The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will be undergoing a new change this summer. Starting July 1, the agency will be renamed the Department of Wildlife Resources.

The change is due to a bill introduced into the Virginia legislature earlier this year. The department will have a name similar to other state agencies across the country and include “wildlife” in the name.

VDGIF Sgt. Tim Dooley said he is in favor of the name change as it will help make his job more clear for people to understand.

“Having served as a conservation police officer for the past 12 years, I have encountered numerous constituents who were generally confused as to the role and responsibilities of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries,” Dooley said. “Changing our name to the Department of Wildlife Resources will hopefully alleviate some of the confusion and help us to better serve the public.”

According to Dooley, “wildlife” is a more recognizable term for people than “game” to understand the work the department does. “Many today are not familiar with the terminology of ‘game’ animals; moreover, as time has gone on, the department’s mission and the wildlife management responsibilities extend far beyond game species,” he said.

The name change will have no impact on how conservation officers do their jobs, Dooley said. The biggest difference will be the new name on uniforms, vehicles, buildings and materials.

Officers will wear uniforms with the new name starting July 1, Dooley said. Other changes, such as the name on boats and other vehicles will be phased in over time. This will help keep costs down by making the changes over a longer period of time instead of all at once, Dooley added.