Dare We Speak of “The Demons Within” our Fish and Game Departments?
October 9, 2012
Below is a copy of a letter written by a man who has, over the recent years, become a very outspoken activist for the Idaho hunting, fishing and trapping community. Part of his focus is on weeding out the corruption that exists on the Board of Commissioners as well as within the fish and game department itself. And now, it appears that Mr. Rockholm has taken another step in his desire to weed out those who not only refuse to carry out the mission of the fish and game department, but work behind the scenes if necessary, against the mission of the fish and game department.
In this instance in Idaho, Rockholm fingered one man specifically, who, it was discovered, had gone on Facebook and advocated for pro wolf supporters to “shoot, shovel and shut up” private livestock legally being grazed on public lands. For those who may not know, “shoot, shovel and shut up” is a term that was used in describing the actions supposedly taken by some in dealing with federally protected gray wolves. The words speak for themselves.
Rhetoric is cheap and we all practice it to some degree. I have made comments in the past and I have read them and heard them from others, that our fish and game departments have been taken over by environmentalists and animal rights advocates, many of whom are supporters of predator protection and non consumptive wildlife management.
In this Idaho case, after the employee was offered early retirement because of his actions, he made it known on further Facebook postings that he no longer had to work quietly while on his job as a pro wolf, environmentalist activists and was ready to become openly active while at the same time fingering a fellow fish and game employee as being in the same predicament. Nice guy!
Even though Mr. Rockholm was told by the director of the fish and game department that the person in question was fired, he wasn’t. He was just offered an early retirement package. Which brings us to another point in the discussion about getting rid of fish and game employees who don’t work to fulfill the mission of the departments they work for. Easier said than done.
We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that these people are government employees and as such it makes it next to impossible to get rid of them, even if they are not doing their job – frustrating but true.
Many sportsmen advocate that fish and game work should be based on science and not on politics. While it should be, how do you suggest keeping politics out of it when more than likely the appointment to the head of the fish and game department is a political one?
As just another political department, it should be fish and game carries out the program guidelines set up between the governor and his selection to run the department. It then becomes the responsibility of the head of the fish and game, to bring his employees in line with the mission. If there are no alternatives for fish and game leaders to deal with non complying employees, then that is the fault of the state’s governmental structure and needs changing. And good luck with that.
This political crap runs in both directions through both parties and as such the employees need to be able to adapt accordingly. If they refuse to do their job or are found to be working against the mission of the department, proper disciplinary action should be allowed, not an easy out with early retirement.
There’s always been a difficult line as to what a government employee can and cannot do on their own time. I think it shouldn’t matter, so long as it is within the law. I’m not sure encouraging people in the destruction of other people’s lawful property isn’t taking things a bit too far.
No employee should be protected from being fired from their job for good reason.
And now, Scott Rockholm’s letter:
The demons within
September 2012 was an enlightening month for those of us who keep an eye on Idaho Fish No Game. On 19 Sept 2012, I received notice of a IDFNG Senior Fisheries Tech prowling the internet, professing that the wolf loving / anti ranching activist’s should start killing cattle on public land grazing allotments. See screen shot of Ric Davidson’s comment.
After I was notified of this outrageous comment, I immediately called Director Moore. I also called the Fisheries Chief, Ed Schriever, and we had a brief discussion of the important nature of a Idaho Fish No Game employee advocating shooting private ranchers cattle, lawfully grazing their property on permitted allotments. Mr. Shriever and Mr. Moore assured me that the issue would be handled in a professional manner. I was called later that afternoon by Mr. Moore, who advised me that Ric Davidson was fired, or as he put it, “Mr. Davidson , as of this very moment, not a IDFNG employee any longer”. I thanked Virgil, and the conversation ended. Problem solved, and one more anti hunting/ anti ranching employee of the department was vetted. I assumed the problem was handled, but it appears no punishment was delivered at all. He was given an option to retire, and now he will collect even more of sportsmen’s dollars through retirement. This is absolutely unacceptable.
Within days of Ric Davidson’s firing, he was already on the world wide web, proclaiming his “Retirement” from the Department. This hate filled man, who had been sucking off of hunters hard earned dollars, is now revealing himself even more. He is now working with, or maybe had been working with all along, the Friends of the Clearwater. This organization couldn’t get more radical, and is charged with the same hate filled rhetoric that Ric Davidson has. Below is a screen shot, where he implicates himself working with this organization, while working for the Idaho Fish No Game, and he also implicates his supervisor, Sean Wilson. Look for yourself.
What we have here is an example of corruption from within. Many of our department employees are agenda driven people who hide behind the IDFNG logo. They drive department vehicles, and collect very good wages for enjoying a great job, in one of the nations treasures. These employees must be vetted, and removed from the payroll for good. A forensic audit of the department is in order, and the only means by which we can weed out the anti department bad apples. I ask the Idaho Legislature to consider a thorough and extensive audit of the Idaho Fish No Game, and the audit must be a independent forensic review that spans many years. There is no reason to have employees working for a department, with the goal of destroying it from within.
Save Western Wildlife INC