How Western State Governors Are Hired, Fired and Serve

By Mountain Pursuit

A report by Mountain Pursuit, “The Hiring, Firing, and Distribution of Western State Game & Fish Commission Members,” finds that 9 Western states give their governors the authority to remove commission members as they please.  Game & Fish Commissions in Western states are rapidly changing.  The report investigates how each state appoints, dismisses, and distributes commission members, and what qualifications are required of them.

Quick Take-Aways:

  1. In every Western state the governor appoints the wildlife commission members.
  2. With an exception of Washington and Nevada, governors can remove commission members.

There are four main ways a state ensures a commission represents the population:

  1. Quota for members with certain experience or expertise.
  2. Limits for how many members can be from the same political party on one commission.
  3. Requiring or restricting how many members can or must be from a geographic region.
  4. Distributing members based on population.
  5. Two Western states have requirements for a number non-hunting/fishing commission members.

The full report goes into detail on each point and provides excerpts of statutes from states that govern their commission in that way.  Further, details about how the changes in commissions is beginning to threaten the future of hunting are given.

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