|Governor Inslee has appointed two new individuals to the Fish and Wildlife Commission that will drastically change the makeup of the Commission and jeopardize hunters and hunting in the future.|
Lorna Smith, the executive director of Western Wildlife Outreach (formerly the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project) and Fred Koontz, a retired zoo professional, have both been appointed to take the spots left vacant at the end of 2020.
Koontz has indicated in past interviews he is in favor of Endangered Species Act protections for grey wolves, a species that was just delisted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service after meeting federal recovery goals.
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|According to Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 77.04.040, the “governor shall seek to maintain a balance reflecting all aspects of fish and wildlife, including representation recommended by organized groups representing sportfishers, commercial fishers, hunters, private landowners, and environmentalist”.|
Governor Inslee made these appointments without any consultation from the general hunting community and the two appointments will represent a shift in the Commission to members with ties to radical environmental and anti-hunting organizations that will de-prioritize stakeholder engagement from the hunting and fishing communities.
Contact members of the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee and urge them to adhere to RCW 77.04.040 and recommend they NOT vote to confirm these two new appointments to the Commission.