Like a bad 1980s horror flick, the usual cast of anti-hunting characters have suddenly appeared in Washington state once again, this time waving a legal petition asking the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to undertake rulemaking to amend multiple rules related to black bear and mountain lion hunting in the state.
Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the United States, Washington Wildlife First, Mountain Lion Foundation and several other multimillion-dollar anti-hunting organizations filed the petition with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife asking to reduce black bear and mountain lion harvest, as well as shorten season dates.
“Given how many members of the commission have openly parroted the ideology of these extreme anti-hunting organizations in public meetings, we’d be shocked if the commission didn’t continue to walk in lockstep and change the rules at their request,” said Brian Lynn, a Washington resident and Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president of communications. “That’s just the situation in Washington now. The animal-rights movement is pushing for everything they want while they have a commission that will do their bidding and protection from the governor and attorney general’s office. The only recourse for hunters now is through legal action.”
The Sportsmen’s Alliance filed suit against Commissioner Lorna Smith in March of this year based on the prohibition of RCW 77.04.040 against fish and wildlife commissioners holding an additional elected or appointed office while serving. The statute is straightforward, and at trial the judge agreed and entered an order that required Smith to clear up the violation by resigning her post with the Jefferson County Planning Commission.
However, the Sportsmen’s Alliance was recently notified by the Washington Attorney General’s Office that it will appeal the lower court ruling that Commissioner Smith was violating state statute by holding an incompatible appointed office while serving as a fish and wildlife commissioner. The AG’s office is seeking review of the judicial order by the Washington Supreme Court.
“Unfortunately for Washington citizens, the state continues to uneccessarily spend taxpayer money appealing a clear court ruling that they even agreed to settle, just to protect extreme partisan commissioners and their ideology,” said Lynn. “Cancelling the spring bear season was just the start of their incremental destruction of predator hunting and wildlife management.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.