dirk kempthorne

Aldo Leopold Farm Becomes a National Historic Landmark

Aldo Leopold Farm Becomes a National Historic Landmark

WASHINGTON, DC, January 19, 2009 (ENS) – The farm of pioneer conservationist Aldo Leopold in Wisconsin has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, in one of the final actions of the outgoing Bush administration. Eight other new National Historic Landmarks were announced Friday, located in Connecticut, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, and Arizona,…

Lawsuit Challenges 11th Hour Cuts in Endangered Species Protections

Lawsuit Challenges 11th Hour Cuts in Endangered Species Protections

SAN FRANCISCO, California, December 17, 2008 (ENS) – Regulations announced by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne last week that would exempt many federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gases, from review under the Endangered Species Act were published in the Federal Register Tuesday. But the regulations are being challenged in court by three…

New Green Roof Graces Department of the Interior Building

New Green Roof Graces Department of the Interior Building

WASHINGTON, DC, December 16, 2008 (ENS) – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne Monday cut the ribbon opening a new green roof that has been planted on the third wing of the Main Interior Building in Washington. “What more suitable place for a green roof than the headquarters of America’s conservation department in Washington, DC?”…

Four Klamath River Dams May Be Removed to Benefit Salmon

Four Klamath River Dams May Be Removed to Benefit Salmon

NEVADA CITY, California, November 19, 2008 (ENS) – Four dams on the Klamath River that have blocked salmon runs upstream to their spawning areas may be removed in the year 2020 under an historic agreement among federal, state and corporate parties. Dam removal will re-open over 300 miles of habitat for the Klamath’s salmon and…

Bailout Compensates Counties for Eco-Services on Federal Lands

Bailout Compensates Counties for Eco-Services on Federal Lands

WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2008 (ENS) – Part of the $700 billion bailout of the U.S. financial system rushed into law in October will go to local governments to compensate for taxes that could not be levied on federal lands in their jurisdictions. The local governments provide services such as transportation, firefighting and emergency response…

Bush Adminstration Proposes Second Interagency Group for Bison

Bush Adminstration Proposes Second Interagency Group for Bison

WASHINGTON, DC, October 29, 2008 (ENS) – In the waning days of the Bush administration, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne Tuesday announced a plan to conserve bison, also called buffalo, with a second interagency group. He said the department will work with state, tribal and agricultural interests to promote cooperative conservation in bison management.…

Geothermal Development Planned for Western Public Lands

Geothermal Development Planned for Western Public Lands

PHOENIX, Arizona, October 22, 2008 (ENS) – More than 190 million acres of federal land in 12 western states will be opened for development of geothermal energy resources, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced today. “Geothermal energy will play a key role in powering America’s energy future,” Kempthorne said, “and 90 percent of our…

Ecosystem Approach to Hawaii Wildlife Welcome But Not New

Ecosystem Approach to Hawaii Wildlife Welcome But Not New

HONOLULU, Hawaii, October 5. 2008 (ENS) – Conservationists are expressing mixed reactions to the federal government’s proposal to add 48 species found only on the island of Kauai to the federal endangered species list and also to designate critical habitat for them. While advocates support the ecosystem approach proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife…

Bush Snowmobile Plan for Yellowstone National Park Struck Down

Bush Snowmobile Plan for Yellowstone National Park Struck Down

WASHINGTON, DC, September 15, 2008 (ENS) – The Bush administration’s authorization of increased snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park violates the fundamental legal responsibility of the National Park Service to protect the clean air, wildlife, and natural quiet of national parks for the benefit of all visitors, a federal court ruled today. The administration authorized…

'Sneaky' Bush Attack on Endangered Species Angers Conservationists

'Sneaky' Bush Attack on Endangered Species Angers Conservationists

WASHINGTON, DC, August 21, 2008 (ENS) – Saying the Bush administration’s most recent Endangered Species Act rulemaking is “anti-democratic,” 104 conservation and scientific organizations today submitted a letter to Cabinet officials calling for increased transparency and opportunities for public participation. The new rule published in the Federal Register last week would change the way the…

Bush Proposal Bypasses Endangered Species Experts

Bush Proposal Bypasses Endangered Species Experts

WASHINGTON, DC, August 12, 2008 (ENS) – The Bush administration has proposed sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act, releasing a plan to give federal agencies the authority to decide without expert consultation whether their activities could harm endangered and threatened species. Administration officials contend the proposal will make the law easier to implement, but…

Feds Freeze Western Solar Power for Environmental Analysis

Feds Freeze Western Solar Power for Environmental Analysis

WASHINGTON, DC, June 27, 2008 (ENS) – The federal government is calling a halt to new applications for solar power developments on public land in six western states while the 125 applications now in the pipeline are evaluated. The evaluation of both current and future applications will depend on the results of an environmental impact…

Bush, McCain Would Lift Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling

Bush, McCain Would Lift Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling

WASHINGTON, DC, June 18, 2008 (ENS) – President George W. Bush today called on Congress to expand domestic oil production to lower record high oil and gas prices by lifting a ban on oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf that has been in place since 1981. Drilling for oil offshore is one of four…

Migratory Bird Wetland Habitat Expanded With Duck Stamp Dollars

Migratory Bird Wetland Habitat Expanded With Duck Stamp Dollars

WASHINGTON, DC, June 12, 2008 (ENS) – The federal Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $4 million to purchase more than 18,000 acres of prairie wetland and grassland habitat for the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern Minnesota In one of the largest purchases to use dollars generated by Federal Duck Stamp sales and…

New National Recreation Trails Open to Explorers

New National Recreation Trails Open to Explorers

WASHINGTON, DC, June 9, 2008 (ENS) – Hikers, cyclists, skaters, equestrians and paddlers will have more territory to explore this season. To mark the 40th anniversary of the National Trails System, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne has designated 24 trails in 16 states as new National Recreation Trails, adding more than 1,100 miles of…

Alaskan Arctic Wilderness Lake Closed to Oil and Gas Leasing

Alaskan Arctic Wilderness Lake Closed to Oil and Gas Leasing

WASHINGTON, DC, May 20, 2008 (ENS) – In a plan released Friday, the Bureau of Land Management, BLM, announced that it will make land available for leasing in the northeast portion of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska that could yield nearly three billion barrels of oil. The planned leases could yield trillions of cubic…

U.S. Lists Polar Bear as Threatened But Balks at New Protection

U.S. Lists Polar Bear as Threatened But Balks at New Protection

By J.R. Pegg WASHINGTON, DC, May 14, 2008 (ENS) – The Bush administration reluctantly declared the polar bear a threatened species today, concluding that the loss of Arctic sea ice has put the future of the iconic species in peril. But the administration also took steps to ensure the decision will not require new efforts…

Bush Administration Takes Aim at National Parks Gun Ban

Bush Administration Takes Aim at National Parks Gun Ban

WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2008 (ENS) – The Bush administration on Wednesday announced its intent to shoot down federal rules that prohibit individuals from carrying loaded firearms in U.S. national parks and wildlife refuges. The proposal would permit individuals to carry loaded and concealed weapons if permitted by state laws in the state where the…

Private Donations Enrich National Parks for 2016 Centennial

Private Donations Enrich National Parks for 2016 Centennial

WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2008 (ENS) – A new way of funding improvements has been introduced into the cash-starved National Park System. The private sector is now permitted to match federal funding of up to $100 million a year on specific projects benefiting the national parks between now and the 100th anniversary of the National…

Court Halts Yosemite National Park Construction Plans

Court Halts Yosemite National Park Construction Plans

PASEDENA, California, March 28, 2008 (ENS) – The National Park Service cannot proceed with more than $100 million in construction projects now on the drawing board for Yosemite National Park because the developments could illegally ruin the park’s sensitive ecosystem, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Yosemite National Park covers nearly 1,200 square…

Water Rushes Down the Grand Canyon in High Flow Experiment

Water Rushes Down the Grand Canyon in High Flow Experiment

PAGE, Arizona, March 6, 2008 (ENS) – More than 300,000 gallons of water per second is now gushing through the Grand Canyon, released from Lake Powell near the Arizona-Utah border in an effort to restore sandbars needed by native plants and fish. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne Wednesday pulled a lever at Glen Canyon Dam to…

Bush Administration Sued Over Penguins Harmed by Warming

Bush Administration Sued Over Penguins Harmed by Warming

WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2008 (ENS) – Concerned that 10 penguin species are threatened by global warming, the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the Bush administration Friday for failing to take action to protect these penguin species threatened by global warming under the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit, brought against Secretary of Interior…

Nevada Conservation Projects Receive $78 Million

Nevada Conservation Projects Receive $78 Million

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, February 21, 2008 (ENS) – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne Wednesday approved $78.6 million for conservation, restoration and recreation projects in Nevada. During the ground breaking for a new visitor center at Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area, Kempthorne announced the funding initiatives, including $25 million for park improvements and $14.6…

Dam Upgrades Will Double Flood Protection for Sacramento

Dam Upgrades Will Double Flood Protection for Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, California, January 11, 2008 (ENS) – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday announced the start of a construction project that will double flood protection in most areas of the Sacramento region. The project includes improvements to Folsom Dam, located on the American River about 23 miles northeast…

Grants of $20.5 Million Safeguard Coastal Wetlands

Grants of $20.5 Million Safeguard Coastal Wetlands

WASHINGTON, DC, January 4, 2008 (ENS) – Twenty-nine conservation projects encompassing nearly 10,000 acres of coastal wetlands will be funded with $20.5 million from 2008 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced Friday. The grants will be used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish,…