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In the News: Arizona Game and Fish Commission chairman unexpectedly quits

Arizona Republic April 12, 2013 (posted 4/17/13)

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By Dennis Wagner

Jack Husted, chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, resigned abruptly this week, saying he needs to focus on family, faith and business dealings.

Husted, an avid hunter with family ranching ties, opposed the Mexican gray wolf’s listing as endangered and was considered a foe of the federal Endangered Species Act.

Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter, described Husted as disrespectful to conservationists and said he catered to cattle-grower interests.

Husted, a former deputy sheriff and Eagar Town Council member who lives in Springerville, did not return phone calls Friday. Officials at the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association and several hunting organizations could not be reached for comment.

Husted gained notoriety last April after he directed a juvenile hunter to shoot a prairie dog unlawfully near Springerville.  He self-reported the out-of-season kill but pleaded not guilty and complained about getting a misdemeanor citation. The charge was dismissed in November by prosecutors, according to court records. [To read the incident report, click here]

In his letter Thursday to Gov. Jan Brewer, Husted wrote, “It has been humbling to stand alongside other commissioners and departmental staff to strengthen the governing pillars of wildlife management and conservation.” He said he had decided to “embark on a new chapter in my life,” then closed by thanking the governor for his appointment.

The Governor’s Office said the search for a replacement was under way.
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This article was published in the AZ Republic. A short article on the same topic was also published in the Tucson Weekly.
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