ID wildlife official defends demotion
Saturday, August 16, 2008 10:23 PM PDT
http://www.argusobserver.com/articles/2 ... 430258.txt
TWIN FALLS, ID (AP) — State Fish and Game Department officials are defending a decision to demote a supervisor who warned that a proposed $500 million wind farm in southern Idaho will harm wildlife.
Former Magic Valley regional supervisor David Parrish has been reassigned to Boise, where he’ll work as a fisheries program coordinator. Parrish wrote a letter to The Times-News in July condemning a proposed 185-turbine wind farm.
Fish and Game Department spokesman Mike Keckler says other agency officials have voiced opinions on policy issues, but those comments were approved first, by department supervisors.
‘‘When discussing policy matters, it is important that the chain of command within Fish and Game be notified,’’ Keckler said. ‘‘I think any organization would operate in a similar fashion.’’
Parrish was a regional supervisor in southern Idaho for eight years. He was reassigned one month after he made his opinions on the wind farm public in the letter.
‘‘It’s a no-brainer — the footprint of a project that will cover prime habitat (for) sage grouse, mule deer, antelope and other sagebrush dependent species,’’ Parrish wrote.
State House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, said the letter violated a policy that Gov. C.L. ‘‘Butch’’ Otter has on state officials who speak publicly without prior clearance from the governor’s office.
Bedke said he contacted the governor because he was concerned Parrish was voicing an opinion too early in the environmental assessment phase of the project.
Fish and Game officials have said other factors contributed to the demotion.
So basically I see this in all state and federal Govt employees. They are hand cuffed from speaking out on what they suspect is bad policy or they loose their jobs.
As for the wind mills, well I wonder if it does affect wildlife? I know privately that some biologists have some serious concerns about the affect on wildlife.