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Since Ken Salazar took over as Interior secretary, his first order of business has been undoing the last business done by the outgoing Bush administration. Inheriting an organization marred by criticism that it kowtowed to the energy industry, Salazar has dedicated his first days to addressing scandals, pledging a return to science and promising to balance energy development and the environment. His latest move came Wednesday when he announced he was rejecting bids on 77 controversial gas leases in Utah that critics said could threaten national parks and sensitive public lands. “We believe there ought to be a balance,” Salazar tells NewWest.Net. “We believe we can find ways for development to move forward, but at the same time development moves forward, that we’re providing appropriate protections.”

Salazar Pledges ‘Balance’ to Scandal-Plagued Interior

Since Ken Salazar took over as Interior secretary, his first order of business has been undoing the last business done by the outgoing Bush administration.

Inheriting an organization marred by criticism that it kowtowed to the energy industry, Salazar has dedicated his first days to addressing scandals, pledging a return to science and promising to balance energy development and the environment.

His latest move came Wednesday when he announced he was rejecting bids on 77 controversial gas leases in Utah that critics said could threaten national parks and sensitive public lands.

“We believe there ought to be a balance,” Salazar tells NewWest.Net. “We believe we can find ways for development to move forward, but at the same time development moves forward, that we’re providing appropriate protections.”

When Obama named Salazar, then a Democratic Senator from Colorado, as his pick for Interior, many environmental groups criticized the decision. Energy and agriculture interests, meanwhile, praised him as a man they could work with.

“He did not seem like someone who was going to be transforming Interior,” says Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “He had a reputation as somebody who never met a water project he didn’t like.”

Rarely seen without his cowboy hat and bolo tie, Salazar doesn’t look the part of an environmental crusader. Like his brother Rep. John Salazar, a Democratic congressman, he hails from a farming family in the state’s poorest corner. A state attorney general turned lawmaker, he crafted himself as a political moderate, critical of Bush administration polices to speed drilling and oil shale development in some cases, opposed to some endangered species protections in others.

Ruch says he still hasn’t seen any sign Salazar will represent a break from Bush. “We would be delighted to be wrong and pleasantly surprised.”

Despite Salazar’s early praise from the energy industry, it blasted his Utah decision.

“It’s hard to imagine why this administration would come out with policies that limit economic development in Utah,” says Kathleen Sgamma, director of government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States. “A lease sale is an economic stimulus to the state and federal government. The state of Utah and federal government are losing millions of dollars from the lease sale.”

Interior may be ignored by much of the country, but it plays a key role in the West, overseeing oil and gas operations and managing 500 million acres of public land through the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and other agencies.

Under Bush, the BLM worked overtime to speed drilling on public lands, to the pleasure of industry and the consternation of environmentalists, who lobbed a constant volley of legal assaults to protect lands across the West.

“The Bush administration said early on the No. 1 priority of the BLM was to develop energy,” says David Garbett, staff attorney for the Southeast Utah Wilderness Alliance, which sued to have the controversial Utah parcels withdrawn. “Oil and gas needs to be the first thing.”

He calls Salazar’s performance “great so far.”

“It’s time to take a step back, breathe and really be more thoughtful about” oil and gas development, he says.

A scathing internal investigation found Interior staffers literally in bed with energy representatives. The September report by the department’s Inspector General detailed “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” at Interior’s Minerals Management Service in Denver between 2002 and 2006.

The office, which handles billions of dollars worth of oil and natural gas, had staffers taking industry-funded trips, having sex with and sharing cocaine and marijuana with industry representatives. The scandal mirrored what critics saw as an administration too cozy with the energy industry at the expense of the land it was charged to protect.

Standing in front of the Denver building at the heart of the scandals, Salazar announced last week, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

In recent days, two top staffers received wrist slaps for their roles. On Monday, Milton Dial, 60, got a $2,000 fine and an apology from a judge in Las Vegas, Nev. Investigators said he fed lucrative contracts to industry friends, including a company he joined after he retired. The following day, a judge in New Orleans handed probation and a $3,000 fine to Donald Howard, 59, a former supervisor who admitted he failed to report a $2,500 hunting trip he received from an oil industry contractor.

Salazar has pledged to look into other possible wrongdoing in the service, including delving deeper into cases where officials have decided not to pursue criminal charges.

He also has pledged to reexamine “a dozen or so” midnight maneuvers the Bush administration slipped in before leaving office.

“There were a number of decisions that were made by the Bush administration in the last several months in its existence,” he says. “In my view, several of those were rushed without going through the correct environmental review.”

Salazar declined to speak about them in detail or say which ones he was reviewing, but he said announcements will be forthcoming. Among the last-minute moves were efforts to speed oil shale development, let public land managers approve projects without considering impacts to endangered species and bar global warming from being considered in species decisions. One measure stripped requirements for emergency protections on sensitive Interior lands. Others exempted factory farms from air pollution reporting and permitted mountaintop mining companies to dump the waste in rivers.

“The policy positions of the department over the last eight years have really been driven out of the White House,” Salazar says, “and we are looking at many of the decisions that were made. “My charge from President Obama and the Department of Interior is to move forward to bring about the change that is required and implement a reform agenda.”

Some critics of Interior under Bush have praised his early steps.

“The Obama administration has already begun to implement a sound public lands policy that reflects the best interests of the American people, not the interests of the oil and gas industry,” says Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., who has been pressing for years to have much of the controversial Utah land designated as wilderness.

Others say Salazar has a long way to go to undo the wrongs of the past.

“They need to restore balance,” Ruch says. For him, that means more transparency, more agency reformers and more funding for land agencies bled dry.

“In order to be a new sheriff,” he says, “you need more than a cowboy hat.”

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30 comments

  1. Sounds and looks to me like the democratic party has all their little soldiers marching to the same drum, being played today by the environmental movement.

  2. Hey Dave:

    If you took the time to sit in a meeting among the “environmental movement” you’d find a diversity of opinion and disorganization rivaling that of the democratic party. The thing is, democrats like diversity of opinion. Even if the demos are marching to the drumbeat of the environmental movement, it beats suffering under the dictatorship of the last 8 years brought to you by the oil and gas industry.

  3. While the enviro’s are still slobbering all over themselves and gleefully jumping with joy with this decision, Utah and its citizens take it in the shorts again. When Clinton/Babbitt left office they made sure that they took out a big chunk of Utah’s wealth by claiming with the last minute executive order before leaving office, Most of Utah’s coal reserves that were forever locked up in the Grand Staircase Escalante land grab, by the eoc’s.

    The west and their residents, especially the rural residents lost so, so much during the Clinton/Babbitt years. Much of the economy of the West is still struggling from Babbitt’s callous and calculated attempts to remove all consumptive use from federally managed lands, BLM being the hardest hit.

    Babbitt’s spotted owl did most of it and then all the other so called endangered species, with the wolf doing his hatchet work still to this day. Bush policies did little to nothing to slow down the runaway eco train wreck the nation is now in. Bush did however with the help of Kempthorne, whom most of have lost respect for, managed to get the polar bear listed which will be another extreme blow to the wise use movement.

    Wake up eco-ists! Why do you think the US is in meltdown now?

  4. I’m happy he has pledged to reopen the investigation into that Interior manager that admitted to date raping his own employee that the Bushies covered up for.

  5. Why is the US in a meltdown? Greed

    Try looking to the facts:
    The US overextended its debt, overdrilled, and overbuilt. Financial sector loaned out money to anyone, with nothing backing up the debt.
    The de-regulated financial industry got out of hand, with too many hands in the cookie jar all at once.
    The decline in timber industry is not because of supply of timber due to too many lawsuits for the spotted owl. There is a glut in the timber market, mostly due to softwood imports and the like. The timber industry, like the recent financial disaster, cut way too much at once in the 70’s and 80’s and left very little decent salable timber.
    Remember last summer with $4/gal gas? We were told that there was a shortage, but how could that shortage have disappeared in two months. Remember drill baby drill? The pittance of oil the west has produced in the last couple years means nothing on the world oil market.

    Now all good conservative repeat after me…”government baaad, corporations good, environmentalists baaad, republicans gooood, lawsuits baaad, Reagan goood, deregulation good for corporations…”

  6. This is a breath of fresh air to me. The past few years of Dirk “thedink” Kempthorne were the worst since the Interior Department was begun. Millions of dollars literlly thrown down the toilet by paying off cronies who then did nothing but stick the bucks in their pocket.
    Utah has some of the most beautiful sites in America and should value that.
    Besides there is no market for coal and won’t be for at least 4 years. Coal hurts the senses and should not be used for any purpose. There is no such animal as clean coal. When there is I would be the first to jump on that band wagon. Until then, thanks, but no thanks.
    Secretary Salazar is doing the right thing by cleaning house and the sooner, the cleaner, the better.

  7. The move by Secretary Salazar is much appreciated. I am still saddened that we have so many citizens who seem to honestly believe that the key to a national prosperity is by destroying the environment, “developing” the last undeveloped lands, paying no attention to the costs of environmental destruction or the loss of natural systems or natural beauty like Arches and other public lands. I will never understand it. Any more than I can understand how the Communists in Russia and China made such a disaster out of their environment. I think maybe it boils down to a simple furious selfishness: dig it up, burn it, I want mine now and I don’t care who pays in the long run. I have a right to be ignorant and demand that my ignorance makes the rules. Sadly, (yes that word again) it did not work out for the Soviet Union, and the Chinese are desperately trying now to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, even as their unemployment rises and economy sinks, their citizens can now be unemployed AND trying to survive on the poisoned waters and the filthy air and ruined farmlands left behind by their “economic miracle”. I don’t think furious selfishness and aggressive ignorance can be the basis for policy, enviro or other, in an educated, optimistic, and powerful nation like the USA. We are better than that. That is why Salazar pulled these leases.

  8. What a streatch Hal! Do you really think the wise use movement and all of the people on the “other side” want to destroy the environment, reap the resource and flatten the landscape. Quite to the contrary. I believe as you do that the Arches, the Canyon Lands and all our natural treasures should be off limits to drilling and the extractive industry. What we want is for a balance and not all one way or the other. We have a great natural resource and some of it can be developed sensibly, while protecting the natural beauty of this great nation. This notion that “my side” is always right and your side is always wrong has got to change. It is time for all of us to pull together and use a common sense approach to getting this great nation energy independent.

    I personally think Bruce Babbitt was the worst Interior Secretarty ever and Kempthorne basically did nothing except sell everyone out in the end. I think Salazar is probably going to be alright from all we know about him and his family. Ole “thedirtydemocrat” believe what ever you want and if coal is no good whatsoever then I suppose Nuclear power is out too! Wind farms are kinda cool but the wind doesn’t blow all the time and many do not want them in their back yards. Solar has more promise but is expensive.

    Hopefully Salazar will have a fair and balanced approach to managing the natural resource, and not take a radical eco approach but a middle of the road approach in doing so.

  9. I’ll let the real mike’s comment stand for any reply I might make.

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    p.s. You’re from Wisconsin, aren’t you, tommy? I thought so. You’re a REAL western hero, aren’t you?? BWHAHAHAAAA! Come ON, tommy. Tell us what you’re granddaddy and great granddaddy did out west here! You’re roots run deep, don’t they? Ate many a spotted owl, didncha? Broke a lotta horses? Watched a lotta jonh wayne movies too I bet! Tommy, you are so phony it’s hilarious!

  11. Dearest Larry Kralj,Envirnonmental Ranger,

    My, My what a tirade. I guess I must have really rubbed you wrong! The truth really hurts it would seem!

    You can google my name and find out a little bit or if you want. To do some real checks here are a few things you can start on:

    South West Director New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides
    Outfitter Director, New Mexico/Arizona Coalition of Counties
    Past State Board Member New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau
    Board member of People For Preservation of a Western Environemnt
    Outfitter Permitee Gila National Forest and Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico
    Outfitter Permittee All National Forests in Arizona, Permit adminitrated on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest on the Alpine Ranger District
    Past President Gila Livestock Grazing Permitees, Now Gila Livestock Growers Association
    Past President Catron County Farm and Livestock Bureau

    Owners of three Gila National Forest Grazing Allotments from 1973 until 1995, sold ranches and went into outfitting as there was a brighter future in recreation than running cattle on the National Forest. Formed San Francisco River Outfitters in 1986. Reputable outfitter with much of the business repeat customers.

    5th generation cattle rancher 30 years in Toponas, Colorado, 20 years on running cattle on the Gila National forest and the Apache/Sitgreaves in Greenlee Couney Arizona.
    25 year permittee Outfitter, Registered outfitter by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department

    Full time outfitter doing summer horseback pactrip vacations and trophy elk, mule deer, Coues deer, lion, bear, javelina, turkey, oryx, ibex, aoudad, & bighorn sheep.

    President, Whiskey Creek Dude Ranch & Outfitters, Black Canyon located between Aldo Leopold Wilderness and the Gila Wilderness.
    Pesident Whiskey Creek Dude Ranch and Outfitters downtown Silver City New Mexico 210 Bullard St. Western Collectable Consignment Store and upcoming Hotel, and offices of Dude Ranch.

    Heritage:

    John Franklin Bird, Homesteader, Yampa Colorado, Guided Teddy Roosevelt in 1899 in Yampa, Colorado for mule deer. My family has two valuable one of a kind portraits of Teddy Roosevelt and his hunting parts with pictures of my greatgrandad, cheif guide for this trip.

    My family were some of the very first white settlers in to the Yampa Valley south of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

    Willaim Scott Perry, Great grandad cattle rancher Toponas Colorado and my Grandad O.S. Perry build a small ranching empire

    Great Grandpa Lueff Klumker, Taxidermist , Homesteader, Toponas, Colorado. Grandpa Martin Klumker, Blacksmith, Blackhawk, Colorado

    Before leaving Colorado: Grand Knight, Steamboat Springs Council #4462 Knights of Columbus

    President Routt County Farm Bureau

    You might start with finding my birth records being born Sept. 1, 1944 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

    Yes sir Mr. Environmental Ranger you are talking to the real deal. No BS here buddy!

    If you want a real debate you are talking to somebody who walks and talks the talk. I spend a conservative 90 days in a sleeping bag out in wilderness areas every single year and know and love it well. I practice the “Leave no trace” ethic and maintain a herd of 30 horses and mules that we use to run our operation, almost totally in wilderness areas. We have a great system of wilderness here with the Gila, the Aldo Leopold and the Blue Range plus the Blue Range in AZ all right out my back door and have been enjoying these vast and beautiful God’s creation for almost 35 years now. In Colorado we went into and loved the Flattops Wilderness.

    My family has always been environmentally conscious and practiced wise use conservation and took and take pride in leaving the landscape a better place for future generations.

    What exactly do you do Mr. Environmantal Ranger?

  12. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    That’s what I thought. A NEWBEE! Take a lotta pride, do ya, in helping them outta staters to NOT shoot some poor rancher’s llama! Me? I actually WORK for a living, tommy. Here in Montana, we don’t NEED some bozo like you to “guide” for us. Kind of a silly line of work, I’d say. But you see, tommy, your family were LATECOMERS to Colorado. Mine were there before you folks even arrived! Head up on to Crestted Butte some time and look in the graveyard for the Bear family, right next to the Stimacs. My great graddaddy was a miner and part-time sheriff there in the 1880’s. My grandmother and mother were born there, ABOVE NINE THOUSAND FEET, while your family was down in the lowlands. Then head over to the cemetery in Paonia and looke for Kraljs. You’ll find plenty. You see, tommy, my family mined coal, REAL man’s work. Great granddaddy, granddaddy, and my dad also, until he was injured in the mines and became a teacher. Part of the familv moved to Montana to ranch. Others headed to Oregon. Now, I cut trees for a living. I couldn’t suck up to outta staters the way that YOU have to do. Sumthin’ sick about that, but I’m sure that you excell at it!

  13. Dearest Kralj,

    Maybe you need to go back and read my post again.

    My family were the very first white settlers into the Yampa Valley! Period end of story. They were there when the Indians still roamed freely through the area.

    My great-great grandad William M. Bird homesteaded near Florissant, Colorado in 1875. He freighted between Leadville, Fairplay and Alama. Some theives stold a team of horses with one having a cracked shoe. He trailed them to Yampa, Colorado over 100 miles and caught up with them and retrieved their horses. He liked the area, went back and relenquished his Homestead at Florrisant and homesteaded at Yampa in 1880

    On my father side, my great grandfather and grandfather moved from Germany in the late 1800’s and homesteaded in Longs Park, Gore Range, Toponas, Colorado. Great grandpa L. Klumker and two of his sons established a taxidermy business there later moved to Arvada, Colorado and later had Colorado Tannery whom tanned all the hides for Jonas Brothers Taxidermy in Denver. My grandpa Martin Klumker was a blacksmith in the mining towns of Blawkhawk and Georgetown.

    On my mother’s Perry side were ranchers as well as the Birds were freighter, loggers sawmillers, ranchers and helped make the Yampa Valley the great place it is today.

    My family doesn’t need some jackass bad mouthing us with the extreme negative and sour babblings you are harping on. Get off your friggin soapbox and go eat a spotted owl or someother environmentally correct pursuit, for Chirst Sakes!

    I know it won’t do any further good to argue with you about my tributes or lack thereof, so why don’t you stuff a sock in it and go back to monitoring the wilderness in Montana or whatever it is you think you are God Almighty great and holier than thou about!

  14. Larry and Tom, this exchange is so stupid an irrelevant that it hurts. Why would anyone’s arguments be more or less correct only because he/she has deeper roots in the American West?

  15. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Simple. I needed to know, because tommy PRETENDS to write with authority, but he SOUNDS a lot like a guy from wisconsin or some place. Well, at least bonyfeeds appear to be in order. BTW, tommy, if you want to see the Kralj Barn, (kind of a famous local picture) it was on the cover of the 1997 phone book for Austin, Bowie, Cedaredge, Cory, Crawford, Delta, Eckert, Hotchkiss, Lazear, Maher, Montrose, Norwood, Olathe, Orchard City, Ouray, Paonia, Ridgway, Somerset. It’s a pretty neat picture, with Mount Lamborn in the background. Unfortunately, we sold that place back in the ’80’s I believe it was. Check it out. Sorry, I don’t have any family pics with TR that I know of. And, tommy, sorry to hear that you had no MINERS in your family.

  16. Dear Lukas,

    The crux of the matter is that the “environmental ranger” called me a phony and I called him on it.

    I try to bring a bona fide arguement from the conservative wise use side of the equation. Secretary Salazar seems to be on the right track in protecting our national treasures while still allowing some production from federal lands. Time will tell but I have alot of faith in him and only hope for the best for our natural resources.

    I don’t need all the extreme heckling and very insulting negatives from the opposing side of the argument. I find this is really prevalent in posts on the New West blogs.

    By the way “environmantal ranger” you should engage somemore with 3 Trees. He really has alot to add to the real world we are living in here, in the so called new west. You of course will have to respect his viewpoints without all of the extreme ranting and raving you provide this blog. I haven’t heard anything from you, supporting what you believe in or do not believe in. Where do you fit into the picture?

  17. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Oh come ON, tommy. I’ve been reading your stuff for a looooong time. Every other phrase is spotted owl this and spotted owl that. It gets real old real quick. You’ve got every buzz word and talking point memorized, and simply trot them out as new. That impresses no one that I know. So, pal, maybe it’s YOU who insults the serious readers here. Did you have a relative in the baloney business at one time too? Just wondering. That may be where you inherited it.

  18. What a pathetic loser “environmental ranger”!

    You add nothing to the discussion, other than your acrid attempt at humiliation.

    It won’t work on me. Maybe you get away with it bullying other contributors but no amount of your driviling and snide name calling and insults bothers me. It just shows your complete and unashamed lack of intelligence. Nothing to contribute to the story whatsoever. Why don’t you just try one time to give me one little tid bit of what you are all about and try to just stick to the subject with no name calling and insults.

  19. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Well actually, tommy, I haven’t even yet BEGUN my acrid attempts at humiliation on you. You’re not worth it. Your banal, insipid arguments do enough to show people who you are. What I really get tired of is you wise users thinking that every “eco-ist” is somehow less rooted in western values and culture than you are. That’s simply not true. I’m NOT impressed with your ancestry, just as I’m NOT impressed with 3 trees supposed rural values. It’s a lie that all native westerner believe as you do, and that the eco-ists are some sort of elite group of Californians or something. It just ain’t so. SO, when you claim that Utahans are all supportive of mining on the Escalante, that’s a load of crap. What you fail to realize is that public lands belong to ALL Americans, and we ALL have a say in how they’re to be used. NO ONE’S opinion is any more weighty than anyone else’s, no matter HOW much you think you know. I know that you hate that, and that’s just too bad. But that is your reality, and apparently your worst nightmare. And guess what. It ain’t about to change.

  20. Environmental Ranger

    Why don’t you just once try to be civil? My correct name is on all the posts.

    I don’t care whether or not you are impressed with my roots. You wanted to know who I am so I told you. You did so in a very rude, degrading and totally ignorant way. You continue to be stupid, rude and ignorant.

    It is a given and I recognize that all native westerners are not wise use proponents and are avid and active pro environmental ecosytem advocates on the rural west. I do know that. I have never accused you of being a California elitist.

    My opinon is darn sure as good or valid as your opinion. I don’t think you have a corner on that market.

    Nobody said all Utahans want energy production on the Escalante. What Utahans want is an equal voice on their natural resources and when Clinton’s Presidential order bypassed the democratic process, well you decide for yourself if that was fair to all citizens of Utah and of all Americans who have a piece of the pie.

    All myself and the true wise use movement want is an equal place at the table and not have it all one way or the other. Apparently you do not understand that we all have a say and a stake in the whole process.

    I am however proud of your ancestry and heritage and think you have some very strong western roots. Congratulations! I wish you could give me the same respect but so far all you can do is bad mouth me and attempt to bully your way through the New West Blog. Well sonny, you ain’t the only cock on the walk!

  21. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Tom, I really am glad to hear that you’re not a poseur, but I gotta run. I’ll be back later to comment. I’d’a SWORN you were from Wisconsin, though, with all them talking points. I’ll give your some advice. Originality helps your argument. I’m sure that you can easily spot enviros that aren’t from round here too. They do the same thing. It’s all talking points. Adios mi amigo de Colorado! Colorado is a great place. Used to got there every summer as a kid. I remember back in the seventies when the folks in Colorado were saying that the state was being Californicated. Well, it’s too late to save Colorado now! But not Montana. I was down in Crested Butte a couple’a summers ago, and the folks were saying that the billionaires are driving out the millionaires! Now, all the millionaires are moving to Paonia! But while there, I did have a thought. I was thinking of maybe gettin’ together with all the OTHER folks who have relatives buried there. Maybe we could all agree to MOVE great grandpa and gramma to a new location, and SELL that graveyard! Hell, that chunk of land has GOTTA be worth bout a billionaire! My family didn’t like that idea, but I’m sure great grandpa would understand! Later.

  22. mbob,

    I agree, follow the money.

    The crux of the matter is that Mr. Kralj called me out as being a phony and the above posts reflect my refuting his rediculous claims that I am an imposter and from back east.

    The discussion about Secretary Salazar got off track just a little bit because of Mr. Kralj’s insistance on how my opinion shouldn’t count.

    I said it several times already and will say it once more, I think Salazar will do a decent job as Secretary of the Interior Department. Todays headlines stating that Salazar has overturned the Bush decision to open more off shore drilling and opening up more research into wind farm locations and etc. has merit also. I don’t agree totally but on the other hand maybe he will do what is right for America. But then again I will take your advise and follow the money. that is where it will eventually end up.

  23. Hal said something important…about certain folks having no respect for other values?
    That’s the crux of the issue and I don’t think Hal or anyone else here quite figured that out.
    And Larry, I’m glad you ticked Tom off. I’m familiar with his country and ya gotta show some respect for people who could make it stick on some darn hard ground.
    And speaking of respect…all the Western litteratti (I misspelled that for a reason) from Stegner to Kittredge to Lopez down to Williams down to Bass on Doooooown to Abbey all show an amazing contempt for the resident West. Ya know, the people who live or die on what they do on the land?

  24. Fellas, I don’t give a hoot in hell where you came from nor what your ancestors do or did. What matters is what you do now to help preseve Mother Earth. I am sure that our new Interior Department head would appreciate all the good suggestions he can get to help clean up the Department after the disastrous term of Kempthorne and the entire Bush Administration.

    Keep the snide remarks to yourselves and the “I was here first” BS. We would all appreciate it.

  25. thedirtydemocrat,

    I am and always have tried to stick to the point and I’m like you, I don’t give a rat’s ass where or how someone came from. Larry was very derogatory and adamant that I was a fraud. I was just defending myself.

    Now to your assessment of the so called “disastrous term of Kempthorne and Bush”. Actually if you want to look at the whole term they actually did very little one way or the other to change the enviromental community. The only thing disastrous they did was to list the Polar Bear as endangered and cave into the Global Warming theorists. What a complete and disastrous death knell this rings upon civilization. Wake up and smell the roses!

    If you want to look at the real disaster you only have to gander at the eight years of Clinton/Babbitt to see the real upheaval of the western way of life and the total ruination of many rural communities, all in the name of so called endangered species.

    Take a carefull assessment and you will see that extreme evironmentalism is bringing this great nation to it’s knees. Take for instance the Biological Diversity Center based out of Tucson, AZ. They have and are costing the citizens of this great nation untold sums in ruined lives and livlihoods. Some of this has been documented in the state of Arizona by research done by Dr. Alex Thal of Western New Mexico University’s Research Center.

    The spotted owl has and was never endangered! Period, end of story! Junk science, lies and insider deals are determining the fate of the west.

    “Preserve Mother Earth” pretty much sums up your idolism and earth worship values. Try a little conservation, wise use and common sense to add to your preservation, and then you will have something.

  26. Tom, ignore them. It will be better on the old blood pressure.

  27. Ass in a hat. Ken Salazar, affirming the Bush administration delisting from endangered species protection the gray wolf so states can begin the massacre of 1,000 wolves.

    Salazar, on his knees to the ranchers, oil and coal interests that paid his way, is the last person to rebuild a devastated Department of Interior. Right of center conservative cabinet appointments make plain that Obama will not keep his campaign promises. Some things never change

  28. Aaron,

    Ken Salazar’s family are from an era forgotten, and trampled on by the European newcomers to this piece ot the North American Continent.

    Your ignorant, and I might add, rather assanine comments to this post might be over-looked, only if you provide the readership of this thread and blog, some sampling of your credentials, to judge this man!

    I am fairly certain this man is not right of center but rather left, depending on your scope of intellignece in the matters at hand.

    Just because Obama picked a few good men(and women) it doesn’t mean that he is letting down the far left! Lord knows he has picked a majority of socialist bastards to make his so called “change” in this great nation.

    Give me my guns, my money and my freedom and you can keep your change!

    Signed,

    Tom Klumker
    President, Whiskey Creek Dude Ranch & Outfitters
    Owner, San Francisco River Outfitters
    Glenwood, NM

    Google this Aaron

  29. So, Klumker,

    You make your money off the backs of the taxpayer! You use federal land and charge people money to give them that “dude” experience.

    I’m thinking that if you don’t have the common sense to understand how important it is to share our common land and heritage with with the last few endangered critters, then maybe you should stay home with your memorabilia.

    In other words, please consider this an eviction notice. Do your hunting and other dude stuff on private land–and I know a former VP that shares your disgust for conservation–you could go out and shoot things with him.

    BTW, of those in the running for a decimated Interior Dept., by far the best and most progressive choice was Congressman Raul Grijalva. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the required incestuous relationships with cattle ranchers and energy companies like our friend with the big hat.

  30. /aaron,

    Wrong on all accounts!

    I do share a common sense and vital conservation ethic to conserve and propagate all animal and plant species on our public land as well as our private land.

    I am not piggy backing on you the taxpayer. I pay a substantial fee to use the public land and offer a wanted and needed service to people to experience the great out of doors.

    The Democratic Party has been taken over as it would seem by the secular progressives such as yourself and hate it when the center of the Democratic Party is substantially conservative such as the huge majority of the Hispanic vote in this great nation and Mr. Salazar is right there with them

    Too bad for morons like you who have no common sense!