Thursday, November 12, 2015
RE: DU's Firing of Don Thomas
Sad, True but No Surprise, here is DU's response to those who have dared expressed outrage...
E. Donnall Thomas was a freelance contributor to Ducks Unlimited magazine. He was not a DU employee. He wrote the “Closing Time” column, which appeared on the back page of every issue. Mr. Thomas had been writing this column for DU since 2001.
In the Fall 2015 issue of Outside Bozeman, Mr. Thomas wrote an article entitled: “A Rift Runs Through It; Fighting For Access to the Ruby River.” The article dealt with ongoing legal challenges related to public access on a portion of Montana’s Ruby River that runs through a longstanding DU volunteer leader’s property in Montana. DU recognizes there are many views on this issue, but our mission is waterfowl and wetlands conservation. As a result, DU has no position on the stream access issue in Montana.
In DU’s opinion, the article published by Mr. Thomas in Outside Bozeman publicly and very personally attacked a DU volunteer leader. We felt that the article demonstrated a lack of fairness in vilifying a member of the DU family without allowing that person the opportunity to provide his perspective.
As a result, DU decided to discontinue its relationship with Mr. Thomas. We would be similarly concerned if Mr. Thomas had written comparable statements about any DU volunteer leader. DU honors freedom of speech, but also honors our volunteers.
Mr. Thomas has the right to express his opinions in any way he sees fit. DU has the right to choose who contributes to its publications
Matt Coffey, Senior Communications Specialist, Ducks Unlimited , (901) 758-3764 , (843) 263-7445, firstname.lastname@example.org