Kempthorne Likely to seek Changes in the Endangered Species Act

Secretary of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne (former governor of Idaho) is likely gearing up to change the ESA. Of course as DOI Secretary he can’t pass any laws, but he can undertake the writing of new regulations.

Story in the Great Falls Tribune

As a US Senator he was one of the few Republicans who sought a fairly moderate approach to the ESA. Since then the proposals have been to flat out gut the ESA under the guise of reform. An example is Richard Pombo’s bill that would require payment to developers for not building any proposed project in the critical habitat of endangered species — a sure fire incentive for them to seek out critical habitat and propose a development that would kill off the species in an effort to grab taxpayer money.

So Kempthorne is likely to propose something not so bad as Pombo’s legalized extortion.

Control of Congress will made a big difference. The House, on a nearly party-line vote, actually passed Pombo’s pay-me-not-to-kill-endangered-species bill.

Most likely will be another 2 years of fighting off the Bush Administration, regardless of what happens in the congressional elections, but perhaps Congress will not to be fought too.







Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan