Obama names nominee to oversee national forests. By Jeff Barnard. Associated Press Environmental Writer.

This is the major nomination all interested in the U.S. Forest Service have been awaiting. Wilkes is a career civil servant, currently serving in Mississippi. The article suggest that this appointment means Obama puts a low priority on the issues of the national forests.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

7 Responses to Obama's unexpected choice to oversee Forest Service, natural resources at USDA

  1. This comment was sent around by email.

    “Considering the bad reputation the Dept of Ag has in matters of civil rights and not treating black farmers well, this may be quite a signal to the Department.”

    Note. The nominee is an African-American.

  2. avatar mike post says:

    I am not an Obama fan, however it may very well be a good sign that the career USFS mind set will not be in the top office. People who have grown up thru their careers thinking of the forests as unharvest 2×4’s and grass banks don’t change overnight nor do they abandoned their long time connections to the commercial forest users just because yet one more new president comes along.

  3. avatar pc says:

    Mike, I agree. This guy was not a lobbiest and could bring fresh new ideas to the table. We will see, he could end up being a great pick for this position.

    Paul

  4. avatar mikarooni says:

    Wilkes definitely does come from an NRCS tradition of negotiation, compromise, and accommodation with the agricultural community; however, the NRCS generally deals on a smaller scale, finer texture, with smaller operators, in less politically whipsawed circumstances and has seemed to be able to implement their conservation and resource improvement mission with actually a bit greater fidelity than the Forest Service. The Forest Service seems to always be playing on a larger scale with the big bloodsuckers. So, accusing Wilkes of being a guaranteed “dealmaker” may be both premature and misleading in comparison to the recent history of the position.

  5. avatar Barb says:

    I am not often disappointed at anything any politician ever does — as 9 times out of 10, they will disappoint you.

    I am angry that the large environmental organizations did not publicly fight Salazar’s nomination.

    They apparently didn’t want to appear to be fighting the nomination of a “Democrat.”

    These organizations need to remember that just having a (D) after one’s name is not assurance that politician will be in support of conservation!

  6. avatar Don George says:

    Barb, Amen to that! Hopefully more people will become Independents as time goes on. Most Democrats and Republicans vote the party line.

  7. avatar Save bears says:

    Don George,

    Amen to that, if people want to get something done in this country, they really need to start thinking for themselves and not for a party..

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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