[env-trinity] Karuk Tribe Joins with Conservation Groups in Supporting Thompson for Interior Secretary

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Mon Dec 8 22:48:50 PST 2008


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Dan Bacher 
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 4:24 PM
Subject: Karuk Tribe Joins with Conservation Groups in Supporting Thompson for Interior Secretary 


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Karuk Tribe Joins with Conservation Groups in Supporting Thompson for Interior Secretary�


by Dan Bacher�


The Karuk Tribe of northern California today joined a broad coalition of fishing, hunting and conservation groups throughout the nation in urging President-Elect Barrack Obama to appoint Representative Mike Thompson as the next Secretary of Interior.�


Political insiders are expecting Obama to make a decision this week regarding his choice for the next Secretary of Interior. Although a number of possible contenders for the Interior position have circulated through the rumor mill, the two leading candidates for the position to date are Thompson and Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).�


"Congressman Thompson is a lifelong outdoorsman who understands how to bring rural conservationists and urban environmentalists together to create meaningful and protective natural resource policy," said Tribal Chairman Arch Super. "Congressman Thompson has been a leader on local resource issues in his district working diligently to protect salmon and watersheds that are of cultural and spiritual import to the Karuk Tribe."�


Super noted that Thompson has been broadly recognized as a leader outside his district as well, receiving national recognition for his achievements from both environmental and sportsman�s groups. He is unique among Congressmen in receiving both the Sierra Club�s prestigious Edgar Wayburn Award for environmental protection and the legislator of the year award by Safari Club International.�


"The Congressman forever endeared himself to members of the Karuk Tribe in 2002 when the Klamath River fish kill left nearly 70,000 adult salmon on the banks of the Klamath River," said Super. "Congressman Thompson made this horrific event an issue of national importance by flying carcasses of these fish back to D.C. to present to his fellow lawmakers as evidence of failed federal policy in the Klamath Basin. With such bold action, Congressman Thompson has illustrated his great devotion to conserving America�s natural resources."�


Ducks Unlimited, the American Sportfishing Association, Bass Pro Shops and 29 other national sportsmen's groups are urging Obama to appoint Rep. Thompson as the new Interior Secretary. Besides earning high marks from both sportsmen's and environmental groups, Thompson this year played a key leadership role in obtaining disaster relief for recreational and commercial fishermen and related businesses devastated by the closure of salmon fishing in ocean waters off California and Oregon and in Central Valley rivers this year, due to the collapse of the Sacramento River fall chinook population.�


"You have been forthright in your commitment to sportsmen and making their priorities a centerpiece of your land and water conservation agenda," they stated in a letter sent to Obama and his transition team on November 19. "As you review candidates for secretary of the US Department of the Interior, we hope that you will strongly consider Congressman Thompson for this important post."�


The Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations (PCFFA), the largest commercial fishing organization on the West Coast, is also strongly supporting Thompson for Secretary.�


"We cannot recommend Mr. Thompson highly enough," said Zeke Grader, the PCFFA's executive director, in a letter to Obama on November 24. "We have had the opportunity to work with him for two decades, in both the California Legislature and the U.S. Congress. He is a passionate, thoughtful, intelligent and extremely hard-working individual."�


Grader said Thompson would bring to the Department of the Interior "a wealth of knowledge" about water, coastal and marine, lands and recreational issues, as well as having a "long and good working relationship" with the Native American governments in his area.�


In addition, California Representatives George Miller, author of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), and Anna Eshoo recently sent a letter to Obama supporting the appointment of Thompson for Interior Secretary.�


Meanwhile, another coalition of conservation organizations is building support behind naming Congressman Ra�l Grijalva as the next Secretary of the Interior, according to a support letter from more than 78 groups sent to President-elect Obama and released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Rep. Grijalva now chairs the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands that has jurisdiction over Interior Department matters.�


The 106 groups who signed this latest letter, based in states ranging from New York and Virginia to Colorado and California, represent some of the growing support for Grijalva spanning wildlife, land protection and good government groups, as well as among Congressional colleagues, including Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) who chairs the Natural Resources Committee. Scientists, Indian Tribes and Latino organizations are also backing Grijalva.�


Among the pluses highlighted in the support letter is that Rep. Grijalva has "a depth and breadth of experience in complex natural resource issues at federal, state, tribal and county levels." In particular, the letter praised Grijalva for assembling what is regarded as one of the most "far-sighted endangered species protection plans in the nation" that minimized the need for litigation that has plagued Interior.�


The letter also praised the Congressman for "expertise in drought management, a growing condition in the parched West" and "leadership in pressing Interior and other federal agencies to integrate global warming issues into their planning and permitting."�


"Representative Grijalva is widely respected, with excellent state and local relations, and a proven record of fairness, ethics and conservation," stated Southwest PEER Director Daniel Patterson, who is a newly elected Arizona State Representative who formerly worked with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which controls the most acreage of any Interior agency. "Congressman Grijalva understands wildlife and outdoors issues, as well as energy, water, tribes and natural resources management."�


However, Thompson appears to be the more likely candidate for Obama's choice for the Interior post, based on an interview that Field and Stream magazine conducted with Obama in September. Obama then said that he would probably appoint a sportsman or sportswoman to be the Secretary of Interior, as well as creating a �sportsmen�s committee� that advises Interior and other agencies.�


�I think that having a head of the Department of Interior who doesn't understand hunting and fishing would be a problem,� Obama said. �And so my suspicion is that whoever heads up the Department of Interior is probably going to be a sportsman or sportswoman.��


While both Thompson and Grijalva have impressive environmental credentials, Thompson is a hunter and angler while Grivalva isn't. This fact could be a key factor in determining whether Thompson, Grijalva or somebody else becomes the next Interior Secretary.
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