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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

14 former Idaho Fish & Game commissioners send letter to legislative leaders, pressing for new Senate resources chair

Fourteen former Idaho Fish & Game commissioners sent a letter today to Idaho legislative leaders from both houses and both parties, asking that Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, be replaced as chairman of the Senate Resources Committee. The former commissioners say a dispute over reappointment of commissioners, “efforts to change the method of allocating controlled hunt permits,” differences over handling of a fee increase proposal and related issues prompted their request.

“We, as former Fish and Game commissioners, feel strongly and are dedicated to the 1938 Citizen’s Initiative Policy Statement as codified in Title 36 to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage all wildlife declared the property of the state of Idaho and the Commission’s role to Administer such policy,” the letter says. “It is within this spirit we respectfully request Senator Bair be replaced as Chairman of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee. Because of Senator Bair’s influence as Chairman and his demonstrated bias, we do not feel he can maintain the objectivity to fairly provide oversight of the Fish and Game Department and manage the Commissioner confirmation process.  We fear if the chemistry of the Committee is not changed, this issue will not heal or repair itself; the problem-solving process envisioned in Citizen’s Initiative #1 will remain elusive.”

The letter adds, “We trust the Leadership of the Idaho Legislature does not condone Senator Bair’s tactics.  The most onerous of these tactics include participating in changing the makeup of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, mandating auction tags to achieve the goals of one individual and insisting on a quid pro quo before supporting a much-needed fee increase for the Department, despite the collective opinion of the 400,000 license buyers of Idaho.”

You can read the full letter here. It was signed by former commissioners Alex Irby, Fred Trevey, Gary Power, Keith Carlson, Keith Stonebraker, Kenny Anderson, Mark Doerr, Nancy Hadley, Pete Thompson, Richard Meiers, Tony McDermott, Wayne Wright, Will Godfrey and Will Naillon.

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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