Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Graphic Display

Some of you already saw them--graphic billboards (see below) that target tourists near Yellowstone Park. They are located in or near Cody, Wyoming; the Montana cities of Bozeman and Red Lodge; and Rexburg, Idaho. 

It’s clear that the goal of the animal rights groups behind the effort is to raise emotion and stir debate over science-based state management of a wolf population already deemed recovered in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the courtroom. 

To weigh in on the issue, go to the On Your Own Adventures Hunt Talk forum.

Below is a letter from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President & CEO David Allen addressed to the regional advertiser that claimed it had to display the billboards because it had no choice. 

May 2, 2013 

Mr. Korbe Palmer, GM 
Lamar Outdoor Advertising 
2056 N Skyview Dr. 
Casper, WY 82601 

Mr. Palmer:

I have been forwarded a copy of a letter you sent Mrs. Hockholder about billboards that your organization sold to groups using hyper-graphic images to promote their agendas related to state wolf management bordering Yellowstone Park. 

I preface my comments by acknowledging that in this country, freedom of speech is paramount and I respect that. And, that in a capitalist society, you have the right to pick your customers and use your own value system for editorial decisions. That is what makes this a great country. 

All that being said, we pride ourselves in being a part of the community in which we live. The billboard in question references an organization called projectwolf.org; a group of organizations who lost the discussion/debate on wolf management in the laboratories, the legal court rooms, and the court of public opinion in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. These organizations pretend to stand for conservation and science-based management of wildlife, yet they contribute nothing to wildlife conservation. Instead, they seek financial donations and put nothing forth to truly conserve and manage our wildlife. 

You have stated that you thought the ad was “pushing the limit,” yet felt that it wasn’t too offensive to run. Obviously, the graphic nature of these billboards and their overly false message gave you reason to pause. Evidently not enough reason to reject the ads. Given your position and your charge with bottom line profits, that is your prerogative. You also state that you cannot deny advertising. We respectfully disagree with that statement. You have every ability to reject advertising. 

David Allen
Many groups, businesses, and individuals have provided the financial and political support to see that state wolf management was allowed, as was promised to the states in 1995. It was a long battle, not all based on biology or science, rather on the demand for control over federal management policy, much to the detriment of locals paying the costs created by this litigation. Many of those who worked hard for state wolf management and who incurred business costs as a result of legal delays may be clients of your business, given the number of billboards you have in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. 

At the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, we have advocated for state-based management of wolves. Along with many of our conservation and business partners, we spent years working to see that the state agencies and the local citizens of these states were granted what was promised them from the beginning – state management authority. 

Some groups involved with projectwolf.org were part of the team of serial litigants who created lengthy delay and costs on the citizens of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Now that they have lost in all other courts, it appears their efforts are focused on the tourist traffic to Yellowstone National Park, and in the process drawing others to their side of the discussion, whether those groups do so knowingly or not. 

It is the right of your business to do business with whomever you choose. As the leader of an organization that fought hard to try to bring states the wolf management authority they were originally promised, it is disappointing to see regional businesses like Lamar assist groups such as projectwolf.org continue their desperate attempts to find more ways to impose more damage on the citizens and resources of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. 

Respectfully submitted, 

M David Allen 
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Allen, you hit the nail on the head. When dealing with the more radical environmentalists, it is not about management or conservation, it is about preservation. Preservation, to them, means leave nature alone. No fires, no thinning of trees, reintroducing animals without regard to the effects on present species, and only "approved" activates will be allowed. My great uncle owns a cabin up on the Swan River, and when we visited last year, my stepson asked why there were blue "Xs" on some trees. I told him that they were dying, and they were probably marked to be cut down. I went on to tell him about what makes a healthy forest, and the dangers of not thinning trees. We had just driven through the fires in both Wyoming and Eastern Montana. I asked my Uncle when they were going to cut down the trees, and he said an outside environmental group blocked the action with a lawsuit. Fortunately, they have not had a fire up there, but if it gets really dry, the area will go up in flames like a tinderbox. There were places where we could not every see through the trees, let alone walk through them. I told my stepson that Mother Nature wants balance, and she will get balance. Unfortunately, people do get in her way, and we get the fires of 2012. Keep up the good work!