According to New Hampshire statutes, the Fish and Game Commission must have no more than 6 members from the same political party. Currently, there are 7 Republicans and four undeclared. There are no Democrats.

Yes, this is “just” the Fish and Game Commission, but they make all of the important decisions for the whole Fish and Game Department, even though they do not hold biology degrees or have land and water conservation experience. It disturbs me, too, that there are no actual Democrats on this commission, as I suspect that the “undeclared” folks may be Republicans as well. Maybe this is the letter of the law, but certainly not the spirit.

The other problem with this commission is that all of them are also required by law to hold a hunting or fishing license in five of the previous 10 years, but only 3 percent of New Hampshire residents have hunting licenses. This means that the commission makes all of its decisions with a hunting and trapping point of view and doesn’t take into account the wishes of the majority of New Hampshire citizens. They sometimes even disregard the recommendations of the department’s own biologists, such as they did in setting fox and coyote hunting rules.

It is time that both of these issues are addressed. We, the 97 percent of New Hampshire residents who don’t hunt, want a commission that reflects society’s current views of wildlife management, not one that is back in the 1800s. We all need to be represented, not just Republicans or the 3 percent.


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