The Idaho Senate has voted against confirming Joan Hurlock to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. Citing that “there’s a fear of some environmentalism here. The sportsmen are worried” Senator Monty Pearce voted against her confirmation along with 18 other senators in a vote that was 19 to 16.

Hurlock is the daughter of a California game warden. She moved to Idaho and runs a fitness center in Buhl. She got her first Idaho hunting license in 2002 and hunting and fishing license most years since. In the 75 years of the Fish and Game Commission, she is only the second nominee to be been blocked by the State Senate.

Her confirmation to the IDFG commission was opposed by some hunting groups on the grounds that she wasn’t enough of an avid hunter and fisher.

Hurlock had her supporters too. Senator Bert Brackett, public lands rancher in southern Idaho, complained that “many want to hold Joan Hurlock to a higher standard or to a different standard. If we want to do that, we should change the statute. A lot of this has been driven by a vocal minority who did not get their guy appointed.”

Idaho senators reject female F&G commissioner.
Spokesman Review

Senate rejects Hurlock confirmation with close vote.
Magic Valley Times News

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Western Watershed Project’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Coordinator, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is also serves as a member of the board of directors for Buffalo Field Campaign and as a member of the Sierra Club Grazing Core Team.

35 Responses to Unsurprisingly, the Idaho Senate rejects Hurlock confirmation to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission

  1. avatar JB says:

    Ken:

    Are any of these Senator’s comments on the record? This is a great (though unfortunate) example of how hunting/ranching interests rule wildlife in the West. When a right-of-center, wolf-hater can’t get confirmed to the commission because she might have environmental leanings, how are conservationists supposed to take claims that “IDF&G manages wildlife for all citizens” legitimately? Mark Gamblin?

  2. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Oh, and there is this, of course, from http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/idaho_senate_rejects_fish_and.html

    “She also said Siddoway, a rancher, and other opponents turned against her because she told them Idaho was obligated to follow federal law when managing wolves, rather than adopting a more ideological approach. Idaho now has more than 700 of the predators, and some would prefer the state more aggressively slash their numbers, to protect livestock and elk.

    “They want to hear the answer that we should be able to kill wolves, all the time and in any way,” Hurlock said. “I would hope you would want a commissioner who is going to comply with the law.””

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      Wow. I really won’t be too surprised if wolves make it back onto the Endangered Species Act list if they keep heading down this path. These people are just intolerable wing nuts.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        The worst of it is that incontrovertible proof that only 100 wolves exist may be necessary before that can happen. This heavy handed wolf killing spree is a national tragedy and disgrace. comments like that make me feel hopeless

        • avatar jon says:

          Tomorrow in Montana, there is a bill that is going to be heard that would allow COUNTY COMMISSIONERS to decide wildlife management issues. If this bill does pass and signed by the governor, there is a chance that wolves in Montana might be put back on the endangered species list.

      • avatar Cris Waller says:

        Yeah, there was also this quote from the same article- “Siddoway worried she might side with non-game animals over game species, on issues pitting the two against each other.”

        • avatar jon says:

          Are game species more important than non game animals? What was the point you think Siddoway was trying to make? I do find it very strange how the people who opposed Hurlock’s nomination accused her of not being qualified. As it was posted yesterday by Jay and myself, most of the Idaho fish and game commissioners on the commission now are not anymore qualified than Hurlock is.

    • avatar Gail says:

      OMG….this is stunning. They are so in-your-face anti-wildlife.

  3. avatar Craig says:

    Wow that is great! We do not need anymore left wing nuts from California here! They can take the failed ways of there State and shove it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • avatar Craig says:

        Oh so now I’m a Troll since I don’t agree with your views! Nice left wing nut tactic, just call people names that don’t agree with you. Do you really think Idaho needs anymore Califorication? We have enough just go to Sun Valley and take a look.

        • avatar The Wilderness Guy says:

          You must have never stepped foot in California. It has the most protected land outside of Alaska, and many spots are very wild. I’d say a lot more wild than the current state of Idaho, that seems more and more “harvested” and backwards as time goes on. Sun Valley is not a horrible place. People actually have a respect for wildlife, unlike most of the rest of the state. It’s the only glowing bright spot in that state.

        • avatar jon says:

          Joan Hurlock is not a left winger Craig. If anything, she’s a right winger like you. She supported Rex Rammell’s campaign when Rex ran against Otter for governor in 2010. I somehow doubt a left winger would support Rex Rammell in any way, shape, or form.

  4. avatar Larry Keeney says:

    An author like Brad Meltzer couldn’t make up this Idaho stuff. To be qualified you must hate predators and love cows and elk in that order. It is a death sentence to be associated with the “E”-word. Along with codifying which right wing nut book to read in order to graduate from high school next they will outlaw the “E”-word be spoken within the borders of Idaho.

    • avatar jon says:

      And you have to be a man. The republican’s war on women is very real.

      • avatar Dude, the bagman says:

        You’re right that there’s probably sexism at work here. But it cuts both ways. From the Spokesman article:

        “Among the five female senators, only Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, voted against the nomination. Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, told the Senate it’s time to “bring 50 percent of Idaho citizens – women – into the mix” and bring a “new perspective” to the Fish and Game Commission.”

        But I’m guessing the more important issue was when Hurlock says things like this (in the Oregonian):

        “She also said Siddoway, a rancher, and other opponents turned against her because she told them Idaho was obligated to follow federal law when managing wolves, rather than adopting a more ideological approach. . . “They want to hear the answer that we should be able to kill wolves, all the time and in any way,” Hurlock said. “I would hope you would want a commissioner who is going to comply with the law.”

        I think they want a commissioner who will try to subvert the ESA as much as possible. I think if they got a more rabidly anti-wolf (pun intended) candidate, they’d confirm regardless of sex. Despite the right’s undeniable legacy of sexism and racism, it sometimes manages to elect women and minorities to office when they’re ideologically pure enough.

        More from the Spokesman article:

        “Sen. Monty Pearce . . . said . . . “There’s a fear of some environmentalism involved here. … The sportsmen are worried. … We represent the people and that’s who I’m getting the word from.”

        And as Craig said above:

        “Wow that is great! We do not need anymore left wing nuts from California here! They can take the failed ways of there State and shove it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

        So there’s that. A woman from California who argues for supporting the federal ESA over local control is going to create suspicion among many Idaho hunters. For all of those reasons. Like Ken said, “unsurprising.”

        • avatar Craig says:

          I have no problem with it being a Woman, my wife is the smartest buisness woman and financial person ever! I have a problem with someone coming from Califorina and putting there views on Idahos values! They are very far apart!

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          So she was doomed when she suggested the commission should obey the law!

      • avatar Craig says:

        If you had a clue to anything going on out here(in the west) that would be relevant you might make sense. But you don’t, so shut up! Jon, you are so misinformed and read into the nut job media your posts are laughable at best!

      • avatar john says:

        what a load of crap!!

        • avatar john says:

          as a follow up to jon’s comment on women, not dude the bagman. come up with a blanket political statement that is of your own, not just the pary line cool aid statement, so damn tiresome!

  5. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    How did we get into this problem where full blown extremists hold a Majority of offices in a state?

    The answer is our nomination system — closed primary elections with the nominee for a party being the one with the most votes — a plurality rule for winning. A plurality is not the same as a Majority. In deep red and in deep blue states the winner of the majority party’s nomination is as good as elected. The general election is a foregone conclusion.

    Now if there is an extremist plurality of voters in the generally low turnout primary election for the majority party, they chose an extremist who then sails into office in the general election that fall.

    That is the way it is in Idaho, Utah, and many red (and blue) states. This might seem an odd conclusion, but if we are to save America from these extremists, we must abolish our present kind of primary elections and go to something like a non-partisan primary election.

    Sadly when I taught about the critical role played by primary elections most students eyes glazed over.

    Sent by Kindle Fire from on the road.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      In Wyoming, the six members of the Game and Fish Commission are political appointees from the Governor , confirmed by state Senate.

      Back in the late 1990’s, the chairman of said Commission was Guv Jim Geringer’s good buddy from Cheyenne. He owned a cement plant.

      It takes a Wyoming context for Idaho to look better than it deserves.

      Neither deserve our faint praise , for reasons plainly stated above.

  6. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    As a woman, I find this resurrection of the ‘war on women’ to be tiresome and disingenuous. Of course there’s some merit to it – but for example, women’s reproductive rights were decided decades ago, and yet now they are threatened. How did we let the ultra-conservatives get to this point where women’s rights are threatened? Whose fault is it? The voters, both men and especially women. If you take your rights for granted and don’t safeguard them, you run the risk of losing them. So this ‘war on women’ is a bit of a smokescreen in my opinion to disguise what a disappointing job the Democrats are doing. American Dream? A 1950s concept that is gone forever, because there are not enough resources and too many people – those who came before us didn’t care and took a lot for themselves, and we don’t seem to care about those in our future and want to take what’s left – it’s human nature, I suppose. Our concept of the American Dream and what success means is going to have to change.

    After what I consider the debacle to maintain Democratic control of the senate with Jon Tester, I have changed my voting affiliation to ‘Independent’, and will never support the Democratic party ever again. Ever.

  7. avatar jon says:

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/02/12/2448470/legislators-to-otter-this-lady.html#disqus_thread

    “Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, warned Hurlock’s foes they risk losing broad public support as hunting culture wanes in an urbanizing Idaho.”

  8. avatar Dan says:

    This is disturbing…As a fourth generation Northern Idahoan on both sides of my family, a father of three girls and an avid hunter and fisher it’s disheartening to think the Senate wants nothing less than a male fanatic for the commission. So much for new ideas and fresh perspectives…..

  9. avatar Lynn Anderson says:

    Very few of the comments express any objection to the reason Hurlock was rejected: Siddoway voted against her and encouraged others to vote against her, because she admitted she supports obeying the law. Preferring criminals in positions of authority is as self-evident a recipe for self-destruction, as there could possibly be.

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