Discovery / podcast: Season 4
A Symbolic Issue
Guest: Claire Davis of Animal & Earth Advocates and Washington Wildlife First, on the need for wildlife to be managed in the public trust and for reform of an outmoded system.
On March 19, 2022, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission held a second vote regarding a proposed spring bear hunting season, this time deciding 5-4 against the seasonal hunt, after a 4-4 vote in November 2021. Before the March vote, Washington’s spring bear hunt was just one of eight in the nation allowed by state environmental agencies. The controversial vote has brought concerns to the surface by both hunters and conservationists.
Claire Davis, managing partner of Animal & Earth Advocates and president of Washington Wildlife First, recently spoke with UW Law students as part of the school’s Social Justice Tuesday series. A former journalist turned attorney, Claire brings public interest litigation on behalf of animals and wildlife.
In this episode, Claire Davis explains why the spring bear hunt is a symbolic issue for wildlife policy reform, particularly in that it does not reflect the values and ethics of most of the 7.7 million residents of Washington state, less than 3 percent of whom hunts overall. Claire makes a strong case that more voices need to be heard since wildlife is a public asset and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife works for all of us.