There have been clashes between hunters and wildlife groups over the past few years, and now, it appears that a group that advocates for hunters is trying to kick a wildlife commissioner off the board in the state of Washington. A lawsuit has been filed by the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation. The lawsuit alleges that Lorna Smith, who is the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commissioner, is actually serving in two public roles. The group states that this is a flagrant violation of rules in the state of Washington. The group is claiming that Smith is also serving as a part of the Jefferson County Planning Commission while serving as the Governor of the wildlife commission stated above.
The group states that Smith has an extremist view when it comes to fish and wildlife management, and they say that this view runs counterintuitive to the model of Wildlife Conservation in the country. For example, the group claims that Smith was the main force behind the cancellation of a black bear hunt that was supposed to take place in the spring. The continues to state that Smith’s initiatives have been destabilizing traditional approaches to wildlife management.
On the other hand, the group appears to overlook the fact that another wildlife commissioner, Molly Linville, also serves on two boards. She is a member of a county planning board and is a member of a school board in a rural area. She claims that it is not a conflict of interest, but it could still be construed as a violation of the rules in the jurisdiction.
It remains to be seen how this lawsuit is going to play out, and it appears to be a question of whether the rules have to be adhered to in accordance with the letter of the law or the spirit of the law instead. The group has labeled the government a cabal, but their true interests will be borne out as the case proceeds before the court. The group added that this is only the first of many actions that they plan to take in an effort to protect their rights and what they perceive as traditional wildlife management.