Written By: Heather Clemenceau
To say that Wyoming is a conservative state probably doesn’t even begin to capture it. Republicans hold nearly every elected office, and gun ownership and hunting are as much a part of a their cherished way of life as are ranching and rodeo. Just like Sue Wallis, who was often touted as a horse industry expert despite not owning any horses, her replacement for House District 52 in Wyoming seems to have an embellished C.V. as well. Troy Mader is occasionally put forth as a “scientist” who is an expert on wolves and other species of animals, not to mention AIDS, while he appears to have completed only 1 1/2 years of university in an unknown field of study.
In her support for same-sex civil unions, medical marijuana, and abortion, some of Wallis’ measures seemed at home in liberal California or even Canada, but when it came to horse slaughter she was every bit the radical zealot. While Wallis also focused on rather obscure and sometimes irrational food laws, Mader epitomizes extremist and intolerant rhetoric – he runs a gun empire and chooses to spend his time targeting the EPA whilst promoting a “biblical” and very anthropocentric stance towards animals. And he’s on record for being anti-choice and a supporter for horse slaughter too. “I stood with her wholeheartedly on that,” Mader said.
So Wyoming has basically substituted a cowboy poetess who wanted to enrich her pocketbook with horse slaughter, with a bible-thumping opportunist who has preached some dangerous rhetoric, coupled with a history of lobbying to prevent laws that might curtail the profits for his gun company. Seems like Wyoming politics have their own brand of influence peddling.
Although Mader’s Linkedin profile is here, and somewhat at odds with his Zoominfo profile. He went to college for a year and a half at Grand Canyon University, then went on to found the Common Man Institute in Gillette Wyoming. The Common Man is touted as a private research group that apparently publishes no research, yet they are a right-wing group of outfitters, timber companies, livestock producers and off-road-vehicle owners who have more than a passing resemblance to a Rick Berman enterprise. Two issues do appear to have been generated out of this nebulous group – The theme that wolves are demonic and have no place in the United States, and that AIDS is a disease imposed on those who have “filthy sex.” They don’t appear to have published anything after this crackpot rhetoric from the 80s either.
In fact, Mader appears to be the author of numerous out-of-print books(lets) that reflect his anti-science view towards wolves, as well as a very homophobic collection of quotes from various other individuals on AIDS. The journalist site WyPols have dredged up a dog-eared copy of his mess of a book The Death Sentence of AIDS.”and are publishing chapters of his book to let their readers make up their own minds as to how homophobic this untethered bulldog really is. The site plans to post chapters of Mader’s book over the next few days and weeks, so if you have a morbid curiosity, please check it out on their site. In case you’re wondering what his qualifications are in order that he write on the subject of AIDS, well, it appears that he has none other than a rabid dislike of gay men.
“Gays get AIDS because they are profoundly promiscuous, highly mobile, and practice filthy sex.”
I find it difficult to imagine why anyone in Wyoming would be opposed to anti-discrimination laws in a state that, at least to gay rights activists, will long be remembered as the place where Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was killed in a 1998 attack that was motivated in part by his sexual orientation. If only to somewhat make up for the torture that was inflicted upon Matt Shepard there should be not a politician in Wyoming opposed to equal rights for all its citizens.
After his erstwhile stint as a book author, Mader went on to become a former precinct committeeman in the local Republican party. He is also a rancher, former sheriff’s deputy, musician, and trapper (IMO the most cruel way possible to kill an animal). At some point during this era he went on to become director of deceptively named Abundant Wildlife Society and founder of the Knight Muzzleloading Rifle Company. Check out the Facebook page for Knight Rifles, if you’re keen on seeing a bunch of 7 year-olds with rifles displaying the small, defenceless animals they have shot.
The Abundant Wildlife Society is an organization that has “greenwashed” itself to appear to be a conservation group, and like the Canadian Wildlife Federation, it doesn’t actually care about wildlife except to preserve them for hunting activities. It’s a special interest group that doesn’t benefit anyone except hunters. At its core it is a property-rights group that has established a web presence to oppose animal welfare groups, scientific organizations, and oppose the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which Mader claims has become a classic example of the law of unintended consequences. Sue Wallis liked to preach about the “unintended consequences” of the cessation of horse slaughter in the US too. As director, Mader methodically faulted wolf reintroduction at every opportunity. He claimed that wolf restoration efforts were motivated mainly by romantics who dreamt of hearing wolves howl in the night.
His words appealed to hobby ranchers who saw wolves as more predators for their livestock. During a visit to Oklahoma City for a Safari Club function, he made it plain that anyone who hunts should share his concern. He wants to hunt in Yellowstone, where hunting is not permitted. Pity the poor animals who don’t know they’ve left the boundaries of Yellowstone, where it’s open season on them in the surrounding national forests of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
“…..the Endangered Species Act has become a most effective tool in the hands of the preservationist and those intent on destroying the livelihoods of millions of Americans.”
While many farmers and ranchers justifiably fear them, wolves are actually the engines of evolution, helping trim the gene pool in prey species, including deer and elk, which sport hunting does not do.
The now defunct National Center for Public Policy Research claims that Troy Mader is an “scientist and expert” in conservation and endangered species, the Endangered Species Act, wolf recovery, and the “philosophical aspects of conservation versus environmentalism,” which again seems odd to me since there is no substantiated evidence of him having any sort of qualifications that would preclude such a title.
Don’t bother emailing them, their email is as non-existent as Mader’s scientific credentials.
“Where you have a healthy wolf population you have no room for hunting.”
Mader also appears in the documentary film “Crying Wolf,” in which we see the Christian concept of taking dominion over animals (Genesis 1:28) using the earth and its resources for the needs of man and to the glory of God. Anthropocentrism such as hunters and some others espouse, has been posited by many environmentalists as the underlying reason why humanity dominates and sees the need to “develop” most of the Earth. Anthropocentrism is a root cause of the ecological crisis, human overpopulation, and the extinctions of many non-human species.
“If you study one thing in the bible, man has dominion……”
Clearly, his motivation in all these schemes is to lobby to protect hunting, while disavowing equality for other groups. Mader does not care about animals, only that any restrictions on hunting will hurt his company’s profits. So Wyoming now finds itself with another politician who appears to have no problem advancing laws that would line their own pocket – this time at the expense of a different species of animal. He probably cares little about women’s reproductive rights either, which is why he proudly asserts that this is another topic on which he disagrees with his predecessor.