Gutting the Endangered Species Act, or how a law becomes policy

This is from one of the Science blogs (Thoughts from Kansas) and explains how regulations are derived from laws in general (a key point every student of policy must know) and the endangered species act in particular. Gutting the Endangered Species Act, or how a law becomes policy. By Josh Rosenau. Rosenau, like so many others in the last week, writes of how Julie MacDonald as a deputy secretary of Interior rewrote the findings and recommendations of scientists on endangered species.

The Bush Administration has changed or tried to change the regulations for almost every major law on the books, but they have often been rebuffed by the courts. Their most recent loss was on the national forest plans and their implementation. They also had their BLM grazing regulations enjoined, and they have lost repeatedly on the ESA. However, they are about to go after the ESA again.

Fortunately the new and greener House Natural Resources Committee will soon look at the matter of the ESA in hearings.

The Bushies* keep hacking away, however, and they have done a lot of damage to conservations and many other laws.

* Actually the attack on the ESA has the flavor of former Idaho governor, now Secretary of the Interior, Kempthorne. He hated endangered species reintroductions and the rules they are working on say no reintroductions. If you the read the ESA, I can’t imagine how they think they can defend these changes in a court of law.







  1. kt Avatar

    Folks really need to speak out whenever news papers or others try to paint Dirk Kempthorne in a somehow “greener” light than Norton. He may have a pleasant personality (to some people’s tastes) and an unctuous smile, and recently had some flashy photo-ops while out on a tour figuring out how to best privatize the National Parks. He is just plain awful on everything to do with the environment. Hence, the perfect Bush appointee to be Interior Secretary – and try to backdoor Pombo’s ESA-gutting through as “rule changes”.

  2. Denise Johnson Avatar
    Denise Johnson

    Fabulous article!
    This helps the public (or lay-person) understand how things are driven into policy by political persuasion!
    The Peer Review takes it step-by-step!
    I am so proud that there are people who stand-up for the truth, to protect the integrity of the agency in which they represent.
    (Especially when that agency has been corrupted by political policy from the top.)

    “If there is one thing that Americans won’t tolerate, it is lying by those who hold positions of Trust, which is why we call them positions of Trust. Why is it so difficult for the powerful to remember that?” BOB SCHIEFFER, host: Face the Nation (CBS News) – Sunday, April 1, 2007 1
    The quote from Mark Twain on THOUGHTS FROM KANSAS really sums up THE BUSHIES and KEMPTHORNE.
    RIGHT ON RALPH…..this is free speech at its best! Keep up the great work! You do great research and know how to get to the heart of the matter. On any topic. I can’t keep myself from reading your blog (no matter how much ridicule I get from my comments.) THANKS!


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Ralph Maughan