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OOC Submits Records Request and Notice of Possible Legal Complaint

OOC Submits Records Request and Notice of Possible Legal Complaint

Oregon Outdoor Council & Day Law Group

September 19th, 2014

Via facsimile (503 .797 .1797 ) and First-class mail

Metropolitan Service District
600 NE Grand Avenue
Portland, Oregon  97232

RE:      Wildlife and Lead Outreach Coordinator
Public Records Request

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is in regards to the above-referenced matter.  Please direct all correspondence to me regarding this letter at the address below.

My office represents the Oregon Outdoor Council, a statewide organization dedicated to protecting hunting, fishing and trapping in Oregon.  The Oregon Outdoor Council represents the interests of hunters, anglers and trappers across the state of Oregon, including many members who reside within Metro’s jurisdictional boundaries.  This letter is sent on behalf of the Oregon Outdoor Council.

The Oregon Outdoor Council is in receipt of an “invitation” by Metro for applications for the position of “Wildlife and Lead Outreach Coordinator”.  According to the “invitation”, the coordinator will be responsible for implementing the Oregon Zoo’s “Wildlife and Lead Outreach Initiative.”  The goal of the initiative, according to the “invitation”, is to “reduce the exposure of wildlife to lead.”  The “invitation” goes on to conclude “which has been identified as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in wildlife.”

In fact, there is no credible evidence to support the conclusion that exposure of wildlife to lead is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in wildlife.

The “invitation” is cleverly worded.  The “invitation” merely states that lead has been “identified” as an alleged cause of morbidity and mortality in wildlife.  The “invitation” does not state conclusively that lead, in fact, results in morbidity and mortality in wildlife.

It is true, some groups have “identified” lead as a cause of morbidity and mortality in wildlife.  Those groups include Defenders of Wildlife, the Human Society of the United States, the Audubon Society and the Center for Biological Diversity, to name a few.  Each one of these organizations have a stated purpose of eliminating hunting, trapping and angling.  The claims made by these groups that lead in the environment somehow causes morbidity and mortality in wildlife is not supported by credible science, and are nothing more than propaganda put forth by these organizations to achieve their ultimate goal of eliminating hunting, trapping and angling in the United States.

The timing of Metro’s “invitation” is curious, to say the least.  The “invitation” comes on the heels of highly contentious public discussion concerning the issue of the use of lead in ammunition and angling.  There is likely to be either substantial discussion of the issue in the next legislative session, or perhaps an initiative petition circulated to address the alleged issues.  Either way, Metro’s “invitation” appears to be nothing more than a taxpayer-funded political mouthpiece to advance Metro’s political goals, rather than sound public policy.

You may be aware of recent events surrounding the “Oregon Marijuana Education Tour”, which (like Metro’s Wildlife and Lead Outreach Coordinator) was supposed to be a non-political endeavor.  Of course, the “Oregon Marijuana Education Tour” was conveniently scheduled just immediately prior to the vote on Ballot Measure 91, and featured prominent anti-legalization speakers.  The “Oregon Marijuana Education Tour” was cancelled amid complaints that the event was nothing more than taxpayer-funded advocacy against Ballot Measure 91.

Likewise, the recent creation of the Wildlife and Lead Outreach Coordinator position reeks of similar political opportunism.  Please be advised that if Metro insists on funding and filling this position the Oregon Outdoor Council stands ready to file a complaint against Metro for using public dollars to advance its political agenda.  We are confident that just like the “Oregon Marijuana Education Tour”, it will be determined that Metro’s “invitation” likewise violates state and federal laws prohibiting the use of tax dollars for political purposes.

PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST

This letter serves as a public record request pursuant to ORS 192.420 on the Metropolitan Service District (“Metro”). This request is made on behalf of the Oregon Outdoor Council, Inc.

The term “records” for the purposes of this request includes, but is not limited to, any and all handwritings, typewritten materials, printed materials, electronic mail, data banks, photographs, and every other means of recording, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, files, facsimiles, or electronic recordings.

The requested records are:

  1. All records relating to the Oregon Zoo’s “Condor program”, and specifically any and all records supporting the claim that lead from ammunition and/or tackle has resulted in harm to the California Condor population in Oregon;
  2. All records relied upon by Metro to reach the conclusion that lead has been identified as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in wildlife;
  3. All records relating to the creation, funding and operations of the Wildlife and Lead Outreach Coordinator;
  4. All records relating to Metro’s “Wildlife and Lead Outreach Initiative.”

Please note that once the requested record came in the possession of you and/or your office,  and/or any employee in your office, that information immediately became a public record (unless  the information is specifically covered by an exemption in ORS 192.501 or 192.502) subject to disclosure under Oregon’ public record laws.

Also please be aware that any information on personal computers that pertain to any public employee’s official functions is also a public record covered by this request.

I propose that the requested records be made available no later than 30 days from the date of this letter.

There is no specific statutory exemption which prohibits disclosure of these public records. In addition, there is no discretionary basis to withhold these public records from disclosure.

You are not authorized to incur any expenses in response to this public records request exceeding $100.00. If you anticipate the cost of providing these public records will exceed this amount, please contact me immediately.  I will not be responsible for expenses that incurred in response to this request unless specifically authorized in writing or by electronic mail from me.

/s/Ross Day
Ross Day, Esq.