My first day at this year's Portland Sportsman's Show started with realizing I hadn't brought any raingear and was wearing tennis shoes for my 1/2 mile walk to the front door through a torrential downpour. After being soaked, I thought a potentially heated discussion at a meet and greet scheduled for the members of the ODFW Commission might be a good way to warm things up.
As the organizers realized that a divider between two conference rooms would have to be removed in order to sustain the crowds, they made an announcement that there was a miscommunication about the start time of the event and that it was at 4:30, not the advertised time of 4pm. The room was filled with several conservation groups, including Northwest Steelheaders all wearing green hats with the organization's logo, and CCA members wearing red hats sporting their logo as well. Stickers and signs that said, "No more broken promises" were passed around.
|Crowds formed outside a conference room where the ODFW Commission Meet and Greet was scheduled to take place (Photo by Grant Scheele of Linn-Benton CCA chapter)|
The crowd grew restless, and by the time ODFW Director Curt Melcher made the introduction for former gill net strategist Bruce Buckmaster, hecklers made their thoughts known as shouts from several members of the crowd were followed by a call from Bruce Polley of CCA to show some respect to the commission for taking time to meet with the public. You can view the interaction during the beginning of the event, including a call for Buckmaster's resignation here:
Just before the event, buzz about a letter to Michael Finley, chairman of the ODFW commission from Oregon governor Kate Brown began to circulate. Brown asked the commission to reconsider it's decision about the gill net reforms to align the administration. You can read more about that on the NWS editor's blog:
The full text of Governor Brown's letter to the Chair: