Well, since the last four days of my life have been made very difficult by a few fringe elements in the Montana Outfitter and Guides Association (MOGA), I am going to post what has been going on. Makes me wonder if all the MOGA members know a few of their leaders are willing to use their organization to engage in their personal battles.
Seems MOGA is trying to split the hunting community and forcing RMEF to chose between guided hunters and non-guided hunters. Seems have me as one of the twenty-four board members of RMEF is more than MOGA can stand.
A few on the MOGA board are upset with my representation of our audience when testifying at the legislature, and the shrinking grip they have on the legislature. Appears desparate times call for desparate measures.
Below is an email that was sent to every RMEF board member and RMEF management. Also was sent to the state outfitter associations across the west, with WYOGA being the only other association who has joined MOGA.
This effort by MOGA prompted other emails and phone calls followed where outfitters informed RMEF of action if RMEF went forward with my nomination. Those threats covered the spectrum of pulling donations, not attending banquets, dropping memberships, etc.
This effort, an effort most would classify as extortion, seems to be the way the fringe operates these days. Personal agendas of a few within an organization allows them to go so far as to use RMEF and the RMEF mission as a tool of leverage to try take another whack at me and the viewers/readers I am asked to represent.
The good news is that RMEF has asked me to keep my position and continue advocating as I have in the past. They are not about to let any group hold them hostage. RMEF will not be drawn into attenpts by a few disgruntled outfitters who want to split the hunting world.
I have told RMEF that I have not yet finalized what I will do. The goal, mission, and work of RMEF is far more important than my board position.
Since this MOGA effort has now been spread across much of Montana, with my CPA clients and landowner friends being told of the MOGA plan with peculiar frequency, I don't have many options other than to speak out and start pushing back.
This has been going on since Wednesday. I have waited to post until now, though by Friday, I was getting calls from landowners and clients, asking what the hell was going on.
I waited for RMEF to digest what this was about and what was being asked of them. It became very obvious, very early, that MOGA had "stepped in it" by trying to extort RMEF. The reply of RMEF and their board makes me even more proud that they would ask me to be part of the Board of Directors.
For those of you who are as disgusted with the effort by MOGA, I hope you will give RMEF your support for not being held hostage by this group of fringe operators who have now gained control over the MOGA board of directors.
Looks like MOGA has taken the gloves off in their desparate and continuing effort to control the hunting of 180,000 hunters in Montana and the 195,000 members of RMEF. I am now taking my gloves off and rolling up my sleeves. Things are going to get real interesting, real fast.
If you are as tired of these continue attempts by MOGA to split the hunting community and drive a deeper wedge between hunters and landowners, I hope you will take actioin. Share this thread on as many websites as you can. Post a link on your Facebook page.
It is time to stomp out this craziness. Hopefully the many good guys within MOGA will read this and will ask some questions of how their organization was drawn into such a mess by a few in leadership positions.
Please let RMEF know how you feel about their decision. In today's world, when extortive tactics seem to be effective, RMEF stood tall and is supporting my nomination, thereby supporting the bigger goal of a united hunter community; thereby rejecting efforts of those who put personal agendas above the important work of conservation, habitat, and access, and most importantly, refusing to be held hostage.
More to follow. Lots more.
From: MOGA [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:28 AM
To: montana outfitters and guides assoc.
Subject: RMEF Board Appointments
Individual Outfitters from several states have expressed concern over the possible appointment of Randy Newberg to the Board of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Randy is a TV show host and has consistently projected a “do-it-on –your own” theme. However, Randy is affiliated with, and often represents one or more organizations that some perceive to be anti-outfitting/landowner often presenting the western Outfitting Industry in a negative light.
Montana based Outfitters, many of whom provide significant donations to RMEF that sustain the organization, are questioning the wisdom in this appointment. They have indicated they may withdraw donations to RMEF if the appointment goes through. It is our understanding that the appointment is not final and will not be until later this month.
Many have called our office asking how they make their views known to the leadership of RMEF. In response to that request I am providing the following email addresses. Please direct your individual comments to these leaders of RMEF.
Lee Swanson from WI
Below are the RMEF Directors from the western states. We do not have contact information, however many of you will know these folks personally and it may be worth a call.
Bonners Ferry, ID
Grand Junction, CO
George McCoy, Ph.D.
Las Cruces, NM
Montana Outfitters and Guides Association
5 Microwave Hill Road
Montana City, MT 59634
406 449-3578 office
406 439-2059 cell