Idaho Senate Resources committee votes not to confirm Gov. Otter’s nomination of Joan Hurlock-

Although once  a woman sat on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, Nancy Hadley of Sandpoint 1997 to 2005, that was then. In the last few years Idaho has retreated culturally by perhaps a generation.

Governor “Butch” Otter recently nominated Joan Hurlock to be the second woman ever to sit on the Commission, but she might not make it.

She 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, only one nominee has been blocked by the State Senate.

Her vociferous opponents such as vocal Jack Oyler of Filer, one of the first anti-wolf activists and also a board member of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, have led the charge that she is not enough of a hunter, not “avid” enough.  Oyler says, “This is not a woman thing with me. It’s qualifications.”

Before she moved to Idaho, Hurlock was a forensic chemist in the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). She worked in their  explosives and arson unit. She was also once part of the U.S. Capitol Police.

Opponents other than Oyler also  maintain their opposition is not because she is a woman. However, they give few to no specifics. Mostly it is because they say she is not “an avid” hunter, something which is apparently now an absolute requirement for the commission. Judging from the legislature, “avid” probably means hates all carnivores and has an acceptably narrow interest in the kinds of wildlife that are important — deer, elk, moose.  And it might also be because she is a woman, not born in Idaho, and worked for the hated BATF, who many say wants to confiscate Idahoan’s guns. 

The Lewiston Tribune writes, “When someone says ‘This is not a woman thing,’ it usually is.” See, If this is not ‘a woman thing,’ what else is it?  Marty Trillhaase. February 4, 2013 Lewiston Tribune. 

The Idaho Legislature has become a place where women are a suspect class. Women need to be inspected by vaginal probes to make sure they are properly pregnant and remain that way, not out there setting wildlife policy.  The Lewiston Tribune writes: “Pick your flavor of misogyny [in the legislature]: Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, attempting to impose a vaginal probe on women before they can obtain an abortion. Former Rep. Carlos Bilbao, R-Emmett, trying to undermine their contraceptive health care insurance coverage. Or Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Coeur d’Alene, equating abortion with prostitution.”

Wednesday the Idaho Senate Resources Committee voted 5-4 not to seat her on the Commission. In Idaho, however, in an improvement over the U.S. Senate, those rejected by a committee still get a vote up or down before the entire state senate, where a plurality vote is enough to approve a nomination, not 60 votes as with the filibuster in Washington.

She still has a chance.

– – – – 

A search brings up many more articles on this nomination.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

79 Responses to A woman who wasn’t born in Idaho too radical an idea for Idaho Fish and Game Commission?

  1. Salle says:

    Thanks for the background info on her. Sounds like she’s at least a reasonably good candidate. Sounds like she’s getting the “Susan Rice treatment” even though I’m glad Susan Rice wasn’t nominated for the Cabinet seat. The priorities that were expressed by the committee seem pretty biased and stupid, really. Reminds me of some of the crap we’re getting from DC, so I wonder who’s taking lessons from whom?

    • jdubya says:

      You don’t like Susan Rice? Is it a woman thing? Or maybe too qualified? Or she just pisses McCain off too much?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        She had the Keystone XL conflict on interest, so just like if a man had that, out they go.

  2. Joseph Allen says:

    Sounds so “good ol’ boy” to me it reeks. My bet is that her IQ is much higher than the sum of the entire commission.including the double-digit governor

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Joseph Allen,

      I have no idea what her attitudes are toward wildlife, but her life story sounds like she might be a super achiever. That would not go well in a system where achievement is based on where you were born, who your daddy was, and a network of political contacts. It’s likely not just because she’s a woman, but as a woman who was not born in Idaho, she had no chance to get into the system.

  3. Richie G says:

    I hate to say this but is this not trpical for Idaho, just stay home a nd cook and clean and be nice when guest come over.Served them and smile,they want granny from the Real McCoys.

  4. Richie G says:

    opps typical

    • Rich says:

      C’mon Richie…get your facts straight. The “Real McCoy’s” never had a granny in the show. Perhaps you were thinking “Beverly Hillbillies.”

      As a casual observer of happenings on this website – my two cents is that the obvious bias demonstrated by most particpants (as seen here) often gets in the way of objectivity. A characteristic that most of the contributors to this site are all too willing to attribute to those who offer perspectives that run counter to the group think that runs rampant through the various threads on here.

      Albiet a minor issue (whether or not there was a “granny” on the Real MCCoys)- my point is that when offering a statement of fact to support your bias one should at least attempt to get their facts straight.

    • topher says:

      Where do you live? I suspect you have no idea what is typical for Idaho.

      • Kirk Robinson says:

        What’s typical for Idaho, unfortunately, is retrograde for most of the civilized world. I know, I live in Utah, where the same can be said, and both my parents are from Idaho.

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          I think the privatization of wildife has gone further in Utah because of Don Peay and similar people.

          Am I right?

          • Kirk Robinson says:

            Yes, you are right. Some colleagues and I recently met for over an hour with the newly appointed director of the Division of Wildlife Resources, Gregg Sheehan. He is a wonderful listener, very soft-spoken and plain-spoken – the kind of person you instinctively like. However, the bottom-line message was very clear: We’ll do whatever we can to make things on the ground like folks want them to be; and the folks in question are those with the money. In this case, that means, first and foremost, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. But RMEF and MDF are entirely in league with them.

            I understand the need of DWR to acquire funding, since only 8% of its funding comes from the general fund, but the result is that a relative few control how Utah wildlife is managed. This, of course, is also largely due to the governors we have had the last 25 years and also the pitiful legislature we have.

            • jon says:

              Does Utah have a wolf plan Kirk?

              • Louise Kane says:

                don’t let any in

              • Kirk Robinson says:

                Yes Jon, Utah does have a wolf management plan. It was adopted by the legislature in 2005 and was sparked by the capture of wolf 253, otherwise known as Limpy, when he was found caught in a coyote trap in Morgan County in late 2002.

                The plan will go into effect when and if gray wolves are delisted throughout the state.

                The plan will be reviewed in 2015 or when the state has two documented breeding pairs each having two surviving young of the year for two consecutive years – whichever comes first. At this point there are no known wolves in Utah (as far as I know). If someone knows of a wild wolf in Utah, they’re keeping it a secret. Of course, from time to time wolves have come into Utah from the north. Limpy may have been the first, but he was definitely not the last.

              • Louise Kane says:

                Jon, this is from the Utah Wolf Management plan, I wasn’t kidding when I said don’t let any in….

                From the Questions section:
                “How will the DWR respond if wolves are found?
                If DNA testing confirms the presence of wolves, the DWR will ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to trap and remove them, in accordance with Utah law. Wolves have only been delisted in a small portion of northern Utah (north of I-80 and east of I-84). The area where the animals were seen is outside of that delisted zone. If they prove to be wolves, they are endangered and are subject to exclusive federal jurisdiction.”

  5. Ida Lupine says:

    She 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.

    Before she moved to Idaho, Hurlock was a forensic chemist in the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). She worked in their explosives and arson unit. She was also once part of the U.S. Capitol Police.

    She sounds like a great candidate, and extremely well qualified. It sounds like an ‘outsider’ thing. I don’t think we should automatically assume it’s a ‘woman thing’. After all, Butch Otter nominated her. I think they don’t want someone who isn’t indoctrinated into their way of doing things. Maybe they’re afraid she’ll uncover some possible corrupt ways of doing things.

    • Rich says:

      Now – these are facts worthy of consideration – thank you!

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Yes, as I said in my reply to Joseph Allen above, she might be a super achiever confronting a system that is not based on that.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        I want to elaborate. Idaho has a very traditional political system. I have called it semi-feudal many times because of a system of personal relationships based on traditional occupations, some of which no longer contribute greatly to the state’s economy.

        The only real opposition to this lately has been the tea party, which has partially taken over the dominant political party, but they are hardly an insurgency of those with more talent, but perhaps even less. Instead in Idaho they bring an extreme religious element that is not favorable to women holding office. Many of these tea party people are not originally from Idaho either. They are “White refugees” from other states.

        The traditional religious conflict in Idaho has always been Mormons (mostly in Eastern Idaho) vs. the rest of the state which was not highly religious — no Bible Belt. The new right-wing Protestants have not liked the Mormons, and they have mostly settled in the suburbs of Boise and in northern Idaho.

        • jdubya says:

          Most states have a “very traditional political system”. It is why the sons always get elected to their daddy’s seats. Idaho, though, like Utah, has the dominant religion in control of the finances and politics of the state whereas most states have more diverse seats of power. There is hope for Idaho, by the way, but none for Utah.

          • Kirk Robinson says:

            I woudn’t say there is no hope for Utah, jdubya. For one thing, many towns in southern Utah have grown from without, and these newcomers are beginning to exercise political influence. Also, I attended the inaugural meeting this afternoon of a new group tentatively calling itself Mormons for Environmental Stewardship. I was there to offer ideas and encouragement. They will be announcing themselves in the coming weeks and it appears to me that they mean business. I encouraged them to include conservation in their mission – in other words to stand for a healthy natural world as well as a more human-friendly built world. I think they’ll do that. So there are signs of change in Utah.

      • Louise Kane says:

        what is her prior stance on wildlife, on canids and carnivores in particular?

        • Jay says:

          She’s no friend of wolves:

          “Questions from the committee so far have included her stance on wolves; she said she wishes they hadn’t been reintroduced, and supports managing them aggressively down to the minimum level permitted. Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, said, “I would love to be able to shoot a wolf any time, anywhere with anything. … Can I do that?”

          Hurlock responded that as a legislator, Brackett could get the law changed to allow that. “As it stands now, you can’t just hunt them by any ways, any means, any time – you have to have a hunting license and a tag. If you want to trap them you have to take the wolf trapping class. There are seasons for them. So as much as you would like, and I understand that, you can’t – unless you guys get together and rewrite the law and say you can.”

  6. jon says:

    The republicans and their war on women continues.

    • Rich says:

      Can’t resist picking on you either Jon. This is not a defense of Republicans (though that is where I lean.

      You paint a pretty broad brush with your statement regarding Republican’s/women and I suppose one could do something similar in regards to Democrats and welfare. Neither statement does anything to to advance reasonable solutions.

      Lose your hate and lead with your brain.

    • Mike says:


      I expect soon you’ll be bombarded with false equivalencies.

  7. Richie G says:

    Yes I got the show wrong but a the fact still remains that the Idaho government does not want someone who is even in the middle forget the left that would kill them. They want a hunter who will kill a preadtor in a blink of an eye. At least I am honest I want to see them saved not enilated.

  8. Richie G says:

    Dems do not want people on the welfare they want a good wage for an honest days work.

  9. mikepost says:

    All the other issues aside, do not discount the unease ID folks have with the ATF and her past affiliation with that gov agency is a red flag to many there who are scanning the skys for those black helicopters….

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      There really are drones in the skies over Idaho now, and the legislature is debating a law to legitimize them, but to also put some controls on them. I guess the “black helicopter folks” need to update their worries, and in fact now I’d agree there might be a reason to worry.

  10. topher says:

    SORRY. The last comment was a reply to richie g

  11. Louise Kane says:

    For Immediate Release, February 8, 2013

    Read this!!! The Sheriff encouraging people t break the law and hunt coyotes in this damn contest after being advised that federal lands are off limits. Unreal

    Modoc County Sheriff Goes Rogue, Vows to Defy Federal Laws During Coyote Hunt

    Hunt Continues Despite Public Opposition, Concerns over California’s Lone Wolf

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Animal Welfare Institute, Project Coyote and Center for Biological Diversity are seeking an immediate investigation of Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter for his decision to defy federal laws and advocate the violation of those laws during this weekend’s Coyote Drive 13, a coyote-killing contest in and near Modoc County.

    A letter to the editor of the Modoc County Recorder on Feb. 7 by Sheriff Poindexter said he won’t “tolerate any restriction of legal hunting on our public lands” despite federal laws prohibiting or regulating coyote hunting on federal lands in and near Modoc County. He also recommended that any hunt participant who is questioned or detained by federal enforcement officials for illegally hunting on federal lands to “cooperate but stand their ground and call the Sheriff’s Office” and that sheriff deputies “absolutely will not tolerate any infringement upon your liberties pertaining to accessing or legally hunting on your public lands.”
    “Despite claiming to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Sheriff Poindexter has decided he will not enforce and is encouraging others to flout those federal laws which he opposes,” said D.J. Schubert, wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute. “This is a blatant breach of his duty as a law enforcement officer and a violation of the Law Enforcement Code of ethics.”

    The groups have contacted the district attorney for Modoc County, the California Attorney General’s office, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California and a number of state and federal agencies advising them of Sheriff Poindexter’s comments and asking for urgent intervention.
    “These laws are on the books to protect our public lands and the wildlife that live there. Not only does this coyote hunt put OR-7 and other wolves at risk, but now it’s also shaping up to be some kind of Wild West misadventure where the sheriff is thumbing his nose at federal laws,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity.

    Poindexter’s statement comes in the wake of public outcry that generated more than 20,000 letters, emails, and petition signatures into the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Fish and Game Commission calling for an end to Coyote Drive 2013 and a top-to-bottom evaluation of the state’s approach to managing predators in California.

    “Given the serious potential for violations of state and federal laws barring predator hunting on public lands, the threat this hunt poses to OR-7 and any un-collared wolves in the area, and the public’s clear opposition to this killing contest, the state should take immediate action to call off Coyote Drive 2013 now,” said Camilla Fox, Project Coyote executive director and a wildlife consultant to the Animal Welfare Institute.

    Project Coyote promotes educated coexistence between people and coyotes by championing progressive management policies that reduce human-coyote conflict, supporting innovative scientific research, and by fostering respect for and understanding of America’s native wild “song dog.”

    The Animal Welfare Institute is dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere — in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

    You can find the Stop the Coyote Contest Hunt Petition at

    • Ida Lupine says:


      Louise, hope you are ok on the Cape – huge storm here, we’ve got 18 inches of snow so far, just got power back. Sure is pretty tho.

      • Harley says:

        18 inches! Yikes, be safe! Hope it’s starting to slow down by now!

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Thanks Harley – we still have a little ways to go with it yet – but coastal residents are getting hammered.

          • Harley says:

            Really glad my son’s base is now on the west coast instead of in Jersey! Although… the west coast has it’s own share of ‘fun’.

        • Barb Rupers says:

          I just heard from a friend in Bath Maine, it had quit there. Nearly 30 inches in Portland, Maine last time I checked.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Hi Ida,

        power just came back a few hours ago, its pretty wild. Gusts of wind with hurricane and gale force. I bundled up and took my dog and his visiting pal, along with our neighbor’s dog out. They had a ball in the snow. We will be blocked out from leaving for a week maybe. The drifts in the roads get pretty big, there are some that are probably 4 feet or so. I’m used to it. we took the path down to the beach to see the high tide. That was impressive, most of the coastal bank is washed away, the stairs are mostly gone and the bay looks like a big muddy river with giant waves. I think the bottom must have been scoured pretty well on the outgoing tide and then as it came in the current and surge brought in all the sediment. I don’t think Ive ever seen it like that. I’d post a video and image but I don’t know how to create a link. Anyone know how.

        Strange reaction by my dog. he usually barks like crazy with thunder as if someone is personally threatening me or him. Last night as the power was going out, with lights flickering back and forth he started trying to hide behind me and was whimpering. It was so odd. The wind sounded like a runaway train so maybe that was it. But I had to pull him out for the late night walk that he usually loves.

        Hope all the rest of you are not too cold with power outages. You too Ida.

    • WM says:

      ++Project Coyote promotes educated coexistence between people and coyotes++

      Maybe it works in urban areas. Modoc County in the very NE part of CA, adjoining NV, with a very low rural population, and its relationship to San Francisco/Sacramento is about the same as comparing the town of Colville (near the now deceased Wedge pack) to Seattle.

      Defying the evil federal government and the state is expected behavior. Who knows, maybe they will seek annexation to NV, which hates the federal government almost as much as ID and WY. And, OR-7 would be a descendant of a federal wolf.

      So where is Governor Jerry Brown in all of this?

  12. Robert R says:

    Idaho does not need a California ”MENTALITY” no matter how qualified she is.

    • jon says:

      Is there some rule that says you have to be born in Idaho to serve on the Idaho fish and game commission Robert?

      • Robert R says:

        jon I’m not from Idaho and Montana just got rid of a ranching for wildlife person.
        There is no rule if they are qualified but we don’t need this mind set of California in the northwest or their game laws.

        • Louise Kane says:

          By this mindset do you mean an alternative mindset that does not believe every predator should be killed to falsely inflate game populations.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        This was a comment I found in the ID Statesman: “What’s reasonable and just about making up a rule for a single appointment? If we applied your reasonable and just standard to everyone, as is
        reasonable and just, we’d have a pretty slim delegation on our hands. Goodbye, Raul! Goodbye Jim Risch! See ya later, Mike Simpson! Get outta here, Shawn Keough! Same to you, Steve Vick! Dan Schmidt, you were suspiciously liberal anyways. Steve Thayn, leave now. Monty Pearce? Worst of ’em all, a filthy Californian! Pattie Ann Lodge, go back to the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Hagedorn, you’re out! Les Bock! Take your
        communism back to the Dakotas, and take Bart Davis with you! Elliot Werk speaks pretty good English for a Canadian, but he’s gotta go anyways. Stennet, you can rideshare back to Sacramento with Pearce. Drop Tippets off in Utah on the way. Now I’m admittedly going to miss Werk, but
        frankly the rest just seems like a proper house cleaning. That’s half the senate out of commission! You wanna do the house next?”

  13. Michael Smith says:

    I find it sad that so many people here would label Idaho as third world, and the people that reside in it as backward hicks. I have lived in Idaho most of my life, and plan to live there when I retire from the service. I have hunted and fished there for years, and have a far greater intrest in how the state natural resources are managed. More so then someone who resides outside the state and makes a couple of trips to Idaho a year, with no plans on being an Idaho resident. As an Idaho resident I have to say I really dont see Mrs Hurlock as being overly qualified for the job. I dont see much in the form of a degree in wildlife science, or any real field work. For example a former Idaho State Game warden with years on the job, and a degree in Biology. I am certain that if Mrs Hurlock was applying for a position in Idaho Law Enforcement I would see her as a better fit for that job based on the qualifications she has presented. The fact is for a position of this magnatitude would require a lot of carefull screening of canidates, and should be screened for people who have a back ground in wildlife management, and biology. It is a very difficult time for anyone who works for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, with lower revenues, land owner rights, and wolf management being very hot topics. But I guess the point I would like to make is this decision is an Idaho decision, made by the people of Idaho. Just because our decisions dont agree with your personal opinions, does not make us back wards or inferrior. Its a diverse country, with a wide diversity of people and opinions. When you make comments that belittle us is that not also a form of bigotry? Seems like those that live in Glass houses should not throw stones. I think that all the people of Idaho want is for the rest of the country to respect our decisions, and our culture. To respect us in the same manner we respect your states decisions and your states culture. I have traveled all over the world, I have visited 24 different countries and have lived in 5 different countries. If there is one thing I have learned its that even though I dont agree with someones culture I still should respect it, just as they respect my own.

    • Ken Cole says:

      I’ve lived in Idaho all of my life and I think it is getting insane. The vast majority of our politicians have no critical thinking ability and have become just vicious toward those who have differing views. Idaho politicians have been busy writing laws that are just downright punitive for those who are less privileged. They are a f***ing disgrace.

      I even worked for Idaho Department of Fish and Game for 8 years and I have never seen the department so politically managed and manipulated as it has become.

      People who ridicule Idaho have every right to do so and if you find it so offensive then maybe you should move to a country where criticizing its rulers is illegal. Then you won’t have to worry about it.

      • Michael Smith says:

        On the contrary I respect ones right for free speech. I stand up for that right and defend it proudly. However I also understand the term respect and understand its a two way street. A person can express their beliefs without becoming rude or offensive towards the other party. One should not simply tell someone that civility is unnessary in the intercourse of dialogue between civil adults. I would just not like to be refered to as some backward hick, who lives in the third world simply because my beliefs differ from your own. Free speech can acomplish so much more when respect is given to the other party. I understand the people on the other side of the conversation when they say, “Idaho is part of the United States and belongs to us all.” I do understand and respect the fact that we are all part of one great nation. But our Nation was also founded by groups of peoples who left their former homeland because their culture was not respected. It seems strange to me that a group of people that feel they are so enlightened to the rest of the world, can also feel that they are also more superior then someone else. Its seems stranger still that this sence of superiority gives way to a sence of entitlement to try to paint their actions of childish comments as favorable and nessary over the childish comments of their adversaries. In some way they seem above the fact that two wrongs simply do not make a right. By all means say what ever is on your mind its your right to do so. All I am asking for is a little civility, and respect and in turn I will reciprocate the same level of respect and civility as well. I ask and not demand that I am no longer referred to as some backward thinking redneck hillbilly from some third world country, simply because my beliefs and culture differ from your own. I certanly respect your culture and thank your for your service as a conservation officer for our Great State of Idaho. I am sure your ideas on conservation are of more value and use when unsullied by belitting childish comments.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I do hate when these appointments devolve into sexism and racism when it might not be the case. I did notice that there is a ‘policing’ element to her background much more than any direct experience with wildlife – and perhaps many would take exception to that. Her father was a game warden (but she isn’t). She’s a sometime hunter and fisher, as are many. But she was nominated by Butch Otter. But since she’s so anti-wolf, if I were an Idaho resident I would take exception to that and want someone else. To get elected for office in today’s world, it seems you have to spout the anti-wolf party line at every level.

    • WM says:

      Michael Smith,

      ++The fact is for a position of this magnatitude would require a lot of carefull screening of canidates, and should be screened for people who have a back ground in wildlife management, and biology.++

      Oh, I don’t know. The Commission is a policy body with a technical staff, with the wildlife credentials, that is supposed to bring alternatives and recommendations to a group of people with intelligence, insight, and an aptitude for good policy making, and the ability to reflect the will of the people as represented by the then in power elected governor, and some legislative concurrence on the appointed member. Then there is the geographic representtion part. Ms. Turlock would represent the Magic Valley, a more populated area of the state. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to work?

      Of course, in some places there are those who just want to appoint a bunch of political cronies from the extreme fringes of the ranks of those who got them elected.

      That is why alot of good folks get passed over for policy bodies. It’s a damn shame. I don’t know much about this gal, but based on what I have read, she strikes me as being an accomplished person who might bring a slightly different perspective to the Commission – then there is the part that she is a woman, which might contibute some to representative balance of some constituency of the population. Afterall, what percentage of the population is female?

      I spend alot of time in ID, and have relatives who live in ID. I don’t think our country should be homogeneous in all of its demographics, but I do, on occasion, wonder if ID is a bit backwards, especially when you get out of the cities and out in some of the rural areas, and the dueling banjo music in the background tends to get a bit louder.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Sometimes people from cities are just as backwards and out of touch, but in different ways – a glaring difference is that many are disconnected from nature by generations, and so don’t value it. (They also aren’t very polite.) That is scarier to me for policy making. It’s about the right person for the job.

      • WM says:

        The Magic Valley holds 12% of Idaho’s population, and over a larger landscape than those regions that have the bigger cities like Pocatello or Boise. I don’t even think there are many (any?) wolves in the area she would represent. But I do know some folks down there who don’t like wolves. Would her veiws represent their interests?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          It would depend upon why they don’t like them, but majority rules. Personal predjudices don’t belong in gov’t, especially in a position like this, when your job concerns hunting and wildlife, and where objectivity is a must. I know there are those who will say human ‘use’ is all that matters. The way her response about wolves worded, it sounds like she is just telling these folks what they want to hear so that she can get the job. I don’t know her true feelings on the matter, to say that she wishes they never had been reintroduced is a bit outrageous and, dare I say, ‘backwards’ – and doesn’t ring true. But I did see that she referred to them as being ‘reintroduced’ – so at least there’s hope. I wonder why they nominated someone with such a strong background in forensics – maybe to go after poachers!

      • Michael Smith says:

        I would agree with you that the lack of education in wildlife management is disturbing. I would feel that this should be a prerequiste for a position that deals in wildlife management. I also feel that different perspectives are nessary for a well rounded body of experts, but they should share in common a background in wildlife science. I understand the stance of the pro wolf movement. After all its not a bad thing when species are brought back to their historical ranges. My concern is (sorry the conversation always seems to stray to this matter) the fact that the deal struck was not honored. The sportsmen and women of Idaho worked together with the non profit organizations in the revival of the wolf. In fact when the first cases of poaching occured the persons who commited the crime were turned in by hunters. The people on the pro wolf side have to understand that they won. Wolves will once again and allways howl in the rockies. Part of that deal was that one day down the road management would be praticed at some point when numbers agreed on were achived. Those numbers were reached, then came the lawsuits and the numbers were told they would be higher. Till eventualy the sportsmen and women who helpped in the reintroduction were told that management would not happen. The deal became one sided and the agreement was broken. So now here we are where there is this great level of distrust in the organizations that once worked side by side. It felt like we let the salesman in the door and baught their product. Only to be told that the salesman was now moving his operation into our house, using our car, eating the food from our fridge, and being told we had to move out because he was going to live there and shack up with our teenage daughter. The fact we had an agreement and it was broken has now divided the two sides so much there has grown such a huge rift that saddly two groups that have accomplished so much will never get together again to accomplish great things. What one side sees as backward redneck logic, the other side sees as distrust in organizations that promised something long ago. It makes me sad to see two sides fight so much, it gets into very heated bitter debates that seem to stoop to name calling and childish insults. Neither side wants to come to an agreement anymore because of the level of distrust. It does not matter to me if your pro wolf or anti wolf. What matters to me is the sides have become so divided into black and white the attitude of, “your either with us or against us” has only hurt the wildlife its was to protect. Both sides have lost site of the big picture. The Anti side has lost site that a species once extinct in its former range is restored. While the Pro side refuses to see that management will help preserve this species in its historic range. Even now over populations of wolves are causing problems in their progress with higher numbers giving way to greater chances of mange, parvo, and canine distemper, as well as food shortages in areas such as the Lolo zone. Smaller healthier populations are certainly better then larger starving diseased populations. In the begining the sportsmen and women made great strides in making the wolf part of our culture. But saddly now with the breaking of the orginal deal, now there is too much distrust. I know this may seem backward to you but I hope this gives you an idea into how the other side thinks with out being reduced to name calling or childish behavior. In my opinion with this rift in both sides its the wolves that will suffer.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Michael Smith,

          I don’t know if she is qualified either, but it is clear that the governor and legislature do not require a degree in wildlife management to get on the Fish and Game commission.

          Were I a legislator I probably would vote for none of the commission, and I have been an Idaho resident most of my life. My parents moved to Rexburg when I was just 2 years old. Later my father got a job coaching at Utah State University. When I became an adult I moved back to Idaho by choice and lived here since. I am really upset at how much Idaho has become like a third world country, where a few powerful people lord it over the rest of us. Hunting ethics and outdoor ethics in general have declined at great deal.

          There never was any deal made by private organizations and the state or the federal government on wolves. Idaho Fish and Game grudgingly accepted them because the governor did in 1993, but in 1994 after a the mid-term election, the legislature changed and decided to oppose the introduction and prevented Idaho Fish and Game from having anything to do with the wolves — no tracking them, no education about them, no decisions made by them. All authority was retained by the federal government or was granted to the Nez Perce Tribe. These two did all the managing for a long time. Finally, the legislature changed its mind and allowed Idaho Fish and Game to get in on the act. Idaho wrote a wolf plan, which I was deeply suspicious of, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved it.

          The wolf restoration was very successful in my mind, and things went to hell as soon as Governor Otter was elected because he immediately announced has plans to shoot the first wolf and greatly reduce their numbers. After that trust was destroyed.

          Now what groups do you think made a deal? Did any any private group have public permission to make or to enforce a deal? How could they because groups like Defenders of Wildlife have no governmental authority?

          I was here from the start. I followed the wolves from before the introduction. There was no deal because no group had authority make a deal. Federal employee Ed Bangs in working in Helena made most of the important decisions. Idaho government was in large part duplicitous from the beginning. The lawsuits by conservationists were to prevent Idaho from “going south” on their promises, but they did it anyway, just as I suspected. No wonder conservation groups are angry and will remain that way!

          Well after all, the wolf will neither harm other wildlife overall, nor will it made the Idaho backcountry a much better place. There are too many poorly managed cattle on public lands. If people really want more wildlife, they would insist that public land grazing be ended. I am most bothered by the exposure of the frightened, wimpy, backward, underbelly of many people in Idaho when it comes this carnivore. It seems like when I was 25-45 years old, people of Idaho were made of stronger stuff. Aside from some chronic seats of central Idaho backwoods 19th century thinking, Idaho folks were reasonable conservatives. They have been deliberately frightened and misinformed by people with a much broader political agenda, which itself reaches far back into the 19th century for its inspiration.

      • Louise Kane says:

        what about the comments someone here quoted on her stance on wolves, seemed pretty embedded in heavy handed over management, and someone please remind me again what exactly is managing wolves? when the states were already allowed to kill them for their crimes against cattle. Really its about wanting to kill wolves hardly a management need.

    • jon says:

      What makes the other members on the commission qualified? Randy Budge is a lawyer. What makes him qualified to be on the Idaho fish and game commission? Wayne Wright is a doctor. What makes him qualified to be on the Idaho fish and game commission michael Smith? One could argue that several of the commissioners on the Idaho fish and game commission now are not qualified to be on there.

    • Jay says:

      Michael Smith–which of these candidates fit the qualifications you mention?

      Tony McDermott: semi-retired real estate broker who has been living in Sagle since 2000. McDermott received his master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.
      McDermott served in the military for 28 years. His career included two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. Most recently he was chairman of the Military Science Department at the University of Montana in Missoula.

      Fred Trevey: Fred has been a natural resource management consultant in Lewiston since 1999. Before that, he served as supervisor of the Clearwater National Forest from 1988 to 1991, and of the Coconino National Forest from 1991 to 1998. He holds a bachelors degree in forestry and wildlife management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and 32 years of professional experience in natural resources management.

      Bob Barowsky: Bob retired in 2005 after a 35-year law enforcement career and the last 25 years as Payette County sheriff. He was also a Fruitland city councilman and leader in several civic organizations. He served as president of the Idaho Sheriffs Association in 1997.

      Randy Budge: The son of former state Sen. Reed Budge, Randy grew up on a cattle ranch near Soda Springs. He earned degrees in business finance and economics from Utah State University in 1973 and a law degree from the University of Idaho, College of Law in 1976. Budge has been practicing law in Pocatello since 1980.

      Kenny Anderson: Kenny is the founder and owner of Anderson Cabinet and Millwork

      Will Naillon: Will is a Salmon native and fifth-generation Custer County miner. He has worked for Hecla Mining Co.’s Grouse Creek Unit for 18 years – most recently as an environmental operations technician.

      Based on your comments, the only one on this list (I left off Hurlock since she’s been covered pretty well in this thread) that comes anywhere close to being qualified is Fred Trevey. Unless of course cabinetry is an important aspect of wildlife management.

      • Michael Smith says:

        Please refer to my previous comment. I do agree a lack of a background in wildlife management is distrubing. Maybe if we appointed someone with a greater background and education in wildlife management we would see things move in a positive direction for all parties.

        • jon says:

          One could argue all of the fish and game commissioners except for Fred trevey are political hacks. These people should have no right being on a WILDLIFE commission.

        • Jay says:

          I am referring to your previous comment…if you have a problem with Hurlock, then you should have a problem with the other 5 of the 7 sitting commissioners.

          I fully agree that we need to get rid of citizen commissions, or minimally, require a degree in wildlife management or biology. Having layman overriding decisions of wildlife professionals is beyond comprehension. If having experience picking up a gun and going out to shoot a deer or elk is qualification to manage wildlife, I guess that makes me an expert on agriculture and food production, because I eat food every day.

          • WM says:


            ++I fully agree that we need to get rid of citizen commissions, or minimally, require a degree in wildlife management or biology. ++

            While you are at it, why not eliminate any citizen commissions, and let the bureaucrats of a discipline run all departments at the state and federal level?

            The point of of having citizen commissions is to serve as a buffer between bureaucrats and the elected officials, often serving as a conscience of the “regulated community” and primarily the will of the executive branch which does the appointments, with concurrence of the Senate. It also PROTECTS the bureaucrats, to some extent, from the political will of their employers to some extent (a concept lost on some here).

            If bureacrats ran the world, it would be so regulated there would be few jobs to actually pay the taxes that paid the bureaucrats. I am exaggerating, of course, but you get the point.

            • Jay says:

              Sounds good to me.

              So when your doctor prescribes some treatment for you, do you go out and find someone that doesn’t have the first clue about medicine to alter or revise the prescribed treatment? That is what wildlife commissions do.

  14. Mark L says:

    You are not alone.
    Google “anything short of shooting them”
    lots of hate out there….

  15. Richie G says:

    I respest you for your comment Ralph,you know a great deal about Idaho and the history of the wolf introduction and you have your hand on the pulse of the people of Idaho.This happens many times in history,a small group of people influence the majority.Then the crazies come out buck shot wolves in the gut to make them suffer,then take pictures smiling,this is inhumane. Traps are inhumane period how did it come to this is bewildering to say the least.Thank God we have somebody like you to tell the real story.Again these people who do this are hateful probably about their own lives,so they take it out on innocent animals.Sometimes I think this was a bad idea.

  16. Alan Gregory says:

    Until state “game and fish” agencies (shouldn’t they be called “fish and wildlife” agencies?) enfranchise all the residents of their states – not just who buy fishing, hunting and trapping licenses, and thus pay the bills), this situation will not change appreciably. The Missouri model (one-eighth of each cent in sales tax dedicated to conservation) is a good model.


February 2013


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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