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.