For Immediate Release: May 9, 2006
Wildlife Advocates Oppose Kempthorne for Interior Secretary
More than 100 conservation organizations from across the U.S. registered their opposition today to Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s nomination for Interior Secretary. In a letter to members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the groups cited Kempthorne’s poor record on endangered species and wildlife conservation as a U.S. senator and governor of Idaho.
As a U.S. senator, Gov. Kempthorne voted to eliminate the federal Endangered Species Act listing budget and federal funding for recovery of the endangered wolf. He repeatedly voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration and to sell off federal public lands, including lands managed by the Department of Interior.
As governor of Idaho, Kempthorne opposed the protection and recovery of endangered species in his state. He used his Governor’s Office of Species Conservation to override the management decisions of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and to undermine and indefinitely stall endangered species conservation efforts. He worked to suppress scientific information that shows that hydroelectric dams have negatively impacted salmon populations in Northwest rivers. In 2001, he joined forces with the Boise-Cascade timber company to sue the U.S. Forest Service to block implementation of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule that would protect rare roadless areas in national forests from road building and development.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote on Kempthorne’s nomination Wednesday, May 10.
The full text of the letter and list of signers is available at