Fiscal Year 2012 – House Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill – Part 1

Today the Fiscal Year 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill was released by the House Appropriations Committee.  The bill is a very long and complicated bill which reduces all kinds of environmental protections and agency accountability to the public.  Over the next few days we will be examining some of the provisions contained in the bill which will be considered in the House Subcommittee on Interior and Environment which is chaired by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson.

The bill is a grab bag for extractive industries such as Energy, Mining, and Livestock.  It has provisions which reduce public oversight of grazing on public lands, gut the Endangered Species Act, and reduce regulations which protect the environment from the impacts of mining and energy extraction.

First, we start off with one of the provisions which is sure to raise the ire of many who read and comment on this site. The bill restricts future delisting rules for wolves in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming from judicial review.

Recently it was announced that Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and, the newly confirmed director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Daniel Ashe will be meeting with Wyoming’s new governor Matt Mead to work out a deal to delist wolves in Wyoming.  The USFWS has also announced plans to delist wolves in the Western Great Lakes.  This new legislation would eliminate the ability for citizens to challenge these rules in court once they are published.

Here is the actual text of the provision:

GRAY WOLVES
SEC. 119. Hereafter, any final rule published by the Department of the Interior that provides that the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the State of Wyoming or in any of the States within the range of the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment of the gray wolf (as defined in the rule published on May 5, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 26086 et seq.)) is not an endangered species or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including any rule to remove such species n such a State from the list of endangered species or threatened species published under that Act, shall not be subject to judicial review if such State has entered into an agreement with the Secretary of the Interior that authorizes the State to manage gray wolves in that State.

Fiscal Year 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill

 

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Buffalo Field Campaign's Executive Director, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He was formerly the Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

16 Responses to House Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill Limits Judicial Review on Wyoming and Western Great Lakes Wolf Delisting.

  1. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Some raw intel for you. Wyo Governor Matt Mead’s press office has somewhat hurriedly announced that after the closed door meeting between Mead and his people with Ken Salazar and Dan Ashe in the morning Thursday 7/7 , a press conference has been scheduled for 12:15-12:45p.

    This usually means ” announcement”. If an announcement, that means a preliminary deal has been made on ‘something’. Something in this case likely means ‘ Wyoming wolf plan’ has been hammered and tonged.

    That’s the intel .Expect a major announcement from Guv Mead and D o Interior tomorrow shortly after noon. My analysis is just a gut feeling at this point, and a bad one. I think Interior has caved and will grant Wyoming most of what it wants on wolves. I say this because the Gov’s press office wouldn’t be staging it profusely were it against their goals. It just feels like a compromise has been reached, and the sense of it is ” not too good for wolves” , in that Wyoming may get to keep its shoot-on-sight predator status after all , and that might be made retroactive in Montana and Idaho as well. I simply cannot see Mead and his ilk bargaining away predator status. It’s their Holy Grail.

    The news release above about the Interior budget bill and the inside deals contained in it is also confirmatory in a distressing way.

    The politics of wolf management would do Gov. Pontius Pilate proud…

    • avatar jon says:

      http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_834479f8-a804-11e0-b8bc-001cc4c03286.html

      Cody, since you live in Wyoming, I would love to get your honest opinion of Cynthia lummis.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Me opining on Cynthia Lummis R-WY is beneath the dignity of this fine blog. I would have nothing good to say about her, or even civil, beyond saying it takes someone of her demeanor to make our last Congresswoman, Barbara Cubin, look better than she was at the time. It’s a low bar. We were always secretly happy when Cubin wouldn’t show up for votes. Every time Lummis shows up for anything, we regret it. Wyoming sends some pretty awful people to D.C.

        I am proud of being the first in print with her nickname ” Cyndy Lu Who “.

        I will say this latest deceit of hers , stuffing the wolf language into a must-pass budget deficit bill by fiat ,is condemnable;indictable; depraved. Someone obviously handed that nefarious language to her knowing full well it was a slam dunk to appear in the bill. Shades of the Tester-Simpson wolf rider.

        Republicans don’t play fair . Cheating is the new norm of GOP power politics since Lee Atwater , Roger Ailes ( Prez of Fox News now) , and even neophyte W. Bush were doing character assassinations for Pappy Bush in ’88.

        I’m sure there’s a wicked wolf deal just hours away from being trundled out that has GOP blood all over it.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Bourasso is a real keeper! Where do they get these people? He’s got those GOP bogus talking points down pat…..

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          Cody Coyote –
          It’s terrible (for a number of reasons, one being so politically out-of-line with your state) when the thing you like best about your senator or representative is their ineffectiveness or tendency to miss votes. From that standpoint, Frank Murkowski made a great U.S. senator — he was an ornery, ineffective lone badger in an institution that functions as a gentlemen’s club. Unfortunately, the governorship is very different — and we paid dearly for voting in a zealous, ham-fisted, entitled royal. Sarah Palin was a breath of fresh air — for the first year, anyway.

  2. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    The fate of wolves in these states will rest entirely on Obama’s shoulders should his Interior Secretary strike a deal with Wyoming

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Correct, Brian. Anyone who believes Mr. Obama would give 1600 wild animals in three sparsely populated Republican voting mountains states any sway in his considerations for a couple hundred million inner city humans during the budget war would be delusional. To Obama’s mind, the Grey Wolf is just one small spark off the grinder wheel of the budget firestorm.

      He probably told Salazar offhandedly to just ” settle that damn wolf thing ” once and for all, with about that much thought to it, and Salazar is more than willing to acquiesce to it. Mr. Obama’s priorities lie elsewhere, and as I’ve said before here, he doesn’t even realize the American West exists. It’s that terra incognita between west Chicago and the fundraising venues of Wilshire Boulevard, but I do vaguely recall Colorado….you have a ranch there, don’t you Ken ? Colorado voted for me. I suppose I should go visit downtown Denver again some day…

      We’re screwed. Obama has traded away environmental policy for urban American policy : gridlock ,corporate stock, and oil barrel.

      I’ll try to post today if something breaks on the Salazar-Wyo Gov. Matt Mead meeting on wolves in Cheyenne WY. Should be an announcement about noon-30. Mead is being interviewed live on my local Cody radio station in an hour or so before all that happens.

  3. avatar Jon Way says:

    If Salazar and Obama allow WY to delist I won’t be voting in 2012 – or at least for a Dem or Rep…

  4. avatar truthbetold says:

    Today should be an interesting day. Cynthia Lummis R-W is doing what she was elected to do. A reflection of the will of the people!

  5. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    9AM—Wyo Governor Matt MEad just concluded a live on-air interview with David Koch , news Director of KODI-AM radio in Cody , ahead of this morning’s meeting to discuss the Wyoming wolf plan straight across the table with Interior Secretary Salazar and newly confirmed Fish & Wildlife Director Dan Ashe.

    Two things: Mead said in no uncertain terms that Wyoming will not back off its Predator Status policy in its state plan , and he thinks Wyoming ” can get there” in getting federal approval of a Wyoming wolf state management plan. His words.

    Koch asked Mead about the 13 meetings that Mead’s special agent for wolves, Steve Ferrell, a former Wyo Game and Fish Department Director, held around the state beginning in January with wolf issue stakeholders. Koch’s question was ” Were environmentalists invited to any of those meetings prior to the last meeting Jackson “. Mead didn’t give a direct answer. He punted, just saying he’s gotten lots of different responses from all sides of the wolf issue since taking office.

    Truth be told, the meeting in Cody was number 10 in that series and was the first meeting that the public even became aware of. The rpevious nine had been held secretly , and as near as anyone knows the attendees were only thopse stakeholders opposed to wolves. The Cody meeting was actually organized by the local chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife who are very much opposed to wolves, and one of their attendees unwittingly let the local media know the meeting was happening when he shouldn’t have. When the media asked to attend, they were barred , no reason given , even though elected officials were in attendance and state policy was being discussed with state reps and a great many private citizens ( read: SFW members) were allowed to give and take opinion to Ferrell.

    My personal p[pinion is the Mead administration has been deceitful in trying to resolve Wyoming’s wolf imp[sse, and the Cody meeting was a smoking gun for such. The Jackson meeting had many enviro and conservation group members at the table, but by then the meetings were all but over and Ferrell had formulated his report to the Governor, so it was just a token meeting for appeasement purposes.

    Bottom Line: Pro-Wolf considered opinion had no place at Mead’s table, to date. No surprise there.

    FYI—Mead is a rancher, the grandson of a former US Senator ( CLiff Hansen of Jackson Hole, who bitterly fought the creation of Grand Teton Park and led a coalition of ranchers to usurp that back in the late 1940’s-early 50’s ). Mead is also a lawyer, and like his predecessor Dave Freudenthal, a Dem, Mead has also been a US Attorney so is more than qualified to understand the legal parsing of the grey Wolf recovery process. In theory. In practice, he seems to kow-tow to ranchers first and outfitters/hunting lobby next , with oittle or no deference to any other conservation or wildlife groups or their concerns. It’s Wyoming, after all…

    • avatar william huard says:

      The fact that most of the negotiators at the table are ranchers how will wolves have a chance? Daniel Ashe’s email address:
      dan_ashe@fws.gov

      I’m sure Wyoming is a beautiful place. Too bad there are too may ranchers still living in 1918….. ” I remember the good ole days, when we could shoot, poison, and trap all those wolves…. Now they are here to put us all out of business… blah blah blah. Every time I hear the word Wyoming I see the picture of the two Wyoming wolves on page 46 of the Robinson Predator Bureaucracy book…. Bastards

  6. avatar wyogreeny says:

    I live in WY and tho I love the state, I sure don’t like the politics. The only way WY is ever going to change is for more transplants to move here. We vote and our vote rarely counts locally or otherwise. The livestock industry has a stranglehold on the west, tho only 3% (if I am recalling accurately) of the cattle raised in the USA are raised in the west. So many laws are antiquated, like the Taylor Grazing act, and the revenue brought in by visitors wishing to see wolves is not relevant to those in power (visitors don’t vote locally I suppose). Mead is a DINO IMO. As most Dems are in WY. We need more transplants with intellect to move to a wonderful state and move us into the real world voting wise.

    • avatar Maska says:

      Just like Catron County, NM, except that in CC,it would take only a few hundred immigrants from the real world to tip the balance.

  7. avatar truthbetold says:

    Reading some of the comments here one would think that Wyoming is filled with environmental wolf lovers & being force feed wolf management by a dictatorial ranching first Governor! Others have at least a more realist view! It’s easy to see why resentment of the wolf in prevalent in Wyoming. A simple printing of days log & posted at the feed mill or Country grocery store would be enough to site a riot!

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Yes, Wyoming is an interesting state. I read once that only about 15% of Wyoming’s population is connected to the agricultural/livestock industry, and yet the vast majority of elected officials are.

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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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