Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Kofa NWR – a lack of ethics

Ron sent me an update on his previous timeline, info added here and there, which I am in the process of updating in the original post. I wanted to let anyone interested know that there has been additional information added (especially towards the end, an epilogue has been added, and links to all the Yuma Sun articles).

I’m a pretty cynical person, so the lack of ethics of the managers of the Kofa NWR didn’t surprise me much when I first read the timeline. Disappointed me, sure, and I shook my head at how many times the lack of ethics reared its head, but surprise? It takes more than that to surprise me. And I found out exactly what it takes:

May 31, 2007: On Thursday, just 3 days before an AGFD law enforcement officer shot collared cougar KM01 on a Sunday morning, Mr. Jim Broschart, ADBSS [Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society] Treasurer, sent an e-mail to Gary R. Hovatter with quid pro quo overtones. Such, I gave you this now you give me that implications demonstrate how donated monies might bias and influence the AGFD’s decisions.

Note: In the following exchange, Duane Shroufe was the then-AGFD Director, the highest position in the Department.

  • “Mr. Hovatter, Why haven’t you returned my email? Is this true this lion has made TWO kills now. On bighorn sheep! I need the dates and locations of these kills. Acording (sic) to the usf&w paper we supported ($138080) two strikes in 6 months and the lion goes to the bid (sic) kofa in the sky. When is his date he does have a collar!! Read the following after my info. I do out source for info.”

    Jim Broschart ADBSS Treasurer

  • “Jlm, (sic) I don’t know him. If he gives you grief go over his head to his supervisor. Or try Suzanne Henry at the KOFA office instead of Lindsey Smythe. I talked to Duane Shroufe last night and he assured me that if that the lion leaves the refuge again it will be removed. Supposedly they actually have two confirmed mortalities attributed to that lion. The AGFD did not know it was off the refuge earlier this month. They have since tightened up the sharing of information between the USFWS and AGFD. Now the lion is back on the refuge and they are still dicking (sic) around with the %$#@ white paper. Its supposed to be signed this week but I would expect further stalling tactics by the USFWS before it is. Good luck and keep on this.”

    [Note: no author was listed for this section of the e-mail]

So there you have it. It takes outright statements of “I paid x amount of money, now do what I want” to surprise and shock me. These emails are among the updates to the timeline. And I clarified with Ron to make sure – these emails came straight from the public record.

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3 responses to “Kofa NWR – a lack of ethics

  1. Ron Kearns May 30, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    For further verification, I looked up the timestamp on the ADBSS e-mail referenced above and the time sent was on Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 07:16 AM. The subject is: ‘Kofa Bighorn Sheep Situation’

    The only e-mail Cc: to the ADBSS e-mail was Kofa NWR Biologist Lindsay Smythe, who has the USFWS lead for Kofa cougar “research”. She was notified on June 05, 2007, 2 days after the AGFD killed the cougar, and replied, “BAD lion! Did we get the carcass?” I simply cannot imagine a response like that from a biologist who was supposed to be conducting research that I started on Kofa NWR.

  2. Deb May 30, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Mary – I completely agree!

    Ron – I was dismayed by that comment of Lindsay Smythe’s as well. I really hope that she, in particular, is not part of any research that goes on that could potentially impact the fate of any of the wildlife populations on kofa. She clearly goes in with insurmountable biases, and thus any analysis she does is worthless.

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