This really comes as no surprise to most of us, but it's still pretty awful. The Arizona Game and Fish Department immediately launched in trying to cover it's ass:
"The report contains allegations and opinions apparently untested by the IG," Game and Fish said. "Many of those assertions have been previously addressed by the department and present little or no new information."Right. Does anyone really believe that the U.S. Interior Department's Office of Inspector General did a worse job than Game and Fish trying to sort through the wreckage of the Macho B story? No way. AGFD can't be trusted to conduct an unbiased review.
Game and Fish also said that because the new report is a public version that excludes some information, "it still represents a redacted and therefore incomplete version." The state agency is conducting an internal investigation of the Macho B capture and death but has refused to discuss or release details because of the criminal investigation.
During the March 5, 2009 Macho B News Conference in Tucson, AGF Commission Chairman Bob Hernbrode made statements well before any investigation began regarding Macho B’s death. A leader must never preemptively make biased statements—pro or con—attesting to the credibility, et cetera of agency staff or official contractors that might have erred or violated Federal/State law. Before the presentation of any evidence, Chairman Hernbrode biasedly stated that the actions of personal involved in Macho B’s handling were “needed and appropriate.”With a lead off like this, does it sound like AGFD was seeking anything other than to exonerate itself?
Chairman Hernbrode made his comments on March 5, less than 3-full days after Macho B’s euthanization and over 3 weeks before an Arizona AG and Federal investigation began. In fact, the AGFD and AGF Commission later made this statement in their April 2, 2009 release, “The Department and Commission did not authorize or condone intentional initial capture of this jaguar.” Therefore, Chairman Hernbrode was premature and prejudiced with his March 5, 2009 statements that follow and he has demonstrated here and elsewhere that he is incapable of objectiveness when the AGFD is involved. (From the comments section of the original article in the AZ Star, with link to video file; thanks Ron Kearn!)
AGFD is SO BAD! We've pointed our fingers at Terry Johnson before, but the AZ Star story does too:
• The same official had warned state officials in advance of the possibility that a jaguar could be captured during the study. He sent an e-mail Feb. 26, 2008, to Arizona Game and Fish employees Todd Atwood and Terry Johnson, the report says. But his request for a meeting on the subject was rebuffed.And, apparently, beyond. Rumor has it that Johnson went far out of his way to rile up ranchers on the U.S.-Mexico border to oppose wolf releases in Mexico (which, by the way, is an sovereign nation). You can't have someone in charge of endangered species recovery who so obviously leans the other way. Here's hoping that we see a major overhaul of the AGFD before the IG report gets dusty. Macho B's death should not be in vain.
"The biologist said that he was intimidated by Johnson and his attitude that the AZGFD could do whatever it wanted in Arizona," the report says.