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Nevada’s wildlife commission is broken. Is it beyond repair?

Nevada’s wildlife commission is broken. Is it beyond repair?

By Patrick Donnely
Nevada’s Board of Wildlife Commissioners is intentionally designed to protect the entrenched interests of people who shoot wildlife. By promoting policies exclusively designed to improve opportunity for hunters, they have perpetuated an unjust system which benefits a small number of Nevadans.

By statute, the commission is charged with “establishing broad policies for the protection, propagation, restoration, transplanting, introduction and management of wildlife in this State.” It also oversees the Nevada Department of Wildlife, which implements those policies. Wildlife managers and biologists at the department can make recommendations, but the commission bears ultimate responsibility for wildlife management in the state.

Two recent debacles have clearly illustrated just how broken and out of touch with Nevadans the commission is. 

First are coyote killing contests, barbaric rituals where contestants try to win prizes by slaughtering the most coyotes in a day. Banned in other states, these contests are unpopular with the public and out of step with the prevailing moral code of society. Yet, the commission has dithered on the issue for many months, failing to introduce a policy to ban the bloodsport. At the November meeting, the commission will apparently be voting on potential language for a ban on coyote killing contests. The commission’s legitimacy hangs in the balance. Read More…

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