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Commentary: Conflict over NDOW chief aired in op-ed exchanges

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Your newspaper was the only one in our state that consistently printed the truth about the many failures of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and its director, Ken Mayer, soon to be former director. Your newspaper exhibited good journalism when you printed all sides of a previous wildlife story.

My article entitled “NDOW: Agency of Deception” appeared in your paper on November 12. The subject of this article was as the title stated. Misinformation was consistently spewed by NDOW and in particular, director Ken Mayer. Ken Mayer couldn’t stand seeing the truth printed in your newspaper so he rebutted my article with his claims on November 23 entitled “Response to commentary on NDOW, deer herds.”

As usual, Ken Mayer’s article was replete with lies and more misinformation. Ken Mayer’s diatribe prompted former wildlife commission chairman Gerald Lent to write the article on January 12 in your newspaper entitled “Commentary: More misinformation by NDOW chief.” Dr. Lent’s article proved without a doubt that Ken Mayer has a hard time telling the truth.

The final blow came for director Mayer when he decided to become dictator Mayer. In 2001, Assembly bill 291 provided funds for predator control. The intent of this legislation was to reduce lions, coyotes and other predators harmful to game birds and animals. In areas where predator control is being used, game numbers have increased. Ken Mayer did not believe in predator control so he decided to circumvent NRS 502.253 (predator bill) and spend $100,000 on a coyote ecology study.

In addition, Mayer wanted to spend predator money on studying cougar diets in bighorn habitat and cougar-black bear interaction. There have been many, many studies on coyotes and lions and the studies found they eat deer, sheep, and anything else they can kill. The studies that Ken Mayer proposed go completely against the intended use of the money designated for predator control.

When former Assemblyman John Carpenter heard about Ken Mayer’s studies and reckless spending of predator money, he had decided that he had had enough of Mayer’s smoke and mirrors. He wrote a detailed letter to the governor about Mayer’s intentions and how it would not only devastate Elko County but that what he was doing was a direct violation of Nevada statutes.

No governor can be thoroughly versed on every aspect of all state agencies. Governor Sandoval was convinced by some who had his ear that Ken Mayer was the best person to be the director of Nevada Department of Wildlife. Those people, namely Larry Johnson and his Coalition and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, who convinced the governor to rehire Ken Mayer, should hang their heads in shame. They not only sold out the sportsmen in Nevada but also embarrassed Governor Sandoval.

Ken Mayer’s legacy will show that he would rather climb a 20-foot saguaro cactus and tell a lie than stand flat footed on the ground and tell the truth. Oh, and by the way, he was so bad that he was fired by two governors in two years. How about a little traveling music for Ken Mayer on his way back to California? A song by country singer Roy Clark, entitled “Thank God and Greyhound You’re Gone” would work well.


Cecil Fredi, president of Hunter’s Alert, has lived in Las Vegas

for 70 years.


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