Letters From the West

Otter gets recommendations for Fish and Game Commission

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission sets fish and wildlife policy.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission sets fish and wildlife policy.

Two panels have sent Gov. Butch Otter their recommendations to fill two vacancies n the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

The panels sent Otter three choices each to fill the seats of outgoing Commissioner Tony McDermott of Sagle and Joan Hurlock, of Buhl who was rejected by the Idaho Senate after a smear campaign by men who said she didn’t hunt enough.

Otter will make his choice, “as soon as humanly possible,” said his press secretary Jon Hanian.

Hurlock met all of the requirements of the office but was chosen over other men members of the powerful regional group, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, preferred. Ironically, she is a member of the panel that screened applicants because she is officially the outgoing member.

She served with former commissioner Wayne Wright, Dan Deagle, of Twin Falls, who is past president the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mark Bell, of the Idaho Sportsman’s Caucus Advisory Council, Dustin Miller, Office of Species Conservation administrator and Bonnie Butler, an aide to Otter.

The applicants interviewed included Scott Allan state chairman of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, from Twin Falls, Bill Baker, a former Bureau of Land Management manager and consultant, from Jerome, Greg Cameron a farmer and avid archer from Rupert, Steven Christiansen a business ethic adjunct professor at Boise State University from Twin Falls, Micah Austin, of Hailey who is community development director for the City of Hailey, Ben Collins, a retired BLM staffer from Buhl, Mark Doerr of Kimberly, owner of Precision Aviation in Twin Falls, John Howard, a marketing manager and long-time manager of the hunting department at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Twin Falls, Julian Nicholson, a doctor in Twin Falls active in sportsman’s groups, Dan Plantz, a Twin Falls attorney and David Shepherd, a Twin Falls teacher.

McDermott, Bell, Miller and Butler are on the Panhandle panel with former commissioner Nancy Hadley and Tom Anderson, a local sportsman.

They interviewed Couer d’Alene banker David Bobbitt, Lumber company owner Bradley Corkill, of Cataldo, Bud Lang, a former teacher from Sagle, Lloyd Calderwood, A consultant from Hayden Lake, Catherine Malison of Clark Fork a retired horticulture and ag science teacher, Ronald Polley, a director of the Idaho Fish and Wildlife foundation, Andrew Scott of Blanchard, a biologist who works with utilities, Terry Smith, a former Forest Service law enforcement officer from Pinehurst, Arthur Webb, a former log truck driver, Richard White of Hayden a manager at the Kootenai Medical Center and Sandy Podsaid of Kingston an outfitter.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West