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Rick Allen
Rick Allen Official Photo, 114th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 12th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byJohn Barrow
Personal details
Born (1951-11-07) November 7, 1951 (age 67)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Robin Allen (m. 1975)
EducationAuburn University (BS)
Net worth$11.7 million (2018)[1]
WebsiteHouse website

Richard Wayne Allen (born November 7, 1951) is an American politician who is serving as the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 12th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Q&A - Bison - Rick Wallen
  • ✪ Learn How To Recognize God's Voice with Rick Warren


Bison move about on the landscape and leave the area that we designate as Yellowstone National Park for a couple of reasons. Population abundance alone, could drive them to pioneer new areas, but, on top of that, bison will move anytime there's heavy snowfall winters. Even at really low population abundance, you should expect a lot of animals to leave the national park. So, it's a combination of those two. We've worked diligently with the people that manage wild bison when they leave the national park to develop a responsible management program. The reality is bison leaving the national park isn't particularly a problem to the National Park Service. But, bison leaving the national park and going to other locations is more of a problem to the managers that are tasked with managing them outside the park. Because there are some animals within the bison population that are infected with a bacterial disease called brucellosis, laws prevent movement of brucellosis-infected animals, just anywhere on the landscape. For several decades, maybe five or six, actually, there have been discussions, negotiations, with all three states that surround Yellowstone. The states have articulated that they really didn't want wild bison outside the national park. Along the lines, through more negotiation and helping them learn to manage bison outside the park, we've actually gained some acceptance for bison in some areas, so that, the problem is lessened by the state learning how to manage, and that they can be managed. The problem that many people focus on is the fact that the National Park Service is doing things that are un-national park-like, like killing animals before they even leave the national park. We do that because we're trying to negotiate a responsible management program that allows our state partners the comfort to let bison roam into areas that they formerly wouldn't allow happen. The greatest advances in expanding the conservation area for bison have occurred over the last 15 years. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that really focuses its infection process in the reproductive tract of individuals that are infected. Brucellosis is an economic disease to livestock operators because it affects reproduction in their herds. In wildlife, brucellosis also affects reproduction, but we have such prolific reproducers in elk and bison in the Greater Yellowstone area, that it simply reduces the reproductive capacity, if you will, of our local populations. The probability of infecting livestock when infected wildlife come in contact during the infectious period, is the root of the conflict. The livestock operators of all of the United States have been able to eliminate brucellosis within the industry, and are now feeling threatened by wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone area as an infection vector that could re-infect their disease-free herds. It is not a type of disease that causes mortality. It simply reduces reproductive capacity of individuals. So there's a responsible way to manage, in that, keeping animals that are potential vectors that may be infected with the disease away from susceptible individuals during that late winter time period, is a possibility. Fencing of livestock can be done to prevent interaction with wildlife, and has been done in many locations, and quite successfully. Transmission of brucellosis from wildlife to livestock really is possible because the wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone area come down out of the moutains in late winter. They move to low-elevation areas where their snow is shallower, easier to find a bite to eat, and that just so happens to be the best place for humans to occupy, both with cities and with agricultural activities. The wildlife are attracted to those low-elevation areas where the livestock are concentrated in the wintertime, and at the same time, all of those wildlife are late in their pregnancy and that's the most probable time for a transmission event to occur. Many people argue that there's never been a documented case where bison have been the transmission vehicle to infect livestock. While that's true, we can't conclude that it's never happened because it's difficult to monitor and track. What's most important to understand is that it's possible and that the reason it's never been documented in recent history is really a testament to the diligent management efforts put forth by the state of Montana and the National Park Service to prevent co-mingling during that transmission time period. Brucellosis infection in elk functions the exact same as brucellosis infection in bison, and brucellosis infection in livestock. Biologically, there's really no difference in the transmission and infection cycles. Some of the details of how it works within each individual species is a little bit different, but the bottom line is that any of those three species could be transmission vectors to any of those three species. Many of our constituents ask, "Why do you treat elk differently "than you treat bison?" Our state wildlife managers in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana are more tolerant of elk, and allow the elk from Yellowstone National Park to move freely back and forth across the boundary. The tolerance for wild bison when they leave Yellowstone National Park is a subject of great debate, and over the course of my career, I would say that, acceptance of wild bison by our state colleagues, that manage wild bison in Montana, has improved. There was a time 20 years ago that there was zero tolerance for bison when they crossed the national park boundary. Through two or three different adjustments to the state's management perspective, we've gained additional areas for wild bison for portions of the year, and there are actually a couple of locations that wild bison can occupy year-round. That was not the case prior to 1995. What we've learned in the intervening years since we began managing wild bison together with the state of Montana is that the population can fluctuate from 2,500 to 4,500, and not create any undue stress on society outside the national park. By that I mean, it doesn't create any additional transmission risk to the livestock industry, it minimizes the safety risk to travelers along highways that travel 70 miles an hour, and it reduces the conflict between private land owners that live in the area that bison select when they move to locations outside the national park. I've been asked many times why the National Park Service doesn't simply keep their hands off and do nothing to manage wild bison. I think the bottom line is it's our responsibility to work with our partners that manage the species outside the national park, to have a credible restoration and management program that conserves the species in this population for a long period of time. We do need to work together to resolve our differences. The management strategy for maintaining a population that doesn't grow beyond an objective level is a routine part of conserving wild bison. Every constituency group that weighs in and has an opinion on this, has a different abundance level that they think this should be managed at. The debate will go on for many years as to what the appropriate population abundance should be, but at this point in time, the managers that are responsible for managing Yellowstone National Park have negotiated a population objective level of around 3,000 animals, and our decision document that assessed the impacts of that, back in 2000, acknowledge that it would probably fluctuate between 3,000, 3,500. There are some alternatives to the current management strategy of allowing hunters to be the primary removal mechanism for bison, and for the national parks in the state of Montana to be the back-up plan to supplement removals through our captures at our various boundary capture facilities. The alternative would include quarantine as a mechanism for monitoring and managing live animals that leave the national park and, finding all of the disease-free animals and monitoring them long enough to assure that they're disease-free, and doing something very creative with the brucellosis-exposed individuals, so that they could be quarantined in a different way, outside the national park, and harvested, either through hunting or shipments to slaughter at a different time of year, when the animals are not subject to the stresses of winter. The rounding up of animals and consigning them to slaughter is a process that the National Park Service takes real seriously. Not many in the National Park Service are overly-excited about going out and doing the work. That process occurs with the least amount of impact as possible, in order to respect our conservation mandate. When we are tasked to go and collect animals, we will do it in three different methods. One method is to simply open the gate and allow the animals to wander in, and that happens often. When animals end up milling around the gates but not really walking in on their own, we will at times walk out there on the landscape, get behind them, put just enough pressure to get them to walk in the gate. There are times where we actually use our skilled horseback riders to ride out, collect groups of 25 to 80, and we will round them up, use the folks on horseback to keep them herded, and push them toward the openings in the fences and we have a funnel-like fence system to move them right through the gates. Once the animals are behind fence, they're fed, they're watered, they're cared for as best we can, then the challenge is to move them through a processing facility and reduce, or limit the stress that wild animals have when they're confined. The best way to do that is to have a sorting corral. It has a lot of plywood and visual barriers so they can't really see a lot of things that are goin' on. That helps reduce the stress for those animals. We try and manage the transport operation so that we move them in, sort them, get them set for transport the very next day. That limits the amount of time that they're in that extremely-confined facility. One of the things we do when we process the animals in the sorting corral, is we stop individuals and we look at their teeth. The teeth patterns help us understand how old they are so we can match an age to a sex of an individual. We'll draw blood. We draw a little bit of blood and we have been doing some work monitoring genetic diversity values. We monitor pregnancy rates. We monitor brucelossis infection and exposure rates. About half of the population will test positive for brucellosis. About half of those individuals will be likely infectious at the time, or I should say, actively going through the infection process. Our studies of who's infectious and what their serology results are, trap-side, have really helped us narrow down who are the likely-infectious spreaders. They have to be three years old. They have to be pregnant, and they have to be female. What we do at the north boundary, and, especially, at the Stevens Creek Capture Facility is a part of routine operations. There's probably not gonna be anything done differently until we resolve the conflicts about how to move live animals outside the national park. If people are interested in seeing a different strategy, and see shipments to slaughter go away, they should engage and help find a reasonable way to move animals from a brucellosis-infected herd to quarantine-type facilities, and be very supportive of something like that. Every year we go to great lengths to evaluate how safe the facility is for bringing wild animals in, and how safe it is for the workers, out there working with the wild animals. In the early years, we had some challenges and we had animals get hurt a little bit more frequently. But through a number of improvements, almost annually, we've done things like build permanent walkways so that the employees can move safely at about the top of the pen, without bein' in the pens with the animals, How we grab individual animals at the squeeze chute is another improvement that we've made over the years. Instead of a hand-operated squeeze chute, where we had to contain the head, oftentimes with a little nose ring that pulls the nose out straight to hold the head still while we're collecting blood tissues or blood samples. We have replaced that with a hydraulic squeeze chute. There's much less hands-on. A operator off-to-the-side holds the animal in a restrained manner so that they don't jump around and hurt themselves. Also, it now has a small bar that simply moves the jaw off to the side, and we don't have to use the old-fashioned nose ring to contain the head. It's a methodology that really is somethin' that's hard to watch if you're a National Park Service employee, constraining the animals like that, but we do it as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We've probably reduced the number of injuries to animals by buying the squeeze chute. We have developed agreements and relationships with a variety of tribal organizations. Bison are important for their culture, and they value them for food. That's what their ancestors did. They ate bison, and they used the skulls for ceremonies and they used the hides to build their living structures and their clothing, and things of that nature. We have these relationships with several tribal organizations to take the animals. They take them to the slaughter plants, and basically, take the carcasses back to their people and eat them, and use the skulls and the hides, and all of the parts that they can.



Allen attended Auburn University and earned a degree in building construction. He is the founder of R.W. Allen and Associates, a construction company headquartered in Augusta.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives



Allen ran in the Republican primary for the 12th district against three other candidates. Allen advanced to the runoff, but lost to State Representative Lee Anderson, 49.7% to 50.3%.[3] Anderson went on to lose the general election to incumbent John Barrow.


Allen ran again in 2014, this time making it to the general election. Allen defeated Barrow in the November election, in a result considered an upset even though the 12th had been made significantly more Republican in redistricting.[4][5]


Allen was re-elected with 62% of the vote in 2016.


After winning the Republican primary with 75.99% of the vote, Allen faces off in the 2018 general election against Democratic challenger, lawyer and pastor Francys Johnson.[6]

Committee assignments


During a closed-door Republican meeting discussing an amendment that prohibited discrimination against LGBT workers, Allen read a Bible verse that says about homosexuals "they which commit such things are worthy of death."[8][9] Allen told the assembled Republicans that they are "going to Hell" if they vote for the proposed anti-discrimination amendment.[10]

After dozens were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Allen offered prayers to the family of the victims but refused to apologize or retract his past comments stating that homosexuals were "worthy of death."[11][9]

Personal life

Allen lives in Augusta, Georgia. A Methodist, he is married to Robin Allen and has four children.

See also


  1. ^ "Ranking the Net Worth of the 115th". Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "Project Vote Smart – The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  3. ^ McCord, Susan (September 5, 2012). "Vote recount certifies Lee Anderson as winner of GOP runoff for U.S. District 12 seat". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Galloway, Jim (November 4, 2014). "Nunn, Carter, and Barrow defeated; Georgia's Democratic revolution is stillborn – Political Insider blog". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  5. ^ Davis, Janel (November 4, 2014). "Rick Allen upsets John Barrow for Georgia congressional seat". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  6. ^ Suggs, Ernie (July 23, 2017). "Georgia NAACP president steps down with an eye toward politics". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "Membership". Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  8. ^ Earle, Geoff (May 27, 2016). "'It was f**king ridiculous': Some GOP lawmakers ditch meeting after representative tries to shame them with Bible passage on homosexuality that calls gays 'reprobate' and 'worthy of death'". Daily Mail. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Peters, Jeremy W.; Alvarez, Lizette (June 15, 2016). "After Orlando, a Political Divide on Gay Rights Still Stands". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  10. ^ Badash, David (May 26, 2016). "GOP Congressman Quotes Bible, Tells Republicans They Are 'Going to Hell' if They Vote for LGBT Bill". The New Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Shutt, Jennifer (June 15, 2016). "Congressman Who Read Anti-Gay Bible Verse Prays for Orlando Victims' Loved Ones". Roll Call. Retrieved June 16, 2016.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Barrow
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Pete Aguilar
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Brian Babin
This page was last edited on 20 August 2019, at 18:42
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