Sent on MSSA letterhead:
February 21, 2012
Joe Maurier, Director
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
1420 East Sixth Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701, and via email to: "Maurier, Joe"
Dear Director Maurier,
I see reports in the news media that the series of FWP
prosecutions arising out of the bighorn ram hunting case in the
Missouri Breaks in 2008 has finally ended.
While those prosecutions were in progress, a number of questions
occurred to me which would probably have been unproductive to ask
as long as criminal prosecutions were underway. Now that
those prosecutions are over, I pose a series of questions to you,
questions for which I hope you will see that I get prompt and
forthright answers. Thank you in advance for answering these
My questions are:
1. Since undercover FWP warden Justin Gibson is admitted to
be the triggerman who shot the ram that was the nexus for all
charges, please tell me whether or not warden Gibson had a
legitimate license or tag for this ram, a license or tag that was
applied for, paid for and drawn through the process that applies
to all other aspiring sheep hunters.
2. If warden Gibson did not possess a legitimately drawn
license or tag for the animal taken, applied and paid for through
the usual processes that apply to all others, please tell me what
Montana statute explicitly authorizes warden Gibson to be
unaccountable under the laws of Montana for having taken this ram
without such a license or tag.
3. Three other persons were cited for or charged with a wide
variety of offenses for which the alleged illegal taking of the
ram was the nexus. Please provide me with a list of all
offenses cited or charged against the three others in this
incident, with a citation to the specific statute allegedly
violated for each offense.
4. Please also provide me with a list of whatever specific
Montana statutes are held to exempt warden Gibson from being an
accessory to or accountable for each of the offenses for which
others were cited or charged in number 3 above.
5. Please provide me with the names of every FWP employee
who knew of this alleged sting operation in advance.
6. Please provide me with the names and positions of every
FWP supervisory person in warden Gibson's chain of command who
approved this operation in advance.
7. Please provide me with the names and positions of every
FWP employee who has made any official determination that warden
Gibson should not be prosecuted for any offenses associated with
this operation for which there are not statutes that explicitly
8. Please also provide me with the names and positions of
every FWP employee in warden Gibson's chain of command who has
failed to make a determination that warden Gibson should be
prosecuted for any of the offenses related to this operation for
which warden Gibson is not explicitly excused by Montana
9. Finally, please provide me with a list of all the fish
and game-related criminal offenses, and other offenses included in
Montana statutes, for which FWP wardens are not accountable if
they should commit such offenses.
I encourage you to make your reply to me electronically via email
so as to save time. I will expect that electronic reply no
later than close of business, Monday, February 27, 2012.
Thank you for your prompt and full response to these questions.
Cc: John Brenden, Chairman, Senate Fish and Game
Ted Washburn, Chairman, House Fish, Wildlife
and Parks Committee
Senator Jim Keane, Chairman, Environmental
Stephen Gannon, Choteau County Attorney
Winnie Ore, Chair, Montana POST Council
Jack Morris, Esq.
Quentin Rhoades, Esq.
Brett French, Billings Gazette
MSSA Board of Directors