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.

Governor Schweitzer says public stream access needed to keep Montana’s economy humming

In the last several years Montana’s economy has turned really turned around after years of stagnation and growing inequality. During that time too more and more landowners have tried to block off the public from their streams.

Now Gov. Brian Schweitzer has come out strongly in favor of a proposed law that would require landowners who attach fences to county bridges to provide some form of access to the streams they cross, such as a gate, and stated that public access is essential to a strong economy. He is talking about “public property rights,” a word western Republicans are not fond of, and had fallen into disuse in the years of Republican control in Montana.

Governor says strong economy, public access linked. By Walt Williams. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

More . . . Update from the Denver Post. Unhappy to be stuck with you. Wealthy landowners want to bar fishing on Montana stream. By Charlie Meyers. Denver Post Outdoors Editor.

The stream access controversy has had a big internal impact on Trout Unlimited.

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