An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission is
nine-member board, comprised of volunteers who serve four-year terms after being nominated by licensed hunters and anglers, appointed by the Governor, and confirmed by the Kentucky Senate.
Per statute, the Commission “shall at all times keep a watchful eye upon the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and advise the Commissioner to take such action as may be beneficial to the department and in the interest of wildlife and conservation of natural resources.”
Commission members are governed by Kentucky statutes and regulations pertaining to boards and commissions, and are accountable to the hunters and anglers in their districts. Commission members seek to be responsive to their constituents and represent the interests of all the sportspersons in their districts. They communicate with stakeholders, relay vetted requests for changes to regulations or statutes to the Commission body, and make recommendations to the Commissioner.
The members of the Commission are required by law to meet in Frankfort, quarterly, or as often as may be necessary for the transaction of business. These meetings are announced on the department’s website under the Quick Links on the left-hand side of the page. At its January 2020 meeting, the Commission announced a new meeting format that will make meetings more efficient, reduce costs and increase opportunities for public input.
No later than 30 days before the expiration of a Commission member’s term on Dec. 31, the Commissioner shall select the time and place for a public meeting in that Commission district to select up to 5 nominees to submit to the Governor. The location of this meeting is within the district of the member whose term will be expiring.
At the meeting, residents of that Commission district who have held Kentucky fishing or hunting licenses for the previous 2 years or who have been hunting and fishing in the Commonwealth for the previous 2 years while license-exempt under KRS 150.170 may nominate and vote if necessary to select up to 5 nominees to fill that Commission district seat.
Eligible nominees must be a current resident of the district; not be a convicted felon; for at least the previous five consecutive years, held hunting and fishing licenses or hunted and fished in Kentucky while license-exempt under KRS 150.170; and be well informed about wildlife conservation and restoration.
The names of up to 5 nominees (those receiving the highest vote totals in the event of more than 5 nominees) are submitted to the Governor, along with a current resume for each nominee, and the Governor shall appoint one from the names submitted. After receiving the list of nominees, the Governor shall appoint a successor no later than Jan. 20. Appointees are then subject to Senate confirmation during the applicable legislative session.
The Commission member shall be appointed for a term of 4 years subject to confirmation by the Senate. Each of the members shall be appointed for a term ending on Dec. 31 of the fourth calendar year following his or her appointment, except that a member’s term can continue until his or her successor is duly appointed and confirmed by the Senate, but no later than 1 year following the expiration of the member’s term. If after 1 year a successor has not been duly appointed and confirmed by the Senate, the commission member’s seat for that district shall be vacant until a successor is duly appointed and confirmed by the Senate. A member shall serve no more than 2 full terms, not including any partial term that a member may additionally serve.
For complete details of the statutes and regulations pertaining to the office of Commission member, please refer to KRS 150.022; KRS 150:023;
KRS 150.170 and 301 KAR 4:001.
At its January 2020 meeting, the Commission announced a new meeting format that will make meetings more efficient, reduce costs and increase opportunities for public input. Previously, committees comprised of a few members each met during the months preceding the quarterly meetings, and often recommended regulation changes for vote the following month. The newer format includes a 3-step process wherein proposed regulation changes are typically introduced at one meeting as new business items, then become discussion items at the next meeting, and then may be voted on for promulgation as action items at the subsequent meeting. This allows 6 months or more for raising public awareness and garnering stakeholder input, as well as affording more time for research by staff and Commission members on proposed changes. For more information about this meeting format click