Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Sportsmen’s Alliance Files Suit Against Washington Wildlife Commissioner Lorna Smith

Yesterday, the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation filed a lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court to prohibit and enjoin Lorna Smith from participating as a member of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission (WFWC) due to her ongoing violation of state law that prohibits an individual from holding an additional elected or appointed office while on the WFWC. Smith is a member of the Jefferson County Planning Commission (JCPC).

Washington law is clear on this question. RCW 77.04.040 states that members of the WFWC “… shall not hold another state, county, or municipal elective or appointive office.” Smith has long served on the JCPC, with her bio on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website pointing out that she is “currently serving her second and third terms” in this position.

“Sadly, this violation is but one example of how off-the-rails the WFWC operates under the Inslee administration,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We view this lawsuit as the initial step of a long but important process to bring sanity and decency back to wildlife decision-making in Washington. It all starts here, but trust me, it won’t end here. The animal extremists are going to see a lot of the same in the coming weeks and months.”

Smith was initially appointed by Inslee in January of 2021 but has not yet been confirmed by the senate. She is among a group of new commissioners pushing an extremist view of fish and wildlife management and is adamantly opposed to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Smith was the driving force behind the canceling of the spring black bear hunt and has pressed for other initiatives to destabilize traditional management approaches and systems in the state.

“It’s more than a little instructive to note that there is not a single commissioner currently serving on the WFWC that has been confirmed by the senate,” continued Adkins. “The whole thing is being run like a political cabal, so we can’t be surprised that Smith could care less about the rule of law and her own disqualifying behavior.”

The Sportsmen’s Alliance has been watching the actions of the WFWC for more than two years and is filing on behalf of all its members and sportsmen in the state. Joining the lawsuit are two Sportsmen’s Alliance members, Marc Nelson and Kolby Schafer, who are residents of Washington. The case is USSAF v. Smith, No. 23-2-00660-34.

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Brian Lynn

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Sportsmen’s Alliance