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Obstruction Charges LKS Position Statement

January 26, 2018

SUBJECT: Charges of obstruction of legal hunting filed against 6th District Wildlife Commissioner and Commission Chairman Jimmy Bevins……

 

Charges of obstruction and interference filed against KDFWR Law Enforcement Colonel Rodney Coffey and Captain Richard Skaggs.

 

LEAGUE OF KENTUCKY SPORTSMEN (LKS) POSITION STATEMENT

 

Based upon careful fact-finding, interviews, and open records requests, the LKS, representing the sportsmen and women of Kentucky, and in response to present public outcry of the outdoor community of this Commonwealth, has little choice but to call for Governor Matt Bevin to remove KDFWR Commission Chairman Jimmy Bevins from the Wildlife Commission of Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR).  The LKS also calls on the KDFWR to take appropriate and immediate actions against Captain Richard Skaggs, and to replace Colonel Coffey in a timely manner. The new colonel must be able to interact and work effectively with officers and members of the Kentucky Conservation Officers Association (KCOA).  We also call for the immediate reinstatement to active duty of the officers placed on administrative leave who are involved in this case.

As mentioned, much fact finding, documentation, and verification has taken place by the LKS.  As longtime supporters of KDFWR and its many programs benefitting fish, wildlife, and all our citizens, we value a good relationship with the Department as deeply as we value our obligation to represent the best interests of our sportsmen and women who fund this Department.  In taking our present position on this matter, we believe the following to be true, based on findings of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, investigative reporting by the Lexington Herald-Leader, open records information and personal interviews:

  1. Complaining of legal waterfowl hunting too close to his property, Commissioner Bevins baited his property and/or an easement area adjacent to his property to discourage or render unlawful, the present legal hunting on the creek area. Advised that this could constitute a violation (interference of legal hunting), he did so anyway.
  2. Officer Josh Robinson cited Bevins for illegal baiting, and attempting to close off the area to legal hunting. (Interference of legal hunting).
  3. Colonel Rodney Coffey and Captain Richard Skaggs interfered with the investigation and efforts to refer the case to the appropriate prosecutor, to protect Mr. Bevins and afford him special treatment.
  4. Several officers and members of KCOA were placed on administrative leave in order to remove them from participation, discussion, etc. of any and all KDFWR law enforcement matters. These officers were charged with various “infractions” of procedural protocol in old cases brought up to discredit them and to silence them in this case.  The LKS contends the timing of this with the Bevins case is a clear indication of harassment and retaliation against these officers.
  5. In view of the entire case, the LKS believes Colonel Coffey and Captain Skaggs likely did not act alone or independently regarding interference in the prosecution of Mr. Bevins. After more investigation, should additional names come to light, the LKS calls for the public disclosure, discipline and/or removal of such individuals, no matter who, no matter what positon they hold.

Regardless of the outcome of his upcoming trial, the LKS calls for the resignation/removal of Mr. Bevins.  Otherwise, the KDFWR may suffer from an image of (at best) being dysfunctional or (at worst) being corrupt, in the eyes of the general public, the media, legislators, and the sportsmen and women of Kentucky.  The LKS supports this agency and urges appropriate action to preserve its integrity.

The LKS further urges Mr. Bevins be disqualified from any further activity, participation, or influence in the business matters of the KDFWR, the Tourism, Arts, and

Heritage Cabinet, or any other board, commission, or agency in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

We invite comments and feedback from all concerned.  Contact us at:

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen

lks@kentuckysportsmen.com

KCOA Vote of “No Confidence”

Kentucky Conservation Officer’s Association

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 100

___________________________________________

February 8, 2018

 

Commissioner Dr. Harry W. Carloss

Commissioner Mr. Frank Williams

Commissioner Dr. Rusty Gailor

Commissioner Mr. Kenny Knott

Commissioner Mr. Kevin Bond

Commissioner Mr. Jimmy B. Bevins, Chairman

Commissioner Mr. Paul Horn

Commissioner Mr. Rich Storm

Commissioner Dr. Karl Clinard

 

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

#1 Sportsman’s Lane

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

 

Dear Commissioner’s,

The KCOA/FOP represents conservations officers of all ranks within the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.   On February 5, 2018, at the KCOA Board of Directors meeting, a resolution of “no confidence” was voted regarding Commissioner Gregory Johnson as Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Whereas,

  • His lack of supervision of the Department has resulted in grievances by officers over promotions, to which a Deputy Commissioner was involved, resulting in no promotions being made, which has effected moral among officers and leaving numerous positions vacant throughout the agency.
  • His failure to take action on the investigation concerning Commissioner Jimmy Bevins regarding the duck baiting case which was improperly handled by Colonel Rodney Coffey and Captain Richard Skaggs.
  • Although the Ethics Commission has an investigation regarding Colonel Coffey – which most likely caused his resignation, Commissioner Johnson has failed to direct any action on Captain Richard Skaggs after clearly being aware of his improper conduct along with Coffey by their interfering in the Bevins investigation.
  • Commissioner Gregory Johnson has failed the sportsmen and sportswomen of Kentucky by not seeking adequate compensation for the officers of KDFWR. Conservation Officers at KDFWR are among the bottom three states for officers pay nationally; His failure to address this pay issue is causing the agency to lose current officers to other Law Enforcement agencies in the state; Further, the low pay effects the recruitment of qualified candidates to fill existing vacancies throughout the Commonwealth.
  • KCOA members were refused by Commissioner Johnson to be placed on the agenda of the December 8, 2017, Commission meeting. Historically, officers representing the Conservation Officers Association present a monetary donation of several thousand dollars intended for youth scholarship’s for the summer camps.  This action by Commissioner Johnson is inexplicable.

Again, the membership of the Kentucky Conservation Officers Association declare we have no confidence in Commissioner Gregory Johnson’s ability to guide this agency ethically, and with resolve to provide employees with fair and impartial treatment.  We are asking you to remove Gregory Johnson immediately as Commissioner of the Department.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Executive Committee and District Representatives;

Rodney D. Milburn

Rodney D. Milburn

President, KCOA / FOP 100

 

 

KCOA Executive Board:  President Rodney D. Milburn, Vice-President Josh Robinson, Secretary Thomas E. Blackwell, III, Treasurer Steve Combs, Chaplin Jason Ping, State Lodge Trustee Glenn Griffie.

KCOA District Representatives:  Bryan Dolen, Casey Meek, Brant Green, Glenn Griffie, Greg Youree, Jason Ice, Jeremy Meade, Matthew Hartley, Scott Horn.

KDFWR Scandal

BY BILL ESTEP

bestep@herald-leader.com

 

 January 18, 2018 04:30 PM

Updated January 19, 2018 08:16 AM

Presidents Report December 2017

LEAGUE OF KENTUCKY SPORTSMEN

PRESIDENT’S REPORT – NOVEMBER 2017

 

 

Dear Members and Kentucky Sportsmen and Women:

 

 

            From the LKS, here’s wishing everyone a successful fall hunting and fishing season and best wishes for the upcoming holidays and the year 2018.

 

            We Kentuckians are blessed with an abundance of outdoor opportunity unmatched by most other states.  It is up to us to protect this for future generations.  The best ways to accomplish this include:

 

  • Constant vigilance to combat efforts by animal rights groups, gun control advocates, “eco-preservationists” and others to end sport hunting, fishing, gun ownership and public land access for consumptive uses of fish and wildlife. This must be done by legislative awareness and monitoring, proactive partnership with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), grassroots support of sportsmen and women throughout Kentucky at the district level, through LKS, education and recruitment of our youth, and more.

 

  • Increasing the membership of the LKS in each wildlife district of the state, in terms of both member clubs and individual members. Most of us, as LKS members, hunt or fish on private land(s) with permission of the landowner(s).   If each LKS member, to show appreciation, would sign up one or more of these landowners as a new LKS member, our membership would double (or more) in a year’s time.  Think of that.

 

  • RETAIN, RETAIN, RETAIN existing clubs and members and GROW GROW GROW by creating a culture of service and tangible benefit – in other words, demonstrate by action and performance, the value of the LKS as the #1 organization representing sportsmen and women here in the Commonwealth.  A strong and unified performance record will bring new and committed people into our ranks as future members, officers, and directors.  At all times, we must act with honesty, fairness, openness and integrity with everyone we deal with, on every issue, no exceptions.

 

       We’d like to cover, now, some events to bring each of you up to date on LKS involvement for our members in several issues of importance:

 

  • In September, LKS presented to KDFWR, a telehandler and barge for habitat improvement, from the H.I.L.A.F. fund (license plate sales). We received many thanks and praise from the Department for these donations.

 

  • LKS, upon feedback from our members, continues to oppose the proposed license fee increases, for reason included in our position statement on our website.

 

  • At the request of our sportsmen and women in the 9th District, LKS is fighting to prevent elimination of hunting on 300+ acres leased from the Army Corps of Engineers by Pulaski County, to extend hiking and mountain bike trails on public land originally designated for hunting. LKS members Blane Kretzer, Dale Weddle and Jimmy Cantrell are working hard to prevent what might be a dangerous precedent.  One of the main policies of the LKS has always been NO NET LOSS of public lands for hunting and fishing opportunities.  As things progress, check out our website for updates.

 

 

The LKS officers and Board of Directors will meet December 9th for a quarterly meeting.  If your club, or you as a member, have an issue of concern, convey that to your League Director or to the League Office for discussion and consideration.  We work for you.

 

 

Chet Hayes

President                                

League of Kentucky Sportsmen Gives KDFWR two major pieces of habitat equipment

League of Kentucky Sportsmen gives

KDFWR equipment barge and telehandler

 

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen used revenue generated by its Kentucky license plate sales to purchase and donate two pieces of serious habitat management equipment to the Department.

KDFWR submitted to the League of Kentucky Sportsmen a list of equipment needs for consideration concerning a donation from HILAF to the KDFWR Fisheries Division.

In response, LKS donated a new telehandler that will allow staff to move and distribute heavy, habitat structures to water bodies across the state. 

Large tree stumps, wooden and evergreen tree pallets tied to several concrete blocks, and fabricated plastic trees with heavy weights attached are some of the heavy, awkward structures that require large equipment. The telehandler combines the strength of a backhoe and a forklift with an additional ability to reach out and lower habitats onto our barges and pontoon boats.  

The telehandler will help KDFWR successfully restore fish habitat in Kentucky lakes and will help us to provide anglers with healthy sport fish populations for years to come.

The LKS and Department also dedicated a new equipment transportation and habitat barge for use primarily in the management of Duck Island.

Duck Island is a 400 acre island within Lake Barkley and part of Lake Barkley Wildlife Management Area.  Depending on the year, there can be 40 -100 tillable acres of the island that is accessible by tractors and implements. 

The island is susceptible to growing season flood events since the protective levee is overtopped when the lake level is reaches 2.7 feet over summer pool. 

Habitat management activities are primarily water level manipulation and soil disturbance.  Soil disturbance is critical for proper moist-soil management as well as the planting of cereal grains. 

Given the need to keep the island in an early successional state and maintain area levees and structures, the ability to transport equipment to and from the island is critical.  Over time, the lake continues to fill with silt, resulting in shallower water depths at key access points. 

The new barge replaces an aging barge that is inadequate for transporting the agency’s backhoe to the island because it drafts too much water when the lake is low. 

The new, larger barge will draft much less water, which extends our ability to complete habitat management activities well into the future.  We can move equipment at any time regardless of the lake level. The larger vessel will allow the agency to move larger equipment if needed. 

In the past, we were limited to about 20,000 pounds capacity.  A 60,000 pound load on the new barge will require only 1 foot of additional draft.  In the past, we were unable to move an excavator to the island.  We will now have that ability.

We always will have challenges and obstacles with dynamic lake levels and soil moisture conditions, but equipment transportation to and from the island will be safe and efficient.

The loss of fish habitat is one of the largest threats to fisheries nationwide, and in Kentucky most of our aging lakes are losing aquatic habitat and structure through degradation, erosion, and siltation.  Habitat availability is one of the key/basic requirements for the health and survival of all aquatic biota, and it greatly affects fish populations.

Angler success increases in concert with habitat availability since structure can be targeted when fishing, and sport fish orient themselves in and around habitat structure.

Physical habitat is critical to sport fish at all stages of life.  Young fish use habitat as protective nursery areas, avoiding predation by larger fish. 

In addition, growth of algae on these structures attracts forage for these young fish.  Mature sport fish also benefit from fish habitat through the attraction of baitfish, which the larger fish will feed on. Physical habitat structures also provide fishing locations for anglers, and without it, lakes with limited habitat become difficult to fish as many sought-after sport fish species are habitat oriented.  Anglers are left trying to fish “barren” shoreline with limited or random success.

 

Passing of Robert (Bob) Fraley

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen is deeply saddened to inform its membership and sportsmen that Bob Fraley passed away this Sunday morning September the 10th.. As many of you know, he has been suffering from illnesses for some time now. We extend our prayers to his family.

Robert Lee Fraley
July 29, 1944 – September 10, 2017
Online Obituaries for Owenton KY
Robert Lee Fraley, 73, husband of Mary Ann Fraley, passed away on Sunday, September 10, 2017. He was born in Weeksburg, KY on July 29, 1944 to the late Raymond and Mollie Sue Shannon Fraley. He worked for Semicon Corporation as a mechanical engineer. He was a veteran of the United States Army and a member of Caney Creek Baptist Church. Mr. Fraley was active in the NRA and KHEA, and taught hunter education for the Fish and Wildlife.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Michelle Barclay, Georgetown; his sons, Michael Fraley, Frankfort, and Timothy Fraley, Cynthiana; his step children, Deborah Fallen Luke, Pamela Fallen Adams, and Jeffrey Fallen; his 8 grandchildren; and several great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his sisters, Carol Ray Frank, Patricia Sue Barker, and Betty Jean Fraley.
Funeral Information
Funeral service will be held at 1:00pm on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Clark Legacy Center, Versailles Rd. Bro. Ed Wells will officiate. Serving as casketbearers will be Kevin Adams, Travis Adams, Michael Fraley, Nathan Fraley, Jeff Fallen, and Greg Fallen. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Vsitation will be held from 11:00am until the time of service on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the funeral home.
Donations Information
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hunter Education Association.

Presidents Message August 2017

LEAGUE OF KENTUCKY SPORTSMEN

PRESIDENT’S REPORT 

Dear Members and Kentucky Sportsmen and Women: 

In early June I received the honor of being selected to serve as President of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen (LKS).  Two of my primary reasons for serving, and based on feedback from many of you, are as follows:

 

  • Grow the LKS by increasing the membership, both in terms of member clubs and individual members. Recover lost clubs and members, often due only to missed communications at the local level during changes of officers.  Locate and enlist new clubs.  Create a culture where LKS educates the outdoor community as to the benefit of belonging to a statewide blanket organization representing all sportsmen and women.  Make folks realize that most everything affecting our outdoor opportunities has its origins in Frankfort either through the Legislature, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), other state agencies, the Farm Bureau, etc.  Clearly, it is in everyone’s best interest to be represented there by one strong and unified group, able to deal in a respectful and professional manner with a variety of people on a variety of issues.  That organization is and has long been the LKS.  Everyone recognizes strength in numbers, hence our priority in re-growing the LKS to best represent you.  Each officer/director has received my challenge to accomplish

             this in their area.

 

  • Maintain, improve and continue to grow our longstanding and supportive partnership with the KDFWR at every opportunity. And on occasions when we find ourselves on opposite sides of an issue, as will certainly happen from time to time, we must agree to disagree respectfully, always with the interests of Kentucky sportsmen and women foremost, consider all sides of an issue, let the issue be decided, and move forward.  KDFWR has pledged full appreciation and support for the LKS, as well as improved communications, and open and frank discussions on any points of misunderstanding between us.  We feel excited about this mutual reaffirmation of cooperation and support.

 

On that note, the LKS has purchased and donated, thru the H.I.L.A.F., a barge for much-needed habitat improvement in Western Kentucky, and a Tele-Handler for use statewide, also for habitat improvement.  We will be presenting these to KDFWR at two well-publicized ceremonies.  These have been purchased by your license plate money, administered by LKS, and are the result of your support of the LKS, its efforts for habitat improvement/outdoor opportunity, and the work of the KDFWR to make these ideas a reality.  Remember, the end purpose of all our efforts is to make sure our outdoor culture is passed on to future Kentuckians. 

We will have more good news to report but I will close for now by saying thanks for your support and that of the officers/directors for helping me to continue the LKS in a positive, unified direction. 

Chet Hayes/President

LKS Message June 2017

The LKS annual convention is now upon us. I encourage everyone to attend and bring along family and friends. The convention is being held at Jenny Wiley State Park at Dewey Lake.

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen is, and always will be, the voice of Kentucky Sportsmen. With like-minded and dedicated sportsmen working together, we have and will continue to improve upon and protect the natural resources of our great state.

One might, and some have ask:  What is the League of Kentucky Sportsmen and what can it do for me?  

Lets start with the later. Within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you may be the weekend angler or the avid fisherman. It may be that precise cast that nets that large mouth bass that you knew was there and hoped you had just the right lure to make him curious enough to strike, or that crappie, small mouth, musky or trout fisherman that has spent hours making your own flies to head out to your own honey hole. Or, are you the bow, modern gun or more traditional firearms hunter that catches that hunting fever well before your choice of season counts down on the calendar.  That trapper that has worked to perfect just the right bait in hopes of filling that trap line.

Several of those opportunities and increases in resources that we view as common place were few and far between a short few years ago. A deer was a rare sight to see, there was no elk herd in the state, there were basically no wild turkey and other resources seemed to be on the decline. Now, with the harvest bountiful, it is easily forgotten the ones that got us to this point. Sportsmen, Sportswomen, sportsmen clubs and groups unified together to form a League of Kentucky Sportsmen to ensure that this and future generations can enjoy the resources that only other states can envy.

Now we are asked, what is the League and what can it do for me? One of the greatest saying of all times was by President John F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Here is my quote, or saying ” A forest is not just one tree, it’s several standing together.” With those two sayings in mind, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen is its membership, you the member. As a member, your concerns, ideas and changes becomes part of the Leagues. Our power is within our people, the membership. Join, be active, attend meetings in your federation and hold those you elect accountable. Be a part and stand with us as we stand with you, the sportsman.

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen WILL be your unified voice, monitoring legislation, addressing  your concerns to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and continuing to protect and preserve the natural resources of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.