Statement of Steven K. Chapman and Bob Ferris Regarding the Investigation Of Jerod Broadfoot and the Future of the Oregon Outdoor Council and Oregon Outdoor Council Foundation

Correction: An earlier version of this statement indicated that Mr. Broadfoot and his wife were charged by the Umatilla District Attorney's Office.  This conclusion was erroneous and based upon our receipt of internal case numbers from the District Attorney's office indicating an on-going action with potential charges.  We apologize for any confusion this might have caused.  
 
September 20, 2013David Allen and Jerod Broadfoot
 
Over the past several months we have made numerous public statements and comments regarding ethical and legal issues relating to Mr. Broadfoot (pictured at right with David Allen CEO of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation), the Oregon Outdoor Council (OOC) and the Oregon Outdoor Council Foundation’s (OOCF) programmatic and administrative actions.  As a result we have received volumes of feedback—both positive and negative.  We appreciate the former and are willing to accept the latter because we hold that our actions are wholly justified and necessary.  In fact, our allegations and evidence have prompted an on-going Oregon Department of Justice investigation.  
 
Our commentary has also acted as a catalyst for other individuals who have stepped forward and offered additional information supporting our claims.  The most significant offering was made recently when a former business partner stepped forward with evidence indicating that OOC Executive Director Jerod Broadfoot poached at least two trophy deer in the fall of 2010—allegedly shooting a total of three deer in a 24-hour period.  
 
We strongly feel that poaching needs to be curtailed and we caused this evidence to be submitted to the Oregon State Police (OSP).  In early July 2013 OSP officers visited Mr. Broadfoot’s home and collected further evidence.  The result of all these activities is that the District Attorney of Umatilla County is considering charging Mr. Broadfoot with wildlife violations.  His wife Jennifer Ross Broadfoot is also under investigation on related issues.  
 
Poaching is epidemic and needs to be curtailed, but this entire situation is troublesome for two additional reasons.  The first is that Mr. Broadfoot in addition to being the driver behind OOC’s programmatic and administrative actions is also a State of Oregon employee and as such should be held to a higher standard of behavior.  It is unclear at this point exactly how much of Mr. Broadfoot’s non-state activities were conducted during times when he was being paid as a state employee but these actions during normal business hours are substantial and need to be examined.
 
The other troubling aspect is the apparent vulnerability of our legislative system to individuals like Mr. Broadfoot who make compelling arguments that are unsupported by facts or science.  Moreover, there should be some concern that once facts began to emerge about ethical and legal lapses at OOC (see Predatory Non-Profit) that no efficient mechanism seemed to exist to communicate those developments to legislators so they could make take those factors into account.  
 
Political pressure unethically and inappropriately applied is particularly troubling to us. Both of us, for instance, have heard that senior members of the Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus were lobbied by Mr. Broadfoot to intervene in an active Oregon State Police poaching investigation involving Mr. Broadfoot’s father-in-law.  This request is problematic on a number of different levels but the fact that these legislators reportedly acted on the requests should also be examined and addressed.  We cannot envision a scenario where legislators enabling poaching at the behest of a poacher could be in the best interest of hunters, anglers or our precious natural resources.
 
We undertook all of these actions because we share five principles regarding non-profits; hunting and angling; and wildlife law enforcement: 1) Non-profits should be run ethically and legally; 2) Wildlife managers need to focus on the most pressing problems as directed by facts and science not by myths and fear; 3) Productive dialogues within the conservation community and our allies need to be courteous and not dominated by divisiveness and name calling; 4) Angling and hunting are sports and for them to remain vibrant and publicly acceptable participants—particularly leaders—need to obey and enforce the ethics and laws of our pursuits; and 5) The Oregon State Fish and Wildlife Police needs to be allowed to do their job—especially as it applies to poaching—free from political interference.  Our actions were a result of Mr. Broadfoot and elements of OOC’s current leadership materially violating all of these important tenets.
 
 
Stan Steele – President
Retired OSP Fish and Wildlife Officer
Mike Vallery – Board Member
Safari Club International 
Dominic Aiello – Vice President
Self-employed
Wendell Locke – Board Member
Oregon Hunter’s Association
Wayne Endicott – Secretary Treasurer
Owner—The Bow Rack Springfield, OR
Bryan Richardson – Board Member
Duane Bernard – Board Member
Oregon Hunter’s Association
Ross Day – Legal Counsel
Day Law Group, P.C.
 
To be crystal-clear on our motivations and long term goals: We only want what is best for the hunting and angling community.  Therefore, we see no reason for OOC to dissolve or disappear, but OOC cannot continue or move forward with their current leadership—many of whom enabled some of these behaviors and turned a blind eye to others (see board list above).  If OOC is to continue they should take a long moment to absorb the gravity of these happenstances and then take appropriate steps to make sure this never happens again.  We would also suggest that the organization take time to examine all the false rhetoric and divisiveness embedded in its programs and messaging in order to begin the process of building or rebuilding the relationships with natural and necessary allies that have been grievously alienated through the first two years of operation.  We wish the future leadership luck in this process.  
 
Steven K. Chapman 
Founding Board Member OOC
Former Treasurer OOC
Bob Ferris
Executive Director 
Cascadia Wildlands

 

Background Information and Related Links:

Predatory Non Profit?

Cougar Crisis?

An Unnatural State of Fear: Oregon Outdoor Council versus Lions, Tigers (Wolves) and Bears

The Wedge Group Recipe

 

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