Senate Resources Chairman Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, scheduled a Friday hearing for Gov. Butch Otters other June 2012 appointee, Will Naillon of Challis, but not for Buhls Joan Hurlock.
At this point, Id rather not talk about it, Pearce said Thursday. Give us a little time. We dont know whats going to happen.
Hurlock is a former forensic chemist for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms explosives and arson unit and a former member of the U.S. Capitol Police. She is the owner of the Body Works fitness center in Buhl and the daughter of a California game warden.
Shes been active in civic and sportsman groups in the Magic Valley, according to Otters office. But some Magic Valley groups have been organizing against her, saying they favored two other candidates who they see as more experienced and avid hunters and fishermen.
Its been a six-month ordeal and Im kind of right in the middle of it, said Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls. I really would rather not get into personalities and reasons. Weve all been in and talked with the governor.
Heider said he thinks Pearce will keep the appointment from reaching the full Senate.
Im told that I cant put it in my drawer, Pearce said. It really belongs to the committee of the whole of the Senate, so one way or another, it will come before the Senate.
Hurlock, who has been serving on the commission since July 1, is the second woman to be a member of Idahos Fish and Game Commission, which was created in 1938 by the first citizen initiative passed in the state. Nancy Hadley of Sandpoint served from 1997 to 2005.
Jack Oyler of Filer, a board member of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, was a member of the panel that interviewed the candidates for the two commission openings this year, and hes opposing Hurlocks confirmation.
He said he had several long conversations with her a month before the interviews and concluded that she has little knowledge or experience with hunting, fishing and wildlife management policy.
This is not a woman thing with me, its qualifications, he said.
Hurlock said, My dad was a Fish and Game officer, so Ive been involved with Fish and Game issues pretty much my entire life.
She got her first Idaho hunting license in 2002 and has had both fishing and hunting licenses over the years, though not every year.
I have a thorough knowledge of all of the various wildlife management plans, Hurlock said.
Bonnie Butler, a top aide to Otter who also served on the interview panel, said that the governors office is fully behind Joan Hurlock.
Hurlock met with Pearce in his Senate office Friday and said Pearce agreed to hold a hearing.
I just would really like the opportunity to ... present my qualifications before the committee, and just be heard and given a fair hearing one way or the other, she said.