News from the Arizona Game and Fish Commission
Commission votes to oppose amended version of HB 2235
House Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee postpones hearing on bill.
PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Commission yesterday (Feb. 23) voted to oppose a proposed amendment to House Bill 2235, legislation that would change an existing law concerning the qualifications and appointment process for Game and Fish Commission membership.
The bill was also on yesterday’s meeting agenda of the House Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee, but the committee meeting was postponed. It is unknown at this time when consideration of the bill by the Committee may be rescheduled, but it likely would be next Monday, March 2.
The Commission previously voted on Jan. 23 to oppose the original version of the bill. The proposed amendment was circulated to Commission members late last week. At a public telephonic meeting yesterday, the Commission considered the revisions and voted unanimously to oppose the amendment.
“The Commission didn’t see anything in the amended version that would warrant changing a system that has worked well for the interests of Arizona’s wildlife and its citizens for 80 years,” said Commission Chair Bob Hernbrode.
“We continually remind Arizonans that hunters, anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts provide the majority of funding for wildlife conservation in our state,” said Hernbrode. “We also recognize that Arizona’s wildlife is managed for all Arizonans, most of whom have an interest in and desire for wildlife conservation.”
The Arizona Game and Fish Department manages and conserves for more than 900 wildlife species in Arizona, ranging from hummingbirds and pupfish to elk and black bear.
“The current Commission system has served as a buffer for the best interests of wildlife conservation during eight decades of back-and-forth political change,” said Hernbrode. “There isn’t a compelling reason to change it now.”
Hernbrode said that despite the Commission’s disagreement with supporters of this particular bill, it believes people on all sides of this issue are interested in the best interests of wildlife in Arizona.
“We will continue to work with all constituents to achieve good outcomes for wildlife conservation and the citizens of our state,” he said.
To view the original language and proposed amendments to HB 2235, visit www.azgfd.gov/inside_azgfd/legislative_affairs.shtml
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Director’s Office, 5000 W. Carefree Highway Phoenix, AZ 85086, (602) 942-3000, or with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Director’s Office as listed above.