If Gov. Steve Sisolak seeks to reform archaic state boards and commissions, the 100-plus-year-old state Wildlife Commission offers a prime opportunity.
The commission’s ineffective responses to repeated trapping disasters around Nevada reflect shockingly failed oversight. Trapping isn’t Nevada’s heritage, but a brutal, unnecessary activity largely engaged in for profit by just more than 1,000 Nevadans.
Trappers have up to 96 hours to inspect their usually unidentified traps for animals — target, non-target and endangered species. Nevada’s trap inspection time frame — 48th worst in the United States — means that animals have endured a long and painful death.
From the commission’s standpoint, trapper convenience, opportunity and success are paramount. Protecting wildlife that belongs to all Nevadans, or people and pets who recreate on public lands, is of little consequence.
Have you ever wondered why people must buy wildlife killing licenses to qualify for membership on the commission? It is a “pay-to-play” scheme, enshrined in state law, that over-represents rural areas and under-represents urban Nevadans. Thus, the majority of Nevadans have no representation of their interests in preserving, not destroying our wildlife.
Will our governor and legislators finally take definitive action to protect the public and its wildlife from lethal traps?