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Kemo Sabe

Ducks Unlimited fires E. Donnall Thomas

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dogrunner
Yep.

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Rex Hoppie
What good is money, power, or influence if you can't use it.  Same for seniority.

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northern_hunting_mom
What good is money, power, and influence if you can't use it.  Same for seniority.

Using it to not screw over the tens of thousands would be a good start.  :blues:

Cox has the money to video his waterfront to catch true trespassers. He could have done it cheaper than fighting the rights of outdoorsmen. He probably already has it in place already to show "proof" of trespassers.

The arsehole actions of the mega-rich can affect thousands if not millions. Such actions are justifiably scrutinized and the only counter action is a large public outcry.

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Grange
This unfortunately is not a unique issue to Montana.  WI has long had the Public Trust Doctrine which protected public water rights, but those rights are being targeted over the last few years.

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Dick Sellers

Rex, there is something commendable for using wealth and power, if it is used for good purposes.  Not so much when it is used for selfish interests to the detriment of well established public access to a public resource,  especially when there is this kind of link to politics.

DU is getting some negative feedback for terminating Thomas' column and I understand a fair number of cancellations of memberships, including my own after 40+ years of support.  Of course Kennedy can probably compensate for lost membership dues with a stroke of his pen, but that doesn't justify DU's action.

JMO

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wcpeabody
What good is money, power, and influence if you can't use it.  Same for seniority.

I am not sure if you are being serious or not.  But if you are:

You are completely right, if you want to live in an oligarchy.  Personally, I do not

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Treerooster
DU is getting some negative feedback for terminating Thomas' column and I understand a fair number of cancellations of memberships, including my own after 40+ years of support.  Of course Kennedy can probably compensate for lost membership dues with a stroke of his pen, but that doesn't justify DU's action.

JMO

True to an extent. Membership numbers do mean something to an organization. Not sure how many members will drop out, but I sure will.

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dogrunner
DU is getting some negative feedback for terminating Thomas' column and I understand a fair number of cancellations of memberships, including my own after 40+ years of support.  Of course Kennedy can probably compensate for lost membership dues with a stroke of his pen, but that doesn't justify DU's action.

JMO

True to an extent. Membership numbers do mean something to an organization. Not sure how many members will drop out, but I sure will.

I dropped them, also never got a response to my email.

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Brad Eden

What I found most interesting is the article that got him pink slipped wasnt even written for the DU magazine.

With that said, Its not unheard of for editors to let controversial articles and columns see ink. Then the publisher gets a rash of shiit from advertisers or benefactors and the writer gets canned. Don't ask me how I know this.

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Kansas Big Dog

I am not a Montana citizen and have no dog in this fight, but here is the KS Stream Access Law for comparison:

Rivers and Streams Access

There are more than 10,000 miles of streams and rivers in Kansas

Most streams and rivers in Kansas are privately owned. The public rivers are the Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri (shown at right). They are open to the public between the ordinary high water marks on each bank. This is the line that can be seen where high water has left debris, sand, and gravel during its ordinary annual cycle. When these rivers flow through private land, permission is needed from adjacent landowners to access the rivers as well as when picnicking, camping, portaging or engaging in any other activity on the adjacent private lands.

Except where they pass through the legal limits of a government entity, the rest of our streams and rivers are privately owned, and permission is needed from the landowners to access and use the streams and adjacent lands for any purpose.

http://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Locations/Rivers-and-Streams-Access

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FlyChamps
A SC Attorney General Opinion says that if you can gain access to a "navigable river" without trespassing you have free access to the river, including standing on the bottom.  All public highway bridge crossings allow legal access because of the public easement.

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Kansas Big Dog
A SC Attorney General Opinion says that if you can gain access to a "navigable river" without trespassing you have free access to the river, including standing on the bottom.  All public highway bridge crossings allow legal access because of the public easement.

I think that is the rule of law in most states, but the definition of "navigable" is what is different. In KS, only the Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas rivers are considered navigable.

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troutchops
DU has lost my support. Shameful......

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canvasback

The sad part is, as I understand it, there is no other organization that is even in the same ball park as DU when it comes to preserving land.  So is it really a good idea to defund them because they fired a magazine writer at the request of one of its largest donors?  DU isn't in the News business.  They are in the business of conserving and protecting duck habitat.  The big donor furthers that goal far more than the magazine writer.  

Well, Delta Waterfowl and CWA do far more with each dollar for the ducks than DU does, and they both are far better run organizations.

It's not a matter of "defunding" but rather one of redirecting. I belong to all three currently, and will spend the same amount of dollars, but they will only go to Delta and CWA.

I quit DU years ago when they stopped supporting hunting as a core principal. Delta Waterfowl is much more deserving IMHO, focused on the science and hunters.

Doesn't hurt my duck lodge is in Delta Marsh where they were founded and their Canadian offices about two blocks from my office in Winnipeg.

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jackh

I read about this in November and on 22 November, I sent DU an email.  They replied to my first email, but nothing but crickets after my second email.  I've copied and pasted them here in case someone is so bored they want to read the conversation.

Pardon my spelling and grammatical errors...I was a little fumed when I wrote them :)

"Mr Coffey;

Over the past decade I have been a volunteer for DU and worked on the banquet committee in Topeka (and other locales)  numerous years.  I have been a supporter and spoke highly about the organization.

I was very, very disappointed to learn that Mr Thomas had been "let go" by DU.  When I first read that he was gone, I though, "He must have really stepped in something."

Imagine my shock to learn that the only thing he had done was to offend one of DU's "high rollers".  I hate to see an organization move so far toward the money that they forget that it is the masses (most of which are not big money), the grass roots, from where they draw their strength.

DU's public comments show their true colors well enough for this hunter/contributor/volunteer to see their position.

I'm glad you have folks like Mr Kennedy, because you no longer have my support; you now have my voice telling everyone I know, just who DU stands for...and it is not for the common man.  And from what I am reading, you have lost many, many more supporters.  But at least you have Kennedy...or should I say, "He has DU!"

Mr Coffey did reply.  He quoted and attached DU's public statement on the matter.  

Further, he stated, "In DU’s opinion, the article published by Mr. Thomas in Outside Bozeman publicly and very personally attacked a DU volunteer leader. We felt that the article demonstrated a lack of fairness in vilifying a member of the DU family without allowing that person the opportunity to provide his perspective.  As a result, DU decided to discontinue its relationship with Mr. Thomas. We would be similarly concerned if Mr. Thomas had written comparable statements about any DU volunteer leader. DU honors freedom of speech, but also honors our volunteers. At no point did Mr. Kennedy ever ask DU to take any actions against Mr. Thomas for the Outside Bozeman article.

Mr. Thomas has the right to express his opinions in any way he sees fit. DU has the right to choose who contributes to its publications.."

I responded with the following - Mr. Coffey did not reply to this email.

"Mr. Coffey;

I appreciate your reply.  It is not the severing of the relationship with Mr. Thomas that causes me pause, but it is the reason behind the split.  This raises a few questions for me and I'll bet for many others.  i read the article and it is not flattering for Mr. Kennedy.  However, reading more into the court cases and the article, I would say that the main thing that is not flattering to Mr. Kennedy is his ongoing effort to to declare the state constitution "unconstitutional" thereby denying legal public access.  Putting up fences and barriers is really childish.  It is like putting a "Posted" sign on a piece of public property hoping to dissuade someone from entering to keep it for yourself.  I'll not beat a proverbial "dead horse", but here are my concerns.

1.  Was Thomas' article inconsistent with the facts regarding Mr. Kennedy and the state of Montana?  From what I have read, there was no smear of the man or misrepresentation of the facts.

2.  You relate that the article vilified a member of the DU family without allowing the person the opportunity to provide his perspective.  If the article was correct on it's facts, wouldn't it be the actions of Mr. Kennedy that vilified himself?  Also, I would bet a million dollars that Outside Bozeman would gladly allow Mr. Kennedy to defend his actions.

3.  You keep referring to Mr. Kennedy as a DU volunteer leader like puts him in a heightened status category.  It is the members of an organization that makes it strong.  I wonder how many DU members - and volunteers - Mr. Kennedy's barriers and ongoing court cases are trying to block from stream access?  

4.  This is a very slippery slope.  If a DU member/volunteer/contributor speaks out or writes something that is true but offends another DU member/volunteer in a publication, an interview, on a forum board, etc., is DU going to take action against them?  Reprimand them, stop their membership, etc?  Following the logic used in the Thomas matter, it would conclude with this.

5.  Last but not least, I read the public access statement from the CEO.  This is very political.  Truthfully, when an organization starts having to put out statements like this it isn't good.  The statement wants to defend their holding Thomas accountable by severing ties, while stating that they strongly support public access.  It is like trying to have it both ways saying "don't look over there at the reason we got rid of Mr. Thomas"..."Look over here where we say we are in favor of public access!"

6.  DU says that Mr. Kennedy did not ask to have actions taken against Mr. Thomas.  Did he really have to ask?  DU depends on money to support its efforts and Mr. Kennedy is a big contributor (I applaud him for that); it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that DU might want to take some quick action in this case.

Thew facts of the article and the court cases are really pretty clear to someone who is curious.  I think DU would have been much better off if they had showed courage by making a statement that they disagree with the way Mr. Thomas' article portrayed Mr. Kennedy and then stated that they disagree with Mr. Kennedy's ongoing efforts to deny public access to the Ruby River.

As it stands, I bet the common man (the ones paying attention to this) clearly see the standard and will draw their own conclusions.  

One thing going for DU is that most folks will never hear about this incident and many that do, sill not really care.  But then again, I'm sure DU thought long and hard about this before they parted ways with Mr. Thomas; they probably weighed public opinion and "is the public paying attention" against the opinion of a multi-million dollar donor that they would like to keep in the fold.

Again, I appreciate your taking the time reply."

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