Ken Mayer, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, resigned “abruptly” last week, at the governor’s request. It was the second time he has left the position as the state’s wildlife director in the last three years. In 2010 he was dismissed by a departing governor, only to be reinstated by the incoming governor, Brian Sandoval, the same governor who asked for his resignation this time.
It’s clear that the true conflict is with the Nevada Wildlife Commission. An Associated Press article in the Reno Gazette-Journal suggests that the commission supports outdated wildlife management techniques, such as using predator control to boost game populations.
Is it a simple case of science versus politics, or are there other issues? Unless someone in the Nevada media chooses to dig in to the matter, it’s unlikely that we’ll know the full story.
There’s another article in the Reno Gazette-Journal that talks about the implications of Mayer’s departure for the conservation of sage grouse, but it is a little confusing because at first, it talks about listing the sage grouse as a federally endangered species as a goal harmed by Mayer’s departure, without mentioning — until the second page of the article — that the states have been working hard to enact conservation methods to keep sage grouse off the federal endangered species list. Whew. You can read that second Reno Gazette-Journal article here.
Photo: Ken Mayer, courtesy Nevada Dept. of Wildlife