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Kemo Sabe

Ducks Unlimited fires E. Donnall Thomas

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Kemo Sabe

They just fired one of todays' premier outdoor  (both Uplands and Waterfowl) writers, E. Donnall Thomas, for "telling it like it is".

Story here:  http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2015/11/11/columnist-fired-writing-article-critical-donor/75623698/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it

Don is a great sportsman and in my minds eye, one of the very  best outdoor writers alive today. He's a rock solid, good guy.

Screw DU. I'm going to cancel my membership and they'll never get another penny from me ever.

Brad, this isn't meant to be a political post. I just think it's something every outdoorsmen should be aware of. I'm not trying to convince anyone to respond to this news flash they way I have.

Something to chew on, however.

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gonehuntin
I second it. No more money to DU. When they cave in to a billionaire and support him rather than the common good, it's time to fine a new organization. Think is, his stance had really nothing to do with DU and they shouldn't even have taken a stance on it.

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jbeck
I'm 100% with you.  DU made a very poor decision on this one.

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bigjohnsd
They've got my last $$

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shoot-straight

yep, i walked away and stayed away a few years back when i continued to see lots of  donated money being used for "habitat improvements" on huge, private farms locally that are owned by millionaires. flooded cornfields, impoundments and such. essentially public money being used to "create" private hunting estates.

meanwhile, our public areas need habitat restoration badly.

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MAArcher

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.  

Not that I like what happened.  But its a real tuff issue and it sounds like Jim Kennedy should have had a say.  I struggle with the concept of land ownership.  In so many ways, it just doesn't make sense.  If you look at it from a religious or spiritual sense, do you think your God made the earth and put you only it, only to have your access to it limited by other men who got there before you did?  But on the other hand, the idea that you shouldn't own land and that anyone can walk up next to you and put down roots is not very appetizing.  The idea that you could work hard all your life, amass enough money to buy a bunch of land along a river and have your own private paradise, only to be told that "Well, its not really yours, any dumb ass in town can be there."  Its a wicked conundrum.

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Kemo Sabe

Straight,

I understand your point, but be careful how wide you paint with that brush.

I'm part owner of a large (1200 acre island)  duck club.  Usually, within a month or so after the season is over, many of the other clubs have all of their water off, in preparation for spring planting of crops. We  leave our water at full coverage until mid April, and don't have it off until mid June. All done at our own expense, so as the ducks have a place to be when the season is over.  

We don't get any money per se for doing that, either. But the ducks benefit highly.

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Dave in Maine
They just fired one of todays' premier outdoor  (both Uplands and Waterfowl) writers, E. Donnall Thomas, for "telling it like it is".

Story here:  http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2015/11/11/columnist-fired-writing-article-critical-donor/75623698/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it

Don is a great sportsman and in my minds eye, one of the very  best outdoor writers alive today. He's a rock solid, good guy.

Screw DU. I'm going to cancel my membership and they'll never get another penny from me ever.

Brad, this isn't meant to be a political post. I just think it's something every outdoorsmen should be aware of. I'm not trying to convince anyone to respond to this news flash they way I have.

Something to chew on, however.

Here's the underlying story from the magazine Outside Bozeman:

http://www.outsidebozeman.com/magazin....ough-it

It's harsh, but I have little doubt it's accurate.

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Kemo Sabe

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.

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Dave in Maine

Just sent the below letter off to DU's contact box - which may have been full or turned off (I dunno):

I heard about your firing writer Don Thomas, and that it came about after and in response to his article in a Montana magazine recounting the history of Jim Kennedy and a bridge across the Ruby River in Montana.

I'm familiar with the Ruby and the difficulties of gaining access to use it, in my experience for fishing purposes.  Frankly, Mr. Kennedy is out of line in his position and has been for a long time.  But that's not why I'm writing you.

I'm writing you to tell you that abasing yourself and your organization to the wealthy and soothing their feelings when they take offense at someone calling them for throwing their weight around - which is what appears to have been your organization's chosen course of action here - is no way to run a broad-based organization.  Throwing overboard someone who writes with knowledge of the situation, just to placate the someone who justly got reamed for bad behavior, is a good way to alienate the masses of people you're supposed to represent.

I've long had a positive image of your organization.  While I'm not a member - one can be a member of only so many organizations - I had intended to include some money from my Estate for DU and its conservation mission.  This episode has shown me, sadly, that DU is more concerned with the assuaging the hurt feelings of malefactors who happen to have a lot of money than with anything else.  The life and income of an outdoors writer is tough and small, respectively.  It would seem you're more interested in being an unpaid designated leg-breaker for a rich man who can afford his own.  The picture of your apparently-opulent national headquarters, which is on my screen just above this comment form, is further confirmatory proof that you're more interested in the money than the mission.

So, don't expect anything from me.

And, I can also say, that among sportsmen who've read the articles, 100 percent of them (so far) have agreed with me.  You ought to have your office staff start recalibrating the financial forecasts.

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Jack L

Poor decision by DU.

When you get in bed with a skunk you get stinky, just like the skunk.  

All conservation groups have to be cost with big donors , no doubt they carry more water than the rest of us.  But, they have to be careful the big donor doesn't try to run the show.  Even in groups as small as local chapters of conservation groups there is an underlying current in some volunteers of what's in it for me personally.  Just doing good for the environment or whatever species you care about isn't enough.

Let's also not overlook that many big donors- corporations are involved in charitable work for tax and PR benefits first and for most .  

I am really surprised and disappointed by DU's actions.

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Kemo Sabe
Just sent the below letter off to DU's contact box - which may have been full or turned off (I dunno):

I heard about your firing writer Don Thomas, and that it came about after and in response to his article in a Montana magazine recounting the history of Jim Kennedy and a bridge across the Ruby River in Montana.

I'm familiar with the Ruby and the difficulties of gaining access to use it, in my experience for fishing purposes.  Frankly, Mr. Kennedy is out of line in his position and has been for a long time.  But that's not why I'm writing you.

I'm writing you to tell you that abasing yourself and your organization to the wealthy and soothing their feelings when they take offense at someone calling them for throwing their weight around - which is what appears to have been your organization's chosen course of action here - is no way to run a broad-based organization.  Throwing overboard someone who writes with knowledge of the situation, just to placate the someone who justly got reamed for bad behavior, is a good way to alienate the masses of people you're supposed to represent.

I've long had a positive image of your organization.  While I'm not a member - one can be a member of only so many organizations - I had intended to include some money from my Estate for DU and its conservation mission.  This episode has shown me, sadly, that DU is more concerned with the assuaging the hurt feelings of malefactors who happen to have a lot of money than with anything else.  The life and income of an outdoors writer is tough and small, respectively.  It would seem you're more interested in being an unpaid designated leg-breaker for a rich man who can afford his own.  The picture of your apparently-opulent national headquarters, which is on my screen just above this comment form, is further confirmatory proof that you're more interested in the money than the mission.

So, don't expect anything from me.

And, I can also say, that among sportsmen who've read the articles, 100 percent of them (so far) have agreed with me.  You ought to have your office staff start recalibrating the financial forecasts.

Thank you for doing that. Well done!!!

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Brian Edwards
I just left them a message on their website, I will also leave on their Face Book  page.  Really unbelievable.

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Dave in Maine

Just sent the below letter off to DU's contact box - which may have been full or turned off (I dunno):

I heard about your firing writer Don Thomas, and that it came about after and in response to his article in a Montana magazine recounting the history of Jim Kennedy and a bridge across the Ruby River in Montana.

I'm familiar with the Ruby and the difficulties of gaining access to use it, in my experience for fishing purposes.  Frankly, Mr. Kennedy is out of line in his position and has been for a long time.  But that's not why I'm writing you.

I'm writing you to tell you that abasing yourself and your organization to the wealthy and soothing their feelings when they take offense at someone calling them for throwing their weight around - which is what appears to have been your organization's chosen course of action here - is no way to run a broad-based organization.  Throwing overboard someone who writes with knowledge of the situation, just to placate the someone who justly got reamed for bad behavior, is a good way to alienate the masses of people you're supposed to represent.

I've long had a positive image of your organization.  While I'm not a member - one can be a member of only so many organizations - I had intended to include some money from my Estate for DU and its conservation mission.  This episode has shown me, sadly, that DU is more concerned with the assuaging the hurt feelings of malefactors who happen to have a lot of money than with anything else.  The life and income of an outdoors writer is tough and small, respectively.  It would seem you're more interested in being an unpaid designated leg-breaker for a rich man who can afford his own.  The picture of your apparently-opulent national headquarters, which is on my screen just above this comment form, is further confirmatory proof that you're more interested in the money than the mission.

So, don't expect anything from me.

And, I can also say, that among sportsmen who've read the articles, 100 percent of them (so far) have agreed with me.  You ought to have your office staff start recalibrating the financial forecasts.

Thank you for doing that. Well done!!!

One letter they can blow off.  And will.

.

A thousand, they have to sit up and take notice.

.

Electrons are cheap these days.  You can have great effect by sitting down and writing a two-sentence letter, something along the lines of:  "I read about your firing Don Thomas, then read the underlying articles.  You're wrong to have done that and I will give you no more money because of your poor judgment."

.

It is said that three letters or phone calls in a politician's ear can be enough to get him or her to change their vote.   In Maine, they have to list their home address and phone number on the ballot.  Voluntary organizations dependent on donation dollars respond in the same manner, though it's likely to take more than merely three letters or calls.   Be polite, be direct, be firm and be short.  It works.

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