Sept. 27, 2010
One of the propositions facing Arizona voters on the Nov. 2, 2010 election ballot is Proposition 109, which, if passed, would amend the state’s constitution to make hunting and fishing a constitutional right in Arizona.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department and its employees are precluded by law from advocating for or against state ballot propositions while on state time or using state resources. The Game and Fish Commission, as the policy-setting board overseeing the department, is not under the same legal restriction and may take a position or advocate on one side or the other.
Due to public interest regarding Proposition 109, the department is providing the link below to information about the proposition contained in the 2010 “Ballot Propositions and Judicial Performance Review Publicity Pamphlet” posted on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website. This information includes the text of the proposed amendment, analysis by the Arizona Legislative Council, and arguments “for” and “against” the proposition that have been submitted by different individuals and organizations, including an argument in favor of the proposition provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.
The story shown below provides background information about the Arizona Game and Fish Commission’s support of House Concurrent Resolution 2008 that ultimately was approved by the Arizona State Legislature, placing Proposition 109 on the November ballot.
HCR 2008 - Right to Hunt and Fish
Arizona Game and Fish Commission supports “right to hunt and fish” amendment
If passed by Arizona Senate, HCR 2008 would let voters decide on state constitutional amendment to make hunting and fishing a right
April 6, 2010
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission supports House Concurrent Resolution 2008, a measure that would create a state constitutional right to hunt and fish.
HCR 2008 yesterday passed the Arizona Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Public Debt by a 5-1 vote. It will next go to the Senate for consideration and, if passed, will go on the ballot in the fall election.
Robert Woodhouse, a member of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, testified in favor of the bill at yesterday’s Senate committee hearing.
“The Arizona Game and Fish Commission stands in support of HCR 2008,” said Woodhouse. “We believe it is a needed amendment to our constitution.”
In response to questions from the committee, Commissioner Woodhouse added that the amendment would protect the right of citizens to lawfully hunt and fish and that it would retain the commission’s authority over wildlife management as granted by the legislature.
During his testimony, Woodhouse also thanked the resolution's sponsor, Rep. Jerry Weiers (R-Glendale), for his leadership on this issue, and thanked the National Rifle Association, one of the leading proponents, for its willingness to work collaboratively on the language.
The commission voted on Feb. 23 to support HCR 2008. HCR 2008 passed the Arizona House on March 24 by a 37-18 vote.
“Hunting and angling are long-standing and honorable traditions,” said Commissioner Jack Husted. “HCR 2008 recognizes the right to hunt and fish and will protect that right for all citizens for all time.”
The Game and Fish Commission is comprised of five members (serving staggered five-year terms) appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. No more than one commissioner may be from any one county. No more than three may be from the same political party.
The commission is the policy-setting board overseeing the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Since its inception in 1929, this organizational structure has served as a buffer for the best interests of science-driven wildlife conservation during eight decades of back-and-forth political change.
Read a copy of HCR 2008 here. [PDF 20kb]