Takedown of Hurlock makes Idaho State Senate look awful-

We don’t know if she should be commissioner or not, but Rocky Barker’s story on the aftermath details of her defeated nomination casts an unpleasant light on Senate and Commission. These people manage our wildlife and write Idaho’s laws!

Hurlock said senators told lies, half truths to bring her down. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

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.

20 Responses to Remarkably unpleasant story of failed ID Fish Game Commission nominee continues

  1. JB says:

    This is a great demonstration of the lack of critical thought and accountability in legislatures when there is no viable second party. In this case reasoned dialogue over what should have been a no-brainer nomination is abandoned entirely in favor of paranoid group-think that attempts to exclude all outsiders.

    This makes the Government of Idaho look backwards, outdated and misogynistic. Moreover, it proves the point I was trying to make with Mark Gamblin earlier about the lack of diversity on the F&G commission. Clearly, diversity in any form is intolerable in the Idaho F&G commission. I mean, just imagine if (God forbid) an environmentalist was appointed to a position where they might exert some control over Idaho’s wildlife….[sarc]?

  2. timz says:

    the fact she gave money to Rammell is somewhat disturbing.

  3. Kristi says:

    Tim’s, that is very disturbing, contributing to Rex Rammell’s campaign, wow! It will be very interesting to see what happens next. My hope is that Idaho is running out of those currently in the state legislature and wildlife commission. Oh wait, never mind. I sure have sympathy for my Idaho friends.

  4. Ralph Maughan says:

    Republicans are, of course, the heavily dominant party in Idaho. However, together Democrats and independents have over 50%. Despite this fact they have no influence in Idaho politics. This is a growing and very severe blot on representative government in both deep blue and bright red states. As JB indicated, one party government makes for bad policymaking as well as no representation. The only state elections that matter are decided in the primary election of the majority party.

    In the presidential election of 2012, the only votes that mattered came from the 8-9 “battleground” states. We need to change our election systems in America. Overall the elections appear very closely divided, but this hides a huge absence of competition.

    • BobMc says:

      This book explained a lot to me: http://ballotbandits.wordpress.com/

    • louise wagenknecht says:

      While it’s true that Democrats and Independents outnumber Republicans in Idaho, most of the Independents among them in fact vote for Republicans, since the Democrats are going to take away their guns, spend their tax money on public schools, and drop wolves on them from black helicopters.

  5. Craig says:

    “This is a great demonstration of the lack of critical thought and accountability in legislatures when there is no viable second party. In this case reasoned dialogue over what should have been a no-brainer nomination is abandoned entirely in favor of paranoid group-think that attempts to exclude all outsiders”.

    That sounds just like how our Gov’t works! Ralph, you are right, we need popular vote not electoral! But our whole Gov’t system is so screwed and set to provide for those in it’s system, how or who could change it now? It’s pathetic and very disturbing where we are going as a country.

  6. Ralph Maughan says:


    It is going to require a mass movement of some kind. Fortunately these recurring fiscal cliffs, sequestration, government shutdowns and the like are the kind of thing that can generate mass movements. Mass movements are also very dangerous, for example, the tea party made things worse in the opinion of many.

    • JB says:

      There are some that think climate change will be this type of catalyst for the South. Despite what the wing nuts at Fox will tell you, it isn’t going away and we’re likely to have more Katrina-type events in the future. If southerners blame Republicans for political inaction, we might finally see Lyndon Johnson’s curse lifted, and some deep red states turned purple.

      Of course, this isn’t just a problem at the national level; in fact, I think the lack of a reasonable alternative is more problematic to state governments. Here in Ohio, which was arguably the MOST competitive state in the recent presidential race, our state government is completely dominated by Rs.

      • WM says:


        ++…our state government is completely dominated by Rs.++

        That must make working at a state land grant university rather…interesting.

        • JB says:

          Actually, both Ds are Rs are supportive of our institution. My hypotheses is that this is related entirely to residents’ fanaticism with OSU football. 🙂

    • WM says:


      I have been taking a quick mental tally of a number of issues where states have decided to go their own “direction,” meaning choosing to defy the federal government by enacting legislation in contravention of federal law. WA and CO recently enacted laws making recreational use of marijuana legal; WA enacted a gay marriage law; ID, MT, WY (and ND) are giving fits over wolves; AZ and a couple southern states have challenged federal inaction over illegal immigration; states and even counties are flexing their muscles in the face of what is likely to be highly contentious enactment of federal firearms regulation; it is likely more sh__ will eventually hit the fan over national health care; and a bunch of other stuff mainly attibuted to Tea Party types.

      Is it just my perception, or over the last 40 years(since the civil rights movement) has there ever been greater unrest and dissatisfaction with the federal government manifested in this way – states bristling and defying?

    • Craig says:

      Well the system was set up for controversial issues as it should be. But IdF&G is going to side with hunting and fishing groups who pays the bills. It’s very hard to bring someone in who isn’t a ……..huge sportsman or woman.
      I have no problem with a women be in the postion. But I think you have the good ole’ boys club that says screw that!

      You have so many people that have moved here that want to change our culture, it’s amazing.

      For instance, when I went to Junior high and high school I had a RIFLE,SHOTGUN,PISTOL in my truck. Because I went hunting after school with my friends. I never brandished a firearms towards anybody or even thought about it. But when people from Cali ect come in it makes people scared of change! Simple as that. So change scares people,and Idaho is a State that values it’s roots. I don’t know if that makes sense to most, but us backwood rednecks it does!

  7. Greetings Wolf advocates,

    Today, I have left messages for both Rocky Barker/208-377-6484 (about whether he knows about the 07-16-12 IFG admin. reg. sanctioning the use of intentionally killed wolves as bait to kill more wolves) and whether he’s willing to opine about the dismal backgrounds (e.g.,, complete absence of knowledge/understanding of the “best available science”) of the current IFG Commissioners. Still waiting.

    I have also left a general message for Jon Richael/ 208-334-2920 (Carnivore mint. specialist for Idaho) politely asking him to return my call. Still waiting.

    Before I speak with Richael, does anyone know how IFG will know AHEAD OF TIME when the shooting/trapping kill numbers are approaching the “magic” 150 (or is it 152?) base recovery target (also known as the “minimum so-called viable population”)given that there is undoubtedly illegal poaching along with 66,000 tags sold???

  8. Dear Wolf Advocates/ addendum:

    How are Jon Richael and IFG’s Regional Supervisors keeping tabs on “meta-population genetic connectivity” given the enormous number of tags sold, illegal poaching, and decentralized kill-orders by Wildlife Services??

    caveat: I actually am extremely pessimistic that tabs are being kept, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!

    • WM says:


      It is my understanding per ID wolf hunting regulations a successful ID wolf hunter must report a kill in 72 hours and present physical evidence, including skull/hide for examination by a IDFG official within 10 days, and the official takes DNA material (a molar), along with other query information.

      Nothwithstanding your baseless assertion about “decentralized process,” it would not be a surprise to learn there is a centralized data base of accumulated information from all these hunter harvest reports, containing lots of geographical data (where the wolf was taken/when etc.), DNA, as WS control action information, and various monitoring/collaring activities, that could spit out multiple maps, tables, diagrams and narrative with considerable detail (including genetic) on it.

      I also think there is a scientist by the name of Ausband gathering DNA through snag hair samples in some locations in ID and MT. Then there are the genetic MOU’s with FWS, which are available on their website that lay out certain obligations to share information, etc. And, while I don’t know what is currently going on, there must still be some collaring and other sampling going forward to meet the FWS five year monitoring obligation.

      Ever look at the annual wolf reports that ID has put out for the last 12 years or so? The latest, the 2011 report was published in March 2012. Presumably this will continue, with a 2012 report out in March 2013.

      ID and Mt will never get close to the 150 minimum, and as a supposedly enlightened lawyer, you should know that. Quit stirring the pot.

      Your pessimism is exceeded only by your condescending tone about people doing their jobs (about which I suspect you don’t know jack). By the way, you spelled Rachael incorrectly.

  9. Ken Fischman, Ph.D. says:

    “Remarkably unpleasant” is an apt description for this story. My question is was Hurlock rejected because she was not sufficiently crazy for the crazies or because she was too crazy for the crazies?

    There is a little bit of everything in here. Hurlock contributed to the gubernatorial campaign of a certifiably pathological wolf hater. She was also a victim of a misogynistic senator, who suggested to her that she qualified for the “nursing board.”

    A man testified against her because she decided to withdraw her deceased son’s name from a committee he ran.

    It is hard to believe that people like these actually control the Idaho state government. As Shakespeare said, “A pox on both your houses.”

  10. Eric T says:

    I really think this event shows the political clout that SFW has garnered in a few short years. They want things done a certain way. For example, they want to control the auction for Governor tags, taking a cut of course. Past boards have been cold to the idea. SFW had one of “their” guys on the list for this appointment, he didn’t make it, they started their attack.

  11. JEFF E says:

    what happens in a one party state like Idaho is that in each successive election one has to “be” more rabid than the previous officeholder in order to have “credentials”

    What we now have in Idaho is a shit stain on on the governance of the state.

    There is no democracy in the state of Idaho.


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