Editorial: Balance needed at Interior Department
"Candidate Barack Obama didn't address Western issues in any serious way while on the campaign trail, but President-elect Obama will significantly impact the management of the vast public lands on which we Westerners so rely.

Talk now abounds about whom Obama will select as Secretary of the Interior, and we hope the senator from Illinois will pay special attention to that choice.

Tending to the complex environment of the vast open spaces, mountain ranges, rivers, forests, deserts and plains takes tremendous skill. Unfortunately, Westerners have watched the Bush administration's Interior leadership shrug off the complexities to pursue a single-minded and out-of-balance approach focused on oil and gas extraction.

"I think what you are going to see is a greater sensitivity from an Obama administration with respect to the protection of land and water," Sen. Ken Salazar told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent last week.

Salazar often is mentioned as a potential pick for Interior, though he is downplaying expectations that he would accept the offer. If it is true Obama or his transition team is considering Salazar, we're heartened that the next secretary will be a wise one. Salazar, a former water and environmental attorney and director of the Colorado Division of Natural Resources, as well as a farmer and rancher, is an excellent model."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Interior Dept. needs balance (The Denver Post 11/8)

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