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    • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
      Admin
      Admin
      Post count: 907

      This topic may seem off base in a bowhunting forum, but it is important in the outdoor writer arena, and it affects a good friend and writer for Traditional Bowhunter, Don Thomas.

      Here’s what happened, in Don’s words. Ducks, Politics and Money

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      That’s a bummer.

      But not unexpected. This same scenario has been playing out in America (And the rest of the world I would guess) for a long time.

      As the discrepancy between the wealth of the have’s and the have not’s gets greater, the problem likewise gets bigger.

      Greed is now seen as a virtue, and a justification.

      On this specific instance, it seems a lawsuit would be justified and maybe helpful. When non-profits put the profit ahead of the purpose, they have lost their moral authority, and maybe they should lose their tax exempt status too 😳

      There are so many on-line petitions anymore that it seems like just noise. The real way to get change is to make their greed cost the bad guys. I expect they don’t expect you to do anything about it.

      Lawsuits cost money. Maybe a kickstart fund raising would get some traction. I’d kick in a couple coins.

    • skinner biscuitskinner biscuit
      Member
      Post count: 250

      Disturbing and repulsive.We are on the verge of losing it all folks!

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      If you want to speak out to Ducks Unlimited about firing Don Thomas please contact Matt Young, editor of the DU magazine

      His address is myoung@ducks.org

    • roninrus1
      Post count: 27

      Thanks Alex.

      I will be e-mailing him and letting him know I will not renew my membership and will no longer donate to them. I will not support or donate to any organization that operates in this manner.

      Rusty

    • Col MikeCol Mike
      Member
      Post count: 910

      Done the e-mail. Don let us know of any results if you would.

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Hello all, and thanks for your support. Sorry I didn’t chime in earlier, but the last two days have been insane. (Why did this have to happen during the whitetail rut?) DU is stonewalling as expected, but they are taking a terrific beating thanks to concerned sportsmen like you all over the country. This is not about me or my job. It is about transparency and integrity in the boardrooms of organizations like DU and freedom of the press. I will keep you posted. Don

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Don, my best wishes to you. The uphill fight seems to get steeper all the time. I sent an email to Mr. Young with the address Alex provided. I asked for his side of the story, as I’m always curious to the other side of the coin. I’m also curious to hear how folks might justify kneeing,or bending over, if that be the case. The dollar is powerful and I have tremendous respect to those who are willing to stand by their convictions in times when that power is used in ways that help only the few maintain their stations in life at the expense of others.

      Cheers to you, Don. I think we are fortunate to have you.

      best, david

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      I hope that DU have the character to stand up to Mr. James Cox Kennedy.

      DU have done so much for conservation, hunting and ensuring that future generations have somewhere to hunt, it is a great shame to see their reputation ruined in such a manner.

      I like to think that DU can see the value of Dons contribution outweighs Mr. Kennedy’s.

      Mark.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      I’ve been doing all I can to spread the word.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Here’s the NY Times article with DU “heels dug in” response:

      http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/11/11/us/ap-us-ducks-unlimited-firing.html?smid=fb-share

    • drew4fur
      Post count: 81

      I sent an e-mail to Matt Young voicing my disappointment and how I will not be involved in future DU fundraising events; I was involved with quite a few as an undergrad.

    • roninrus1
      Post count: 27

      Exactly the way I feel, it’s the principle.

      Companies who claim to have lots of integrity think nothing of getting rid of someone who does not lockstep with their lies and speaks the truth.. Happened recently where I work.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Thanks for the link to the NYTimes article. It’s great to get some press on the issue. I think Don has legs to stand on and DU’s argument is pretty hollow. If they didn’t like it, I could imagine a phone call to say geez Don ease up, but firing? Definitely babysitting the money.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Here’s Ducks Unlimited reply to my email:

      On Nov 13, 2015 10:05 AM, “Eric Keszler” wrote:

      Mr. Smeaton: This is in response to your recent e-mail.

      E. Donnall Thomas was a freelance contributor to Ducks Unlimited magazine. He was not a DU employee. He wrote the “Closing Time” column, which appeared on the back page of every issue. Mr. Thomas had been writing this column for DU since 2001.

      In the Fall 2015 issue of Outside Bozeman, Mr. Thomas wrote an article entitled: “A Rift Runs Through It; Fighting For Access to the Ruby River.” The article dealt with ongoing legal challenges related to public access on a portion of Montana’s Ruby River that runs through a longstanding DU volunteer leader’s property in Montana. DU recognizes there are many views on this issue, but our mission is waterfowl and wetlands conservation. As a result, DU has no position on the stream access issue in Montana.

      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.

      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.

      Attachment: Outside Bozeman article by E. Donnall Thomas

      Thank you,

      Eric Keszler

      Senior Communications Specialist Ducks Unlimited

      One Waterfowl Way

      Memphis, TN 38120

      office: 901-758-3924

      cell: 901-268-9256

    • drew4fur
      Post count: 81

      Patrick wrote: Here’s Ducks Unlimited reply to my email:

      On Nov 13, 2015 10:05 AM, “Eric Keszler” wrote:

      Mr. Smeaton: This is in response to your recent e-mail.

      E. Donnall Thomas was a freelance contributor to Ducks Unlimited magazine. He was not a DU employee. He wrote the “Closing Time” column, which appeared on the back page of every issue. Mr. Thomas had been writing this column for DU since 2001.

      In the Fall 2015 issue of Outside Bozeman, Mr. Thomas wrote an article entitled: “A Rift Runs Through It; Fighting For Access to the Ruby River.” The article dealt with ongoing legal challenges related to public access on a portion of Montana’s Ruby River that runs through a longstanding DU volunteer leader’s property in Montana. DU recognizes there are many views on this issue, but our mission is waterfowl and wetlands conservation. As a result, DU has no position on the stream access issue in Montana.

      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.

      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.

      Attachment: Outside Bozeman article by E. Donnall Thomas

      Thank you,

      Eric Keszler

      Senior Communications Specialist Ducks Unlimited

      One Waterfowl Way

      Memphis, TN 38120

      office: 901-758-3924

      cell: 901-268-9256

      This is, word for word, the reply I received from my e-mail.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      Since I wrote my first post on this matter I have read Don Thomas’ article and the other related articles and Ducks Unlimited’s response.

      On the whole, it seems everyone has said / done something regrettable.

      Obviously, Kennedy has not acted in good faith with regard to public access of the river. I think the courts will set him straight.

      Thomas’ article was informative, but it did include phrases like “most unpopular man”, “selfish man who inherited his assets”, and “Kennedy’s shortcomings are ethical” which added color to the story (at kennedy’s expense), but didn’t add merit to Thomas’ argument.

      Ducks Unlimited’s position that since Thomas was not an employee but just a contributor and thus he isn’t entitled to their loyalty smacks of the poor treatment employers give temp employees. Their attitude that free speech is less important than protecting a donor and their position that they don’t take a position on public land access shows that they have limited vision. Public access and free speech directly impact their core mission. They are blind.

      Finally, a few of you may remember that I made a post several years ago regarding a defective archery product that caused me injury, and the weak response from the manufacturer to resolve the issue. TBM deleted the post (with apologies) not because the facts were in dispute, but because the manufacturer was an advertiser in the magazine and the post reflected badly on their product.

      It seems we all are guilty, to some degree, of letting money cloud our judgement and maybe of allowing our anger to corrupt our otherwise good intentions.

      I know I have learned something from thinking through all this. As long as we’ve learned from something like this, and move forward endeavoring to do better, then the world is a better place for it.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      I disagree Steve. In my opinion, the bottom line is, Don wrote an article about an issue Ducks Unlimited considers out of their scope of interest. They should have left it as such.

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Since the topic involves me I don’t want to dominate the discussion, but I will make a few points. The DU responses quoted are the same because this is the computer generated reply DU created to deal with the torrent of criticism they are receiving. Their staff isn’t big enough to reply personally. I acknowledge that the tone of my Outside Bozeman article was harsh. Sometimes you write to entertain, sometimes to amuse, sometimes to inform. In this case, I was writing to mobilize a response to a serious situation, which required me to use a style that would demand attention. It worked. I think it is difficult for people outside Montana to understand the local reaction to the out-of-state attack on our stream access laws, but you better, because it’s coming soon to a river near you. And I will point out that I actually said that Kennedy was ARGUABLY the most hated man in Montana. I chose my words carefully, and I stand by them. Don

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      donthomas wrote: I chose my words carefully, and I stand by them. Don

      And the fact is, your carefully chosen words worked. All the collateral damage aside, he’s getting a lot of bad press from it.

    • FallguyFallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      First off Thanks Don for your efforts. I have written about local issues in the past and have used words to enlist a response. What is truly upsetting is the concerted effort throughout the country to restrict public access and to sell of public lands to the benefit of the rich and powerful. Unfortunately DU is not the only organization to bend to the wishes of a wealthy donor. For DU to say stream access is not an issue that pertains to duck hunting is absurd. Ducks use streams as well as lakes as swamps. It has always been my understanding that they were about protecting habitat and hunting access.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      It appears that Don may not be the only one to come under fire from ‘land grabbers’ in Montana

      In August there was a concerted attempt by the US Forest Service to close two mines and force the families of their claims, it was only the intervention of some very dedicated individuals that eventually made the USFS finally back down

      Is there a link?

      Mark.

    • CareyE
      Member
      Post count: 111

      “By terminating me for no reason related to my work for the magazine and the organization, DU has essentially taken the position that wealthy donors matter more than the outdoor recreationists they purport to represent.”

      Unfortunately the above is not limited to DU. Money is taking public land access away or exploiting the lands resources everywhere. Sadly the groups that say they work for us are actually working for the special interests and their greed. The lackeys that run these groups are only looking out for themselves and their interests as well. Don’t be one of the sheep that follow their mantras as gospel for sportsmen and women.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681
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