Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thank God for PEER!

One of the gifts of writing about the Arizona mountain lion controversy has been my introduction to PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. From their webpage, “Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a national alliance of local, state, and federal resource professionals”. The organization’s purpose is truly unique in that it “supports those who are courageous and idealistic enough to seek a higher standard of environmental ethics and scientific integrity within their agency”. In other words, this is an organization of current or past civil servants who are attempting to hold environmentally related government agencies feet to the fire. In other words, these are not regular “cilly servants” as I jokingly refer to them but the “Supermen of Civil Servants”. They are, at personal and perhaps professional risk, working to ensure that our wildlife and environmental agencies do what they are supposed to do.

Do you understand how great that is? At the same time, do you understand how sad it is they even need to exist?

It was PEER that was behind the recent and, sadly, probably temporary halt to the unethical mountain lion killings in the Kofa Mountains by agents of the Arizona Fish and Game Department.

Interestingly, for their trouble, they caught a lot of public wrath via comments placed in some Arizona newspapers by people who probably have never even seen a mountain lion, much less studied or handled one. These are largely the “only good mountain lion is a dead mountain lion” narcissists, the people who want what they want and to hell with the rest of ya. They are the people who can’t see past their own noses, much less take a glimpse at a much larger picture. Unfortunately, the people who do understand the good that PEER is doing (and every taxpayer needs to get behind them because, if they’re successful, they will ensure that we all get what we were supposed to for our tax dollars) were and are grossly outnumbered.

It’s a sad truth that these days of fast-moving technologies do not always ensure the spread of enlightenment.


At 11:20 PM , Blogger Daniel R. Patterson said...

Thanks, Andy.

Daniel Patterson
Ecologist & Southwest Director
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (
Tucson AZ

At 8:34 AM , Blogger Adam said...

Thanks much Andy. Another of PEER's purposes is promoting sound science and transparency in all that our government does. Both of these issues are concerns at Kofa.

Adam Draper
Staff Attorney
PEER Main Office
Washington, D.C.

At 12:58 PM , Anonymous Ron Kearns said...

Good Evening Andy,

Thank you for your thoughtful post regarding PEER!

I am working on other issues regarding Kofa NWR with PEER today and next week. They are exceptional folks and I would have crashed and burned along with the Kofa cougars without them. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) refuses to correspond with me via e-mail and I received an official AGFD/STATE certified letter with a Return Receipt telling me so. When I asked why, they ‘sicced’ the AZ Assistant Attorney General on me...nothing bad, just that she and they would no longer advise or ‘engage’ me. How dare a lowly member of the public question high-level AZ employees; no not public servants because that is demeaning! They really put me in my Place!

At 59, I never thought I would see my great USFWS deteriorate with the bad influence of the AGFD.

18:05 AZ

Addendum: The AGFD acknowledges that they still must comply with my public records request pursuant to the Arizona Public Records Act/Law. However, “the Department will not be able to engage you in an ongoing e-mail dialog regarding its management activities on the Kofa.”

Ron Kearns
Saturday, May 03, 2008
10:55 AZ (-07:00)


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