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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2002


Puppet for Fish and Game director

Our nomination for a new director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game? A puppet.

The puppet would replace Fish and Game Director Rod Sando who resigned last week under pressure. Sando served just two years. As this fine and ethical manager walked the line between politics and biology, he inevitably angered some.

In November Sando decided to pursue prosecution of a rancher who shot three cougars that may have been stalking cattle. The Idaho Cattlemen’s Association was outraged. It wanted the charges dropped. Sando refused, saying he would not "fix the tickets."

Sando also failed to support the governor’s opposition to dam breaching as a way to restore the state’s salmon runs.

Sando is the second director in three years. Any subsequent director will have the same kind of problems given the political climate.

A puppet is a better choice.

A puppet will give some disgruntled members of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, their boss Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and their backers just what they want.

A puppet will be totally untainted by higher education. It will carry out every demand without question. It will parrot crackpot ideas and execute corrupt practices without flinching.

A puppet will give the public a clear idea of how the governor and his appointees view the Department of Fish and Game. It will end any illusion that the top priorities of the department are fish and wildlife.

A puppet will make it much easier to implement the "Idaho science" advocated by so many in the state.

Some examples: 1) The only good predator is a dead predator; 2) Mines, clearcuts, dams, highways and subdivisions don’t hurt fish or wildlife; 3) It doesn’t matter that fish die without water, because grocery stores sell them in cans.

A puppet will not only save the state money, it will give the public a clear idea of where state government stands on fish and wildlife issues—and who’s pulling the strings.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.