Institutionalism: Why wildlife conservation loses in legislatures despite support from majorities of general populace
Bravemder, Robin. Cheney wants to wage war on regulations. Wyofile, February 11. Accessed 2/14/17 from http://www.wyofile.com/cheney-wants-wage-war-regulations/
Institutionalism: Why wildlife conservation loses in legislatures despite support from majorities of general populace: The case of Liz Cheney, former Vice President Cheney’s daughter who has just become the lone Wyoming U.S. representative in Congress illustrates how anti-environmentalists dominate decision-making in Congress (and this same principle applies to state legislatures too). Cheney has secured a seat on the House Natural Resources Committee—this is a seat that conservative Westerners actively seek while liberals and moderates from other parts of the country are generally uninterested. Because the Committee oversees organizations like the Bureau of Land Management that controls western lands, it makes some sense that westerns would be especially interested in sitting on this committee compared to representatives from other areas of the U.S. However, the impact of these choices assures that this institution, the House Natural Resources Committee, is usually dominated by conservatives who are against wildlife conservation. For example, in her first few weeks, Cheney has already sponsored a bill to remove protections from the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act and vows to fight “power grabs” by the Bureau of Land Management. The only good news for conservationists is that hunters from her own state have voiced opposition to a bill that she supports that would lead to the transfer of Federal lands to states. Thus it is important that those interested in wildlife conservation from other parts of the country seek out seats on this committee. In the past, liberals such as former Rep. George Miller of California have played an important role on this committee and helped to protect the Endangered Species Act. Likewise, former Rep. Jon Dingell of Michigan played a key role for many years in protecting species such as against poisoning by the Federal agency that targeted wolves and other "varmints" for killing. Thus it is important for representatives and senators from non-western areas of this country to get on key committees affecting wildlife and act to protect them because their constituents consider these to be important issues and, if they don't, the narrow interests of ranchers, hunters, and extractive industries will dominate wildlife politics to the detriment of many species that we need to protect. Check out the article by Robin Bravemder in Wyofile on Cheney: http://www.wyofile.com/cheney-wants-wage-war-regulations/
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