A Dark Day for the Environment

On Friday, May 26th, despite opposition from over 100 conservation groups and thousands of outdoor enthusiasts, the United States Senate confirmed former Idaho Senator/Governor Dirk Kempthorne as Secretary of the Interior.

Brock Evans, President of the Endangered Species Coalition had this to say in regard to Kempthrone's new position: "The vote to confirm Mr. Kempthorne as our next Secretary of Interior marks the beginning of a sad and anxious time for Americans who care about proper stewardship and protection of our Nation's magnificent wilderness, park, and wildlife treasures."

Interior Secretary Kempthorne now assumes management of 500 million acres of publicly owned lands,– which include: our national parks, monuments, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, rangelands, and coastal areas. The Secretary is also responsible for fish and wildlife conservation and the conservation of our nation's water and mineral resources.

As a Senator, Kempthorne has a lifetime League of Conservation Voters score of only 1% having voted only one time out of 70 in favor of the environment. He twice voted for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and also supported drilling off our coasts in areas that are currently protected. Mr. Kempthorne has also voted to sell off public lands and opposed reforming laws to rein in the environmentally destructive activities of the mining industry. As governor, Mr. Kempthorne has supported mining for gravel in the middle of a state park along the Boise River, and has also been leading the charge against the 2001 Roadless Rule, a national policy which protected nine million acres of wild forests in Idaho from new road construction and industrial logging. (Source: ESC).

Idaho residents are quite familier with Kempthorne's anti-environment agenda, especially public land enthusiasts. Big energy financed his political campaign - more than almost all other Governors. This supports the reasoning behind why Kempthorne has one of the worst environmental records ever known.

It is critical to educate your friends and family about Kempthorne and the Bush Administration - and support those that continuously keep fighting the good fight - the one for environmental protection, habitat-conservation planning and education.


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