December 14, 2012
Let me make a few things clear for readers. I am an independent writer. I am owned by no one. I owe no one. My thoughts are my own. I am on nobody’s “side”, as use of such a definition may apply. I am neither republican nor democrat, libertarian, green, red, yellow or purple. I seek the truth and report news. In seeking the truth, it sometimes makes strange bedfellows. What I write on my blogs reflect my thoughts, exemplify the efforts of my research, educate and attempt to move issues forward. As readers have come to understand, under certain circumstances, I will publish guest columns and seek permission to republish information created by others.
Having cleared that issue up, let me also make sure readers understand the actions that took place that led up to the publication of a post regarding information in a letter written by Steve Alder of Idaho for Wildlife, to Scott Rockholm, founder of Save Western Wildlife.
I was made aware of this letter for the first time in a post on Facebook by Scott Rockholm at Wolf News Network. In that post Scott wrote: “Tom Remington you may want to see this.” I downloaded the letter read it and gave serious thought as to what I wanted to do about it.
Knowing if I decided to publish specific information in the letter, it would certainly result in demands for a response from those named in the letter, I felt that there was enough very serious information contained in the letter to bring it to public attention.
I did not contact anyone involved prior to the publication of that post. I also did not contact anyone about a rebuttal or a response. I was contacted by Steve Alder on the very same day the article was published. In our conversations (email and telephone), Mr. Alder asked if I would publish his response and I agreed. As I said before, I felt certain any mention of such a letter of this serious a nature would muster a response. I believe it to be the responsible and credible thing to do. As I have explained, I have no “side” in this issue but I do take issue with no fewer than two things that I wish to address.
What I will first address are the publications I have made about the Idaho Wildlife Summit. You can find all previous articles about the Wildlife Summit here.
As most know by now, some of Idaho’s sportsmen became divided over the Wildlife Summit; in essence whether they should fight to stop it from happening and/or boycott the event, or attend the event and participate. On the issue, I expressed that the Wildlife Summit would be a dog and pony show. I’ve studied about these public forums and personally find them an absolute waste of taxpayers’ money, along with the fact they are corruptly formulated to achieve desired results. I still believe that and stick by the statements I have made about it.
Some readers made the assumption that because of my stance on this issue, that I was “on the side” of Save Western Wildlife, who were fighting to get the Summit shut down. I have explained my personal opinion on this topic and provided enough information to support my reasons. That should be enough.
The second issue that is most imperative in my opinion, addresses the problems that have riddled Idaho Department of Fish and Game commissioner Tony McDermott. I do not know Mr. McDermott personally, but like most Idaho sportsmen, have read about and heard about some of his actions as a member of that commission.
I think the first crazy thing I remember reading and writing about was back in August of 2010. In an email response by Mr. McDermott, at the time involving certain sportsmen seeking the ouster of Commissioner Budge, McDermott wrote some unprofessional comments. You can read those here but here is what I wrote about his actions:
This kind of childish response from a man holding down a public position is sure to set off a firestorm, one that nobody really needs at this time……or anytime for that matter. The wolf debate is full of passion and opinion and words become sharp, cutting into the souls of individuals. However, calling others “idiot”, “lost cause”, begging guys to “come out of your rabbit hole” and then seeking a meeting in a manner resembling calling a drunk outside for a brawl, isn’t going to get the job done. His reference to asking the guys if they would like a “dose of the truth” only confirms the arrogance Idaho sportsmen have perceived from this Commission. That comment shows us he believes only he is the one holding truth.
And now, Idahoans find out that their fish and game commissioner, Tony McDermott, threatened to “take a .45 pistol and shoot him [Scott Rockholm] right between the eyes.” In Steve Alder’s response to this letter that tells of Mr. McDermott’s actions, he says that he doesn’t think Tony McDermott would actually carry through with his treat. Probably he wouldn’t. I don’t know and I am going to say that I doubt very many people do.
I suppose that until the cows come home, all of us can discuss context, intent, capabilities, etc. However, what is just as important as determining whether a threat to another human being is valid or not, is whether the citizens of Idaho want a man of these actions and reactions representing them on the fish and game commission. The governor must also decide. His staff are a reflection of him.
I have heard from some sportsmen that Mr. McDermott has done a great job and fights hard for them. McDermott’s unprofessional and short-fused actions and reactions to issues can only leave citizens wondering about his ability to make the best of decisions; after all, the decisions I’ve spoke of are not the best in judgement making.
These are two of my positions on this issue and I land on nobody’s “side.” If I have caused inflammation between two people or two organizations because of my writings, so be it. My intentions are not to hurt people. Perhaps, through the grace of God, these two groups and the many good people associated with them, can recognize they each have differences, recognize them and move on together toward the search for truth, while granting each other the space and respect each deserves.
In that search for truth, I have expressed my opinions that Idaho taxpayers should stop wasting money they don’t have on outcome-based summits and seriously consider the constitutional make up of who should serve the governor on the fish and game commission.
December 11, 2012
If there was ever a doubt in citizens’ minds that laws are for the lowly subjects and the ruling elite get to exist above such laws, then perhaps what is going on in Idaho will shake you out of your lethargic trance and incite you to ask what in the world is going on.
In a letter dated March 1, 2012, Steve Alder, a member of Idaho for Wildlife, informs Scott Rockholm, founder of Save Western Wildlife, that his life is being threatened by a member of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission.
Steve Alder describes in his letter to Scott Rockholm a telephone conversation he had with Commissioner McDermott:
During my conversation with Tony McDermott he mentioned his hatred for Scott Rockholm. What shocked me was he claimed he wanted to kill him and he said he was serious. He said he’d like to take a .45 pistol and shoot him right between the eyes.
My upbringing would probably place me in the same situation as what Steve Alder describes he found himself in; “shocked” and saying, “I had never heard of anyone hating someone so badly and I hoped this was in jest.” And I, like Mr. Alder, would probably hope it was in jest and give Commissioner McDermott the benefit of the doubt that perhaps he was having a bad day or at least a bad moment, resulting a bad decision to express such anger and hatred.
But it didn’t end there according to Alder:
During our horseback trip in Salmon in July, Tony mentioned his hatred again for Scott but didn’t mention he wanted to kill him.
Maybe it was just a bad day and the commissioner just has an abject dislike for Scott Rockholm due to fish and game issues which can become passionate. However:
Then a couple of months ago, __________ phoned me after an hour and a half phone conversation with Tony McDermott and ___ said that Tony wants to kill Scott Rockholm. (I intentionally left off this person’s name.)
Two months later and he’s still in angst and expressing to another party that he wants to kill Scott Rockholm? So why isn’t Mr. McDermott behind bars? Is it because the ruling class is treated differently than the commoners? Do you think for one moment that had Mr. Rockholm or any other lowly subject threatened to kill Tony McDermott, they would still be up and functioning in a normal capacity? Of course not.
In following specific comments about this letter on Facebook, Scott Rockholm says he isn’t the only one that Mr. McDermott has threatened:
He also made the threats to three other people, but they did not want to come forward, due to repercussions from the department.
It should also be mentioned that Scott Rockholm and Steve Alder have not been seeing eye to eye in recent months; mostly stemming from positions taken on the recent farce known to Idaho sportsmen and environmental activists as a Wildlife Summit. How this sordid relationship will play out in this shocking disclosure, maybe time will only tell.
In another comment made on Facebook by Rockholm, he stated that the local Sheriff’s department will not do anything about this threat and is considering bringing in the State Police. Why won’t the sheriff’s office do anything about this threat?
Disgusting political hierarchy in action.
August 6, 2012
I think “Johnnie” needs to go see the principal because of his conduct in not getting his homework done in a timely fashion and that the quality of his work is not up to expected standards.
It’s been 251 since the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2011. That’s how long it took the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to prepare two pages of the annual black bear hunting season harvest report. In addition, the quality of the blurry post on the MDIFW website appears to be that of a second grader. Is it possible that someone’s dog ate their homework? Maybe MDIFW has spent so much money on non game programs and watching bears sleep in winter dens, they can no longer afford to post quality reports on their website? Should we expect the website to be taken down soon also? Maybe it’s just global warming?
The first thing to point out in this report, other than it took 251 days to prepare, is that the harvest of just 2,400 bears, statewide, is abysmal. Maine may have perhaps the largest black bear population it has ever seen, at least in modern times, and one has to wonder why hunters can only take 2,400 bears. At this rate, we should expect to hear about more bear and human encounters and likely a kill off of the creature by some disease because of too dense a population. I suspect global warming myself.
The second thing that should be pointed out is that the only mention of comparative harvest numbers of previous years is, “The 2011 harvest of 2,400 bears is the lowest harvest since 1997.” By the way, the 2010 harvest was 3,062 and 2009 resulted in the take of 3,486. Is there a pattern here? You can find bear harvest reports on the MDIFW website going back only to the year 2005. Perhaps the website doesn’t have enough disk space to contain more information. Or, now that the use of modern techniques for calculating harvest numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ……..etc. must not work anymore) it’s extremely complicated to copy and paste the bear harvest report from the previous year and then just plug in the new year (that requires changing one digit or perhaps two every ten years), with the continued development of best available counting methods, Mainers might expect to wait for several years for their reports…….or never. I can hear the excuse now: “Well, nobody seemed interested in these reports so we stopped making them available.”
I wonder how many hunters even know these reports are generated by MDIFW? By the time they come out, everyone has forgotten last year’s bear season. Most are out fishing and getting their firewood together for the coming winter. Or maybe that’s the way it’s intended to be.
With less and less effort and money being spent on managing game for hunting opportunity and hunting harvest surplus, one would logically conclude that with at least 1,000 fewer bears killed, any intelligent man can calculate that it has taken MDIFW, on average, 105 days to count a thousand bears, this report should have been out in May. If it took 105 fewer days to count bears, MDIFW should have saved money. Must be time for a new fleet of trucks. Or maybe they could use the money to better understand why no one appears to be interested in hunting Maine bears.
May 21, 2012
I think the title speaks for itself but if you want a bit more detail, see the Bangor Daily News.
January 9, 2012
I suppose I could call it some form of job security, but why people at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife continue to provide fodder that prompts repeated demands for accountability on my part, puzzles me. Evidently the Sportsman’s Congress, sponsored by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, was the breeding ground for yet another jewel of spoken words.
In Deirdre Fleming’s article in Saturday’s Press Herald, she begins her piece this way:
A century from now, Mainers will look back and say the state’s fish and game department did what it promised, vowed Chandler Woodcock on Friday.
This remark, as written in Fleming’s piece, came as Mr. Woodcock addressed the Sportsman’s Congress. Part of that debate included discussions on Maine’s efforts, or lack thereof, in rebuilding a whitetail deer herd that is far from adequate.
While some attempts at regulating Maine’s game began in the early to mid 1800s, it was around a century or so ago that Maine and most states in the Union were devising fish and game laws that became the backbone for the North American wildlife management model.
One would have to wonder if the head of Maine’s fish and game around the turn of the century had said, “A century from now, Maine will be at a crossroads not willing to do what is right to protect and perpetuate the game species for the people of this state”, people would have thought him crazy.
But here we are and the current commissioner is talking about the hope that between now and a hundred years from now the deer problem will be saved. I’m sure I will be told that Mr. Woodcock didn’t mean that it would take 100 years to replenish the deer herd. I’m also sure that the same supporters of his comments will claim that Mr. Woodcock feels so strongly about his “Plan for Maine’s Deer” that it will be the greatest thing since the Ginsu Kitchen Knife…….or something.
Perhaps so, and I would suppose a quick pat on the back would be in store for attempting to raise sportsman’s hopes for the future but why would he choose to pick 100 years? I mean, how many fish and game commissioners that have come before Mr. Woodcock have left behind some kind of lasting legacy? How many can you name that we should all remember from 100 years ago? Or twenty years ago? That’s what I thought.
I honestly don’t think Mr. Woodcock is thinking about his legacy, so I have to think that little thought went into his choice of making reference to a century from now.
The current Maine sportsmen are looking for action NOW. They want actions NOW that will create results NOW. And then they want assurances that what we do NOW will pay off NOW and TOMORROW and the NEXT DAY, and that other plans taking place NOW will work at building and maintaining a deer herd 5 years from now and 10 years from now. And the commissioner speaks of what Maine people will be commenting on in 100 years? Are we supposed to lock up our hunting rifles now and make sure our wills are up-to-date so we pass on our hunting rifles to the proper inheritor?
The Commissioner has a plan to rebuild the deer herd. I think he thinks it is a good plan and that it will work. I have serious reservations about it and even if I thought it was a good plan, how can it be implemented with little support for it statewide that is being shown now?
Mr. Woodcock does need to continue to sell his plan. I’m afraid telling the sportsmen that things will be just ducky in 100 years really isn’t going to fire up the troops too much.
I can hear the faint echos now: “Five score and 7 years ago, our founding fathers brought forth in this state, Maine’s Game Plan for Deer , conceived in good thinking and dedicated to the proposition that in one hundred years men would look back and say, ‘What the hell were they thinking’?”