November 2, 1997

New Boss For Idaho Wildlife Bureau

From Wire Reports

Steve Huffaker, chief of fisheries in Idaho for the past eight years, took over as Wildlife Bureau chief when Tom Reinecker retired earlier this fall.

Huffaker studied fisheries and wildlife biology at Iowa State University before working 14 years through five promotions for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He left a regional supervisor’s position to satisfy a long-term goal of working in the West when he joined the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in 1984. He became Fisheries Bureau chief in 1989.

“I have greatly enjoyed that position and feel the fisheries team has accomplished a great deal in enhancing the health and diversity of Idaho’s fish, in providing a diversity of angling opportunity, and in giving the Idaho angler an active role in how the resource is managed,” Huffaker said. “I have always felt that change is good, for individuals and organizations. I’ve been here for eight years and have accomplished most of what I set out to do.

“Idaho has a great fisheries resource and a great staff to manage it. We are facing some real challenges in wildlife management.”

Some of the issues Huffaker sees facing Idaho wildlife and citizens include:

How hunters can make effective input into game management and regulation-setting processes.

How to ensure the future of hunting.

How to deal with predatory species.

What to do about large-scale habitat changes.

Decide whether the non-hunting public deserves a voice in wildlife management.

How to make the department work effectively with private landowners and key industries.

How the state can restore declining species.

How to be more credible with elected officials.

“I think hunting and wildlife have a bright future in Idaho,” Huffaker said, “and I look forward to being part of that future.”

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