FYI
 
 In his 2002 State of the State address, Kempthorne said about the
EPA: "I am so frustrated with them that I am on the verge of inviting them to leave the state."
 
Jack Venrick
Enumclaw, WA
 
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 2:01 PM
Subject: One Nation United - Idaho Governor Kempthorne's a shoo-in for Interior secretary

From article below:  "Kempthorne, 54, said Bush told him to reach out beyond
traditional constituencies and to try to find bipartisan solutions. 'He
wants me to find common ground and build consensus,' Kempthorne told Idaho
reporters Thursday."  
 
"The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in North Idaho voted unanimously Thursday to back
Kempthorne for the post. Its chairman, Chief Allan, said Kempthorne can
benefit from his relationships with all five tribes in Idaho. "I think Gov.
Kempthorne can look to us for some guidance," Allan said. "We think we can
make it work."


http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200603170600/NEWS01
/603170371&template=printart

Article published Mar 17, 2006

Kempthorne's a shoo-in for Interior secretary
Kempthorne has history of seeking compromises

Dirk Kempthorne spent his career as a U.S. senator and Idaho governor
seeking to make the federal Endangered Species Act work better for people
and critters.

As President Bush's Interior secretary, Kempthorne would be the nation's top
wildlife manager. Rewriting the Endangered Species Act will be one of the
challenges where he can apply his collaborative style and instinct to let
states solve their own problems.

"I think Dirk will look for continued opportunities to bring the federal
mandate down to the state level," said Rick Johnson, executive director of
the Idaho Conservation League, a statewide environmental group.

 
As Interior secretary, Kempthorne would be federal landlord of more than 507
million acres of national parks, rangeland and wildlife refuges. He would
manage more than 600 dams that bring water to 31 million Westerners and
irrigate 60 percent of all the vegetables grown in the United States.

He would be in charge of the fate of 1,265 threatened or endangered species.
He would be responsible for 68 percent of the nation's oil and gas reserves
and millions of acres of federal mining lands.

He also would sit on President Bush's Cabinet, discussing with his
colleagues from such departments as state, energy and transportation the
major issues that face the nation and the world.

"I think that's good for Idaho," said former Idaho Republican Sen. James
McClure.
Kempthorne, 54, said Bush told him to reach out beyond traditional
constituencies and to try to find bipartisan solutions. "He wants me to find
common ground and build consensus," Kempthorne told Idaho reporters
Thursday.

Congress has been attempting to rewrite the Endangered Species Act since
Kempthorne went to Washington as a U.S. senator from Idaho in 1992. As
chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Drinking
Water, Fisheries and Wildlife subcommittee, Kempthorne introduced a bill
that would have watered down the Endangered Species Act.

But then he worked with the Clinton administration and environmental groups,
such as Environmental Defense on a compromise bill that won praise, although
it ultimately died in the Senate.

Now the House has passed a bill that environmentalists strongly oppose.
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and others are seeking a compromise in the
Senate.
"The people who are doing it now are standing on Dirk's shoulders," said Ted
Hoffman, a Mountain Home rancher who has worked with Kempthorne on such
endangered species issues as wolves, sage grouse and slickspot peppergrass.

As governor, Kempthorne forged a salmon agreement with three other Northwest
governors - including two Democrats - in 2000. He aggressively used his
Office of Species Conservation to develop state management plans for grizzly
bears and wolves.
In January, Interior Secretary Gale Norton formally handed Idaho back
day-to-day management of wolves under a plan Kempthorne pushed that allows
ranchers and the state to kill wolves with fewer restrictions.

"I think that office has turned out to be a pretty good deal," said Bruce
Mulkey, a rancher who worked on protection for salmon on the Lemhi River
near Salmon. "It put the state between the landowners and the federal
government, and I think we've made some progress."

But Kempthorne faces a skeptical national environmental community, which
doubts that he will make any changes from the Bush policies they oppose,
like oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and opening parks
to more tourism development.
"At a time when these controversial issues need a leader who can find common
ground, the president could not have chosen a more divisive nominee," said
Philip Clapp, president of the Washington D.C.-based National Environmental
Trust.

Environmentalists point to Kempthorne's aggressive jousting with the
Environmental Protection Agency over cleaning up the Silver Valley in North
Idaho after a century of heavy metal mining contamination as a sign of his
values. In his 2002 State of the State address, Kempthorne said about the
EPA: "I am so frustrated with them that I am on the verge of inviting them
to leave the state."
"President Bush nominated someone who has consistently opposed protecting
public health and public lands," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club executive
director.

Hecla Mining's vice president of public affairs, Vicki Veltkamp, said the
mining industry will welcome Kempthorne.

"Dirk knows the industry real well," Veltkamp said. "It's good to have
someone knowledgeable on the issue."
Indian tribes have had a thorny relationship with the Bush administration,
primarily over what a federal judge has called decades-long mismanagement of
trust accounts.

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in North Idaho voted unanimously Thursday to back
Kempthorne for the post. Its chairman, Chief Allan, said Kempthorne can
benefit from his relationships with all five tribes in Idaho. "I think Gov.
Kempthorne can look to us for some guidance," Allan said. "We think we can
make it work."

One of Kempthorne's biggest accomplishments as governor was striking an
agreement with the Nez Perce Tribe over its claims to the waters of the
Snake River. He brought to a close a decade of talks that resolved the
tribe's water rights, protected Idaho water rights and put in place rules
and projects to protect endangered salmon and steelhead habitat.

Rebecca Miles, chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, said
she looked forward to continuing the collaborative relationship forged in
those talks in the larger tribal issues. "We're hoping this will be an
improved relationship," Miles said.

The Senate must confirm Kempthorne before he takes over the 70,000-employee
department.
Sen. Pete Domenici, chairman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources
Committee, said he would schedule confirmation hearings as soon as the
paperwork arrived from the White House. Democrat Minority Leader Harry Reid
of Nevada expressed concerns about Kempthorne similar to those of former
Idaho governor and Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus.

"I'm not going to support him unless I have good long conversation about
public land issues," Reid said. "We can't have an Interior secretary who's
going to march lock-step with the president who wants to sell public land to
the highest bidder."

The Idaho Conservation League's Johnson is skeptical that Kempthorne will
change Bush administration policies much. But he thinks environmentalists
back East don't have a full picture of Kempthorne. "Dirk recognizes that the
West is changing and our values are changing," Johnson said. "Dirk is an
urban Westerner. His boots are polished."




 

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