GOP Congress leaves little mark on environmental law

If ever there was a time to worry about the future of wildlife and our natural environment, it was at the beginning of 2006 with Congress full of anti-conservation Republicans. Republicans weren’t always that way, but over the years that had become the water carriers for all the extractive and abusive industries as well as those religionists who believe the end is near, so trash the planet.

Their plans for gutting the laws protecting land, water, air, and wildlife were largely defeated. Bettian Boxall discusses it in the Los Angeles Times (here reprinted in the Jackson Hole Star Tribune). “GOP Congress leaves little mark on environmental law.”

An uprising of grassroots Americans, including traditional hunters and anglers made much of the difference.

The major threat in the near term is now the Bush Administration which has the power to rewrite the rules and regulations derived from existing laws. They are doing it at furious paste because they suspect their days are numbered. New rules on grazing and national forest planning are just some of the areas where they are active. Fortunately the grazing changes have been stalled for now in the federal courts. I was very pleased to be the lead plaintiff in one of these cases.






  1. Don George Avatar
    Don George

    I’m one of those so called religionists who believes in the second coming of Christ, but I don’t trash the earth. In the book of Genisis(thats in the Bible in case you don’t recognize it) it tells us that were stewards of the earth and were to take care of it.

    I donate to several organizations who promote good conservation practices. Don’t lump all of us “religionist” in the same basket.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I didn’t lump you. That’s why I used a general term. Lots of people believe that care of the Earth is part of God’s mandate to humanity, but there are clearly those too who do not.

    . . . And thank you for bringing this fact to attention because for too long some Christian leaders (others too) have focused on just a few issues and have aligned themselves with a political party. Yes, they have certainly rendered unto Caesar.

  3. Robert C. Sisson Avatar

    I am the Membership and Development Director for Republicans for Environmental Protection. The majority of our Party’s grassroot members are strongly pro-conservation. Our leaders have veared from our long standing environmental ethic. REP is leading the Party back to its conservation roots and into a bipartisan future where pragmatic solutions are found and funded to benefit all of us. If you are a Republican, please become a member of REP…the more members we have, the faster we will turn the Party around.


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