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.