

1 What is WHEP? 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference February 3, 2007 Renee Strnad NC State University – Extension Forestry Environmental Educator

2 What is WHEP? W ildlife H abitat E valuation P rogram

3 WHEP is… ….. a 4-H youth natural resource program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to junior and senior level (ages 9-19) youth in the United States

4 WHEP Goals & Objectives Teaches youth, ages 9-19, about wildlife and the management of wildlife habitats Exposes youth to possible careers in natural resource fields Expands their knowledge about wildlife and habitats in their area

5 WHEP Goals & Objectives Fosters relationships with professional biologists and others in the community Knowledge carries into their adult lives when WHEP participants begin voting and entering the workforce

6 WHEP Goals & Objectives Creators state the program develops life skills including oral/written communication, decision making, and strengthening team skills

7 WHEP History A national program that began in Tennessee as wildlife judging Program expanded to other Southeastern states Mississippi held first regional contest

8 WHEP History 1989 – First national event held in West Virginia 1990 – Wildlife Judging becomes WHEP and national contest moved to different regions 1995 – National WHEP comes to Brunswick County in North Carolina

9 WHEP History 1996 – WHEP earns the national Wildlife Societys Conservation Education Award 1996 – Survey results: 712 wildlife management practices impacting 13,000 acres

10 WHEP History Currently estimated that 10,000 4-H youth involved nationwide Nationally Sponsored by: US Fish & Wildlife Service International Paper National Rifle Association Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

11 North Carolina WHEP Brought to NC by Dr. Ed Jones (still serves on national WHEP committee) 2003 – Sponsorship and support from the Uwharrie, Sandhills, and state chapters of Quail Unlimited (annual basis) Awards, travel to national contest 2006 – Grant from 4-H Development Fund

12 North Carolina WHEP Coaches not expected to be experts on wildlife management Guide contains the information you need to know Seek assistance in your community

13 North Carolina WHEP Environmental Education Centers State Parks

14 North Carolina WHEP Division of Forest Resources Wildlife Resources Commission

15 North Carolina WHEP Two age groups: 9-13 and Junior Teams: ages 9-13 Senior Teams: ages14-19 Age on December 31 of preceding year

16 North Carolina WHEP Teams consist of 3-4 members Counties can also put forth individual competitors if not enough 4-Hers to create a team Counties may enter as many JR and SR teams as they have participants

17 North Carolina WHEP Goal – To have JR teams continue to the SR level Greater knowledge of material More competitive at state and national level Encourage non-members who are interested in wildlife/fisheries management to join 4-H

18 North Carolina WHEP Advantageous to put forth a four member team Lowest score for each activity is dropped – team score for activity is the average of top three scores for the activity But three member teams are alright!

19 North Carolina WHEP State program begins to grow in – 3 counties, 12 youth 2001 – 4 counties, 20 youth 2002 – 4 counties, 29 youth 2003 – 7 counties, 42 youth 2004 – 8 counties, 53 youth 2005 – 6 counties, 45 youth* 2006 – 10 counties, 55 youth * Two counties (14 youth) canceled the day before the contest

20 North Carolina State Contest State Contest, usually in April 2007 contest April 28, am – 4:30pm Howell Woods Johnston County

21 North Carolina State Contest Contest Day 9am - Registration begins Fun non-competitive activities for participants like mist-netting and banding songbirds, other demos 10am - Contest begins Noon – Lunch 2pm – Contest ends

22 North Carolina State Contest Contest Day continued… 2pm – 4pm Volunteers assist in grading activities Youth participate in hands-on activities like hiking, fishing, aquatic investigations, or structured wildlife programs 4:30pm Awards Ceremony

23 NC State Contest Activities Four Activities Identification of wildlife foods and what animals eat the foods Evaluation of wildlife habitat from aerial photos

24 NC State Contest Activities Four Activities continued… Identification of North Carolina wildlife species On-site habitat management recommendations/practices

25 NC State Contest Activities Again, teams work together to learn information Activities completed individually Team score = average of individual scores

26 NC State Contest Activities Awards Top three JR and SR teams receive awards Top three individual JR and SR scores receive awards All 4-Hers receive participation ribbons Top SR team has the opportunity to represent NC at the national contest

27 NC State Contest Activities Study Aids NC WHEP Learning and Activity Guide Supplemental CD-ROM

28 National Contest Activities Teams work individually on most events Come together for: Creating and writing management plans, Urban and Rural Oral reasoning required for aerial photo activity

29 WHEP – In closing While the competition is important, it is not the sole focus of the program. The kids are exposed to field trips and fun activities. WHEP events help participants develop critical thinking skills and they learn how to work as a team. The kids are given real world situations and work together to provide solutions to natural resource problems that managers face. - Summer Eaton, National WHEP co-chair and former WHEP national champion

30 So ……… Lets Begin!!!


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