October 20, 2015
Gov. Inslee Reverses Wildlife Commission’s Controversial Cougar Trophy Hunting Increase
Gov. Jay Inslee overturned an undemocratic decision by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission that raised cougar-hunting quotas by up to 100 percent in areas of the state also inhabited by wolves. This was in response to a legal appeal filed by The Humane Society of the United States and a coalition of wildlife protection organizations. Dan Paul, Washington state director for The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement:
“We applaud Governor Inslee for rescinding the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s arbitrary and haphazard increase to the cougar hunt quota. To make such an important decision without considering the recommendations of Department biologists and the years of data on cougar population sustainability, nor even allowing a meaningful public discussion on the aggressive hunting increase is a failure in their duties as public servants. The public’s trust in wildlife management has been restored because of Governor Inslee’s commitment towards transparency and valuing the stability of our cougar population.”
The Governor concurred with wildlife-advocacy groups that the Commission had violated state law by failing to give the public adequate notice about its decision and ordered the agency to restore quotas to prior levels and to open a public comment period before attempting to change the quota so that citizens are afforded a meaningful opportunity to voice their opinion.
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