Bill Schneider has a fine article on the defeat of Richard Pombo. Read it in New West.

In the view of most conservationists, Pombo wasn’t just an opponent, not an adversary, but a crazy man throwing bombs at everything good and decent. He had to be cut down.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to Wild Bill on Pombo, Green Anger and the Endangered Species Act

  1. avatar Howard says:

    It’s amazing to me how some people see protected endangered species as somehow “un-American”. As an American, I take pride in the astonishing array of living creatures that inhabit our country, and really feel that wildlife and wild lands are part of American heritage. Conservation, the concept of national parks, etc. is extremely American; one of the best ideas we ever had.

    The United States is actually an extremely biodiverse country. This tends to be overlooked because our bird and mammal species counts do not measure up to the tropics. However:

    The United States is #1 in the world for freshwater mollusk diversity.

    The US has the greatest diversity of crayfish on earth.

    The US has more species of mayflies and stoneflies than any other country.

    Along with southern Asia, the southeast United States has the highest diversity of freshwater turtles on earth. I believe that when broken down into individual countries, the US is first.

    The US is the salamander capital of the world. We have more species than any other country. Moreover, several families are near endemic to the US. Sirenidae may be endemic (if not, they just barely extend into Mexico), Amphiumidae is endemic, Rhyacotritonidae is endemic, Dicamptodontidae is near endemic (just makes it into Canada), and Proteidae has highest diversity in US (there is one relict species in Europe). All extant tribes within Plethodontidae are found in the US (there is some high plethodontid diversity in the New World tropics, but all species belong to the bolitoglossine tribe).

    Our freshwater fish fauna is extremely abundant and varied. For temperate countries, our number of freshwater fish species is second, placing just behind China. We actually have more fish than even some tropical countries, and the US is among the top ten countries in the world for freshwater fish diversity.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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