Calif. sporting groups leery of dept. name change

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Calif Dept Fish and Game

Calif Dept Fish and Game (AP image)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – After six decades as the Department of Fish and Game, the agency in charge of California’s wild animals has a new name – one that has many hunting and fishing organizations leery.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation recently replacing “Game” with “Wildlife,” in a nod to environmentalists and animal-rights activists.  Sporting groups fear the legislation signals a change in the department’s traditional focus.

Once the name change takes effect on Jan. 1, only 12 other states will use the word “game” in the names of their wildlife agencies. The name change grew out of a two-year effort to develop a strategic vision for the department.

Hunting and fishing organizations say they were outnumbered during the department’s makeover, which supporters say better reflects California’s changing political and demographic landscape.

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