Obama Chooses Sen. Salazar as Interior Secretary

President-elect Barack Obama nominated Colorado Senator Ken Salazar to serve as his Interior Secretary. This appointment will have the greatest impact on the land and water conservation efforts over the next four years. The only other position that rivals the Interior Secretary's importance to conservation is Forest Service Chief. The Interior Secretary oversees the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and US Fish and Wildlife Service. (The Forest Service is under the Department of Agriculture). Salazar will play an important role in the fate of our public lands.

Salazar is a strong champion of Wilderness, supporting efforts to designate most of Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness, and pushing efforts to protect Dominguez Canyon on the state's Western Slope. In his capacity as a Senator, has fought BLM efforts to open Colorado's Roan Plateau to energy development. In my experience he is thoughtful, smart, and informed. He understands that every issue has many stakeholders, but he's not afraid to take a stand for conservation.

Salazar is no stranger to the outdoor industry. The photo above was taken at a meeting in 2007 when representatives from several Colorado-based Conservation Alliance member companies met with him to voice support for Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, and for the protection of other key wildlands in Colorado. His staff understands the outdoor industry, and has always made time to meet with our representatives.

Following are several articles about the appointment:

Salazar urged slow moves on West's shale
Obama picks Salazar as Interior secretary
A Conservationist for the Interior Dept.