New Hampshire’s wildlife are public trust resources. The public trust doctrine is a legal doctrine that requires government stewardship of the state’s natural resources in a manner that benefits all the public.

The Legislature has charged the NH Fish and Game Commission with the duties “as the citizens’ representatives, to be the stewards of the fish, wildlife, and marine resources of the state of New Hampshire” and to fulfill those duties through conservation, protection, and management of
wildlife populations and habitats, the collection of necessary scientific information, and the enforcement of fish and game laws for the purpose of sustaining healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and marine resources [RSA 206:4-a(I)].

As such, the legislature expects the NH Fish and Game Department and Commission to represent the interests of all NH citizens in wildlife management decision-making. NH Wildlife Coalition believes that NH Fish and Game should manage wildlife with the goals of conservation and sustainability rather than just to maximize trapping and sport hunting opportunities. We believe that greater consideration should be placed on the ecological roles wildlife play in our ecosystem. For example, in finalizing trapping rules in 2018, there was little or no consideration given to the influence that predators, like foxes, fisher and coyote have on the health of other species’ populations or on ecosystem health.