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Eye On Boise

Senate debate: ‘There’s more to it’

Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said much attention has been focused on a gap between 2002 and later in the 2000s when F&G commissioner nominee Joan Hurlock didn’t have hunting and fishing licenses, though she held them from 1999 to 2002. During that time, Stennett said, her husband died, leaving her with two young children; she was hospitalized for meningitis during hunting season; her second husband had back surgery and then contracted West Nile virus; and she had foot surgery that temporarily confined her to a wheelchair. “Life throws us curveballs and our normal routines get interrupted,” Stennett said, “and we all have those experiences.”

Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said, “I’m a co-founder of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, and I am very disappointed in how they have handled this appointment.” But, he said, “The reality is sportsmen are split, and we’re selecting someone for sportsmen, not for us. We’re selecting someone to represent sportsmen. My vote is not against Ms. Hurlock, y vote is to start this process again and get someone that can bring sportsmen together.”

Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, said, “I know a fella that has a real passion for hunting and fishing, and I wouldn’t want him on the Fish & Game Commission under any circumstances. His passion for hunting is such that he’s received a lifetime ban, because his passion leads him to violate court orders telling him not to hunt. That’s not the basis on which we select commissioners.” Instead, Rice, suggested, the standard should be the appointee’s passion for protecting hunting and fishing rights for everyone. “There’s more to it than just whether the person likes to hunt or fish.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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