Please & Thank You
Thanking an Oregon leader for standing up for wildlife.
Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio deserves credit for standing up for wildlife and responsible government by co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation allowing oversight of the rogue wildlife-killing agency Wildife Services.
Chances are when you were a kid someone told you “don’t forget to say your ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s”. As conservationists facing a litany of threats to our natural heritage, we can’t afford to forget to say please. However, sometimes in our haste we do forget to say thank you.
Since he took office in 1987, Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio has done some great things for the environment. However, over the last several months we’ve been saying “please” a lot more than “thank you” as we’ve been at odds over his newest logging scheme.
We are still happy to give him credit when he deserves it. That’s why we were pleased for the opportunity to send the Congressman a letter thanking him for his recent stand for wildlife.
It’s a well-timed stand. As the most anti-environmental congress in decades continues to propose bad idea after bad idea, the last thing threatened wildlife need are threats from our won government. Sadly, Wildlife Services is an agency gone rogue.
In addition to a national expose highlighting the agencies gruesome toll (over 150,000 animals killed in the last 5 years), they’ve garnered more local headlines in Oregon for accidentally killing pets. Not used to such public scrutiny, in one incident, State Director David Williams offered this lame apology (?) for the killing of a suburban dog “We offer our regrets for the take of the McCurtains' dog”. [emphasis added]
In 2010, we discovered that the agency was breaking its own laws by killing wolves in Oregon. When we – along with our allies – filed a legal challenge, the agency acknowledged as much by immediately agreeing to withdraw from participation in the state’s wolf killing program.
Since that time, they’ve killed thousands of other animals, like ducks, bears, beavers, otters, bobcats, coyotes, and more. Sadly, as it stands we’ll likely never know how many.
That’s because the agency is shrouded in secrecy and has fought tooth and nail to avoid public oversight or scrutiny of any kind. Call me a cynic, but usually people don’t try to hide good behavior.
Especially in an age where fiscal responsibility is supposed to be the name of the game, most Americans would be shocked to know that their taxpayer dollars are being spent on killing wildlife at the request of special interests like the livestock industry.
A bi-partisan bill co-sponsored by Representative DeFazio called the Transparency for Lethal Control Act would take a simple and common sense step towards rectifying that by ensuring the agency make its actions knowable to the public. You can read the bill here and read our letter to Congressman DeFazio here.
You may also enjoy a floor speech given by the Congressman last year about the agency:
It can be difficult to feud with a friend and hard to thank a traditional adversary, but it’s an important part of what we do. Regardless of whose ideas they are, Oregon Wild will never back down from threats to our natural heritage. But it’s also important to remember to thank those same leaders when they do something right.
So - on behalf of all who value native wildlife, common sense, and responsible government - Thank you Congressman.