No committee of the Idaho state legislature have more influence over wildife than than the Senate and the House Resource and Conservation Committees. A look at the occupations of those on the committees show they represent an Idaho of days gone by.

This kind of occupational, and so viewpoint unrepresentativeness, is fairly common in legislatures, but many would say the figures below are dramatic. You should also notice the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Here is the rooster of the committees:

Idaho House Resource and Conservation Committee

Republicans

Chair John A. Stevenson (semi-retired farmer)
Vice Chair Paul E. Shepherd (Partner/Manager, Shepherd Sawmill & Log Homes)
JoAn E. Wood (Partner farm/ranch)
Maxine T. Bell (Retired Farmer/Retired School Librarian)
Lenore Hardy Barrett (mining, investments)
Mike Moyle (Agribusiness)
George E. Eskridge (Real Estate)
Dell Raybould (Farmer/Businessman)
Scott Bedke (Rancher)
Ken Andrus (Cattle and sheep rancher)

Fred Wood (Physician/Medical Director)
Judy Boyle (Rancher/Freelance Writer)
Marv Hagedorn (Retired Naval Officer/CEO, International Trading Firm)
R. J. Harwood (Self-Employed Businesses)

Democrats

George C. Sayler (Retired teacher)
Liz Chavez (Retired middle school teacher)
Phylis K. King (Commercial photographer)
Donna L. Pence (Retired Teacher/Tree Farmer)

– – – – – – – – –

Idaho Senate Resource and Conservation Committee

Republicans

Chair Gary J. Schroeder (Business Owner/Outdoor Writer)
Vice Chair Steve Bair (Retired farmer)
Dean L. Cameron (Owner, Insurance & Investment Agency)
Monty J. Pearce (Rancher)
Charles H. Coiner (Farmer)
Jeff C. Siddoway (Rancher)
Bert Brackett (Rancher)

Democrats

Clint Stennett (Entrepreneur)*
Elliot Werk (not listed)

*Stennett is ill, and has been temporarily replaced by acting-senator Jon Thorson (former mayor Sun Valley)

– – – – –

Folks might be interested in a guest editorial on one of the House Republican’s finest, Rep. Lenore Barrett. “We must stop collaborating with wacko enviros.” Reader’s View (on the omnibus public lands bill). By Lenore Barrett. Idaho Statesman

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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.

5 Responses to Old line extractive occupations dominate key Idaho legislative committee

  1. avatar outsider says:

    maybe someone should run against these individuals, if their not representing their disticts they should be easy pickins.

  2. Someone probably should. Given the economy, some would be easy pickens.

    However, even defeat doesn’t stop the pervasive bias of appointment to a legislature’s standing committees.

  3. avatar Bonnie says:

    Maybe part of the problem is the preception that these type of people have more experience and interest in conservation and resources, the same type of thinking that got Salazar in. I mean, you would assume that a rancher or miner would know more about resources and conservation than and owner of a grocery store. The problem is that while they may know more about the subject, there is also a huge conflict of interest potential.

  4. avatar jimbob says:

    I think Bonnie is correct, that is the average person’s PERCEPTION, but should not be the reality. These people get into politics to grind their own axe, so to speak. We have the same problem in Arizona, except add “Energy” to the list of businesses–both drilling and owning energy companies!

  5. avatar matt bullard says:

    There is a group called Conservation Voters for Idaho that is working to make the Idaho Legislature (as well as other elected offices in the state) a more conservation-friendly place. It is harder work that one could imagine, but it is important work. Check out the web-site to get more information. Any donations would be greatly appreciated and will be used to help hold our elected officials accountable for their record of conservation, or lack thereof.

    http://conservationvotersforidaho.org/

    Full disclosure – I am on the board.

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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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