President Bush’s selection of Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne to be the next Interior Secretary was not surprising, but it is not particularly encouraging either. As a Senator, Kempthorne was less interested in good legislation than he was in seeing environmental legislation he sponsored pass. As a result he squandered opportunities to advance meaningful reforms. He also pushed an Endangered Species Act Reauthorization bill that served the interests of big business without providing an meaningful protection for private property rights. If he resumes this
approach as Interior Secretary, the Bush Administration’s outdoors policy is unlikely to improve.