Tom Landwehr, the appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ( MN DNR), has abused his authority in, among other things, issuing the revocation of the special research and educational permit issued to the Wildlife Research Institute located near Ely, MN. Through his Conservation Officers (COs) and others, he has allowed false reporting to take place against WRI and Lynn Rogers, Ph.D., lead researcher and a world renowned bear behaviorist and ecologist.
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With the added help of members of the Facebook page, LILY: A BEAR WITH A BOUNTY, and others behind the scenes, Mr. Landwehr concocted a "case" against Dr. Rogers in order to revoke the permit in the middle of the research project, causing WRI to radically stop data collection in midstream and damaging certain results of the ongoing research -- All because of misinformation, lies, conjecture, and lack of professionalism on the part of the DNR's Commissioner and his employees.
It is well known and documented that there has been animosity and an element of jealousy between certain career professionals of the DNR and Dr. Rogers. While it is not neccessarily unusual for jealousies and competition among professionals, there is no excuse for the unethical actions of Mr. Landwehr and his employees that have come to light and should be investigated.
Mr. Landwehr's abusive actions will cause, and may have already caused, a targeting of the collared research bears, while still collared, and after the collars are removed, which is to take place on or before 7/31/13; just a few short weeks away.
In his own political "savviness" and abuse of power, he wrongly placed certain parameters and timeframes on the research project of WRI that the state should not have had any right to set from a scientific perspective, should not have interfered at all with the research, and should not have revoked the permit based on those wrongly placed parameters. In addition, technically they have still not been stated within the permit itself, although there was a long string of requirements stated within the permit -- they were suggestions in a cover letter which also included grossly misstated "facts". Suggestions and "facts" that he has used to "make his case", along with other false information as his further basis for revoking the permit. A total overstepping and abuse of power from an agency head that is supposed to be working for ALL of the state's citizens. Instead, he was influenced by local avid bear hunters, activists with no skin in the game, and disgruntled persons who fell out of favor with Dr. Rogers for various reasons -- none of which had anything to do with the research and education permit; and certainly nothing that required the permit to be revoked.
False allegations by Tom Landwehr and his employees and others have been allowed to be the cornerstone of Mr. Landwehr's decision to revoke the permit; an abuse of power that should not be ignored.
In addition, Mr. Landwehr and his own high-level employees have made false statements to the media -- further defaming and causing harm to Dr. Rogers. These are actions that are OPPOSITE of someone trusted by the citizens of Minnesota to provide professional and ethical services to the state, its citizenry, and its visitors.
It is time to STOP the abuse of power by the DNR and Mr. Landwehr.
There is proof of fraudulent reports issued by the DNR and even proof of forged signatures to help "build a case" against WRI. There is further proof of so-called witnesses providing misleading and false information that Mr. Landwehr has relied upon without contacting Dr. Rogers directly and personally for any explanation. A woman claiming to be Mr. Landwehr's niece stated more than once publicly that Mr. Landwehr wanted to "take WRI down". She encouraged petitions be addressed to him -- the woman acted in collusion with Mr. Landwehr at all times and helped promote the "hate" against Dr. Rogers. This has been well documented. And, although the Facebook account that is tied to the niece is a fake name account, the woman's identity who concocted the scheme is nevertheless known and provable. She was one of his biggest "witnesses". In fact, he emailed her and thanked her for helping him build his "case" -- that was months ago.
Mr. Landwehr has repeatedly ignored any requests of WRI to visit with them or with any of the officials in the surrounding area of the WRI -- a complete lapse of his responsibilities and public duty as a state official and agency head.
We respectfully, but strongly request an investigation be started by the Governor's Office or a Special Prosecutor into the actions of Tom Landwehr, Ed Boggess, and anyone in connection with them and their employees.
Abuse of power will NOT be tolerated by the citizens residing in Minnesota nor by interested parties residing outside of Minnesota. Mr. Landwehr had no hesitation whatsoever in listening to both citizens and out-of-staters to form his "case".
Sadly, Tom Landwehr made no attempt to listen to the very one he was forming a "case" against: Dr. Rogers. Why? Because he had no interest in knowing the truth and it would have gotten in the way of his own agenda and animosity.
We are betting that other instances of abuse will come to light and that there will be strong reasons to remove Mr. Landwehr from his duties as Commissioner of the DNR and anyone else employed by the state of Minnesota who has helped him in his phony "case" against WRI and whatever other disregard of official duties they have managed to commit.
Actions which amount to dishonesty, dereliction of duties, and abuse of power by a state agency head cannot be ignored. It is time to initiate an investigation into the actions of Tom Landwehr and his entire department.
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