Bennett Raley

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As Assistant Secretary of Water and Science, Department of the Interior, Bennett William Raley manages and directs programs supporting the development and implementation of national water and mineral policies and provides program oversight and guidance for the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation.

Born October 3, 1956, Raley has primarily worked as a lawyer defending property and water rights. Representing irrigators, water districts, and property-rights groups, he has stressed the importance of valuing property rights over environmental concerns, opposing re-authorization of the Clean Water Act and working to weaken and repeal the Endangered Species Act.

Following his confirmation, Raley stated in a media release "I look forward [as Assistant Secretary of Water and Science] to … honor[ing] our longstanding commitment of leaving the nation's land and water in better condition for future generations to enjoy." [1]

Raley then proceeded to oversee a “major shift in water policy, away from environmental protection and toward property owners' rights. In 2002, he allotted water from Oregon's Klamath River to irrigators rather than to endangered fish, leading to a massive salmon die-off.” [2]

  • Partner, Davis, Graham & Stubbs, 1990-1991
  • Staff Counsel to U.S. Senator Hank Brown, 1991-1992
  • President of Trout & Raley PC, Denver, CO
  • National Water Resources Association (The National Water Resources Association is a member of the National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition (NESARC), formed by utility, logging, development, and mining companies)
  • Member of the Board of Litigation at Mountain States Legal Foundation (described as the “litigating arm of the Wise Use movement”)
  • Member of Attorney Network, Defenders of Property Rights (a legal foundation dedicated entirely to property rights matters)
  • Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism, and Property Rights for the first 100 days of the 104th Congress
  • Co-Chair of the Federal Water Rights Task Force established pursuant to the 1996 Farm Bill.

Campaign contributions include $500 to George W. Bush in 2000 and $250 to Gale Norton in 1996.

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