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

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.






  1. Howard Avatar

    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.


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