Social Prejudice Seeping into Oregon Wildlife Management?

Social Prejudice Seeping into Oregon Wildlife Management?
Social Prejudice Seeping into Oregon Wildlife Management?

U.S.A.-( In a move that is alarming hunters in Oregon and beyond that Northwest state’s borders, a gubernatorial nominee to the state Fish & Wildlife Commission has been bounced from consideration by a state Senate committee because, according to Oregon Live, “environmental advocates raised concerns over his history as a big game hunter and potential conflicts of interest.”

There is more than just a hint of social prejudice against James Nash, now retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and working as a rancher and guide in Eastern Oregon. He posted some images of past hunts in Africa where he legally shot what was reportedly a man-eating crocodile and a charging hippo. Apparently because of that and their concerns about his possible influence on management decisions, Beaver State environmentalists don’t want him on a commission responsible for management of wildlife, including wolves.

James Nash, a lifelong Oregon outdoorsman, has been rejected by a state Senate committee for consideration as an appointee to the state Fish & Wildlife Commission. He was the subject of a short biographical video produced by Leupold Optics. (Screen snip, YouTube, Leupold)

According to Oregon Live, “Environmentalists also took issue with his relationship to Todd Nash, his father, who serves as Treasurer of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, an industry group that frequently comes before the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to argue for looser restrictions on when wolves can be killed for attacking livestock.”

Perhaps those environmentalists would like Nash to sever relations with his father.

Veteran Portland Oregonian outdoor writer Bill Monroe noted in a column about this apparent outrage of political correctness, “Photos of his hippo and crocodile kills triggered an unfair rush to judgment of a man who, after medical retirement from the Marines, dedicated his life to the environment, river restoration, responsible range management and teaching others to hunt and fish.”

Anti-gun Sen. Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat who has been in office for more than two decades, chairs the committee that was scheduled to consider nominees to various commissions in Salem. OregonLive said a Burdick “spokesman” stated that Nash’s nomination “would not be moving forward, but did not comment further.”

A Wikipedia biography of Burdick says the senator “is one of the Legislature’s leading advocates for gun safety legislation.” That’s what some Second Amendment activists call “camo-speak” for being a gun control proponent.

The irony of environmentalists blocking the nomination of a veteran and lifelong outdoorsman to serve on the Fish & Wildlife commission—which is responsible for setting hunting and fishing seasons and regulations—seems overwhelming.

Leupold, the Oregon-based optics firm, has done a video about Nash that can be found on YouTube, titled “Resilient to the Core: The Story of Captain James Nash.” In it, Nash narrates some of his experiences as a Marine in Afghanistan, and talks about his life in Oregon. He’s a soft-spoken fellow who expresses his thoughts matter-of-factly, and the 7 1/2-minute video is both insightful and introspective. Some might even call it inspirational.

But that didn’t prevent some critical media about Nash. Willamette Weekly writer Nigel Jaquiss began a story about Nash back on April 24 with this line: “James Nash is good at killing exotic animals.” The article said environmental groups felt “betrayed” by Democrat Gov. Kate Brown, apparently claiming that their attitudes are shared by a majority of Oregonians. Eight of those groups reportedly sent a letter to Brown last month opposing Nash. The groups included Oregon Wild, Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Audubon Society of Portland.

Jaquiss said environmental groups were worried about “a specific conflict over the reintroduction of wolves into Oregon and, more generally, the question of whether hunters’ and ranchers’ desire to benefit from public lands should outweigh the wishes of Oregonians who favor the preservation of the state’s natural areas for wildlife habitat and recreational use.”

Hunting is a “recreational use” of public land, and it is enjoyed by tens of thousands of people in Oregon. It brings millions of dollars into the Oregon economy, including necessary funds for ODFW fish and game management, plus the annual apportionment to Oregon from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s federal aid to wildlife fund, commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson fund. This money comes from a special federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition. For Fiscal year 2019, Oregon is getting more than $16 million from the program, according to a USFWS news release.

Still, the agency appears caught in a war of changing demographics and an unfulfilled expectation among environmentalists that Gov. Brown would “change the culture at the top of her fish and wildlife agency,” according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

Except that it’s not Brown’s agency, it is a public agency, and the part of the public that pays the freight for fish and wildlife management are “hook and bullet” folks, who just might take the controversy over Nash personally. The Senate committee’s action with Burdick at the helm will likely not be forgotten.

About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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Dan Schwager

One thing I know for a fact that Democrats do more damage to nature and wildlife then Conservatives. They are not even good for city folks either. All they know is how to destroy something and blame the other guy.

Tom Hathaway

Oregon legislators don’t want a ranch-owning hunter who is also a licensed guide to sit on the Oregon Wildlife Commission because he hunts and supports the Second Amendment? Wildlife management is funded by license and tag fees. It is also paid for by taxes on bullets, guns and other outdoor related sporting goods. Hunters should be represented on this commission, but Legislators only want non-hunting anti-gunners managing our wildlife now. Cattle/deer/elk-eating wolves and salmon-eating seals matter more, right? Is there a long-range plan to ruin hunting and fishing opportunities? It certainly paves the path to saying “you don’t need guns… Read more »


Maybe now that it’s the Fudds’ ox that’s being gored, they’ll start fighting with us instead of against us.


Great article, Dave, and thanks for your good work. HOWEVER I take slight issue with the word “seeping” in the head…… this twisted thinking and value set is not “seeping” into Oregon politics, it is manistream running it , and has been for at least a couple decades/ this is the same twisted thinking that brought us the Hammond Family debacle and resultant protests at Malheur. Ten or more years earlier the same stupidity surfaced violently in Jackson and Josephine Counties resulting in stupid “management” rules that lead directly and proximally to the “Biscuit Burn”, and the follow on which… Read more »

Dave Workman

Interesting observations.
Thank you for reading, and for your kind remark.

Deer hunter

Gun banning cults and hunting banning cults have joined up to ban all guns and all hunting and trapping in America. I’ve read where these animal worshiping cults put out “press” release stating black bear and mountain lion are endangered species! These groups demand that wolves (and some even now want grizzly bears) to be put in every state west of the Mississippi! And you are not allowed to defend yourself or livestock against attacks. These wolf worshiping cults claim wolves are harmless to humans and want to be your friend. They show “staged” photos of cult members kissing amd… Read more »


Cultural stalinism has won in oregon.


Of course “social prejudice” or just flat out socialistic crap will seep in to left wing Oregon and other states, it is never ending and like we see going on with all the Democrat Party nut cases in Congress it is relentless and irrational, but relentless.

Wild Bill

If someone wants to be in politics, now a days, they must have a clean background, meaning no background. Anything that one puts on “social media” will be used against them. Membership in any organization will be twisted. Opsec must be applied to your family, children particularly, communications, and even income sources.


Unless you’re a Democrat, then you can be an anti-American Muslim, a baby killer, queer, a convicted felon or a pedophile and the Party will stand behind you and fund your election.

Wild Bill

, Well, some are trying that, its true. But I was contemplating the judgement of the majority of voters in the general election, rather than the judgement of radical democrats at the primary election.
You are correct the Democrat Party is embracing the enemies of the Constitution, enemies of We the People, and enemies of the USA, as a country, whole heartedly.