A group of 238 environmental and social justice groups, with a combined membership of many millions, have sent a letter to President Obama asking him to replace departing Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar with Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva.  The letter, originally sent to President Obama on December 10, 2012, was re-sent after Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced his departure from the position yesterday.

GrijalvaThe groups say that they “strongly believe Congressman Grijalva exemplifies the modern and forward thinking vision of the Department of the Interior.”

Grijalva was a reported front-runner for the position during the first Obama position but was passed over due to his position on energy development.  Grijalva has recently expressed little interest in the position but today a Grijalva spokesperson told MSNBC “If they were to call, then that’s a separate discussion,”

The Secretary of Interior oversees some of the most important government bureaus that oversee lands, oceans, wildlife, and the federal government’s trust responsibilities toward Native Americans.

Enviros to Obama: Pick Grijalva for Interior job
MSNBC

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Western Watershed Project’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Coordinator, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is also serves as a member of the board of directors for Buffalo Field Campaign and as a member of the Sierra Club Grazing Core Team.

128 Responses to Broad coalition of 238 groups call for Obama to appoint Raúl Grijalva as Secretary of Interior

  1. avatar Salle says:

    I hope that the pres will consider how many are campaigning for this potential nominee. Obama owes us on this one.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Salle good to see this, I was sorry not to see Earth Justice, Natural Resource Defense Council, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, and Defenders of Wildlife along with a few others not here. Its a good example of collaborative advocacy and how powerful it can be if done correctly.

  2. avatar Linda Horn says:

    Wild horse and burro advocates would also like to see Congressman Grijalva as head of the DOI as well. The BLM is tasked by law with managing them on their Herd Management Areas (which cover comparatively little land controlled by the agency) in balance with other “multiple uses”, and has recently been making strides in stabilizing their numbers using fertility control. I guess the question is “can we get along”, or must these relatively few reminders of our western heritage be eradicated to satisfy other interests, including the huge numbers of traditional livestock and extractive industries? Who’s the real “enemy” on the range?

  3. avatar Richie G says:

    Hey people I do not know of him,but if you all agree he must be good,I hope Obama gets the message, his ratings are going up, if he was smart he would forget about the NRA and the all the senators they have in their pockets and put this in. It would help his ratings even more and he might be in a strong position to get what he wants on his agenda.

  4. avatar WM says:

    The reason the big green organizations Louise mentions, and a bunch more besides, are absent is that they believe Grijalva will have trouble getting the nod in the end, as well as get past a confirmation hearing. Let’s be candid here, he’s not that polished. It is not a coincidence most big green organizations are not on the list.

    Then there is the support by the “social justice groups.” It may also be that Grijalva has some skeletons in his closet from his militant hispanic organizer days, as well as the fact that he simply is not qualified, except in the minds of some small 501(c)3′s that see leverage in this grasping at straws appointment. Of the 17 Western states, I would bet 16 would see no advantage to a Grijalva appointment and would say that through their Congressional channels – and that is enough to sink the hope. Sorry, Ken, I am a realist.

    • avatar Richie G says:

      But the Kennedy kid would be great like I said he is on a radio show called ring of fire,always bringing up environmental issues. Now as I said before people on the left thought he would be picked the first time,well now is the time we really need someone like this IMHO.

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        Kennedy is very bad on wind and solar. He has huge investments in public lands wind and solar development schemes.

        • avatar JB says:

          Ken,

          I think the environmental community is divided on whether to use public lands for large scale solar and wind development. Many of the people who study climate change seem to believe that it these projects will be essential to curing our addiction to fossil fuels. I happen to believe that we should first try and incentivize consumer level conservation and power production (small wind, solar). But in the end, we will probably need the large power plants as well–though I would rather see them on old nuclear test sites and DOD land, than on land accessible for public recreation.

          • avatar Ken Cole says:

            I get your point that we should develop already trashed areas.

            The problem with energy development is the fact that, regardless of where the energy comes from, there is always demand for more. Wind and solar developments on public lands just pile onto the effects of oil and gas developments on public lands. It’s not replacing anything, it’s just adding more energy to a demand that will always rise.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              It’s not replacing anything, it’s just adding more energy to a demand that will always rise.

              I totally agree. This is my fear also.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            JB says,
            ” I happen to believe that we should first try and incentivize consumer level conservation”

            There you go using that C word in public, JB….how dare you.

            And yes, I agree with you. Just like our obsession in aquiring far more food than we’ll ever eat, we want energy so we can use it on a lot of useless stuff.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Maybe we will be surprised. I’m hoping so

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I don’t think you’re a realist, I think you are just okay with the status quo. I’m not going to hide and not say what I want changed about the status quo when I think things are so bad.

      If the big green groups want to play the politics game and not publicly advocate for what they claim to believe in because they think it’s too radical then what good are they? Cowards. Nothing changes without standing up for the changes you want.

      • avatar Thomas Murphy says:

        yes exactly – enough already of the conservative attitude, stand up for what you purport to defend. if you take money from the public saying your earthjustice or defender of wildlife – then do it..

      • avatar Connie says:

        Isn’t that what some of the big green groups did as far as fighting for wolves?

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      WM,

      Obama needs to take some risks, and there is some evidence he now understands he must. The Republicans in the House and other elected Republican officials are just short of calling for his head, and he will have a hard time getting any new member of the cabinet filled, so he might as well generate some enthusiasm among those of us who have been sitting on our hands.

      When one political party has gone crazy, it isn’t clear what being a realist means. I have have always thought that I was on the realist side, but if I was President and there was a vote on the debt ceiling I might order every member of Congress who voted “no” on raising it, and who was at the same time speculating that the value of the dollar and of U.S. Treasury notes, bills, and bonds would dramatically turn for the worse, e.g., Rep. Eric Cantor, be arrested and held for sedition. Then a new vote would be taken.

      That might be the new realism.

      • avatar WM says:

        Ralph,DLB,Ken,

        Generating enthusiasm is one thing; confirming candidates to cabinet or administrator posts is another. EPA and DOI are likely to be pretty contenious with some nominees on the respective lists. I don’t know about Secretary of State, with Senator Kerry as the nominee, which if he is confirmed triggers a special election for his seat, and possible election of Republican Scott Brown, taking the Senate closer to an R majority.

        There are some scary big picture prospects out there at present, and having a SOI that is out of the mid-stream (or opposing the status quo as Ken suggests of my view), would be problematic on several levels. However, I expect some of the smaller green organizations don’t think about such big picture things, as they pursue their respective causes, apparently oblivious to many of the other things going on around them.

        • avatar DLB says:

          WM,

          I know you realize that risks have to be taken politically, at times. We can debate the pitfalls of out of the mainstream candidates all day long, but at the end of the day, any meaningful attempt at change is going to involve risk.

          If not Raul, then who? And why?

          On this blog, I wish you would use your knowledge and experience to offer opinions on potential solutions to common problems more often. If we can agree that there needs to be change in the management of public lands, how is that change going to effected? If not through controversial appointees or litigation (WWP, etc.), then where and how?

          • avatar WM says:

            DLB,

            I think there indeed needs to be change on management of public lands. I do not believe most of us are in agreement on what they should be, other than better compliance with the laws already on the books, mabye some changes tothe mining laws, and a visionary approach that looks say twenty years into the future, with a gradual transition.

            Some folks, especially those often represented here and in the groups that signed this Grijalva letter, are impatient and single minded. They haven’t got a freakin’ clue about economics, or politics for that matter.

            Now, with a dysfunctional Congress and an economy that is still on the brink, is not the time. Nor are some of the polarizing personalities that are proposed.

            Where is Clinton’s boy, strategist James Carville, when you really need him?

            By the way, I don’t see Conservation Northwest as a signatory to “the Letter.” What’s up with that?

            • avatar DLB says:

              I can take a guess that CNW does not want to risk offending a certain someone from Washington State that could end up at the DOI.

              Since they have worked with Gregoire in the past, the move makes sense to me. More to risk and less to gain by adding another group to the list.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++Now, with a dysfunctional Congress and an economy that is still on the brink, is not the time. Nor are some of the polarizing personalities that are proposed. ++

              That’s why a president’s cabinet was created. Government is perfectly capable of multitasking.

              And with climate change far and away the most important issue to the history and future of mankind, it’s time for a SOI who understands this.

              No one is going to give a crap about the bad economy of 2013 when they’re standing in a foot of water in Central Park, 2050.

      • avatar Craig says:

        But the Senate not passing a buget in 4 years is ok? When you talk of a political party going crazy, you may refer to the whole political system! How in the hell can you say either party is even sane?

        • avatar Richie G says:

          A little late but the difference between the dems and the other guys are,the dems spread it around a little bit,while the republicans give to big bussiness.

        • avatar Richie G says:

          A little late but the difference between the dems and the other guys are,the dems spread it around a little bit,while the republicans give to big bussiness.

          • avatar savebears says:

            Richie,

            Your posts about the Filibuster as well as bashing the political parties have nothing to do with wildlife or land issues.

            • avatar Richie G says:

              Sorry don’t agree sb,bashing was in reply to someone’s answer on ploitics.Next the hr that allowed the wolves to come off the endangered species act,was to keep blue dog max Bacus seat,so dems could have some kind of majority in the senate. Sorry I just do not agree with you. We need policies to keep our national parks free and the wildlife free.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Richie,

                I could care less that you don’t agree with me, the Filibuster and your continued bashing has nothing to do with wildlife and Western land issues, the house didn’t let the wolves come off the list, the Whitehouse did, Obama could have vetoed it and they would still be on the list.

                Tester only did what is allowed by law, and it was upheld in the 9th Judicial district.

              • avatar Richie G says:

                Sb; Don’t use excuses so Obama could have veoted it,but he would not cause they wanted Montana to Favor Tester and win his election,and maybe Obama played too for Montana,it’s about who controls,so he through the wolves to the dogs. You still make a good philly lawyer lol

              • avatar savebears says:

                And what are you talking about, there has been no legislation concerning the National Parks, they are still free of hunting and all of the animals are protected inside the parks, Richie you really need to start studying before you go off on tangents.

    • avatar DLB says:

      WM,

      We need someone to stir the pot in regards to western environmental issues. Salazar after Salazar isn’t going to cut it. Our views on “social justice” figures are most likely in alignment, but for my part I’ll take the good with the bad in this case.

  5. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    …and what is Grijalva’s response to this initiative?

    Seems he’s flattered, but nonplussed and not really actively seeking the position. So —- ?

    • avatar DLB says:

      I think Gregoire will get either DOI or the EPA.

      • avatar jdubya says:

        She wants it, and is working her channels, to get Interior. She has been decent in WA but abdicated taking significant stands on cleaning up Puget Sound and saving wild fish runs in the Sound and up the Columbia. Politically she is head and shoulders over Grijalva. She could also take the EPA job but it would be a hell of a lot less fun for her. She is not a lock on Interior, but close.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      “If they were to call, then that’s a separate discussion.”

  6. avatar jdubya says:

    That is an interesting list of groups, most of which (hell, nearly all), I have never heard of. Loon lake Loon Association?

    • avatar bret says:

      jdubya, My aunt did a painting of a loon for one of their fundraisers, it’s a small nonprofit protecting loons in the interior PNW

  7. avatar Kathleen says:

    I agree that it’s unlikely Grijalva would be confirmed. (I am a huge, long-time fan of his, and here’s just one reason why: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-a-environment/232421-animals-dont-have-a-voice-but-we-do )

    (An aside: The book he mentions, Dominion, is excellent and beautifully-written. Scully is a conservative Christian, not an animal rights proponent, but this book is one of the best I’ve read.)

    Gail Norton could ride again:

    “But the former secretary does have thoughts about a potential replacement for fellow Coloradoan and current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who announced Wednesday he will step down in March: former Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire (D).

    “She’s someone who has a lot of common sense, as well as being a very good lawyer and has a great deal of understanding of environmental issues. She’s someone I know and I think very highly of,” said Norton, who worked with Gregoire in the 1990s when both served as state attorneys general.” http://www.eenews.net/gw/ – for 1/18/13. Argh!!!

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Kathleen thanks so much for that post. Look at some of the hateful comments when animal rights are raised. Humans are such a hateful destructive species, at least some of them. Grijalva advocates its not a partisan issue more of a pragmatic ethical choice. Thats not a radial position, its humane, thoughtful, and what some of the worst hateful naysayers would term Christian. I’m afraid to hope someone with so much integrity could be at the next secretary. One of those game changer individuals.

  8. avatar Sam Parks says:

    It is unfortunate that Defenders, NRDC, Sierra Club, etc. are not getting behind Grijalva. I think we have a real chance here. Heck, last time around he was the frontrunner and Obama only picked Salazar because he was more friendly to offshore drilling. This time, Obama never has to run for office again and could be more likely to pick someone more “liberal” (whatever that word means). This is a real opportunity; the fact that the larger conservation groups didn’t sign on to this letter is utterly inexcusable in my opinion. If we end up with a Salazar clone while they stood by silently, they will have only themselves to blame.

  9. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    I like how WM calls the Ranking Member (former Chairman) of the US House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands – the chief legislative oversight body that Interior has in the US House of Representatives – and a man who while in that position blew the whistle on the dangers of deep-sea oil drilling ~ before the Horizon Catastrophe in the Gulf ~ and who has years and years of experience both in a legislative oversight – and policy-making – capacity simply “not qualified” for the Secretary of the Interior.

    We would be overwhelmingly fortunate to have a Secretary at Interior who had such experience, know-how and integrity, characteristics which industry desperately hopes to avoid in political regulatory positions such as these.

    • avatar WM says:

      Brian,

      Didn’t know you were still around. How ya been and what have you been doing. I’ve missed you?

      By the way if you get too sentimental about touting the Ranking Minority Member of the House Subcommittee on NP, Forests, etc., you might have to apply the same kind of standard to the current Chair of the full Committee on Natural Resources, Doc Hastings (R-WA). Now, I for one, wouldn’t want to label Doc qualified for much of anyting, based on a chairmanship of which is largely assigned on party majority status, and seniority (and pull) within ones’s own party.

      Nor, would I apply that standard to Rep. Ron Bishop (R-UT) who currently is Chairman of the House Subcommitte on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. That guy JUST plain scares me, if he ever gains any steam.

      As among those three, Grijalva is by far the superior choice (knowledege, integrity etc.), but as to the many qualified candidates to run DOI, the skill base of a House representative is a bit different from running a large department with the spot light constantly on the top administrator. And, you don’t have the clout of an elected official, just the marching orders of your boss at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (and whoever pulls his puppet strings).

      • avatar WM says:

        Sorry, bad punctuation – sure wish we had that edit feature Ken tried for a couple days.

        ++Didn’t know you were still around. How ya been and what have you been doing? I’ve missed you.++

  10. avatar Immer Treue says:

    From the Star Tribune

    SOI short list:
    Deputy Interior Secratary David Hayes
    Former Senator Byron Dorgan
    Former Wyoming Governor David Freudenthal (uh oh)
    Washington Governor Chris Gregoire

  11. avatar Richie G says:

    I just heard on Bill Moyers, as of tuesday the senate with 51 votes can alter the fillabuster where 60 votes means they must talk on both sides. I do not remember who was the guest,but tuesday is the deadline. They do not need the blue dogs only 51 votes, according to the guest they are holding back 60 positions of Obama’s people. So lets see if our government is real,as for solar and wind on public lands why not in the ocean,other countries have,not big but they have it. Yes transmissions lines woud be a big project but that’s good more projects more jobs.

  12. avatar Richie G says:

    Byron Dorgan is a very good choice.

  13. avatar mike28 says:

    Dorgan would not be bad, he is from my home state but just remember he brought up and changed the law to let hunters in theodore national park to kill elk that were overpopulating, would i like to see him in that position, absolutely yes, because he has something that most people lack and that is commonsense, he doesn’t let emotion overcome him and does what is right.

  14. avatar Richie G says:

    Ralph you were a COMMENT t Louise Kane that we should be fighting for our national parks instead of wolves or other wild animals.But wolves are the Rock Stars of Yellowstone,the pbs special stated it on their Christmas special,and many pictures of wolves statures, light around pictures of wolves,even Kevin Coster Dances with wolves. All I am saying wolves are big time,take them away,and I will bet you would see half the tourism die from the park,not all but a significant amount.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      I would take that bet with you.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      That Christmas Special is beautiful. I missed it this year.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Richie
      I’m with SB without wolves people will go to the park always have, always will.
      But, wolves will always be in the RMA from this time forward all we must do is care for the places they live.

  15. avatar Richie G says:

    opps statues

  16. avatar Richie G says:

    Sb anytime when dances with bears comes out,I’ll give you the money hands down ! You Too Rancher Bob

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      Do you realize how many movies and shows have been done about bears?

      I love the Movie “Dances with wolves” but it is nothing but a fantasy, a romantic story of the old west on the plains, if you really paid attention to it, you would know, it was more about the persecution of the Native Americans, than the wolves.

  17. avatar Richie G says:

    The President had Bison for dinner instead of Long Island duck ?

  18. avatar Richie G says:

    Sb I did pay attention and it was not a love story about the west but the persecution of the indians correct. But what about call of the wild,that’s another one. PBS film they were called the rock stars of Yellowstone and they ndid say most people go wolf watching than any other animal. I seen the picture many times, and let me ask what animal was killed off first from the west the wolf or the bear ?

  19. avatar savebears says:

    Richie,

    Killing of bears and wolves were pretty much even in the west back in that time, one thing that saved the few bears was the creation of Yellowstone. This is one of the problems we have with those who really don’t know what happened in the west, but their perception is steered by movies, Nat Geo and PBS specials..

  20. avatar Richie G says:

    But in your own words Yellowstone saved the bears,but the wolves had to be re-introuced, I am I correct. I know they were migrating down from Canada,but they still had to be reintroduced to speed it up. But the bears were already their so that’s my point.

  21. avatar Richie G says:

    To Ida correct,it was about the change. You guys might thing I am nuts but Doctor Quinn has a episode on the change. When the star indian was put on a reservation he came into town with a flute to give to the kid,I forgot the kids name he was part of Quinns family.At the same time a clock was brought into town for the new bank,the railroad was being built into the town,it was a change in an era. Also very sad !!!!!!!

    • avatar savebears says:

      Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman? You have got to be kidding me..

    • avatar WM says:

      And now we know where much of the rest of Richie’s knowledge of the West comes from. Of course Hollywood ALWAYS adheres to the facts of history except when it doesn’t.

      The same is true for some of the wildlife documentaries – it even got Dr. Mech’s attention with some of the wolf stuff.

  22. avatar Richie G says:

    p.s. the bears got kills for their belts or their fur far more the the pelts of a wolf,wolves got killed by far for the hatred.

  23. avatar Richie G says:

    You know sb you are a know it all, I am talking symbolism,you got it. Symbolism. Man Doctor Quinn had a two part episode on the watchite battle name spelled wrong but it was put in the smithsonian. Symbolism the Indian with the hand made flute and the clock for a bank which they never had,change in times,know it all.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      This is not the first time you have tried to make that claim, but again, no I don’t know it all, but I do know, I know a hell of a lot more than you!

      Dr. Quinn, really!

  24. avatar Richie G says:

    Hey WM you too I have never been to Florida but I been out west 20 times or more , so please do not act like sb a know it all. You guys sometimes have no polish!

  25. avatar Richie G says:

    To wm you have a short memory to the other answer I gave you, we wrote about the nex perce battles a long time ago. Do yo know where Riggins inn is ? You guys love to jump to conclusions just like the general !

    • avatar savebears says:

      Colonel Richie, Not General, get it right Richie.

    • avatar WM says:

      Richie,

      I have not forgotten our previous discussions, and I know you have spent some time out West studying Chief Joseph. Still, there is alot that seems colored by what you read and see in movies. I think nearly all of us are affected by that.

      The important part is being able to distinguish between fact and fiction, especially works by those who would have us believe their version of fiction. Recall the WA wolf sighting film done by BBC (I think)last year,which featured some nearly toothless old fart from ID carting around an AR-15 rifle and standing near a meadwow, talking with Jasmine Minbashian from Conservation NW. He was the representative poster boy wolf hunter, almost a caricature personality. The film-maker wanted you to believe he was representative of all wolf hunters. I would venture to guess not a very successful one in real life, in fact this guy didn’t strike me as one of life’s winners in any endeavor.

  26. avatar Richie G says:

    I did get it right the first time,again I meant symbolism,but you love to dig from your pulpit.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Ok Richie,

      You stick with Symbolism on TV Dramas, I will stick to the issues on wildlife and wildlands.

      And Richie,

      You seem to be preaching from your pulpit this morning.

  27. avatar Richie G says:

    again writing to fast to wm Nez Perce

  28. avatar Richie G says:

    Again see you think you know it all you just proved my point thanks !I told you about the battle in a two part series in Dr. Quinn that is in the smithsonian,which really was leading to the little big horn.The army put General Custer cause they knew he was wild like most gererals. He was discharged orginally for court-marshall people in the field,and they have a statue to this fool. Please give me a brake!

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      You might want to dos some research on Custer, he was not the hero, that TV and Movies Dramas like to make out. He was a pompous ass, that led his men into a slaughter house, because of his own stupid ego.

      Also, he was court Marshaled, but never left the military, after his volunteer service during the Civil War, he was returned to the rank of captain in the 5th Cavalry.

      See that is the problem with TV and Movie Dramas, they often times distort facts to add drama to the show.

      • avatar savebears says:

        And pardon my spelling, it is court-martial, I was reading your post as I was typing mine.

          • avatar Richie G says:

            First comment sb your correct that is what I mean he was an ass,lets get away from Wachite battle,and I think the attacks were by the dog soldiers not the women and children and the old men. I have no problem for correcting me, please do it helps me. As for WM the next DOI,I said I like the Kennedy kid,but Obama I really don’t trust him.Wildlife is not his thing,Clinton took a different appproach,with the president of the wilderness society, oh Bruce Babbit.I mean this was was out their changing water tides in the grand Canyon,I some people said Clinton was our best environmental president and I know I said this before.

          • avatar Richie G says:

            First comment sb your correct that is what I mean he was an ass,lets get away from Wachite battle,and I think the attacks were by the dog soldiers not the women and children and the old men. I have no problem for correcting me, please do it helps me. As for WM the next DOI,I said I like the Kennedy kid,but Obama I really don’t trust him.Wildlife is not his thing,Clinton took a different appproach,with the president of the wilderness society, oh Bruce Babbit.I mean this was was out their changing water tides in the grand Canyon,I some people said Clinton was our best environmental president and I know I said this before.

    • avatar WM says:

      Richie,

      I am with SB on this one. Let’s get back to talking about wildlife, and in particular to this thread, who the next DOI might be and why or why not.

  29. avatar Richie G says:

    To WM; Thank you for your respectful reply.Yes we are colored by films,but just let me bring a few points the Dr. Quinn episode I was refering to was attached what Ida said about dances with wolves,it was symbolism. The Indian came in with a hand made flute for the kid and told him that’s how they talked to the sprits or something to that effect. Then the clock was brought in for the first bank they had,it was the changing of an era,I thought that was well done to the point and short.By the way the Indian was granted permission to enter the town from his reservation.Now call of the wild pointed out not the killing of the white wolf for the Eskimo’s teeth ,but he said I will never try to discover foreign lands because their will be always somebody behind to exployte the virgin land.Dr. Quinn two part series about the wachita battle black Kettle is in the smithsonian so how bad could that have been. After every film she had a topic that really happened,like some guy thought he was a bird, and after the show explained about the orgin of the diease.That is all I am saying,and your corect we do get colored by these films,I really love that show even taped it. Believe me I do love the western states better than the eastern states,New England is just about the best to me so far. Been on skyline drive,appalachian mountains,Shenandoah valley , but nothing like I seen where you come from. I been to all the highest peaks in New England ,Mt. Washington the most interesting,epically the wind tunnel they have up their fastest recorded winds. That was interesting but not like the west.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, I agree. I loved that program too. We are influenced by films, and we remember the West romantically and not realistically, but we know of course it is fiction. There are hundreds if not thousands of portrayals of the West in books and film, and it is a beautiful history. Dances showed the end of an era, but in a sense of loss kind of way, and of course time marches on, but I think progress isn’t always positive. I have found Native cultures fascinating since forever. I love California’s landscape, but there’s nothing like the Rockies. You don’t want to lose that – there’s a lot of visitors who want to see a little bit of the West saved forever, such as Yellowstone and her wildlife, and there’s a lot of people, in our past thankfully, who had the foresight to protect it.

  30. avatar Richie G says:

    opps did it again espically

  31. avatar Richie G says:

    Today is the last day the dems in the senate can alter the fillabuster on their own,I just thought people would want to know this.

  32. avatar Richie G says:

    Why are they waiting so long for a SOI pick,is this the least of their problems. I heard John Kerry is for the xl pipeline hope my ears were clogged.

  33. avatar Richie G says:

    sorry sb

  34. avatar Richie G says:

    Sb; I am talking in general, the hr that was added on to the budget bill was to de-list the wolves correct? Now that was for Max Bacus to hold his seat,oh Bacus or Tester either one. Reid needed to hold a majority in the senate,even if they are blue dogs .Now what is wrong with what I just written , you would make a good Philly Lawyer lol

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      I would make a good lawyer, I just don’t have enough time in my life to get that degree, but I would have loved to practice law and correct some of the things that are wrong in this country.

  35. avatar Richie G says:

    Fillabuster has to do with taking some control,look down the road,it would help maybe no drilling in the artic,maybe no pipeline,their using railroad cars anyway. Plus it might just help the BEARS and the wolves. I am looking for an edge any edge, for policies for wildlife.Your the one who said the right or the hunters in Idaho and the other states are winning,well I am looking for an edge. I am trying to have good legislation,like looking for the forest through the trees.I shouldn’t even care I am from the east,but I do care !

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      You should probably look at the legislation in your state, if I remember right, you guys have had many fights over the hunting of bears over the years, you could let us fight our fights out here and help by making sure things are right in New Jersey..

      With you being a non-resident of this area, the legislatures and game depts are not paying attention to you, just as they don’t pay attention to me, when I comment on New Jersey issues.

      • avatar Richie G says:

        SB; Don’t worry about me not being a resident I still pay taxes,and I am willing to bet New Jersey gives more taxes back to te federal government than Montana. AS for my bears I am in that fight too! Corzine was my guy on that count,and I am still a citizen of this country and have spent much money in your part of the country. Hey why did you go to west point it’s in New York, Highlands Falls. So you should have gone to a milltary college by you ! If you did not have one tell the state to build one with your tax dollars.

        • avatar savebears says:

          Richie,

          I can’t understand most of the stuff you are trying to talk about, I didn’t choose to go to West Point, I was appointed to go to West Point by a Congress Person. You don’t “Just” go to West Point.

          67% of the land in Montana, you don’t pay taxes on, You pay taxes on the other 33% of the land, which whether you like it or not, is not a majority.

          If everybody would focus on the issues in their state, we actually might be able to accomplish something, right now all we are doing is pitting both sides against the middle.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            It is time we Montanan’s focus on the issues in our state. Tomorrow there is a hearing in Helena about being able to jump section corners. What does that mean? There is a lot of checker boarded federal/private sections of lands that do not have access. It has been a gray area for many years whether a person can go from one federal/state section to another across the section corners. There is bipartisanism support and hopefully we can clarify the legality of section corner crossings. In order to cross a section a person will place a foot or two on private land and it has pi$$ed off the land barons.

            What is being done now is that people are bring an A Framed ladder and putting the legs on federal lands and climbing across the section corners without putting foot on private land. Is that legal? A helicopter can hover a foot over private land so it must be legal, but then are ladder jumpers consider air born hunter that are going to have to wait to hunt until the following AM.

            This is a win, win for hunters, fishers, wildlife watchers and public land users.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Good for you Richie, you do pay taxes, and there are a hell of a lot of public lands in the western states. You see the injustice of the way the wolves are treated and you have an opinion and don’t accept the status quo or look away when you see a massacre. and thats what they are doing to wolves. Good for you. Don’t let anyone tell you its not your business.

  36. avatar Richie G says:

    sb I did not read your full comment your correct they don’t listen to us that is what is so sad, I agree with you I retract the sentence about millitary school, you are a gentlemen

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      Some days I am a gentleman, some days I am a real asshole. When it comes to things I believe in, I am a real asshole, especially when it concerns the state I call home. I am not politically correct and I don’t intend to be, I have no problem getting in the face of a jerk that was elected to our legislature.

  37. avatar Richie G says:

    Your a good man sb I mean that from the bottom of my heart, and I am German Swedish and Silician,I fly off the handle and read too fast and write too fast,you are a great guy,JB had good words for you and If I get up their as I told jb a long time ago would like to meet you guys if you would like. Anyway I think your a great guy!

    • avatar savebears says:

      Richie,

      Despite our differences, and this invitation extends to all on this blog, I always have a guest room made up, just let me know and I will make sure you are comfortable and have a great time, the view off my back deck is amazing and it is very soothing, it gives you a different perspective on life.

      • avatar Richie G says:

        You know big guy you almost bring tears to me,to offer something like that means a great deal to me. Thank You from the bottom of my heart we would have a good time !I would be on my utmost behavior to be a great guest,same goes for me sb my house is small but two dogs left had four and three cats and one walks with the dogs and me,we do have a beach no boardwalk yet but it will be their.We could eat diner and watch the ocean, again thank you very much.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        What a nice thing to say. You are a good guy. :)

  38. avatar Richie G says:

    sb don’t worry I’ve been their a-lot !

  39. avatar Richie G says:

    Thanks Louise Kane

    • avatar savebears says:

      Interesting, the last two days has been very interesting, and it is quite telling, Horses and Cats, two non-native species, but so many are willing to fight for them. I have to wonder why?

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Might it have to do with the fact that “we” introduced them as a way (way back then) to lessen our burdens SB?

      • avatar Leslie says:

        I am not a horse person, but enjoy riding occasionally.
        My observation on the grazing allotments next to my home in summer is that the horses eat the grasses down to the nub in just a few days and leave little for wildlife. While the cattle leave incredible messes, esp. around the creeks, but don’t graze as hard. The horses of course are much more enjoyable to watch, and pet, but they are truly very hard on the land.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I don’t think anybody is harder on the land than we are. That tar sands project in Canada is enough to make me ill. The Pebble mine in Alaska is frightening. Palm oil being proposed as a biofuel is frightening. A few horses don’t worry me.

    • avatar JB says:

      His support of wild horses will not sit well with many environmentalists. A non-native species that is consuming huge financial resources at the cost of supporting native ecosystems.

    • avatar JB says:

      Yes, but the law is not appreciated by most environmentalists. It requires the BLM to spend money to keep feral horse populations around–money that could be spent on native species.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It is not as clear cut whether wild horses are introduced or native species. Certain groups would like them to be classified as a non-native species, not all of them environmentalists. I consider myself an environmentalist and I think wild horses are only a very small impact on native species, considering the HUGE effect we and our cattle have. No comparison.

        I’m not aware of environmental groups that are against them, but the law provides for what to do:

        In addition, the act required that Mustangs be protected as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West”, and that management plans must “maintain a thriving natural ecological balance among wild horse populations, wildlife, livestock, and vegetation and to protect the range from the deterioration associated with overpopulation.”

        So, humans in their infinite wisdom are charged with making it work.

      • avatar WM says:

        Grijalva in favor of wild horses? Well, that about seals the deal for me. Before, I was indifferent to him, but pointing out his lack of formal qualifications to be SOI.

        Now I am certain he is not the guy for the job.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Ida,

      There shouldn’t be, the horses we currently have on the landscape is not the same.

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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