Interior secretary Kempthorne surpass's Watt's record for not listing endangered species

For those who remember or who have read of him, Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Interior, James Watt, was infamous for his hostility toward protecting wildlife and the public lands. Kempthorne has done even less to list endangered species while he cries false poverty.

Rocky Barker at the Idaho Statesman, who has been writing recently about the Bush salmon policy, points this out.





  1. kt Avatar

    Effectively what is happening is that the Bushies – especially with a greasy Idaho politician at the helm – are practicing a policy of species extirpation and extinction.

    The longer they do nothing, and just delay – the more habitat is permanently wiped out or fatally compromised by weeds or energy development. So when the inevitable – ESA Listing for Sage Grouse or Slickspot Peppergrass does happen, fewer of their large rancher buddies like Simplot, (Butch Otter’s ex father-in-law) or the Brackett clan in the Jarbidge, or Dick Cheney’s oil buddies in Wyoming are effected in any way.

    What was it Neo-Con Grover Norquist said – About wanting to shrink Government until it was so small that you could drown it in a bathtub?

    WELL that same policy is what the ranchers, oil drillers, miners etc. are doing under Bush and Poster Boy Kempthorne and the rest of the Idaho Mob like Caswell running agencies in DC. Shrinking wildlife and rare plant habitats and populations until they are so small that NO drowning will be necessary. They will just blink out on their own in a few generations – and the livestock and energy Industry will be free of constraints.

    The MORE DAMAGE that can be done now – the better in their mind and in the mind of industry. And it is only going to accelerate in the next year …

    By failing to List species, and allowing known harmful practices to imperiled species and populations to continue, like trampling slickspot peppergrass in the Jarbidge, or stocking cows in the Jarbidge at such high rates that the sagebrush is destroyed and weeds move in, a policy of species extinction is being carried out.

    And of course – slaughtering wolves down to a 100 or fewer, and essentially wiping out packs anywhere a rancher or a Crybaby elk hunter (surrogate for whining rancher) claims there is a “Conflict” – Kempthorne et al. will be carrying out the same policy of local extirpation.

    Isn’t it getting to be the time of year when bear-despising Kempthorne goes and poses with a Polar Bear Photo and tells us how much he really cares?

  2. be Avatar

    yes ~ this incentive to wipe out as many species as possible across as much habitat as possible is illustrated by the recent tinkerings Caswell has enunciated regarding how habitat is designated (see: bull trout & slickspot peppergrass) ~ i.e. attempts at only designating inhabited habitat – thus, if you think you’ve got a pygmy rabbit on your allotment ~ get rid of it before listing !

    the hold out on listing could also have the effect of kicking so many cans into the future that when an administration with regard for science and the law does take over ~ all those pent-up species getting the protection they need will spur a markedly more stark economic reaction than if listings had happened gradually over the past several years. just wait for the weak in washington to ‘reform’


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