BUHL • Magic Valley’s newest representative for the Idaho Fish and Game Commission isn’t from here. And, she believes, that’s a good thing.
In mid-July, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter appointed Joan Hurlock to serve as the Region 4 Commissioner. For the next four years, Hurlock will work with the seven-member commission in making critical decisions on how Idaho manages its wildlife.
She’s not an Idahoan native but has spent the past 10 years living in Buhl.
“I’ve met a lot of people like me,” she said. “We didn’t grow up here but we moved to Idaho, love it and want what’s best for it. I’m excited to represent that group of people for the commission.”
Hurlock is a Second Amendment advocate with an interest in wildlife conservation. She’s worked as a former forensic chemist for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Arson Unit and is a former member of the U.S. Capitol Police in Washington, D.C.
While growing up in California, her father worked for the California Department Fish and Game as a conservation officer. Hurlock would tag along with her dad when he was out in the field. It was during these trips she learned the importance of working with the region’s constituents in order to achieve proper wildlife management.
“I’m doing a lot of reading right now and a lot of tours across the area,” she said. “I’m learning a lot but I want to help teach others about what Fish and Game actually does. I don’t think everyone knows what it does and that’s going to be a major focus for me.”
As commissioner, Hurlock hopes to encourage more women and youth to get involved in hunting and other outdoor activities.
She’s enrolled both her children in hunter education courses and plans to take hunting trips with her son later this year.
“I know women who have never fired a gun before and that is really unfortunate. Also, interest from youth is not like it was,” she said. “But there’s something about holding a gun, once you actually shoot one, it builds your sense of confidence. It’s a great skill for everyone to have in anytime of your life. It’s also a healthy activity; You can’t get any more local, organic and hormone free than if you shoot or fish something yourself.”
Hurlock is aware that she’s not going to make everyone happy while serving as a commissioner. She’s ready to dive into hot button issues like wolf management and is looking forward to learning more about the wildlife issues Idaho faces.
“You can’t just isolate one species and say you’re only going to manage elk,” she said. “It’s all connected. You can’t manage elk without looking at predators, birds and see how they interact with one another.”