Grijalva emerging as top choice at Interior !!?

Terrific News if true-

He’s our favorite.

Story in Politico. By Erika Lovely. Arizona congressman to interior?

Update: Arizona congressman Raul Grijalva is leading contender for Interior.

Grijalva Public Lands Report (October 22, 2008)

Legislation Introduced by Rep. Grijalva in 110th Congress

Representative Grijalva sits on the House Committee on Natural Resources and serves as Chairman of the Subcomittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.





  1. Salle Avatar

    Amen if he gets that post!

    And a sigh of relief in knowing that someone with the ability to listen is there.

  2. Maska Avatar

    Wow! Having posted a plug for him on the Obama transition comment page, I’d begin to believe in miracles if this actually happened!

  3. Buffaloed Avatar

    The best choice I could think of!

  4. maisdomesmo Avatar

    excellent excellent excellent choice!!! go raul!!!

  5. Jeremy Greenberg Avatar

    I can’t think of a better way for Obama to follow through on promises made during the election. Go Grijalva!

  6. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    Such a choice would have the tendency to begin a thaw of even my enormous cynicism.

  7. kt Avatar

    Raul Grijalva is certainly is a great choice, if that is true. Very knowledgeable, very humble and someone who deeply cares. I’ve also heard that Grijalva is very well liked and respected in Arizona.

    AND since he has served in Congress on the Committee that deals with Interior issues, he already knows a great deal about all this entails. And the giant mess that Bush has made. So he would not have a learning curve – and could jump right in.

    I heard him speak at a Rangenet meeting in Albuquerque 4 yeas ago, and his talk was very good.

    Grijalva was also a sponsor of the NPLGC Grazing Permit Buyout Bill a coupe of Congresses ago … He would be a great choice to stop the desertification and global warming effects of public lands livestock grazing! And bring sanity to “green energy” on public lands – right now it’s a fee-for-all.

  8. kt Avatar

    Looks like there are now articles in the Washington Post about this.

    Brian might know of more.

    If people really care about wolves or any western wildlife, Raul Grijalva would be a great pick! Does anyone know if there have been any posts on Grijalva on any other Blogs ???

  9. Monty Avatar

    Until now I have never heard of Grijalva & I was pushing the ex Governor of Oregon—Kitzhaber for Interior. But if all is true what I have just read then Gritalva is a outstanding choice.

  10. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    I saw something in the Tucscon Citizen and a blurb also in the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, it looks like that they are all probably citing the same source. generally has a good track record of getting this sort of thing right. We’ll see. That there isn’t a frenzy on this could mean that it’s premature to assume that he’ll get the nod, especially since Grijalva’s office has so far said that their man hasn’t been contacted yet. That’s not quite as good as a no comment.

  11. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think it’s premature. It’s just a good thought that it is a real possibility, IMO.

  12. JB Avatar

    FYI: Saw Gov. Schweitzer campaigning hard for the position on C-span today.

  13. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Having become quite cynical about Interior after a decade and half of dealing with it under both Democratic and Republican administrations, I, like Jim above, am feeling a slight hope for the future if Raul Grijalva is selected. On the other hand, Brian Schweitzer would be a disaster for public lands and wildlife. No doubt, if he’s politicking on TV for the job as JB notes, he’s doing it for the cowboys, miners, and other multiple users whom he actually represents. With BS, it’d be business as usual, and I mean business.


  14. Brian Ertz Avatar


    That there’s not a frenzy against it is more telling – and heartening – IMO.

    Grijalva is a man who will do the right thing – who has a track record of responsiveness and an understanding of the issues that not a lot of others have. He gets it. I think a lot of people don’t want to get their hopes up given how politics as usual means wheeling-and-dealing – something that would normally result in a Schweitzer appointment. But this is no time for that cynicism.

    If news starts burbling about Schweitzer – that’s when a frenzy against a candidate for Interior would be in order – IMO – Schweitzer at DOI is a sure-fire way to ensure quagmire – and it doesn’t seem to me like there’s anything to gain from it. He doesn’t get it. We’re not looking at the same political environment as has been the case when that kind of candidate for DOI (i.e. the “cowboy Democrat”) was seen to be politically prudent. There aren’t the congressional obstructionists like Craig, Pete Domenici, and so many others in key senior positions that could really punish the Administration or a conservation agenda like there were before – this is a unique opportunity. I hope the Obama transition team gets that “change” means moving away from that fallacy of the need to appoint extractive-sympathizer-Democrats at Interior — and sees the potential political value of appointing a Western proud conservation-minded Grijalva, or someone like him, who’s capable and won’t be afraid to articulate and build public support behind the inspiring and uplifting character of the landscapes and wildlife in the West for which he will be in charge. There are so many opportunities to do that, to change the conversation in that constructive way, should the right person be in charge.

    Imagine a DOI that rewarded regard for future generations, consideration of the public interest, and conservation of our common resources !

    Grijalva !!!

  15. Salle Avatar

    Schweitzer was on Larry King last night too.

    I can’t see him being any better for Interior than the Wyoming gov., they seen to be cut from the same cloth.

    Grijalva, on the other hand, has a REAL track record of note and is probably the best choice.

    Montana’s gov. can’t get past being a patsy for the cattle industry, lest we forget how he campaigned with the promise of doing the right thing for the Yellowstone bison… you see how far that’s gone in how many years now?

    He needs to just stay home, has no business in Washington and would probably be eaten alive by the DC crowd anyway. He just doesn’t get it.

  16. kt Avatar

    Schweitzer would be terrible for Interior. He has no vision, and has even failed to even deal effectively with the bison slaughter in his own backyard. The situation has gotten worse than ever since he has been Governor. How poor is that???

    It would be business as usual, and precious time in saving the West’s lands and wildlife would be lost. Let him stay home, and pander to the cowboys in Montana.

  17. vickif Avatar

    what is Grijalva”s record when it comes to the wolves in N.M.?

  18. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Grijalva is a supporter of mexican wolves – in 2005, when few else would – including Democrats, Grijalva sent a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during their confirmation hearings for Dale Hall to become head of USFWS. Grijalva highlighted/questioned Hall’s shameful record with mexican wolf recovery.

    there was also an Amendment to the Interior Appropriations Bill in 2007 that would have terminated the mexican wolf recovery plan – Grijalva voted against that amendment.

    also, in 2003 grijalva voted yes on an amendment to H.R. 2691, an Interior appropriations bill, that would have put a stop the yellowstone bison capture and slaughter. the amendment failed.

    Grijalva gets Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund’s Conservation Report Card score of 100%

  19. vickif Avatar

    Brian,.Thanks. That shows great courage. I will read up more today.

  20. JB Avatar

    I sent a letter to the Obama transition team encouraging them to take a long hard look at Grijalva. I encourage others to do the same!

  21. Salle Avatar

    Not bad idea, JB. I did that last night. Hope they see things in a similar way that many of us do.

  22. kt Avatar

    Yes, that is a great idea Salle and JB – to comment on Raul Grijalva as Interior Secretary for the Obama administation .

    Especially since there is an article in the Idaho paper promoting someone Rep. Thompson from California who no one has ever even heard of, and doesn’t seem to have taken a stand on much of anything – except maybe bought a ticket to a DU banquet or something. Thompson and Knowles from AK sure seem like “potted plants”. Axelrod today said there would be no potted plants in the Obama cabinet.

    Also the former Oregon Gov Kitzhaber is mentioned – but he just doesn’t have the experience at the federal level that is needed to hit the ground running, and move forward and undo damage done by the Bushies. Plus at the same time the ew Interior Sec. will have to craft and implement new direction in energy and conservation. I don’t recall hearing much about Kitzhaber – despite living right next door in ID while he was Gov. of Oregon. Grijalva knows what all Bush has done, knows the DC scene, knows the issues in the arid West, is very well liked, and would be a great choice.

  23. Salle Avatar

    I have also seen many pleas for, heaven forbid, the governor of Wyoming to be considered. That would be an environmental disaster in the magnitude of the Exxon Valdez incident only on a world-wide scale! I laughed at first only to experience a moment sheer terror immediately afterward at the thought of it.

    (…upside the head with a dead fish!)

  24. jimbob Avatar

    Living in Arizona I’m not sure about him. Will his politics on immigration somehow interfere or contradict some of the policies? His stances against Bush are strong and right on, but it’s easier to determine what people are against than what they are for!

  25. john weis Avatar
    john weis

    From the NY Times today about possible picks:


    Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.

    Former Gov. John Kitzhaber, D-Ore.

    Former Gov. Tony Knowles, D-Alaska.

    Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.



    Lisa P. Jackson, commissioner of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

    Mary Nichols, head of California Air Resources Board.

    Kathleen McGinty, former secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

  26. Salle Avatar

    I just received this from a knowledgeable friend concerning Grijalva’s stance on the Yellowstone bison issue…

    Greatest Slaughter of Bison in the United States Since the 19th Century
    The Bush Administration has presided over the largest slaughter of bison since the Great Plains herds were slaughtered nearly to extinction by unscrupulous buffalo hunters in the late 1800s. Even more tragically, the 1,167 killed this year resided in Yellowstone National Park where their survival should have been protected. The Administration’s failure to formulate a plan allowing bison to roam freely within and outside Yellowstone National Park and lack of leadership on most ecological issues will likely lead to more bison deaths in the winter of 2008-2009. Bison are a symbol of the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior, both of whom should be ensuring the protection and survival of these animals rather than aiding in their slaughter.  U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva, A REPORT

    Scathing!  The excerpt above is on page 4, second item in his report.  Rep. Grijalva could be our next Sec. of the Interior:

    You can download Grijalva’s report from this link:
    by clicking on October 22, 2008 report, entitled “The Bush Years:  A Legacy of Failure for Our Public Lands”.

  27. Graham Avatar

    Grijalva is a great choice!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan