Game Commission Opposes Bills 1190 and 342

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Last week, the California Fish and Game Commission sent letters of opposition to the authors of Assembly Bills 1190 and 342. Both letters encouraged the Legislature to defer policy decisions regarding the take and the method of take of game species to the Commission.

The Commission has been actively involved in the management and wise use of California 's fish and wildlife resources since 1870, and maintains a thorough game species management process pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

"We believe the Commission has done an exceptional job in both protecting California's natural resources and providing our residents with hunting and fishing opportunities," said Commission President Michael Flores, who signed both letters. "We do not see the need to move outside of our existing processes at this point."

The Commission is regularly provided with the most current and relevant information regarding game species' population, health and habitat from the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Commission takes this information into account before adopting hunting regulations, including the length of hunting seasons, bag limits and method of take.

In addition, all game species are managed through a rigorous and thorough environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This review has consistently determined that the use of dogs is not detrimental to game mammals and that dove hunting does not negatively impact the dove population or the overall health of the species.

The Constitution of the State of California, Article IV, Section 20, provides for the establishment of the Commission and authorizes it to exert necessary powers relating to the protection and propagation of fish and game.

Sections 207 and 208 of the Fish and Game Code gives the Commission the authority to prescribe the take of game mammals, furbearing mammals and resident game birds in California. As part of this authority, the Commission may establish the length of hunting seasons, the bag possession limits, and method of take.

AB 1190, authored by Assembly Member Joe Nation from Marin County, would prohibit dove hunting in California.

AB 342, authored by Assembly Member Paul Koretz from West Hollywood, would eliminate the use of dogs in hunting mammals.

Both bills are scheduled to be considered by the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee on April 8, 2003.