Obama Interior Nominee Criticized by Industry Groups

President Obama’s recent nominee for assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the Department of the Interior is catching criticism from some of the industry groups she would be charged with regulating. Rebecca Wodder, CEO of American Rivers and former Wilderness Society official would be Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s second in command.

As head of the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wodder would be taking on many public land and wildlife controversies.

Idaho water group opposes key Obama Interior nominationTimes-News

President Barack Obama nominated Rebecca Wodder earlier this month to be Interior’s assistant secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The former president of environmental group American Rivers, Wodder has led multiple conservation projects since 1995 to help create river trails and destroy dams the group deemed dangerous.







  1. Christopher Avatar

    She might make a Secretary of Interior than the current holder of the position.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    One of Obama’s few good nominees. Her nomination will probably get put on “hold,” probably by some Idaho senator dreaming of the 19th century.

  3. WM Avatar

    The water community in the West is likely to weigh in pretty heavily. If Wodder gets the nod, I bet she is kept on a very tight leash. That may be the tacit instruction going into the confirmation process and hearings.

    Even types like Senator Mark Udall are not going sell Colorado’s water future and economy down the river, so to speak, by supporting an advocate who wants to breach dams.

  4. JimT Avatar

    My wife and I have known Becca from the late 80s when she was at TWS. Incredibly competent, reasoned, professional, determined in all of her professional jobs. She has done an incredible job growing American Rivers over her tenure to a point that it has accomplished great things in protecting rivers and taking steps to restore endangered salmon runs in the West.

    All of which will probably guarantee that unless Obama is willing to make a true recess appointment, she will linger on the hold list.

    As for MU, if he doesn’t support her nomination, there are a LOT of women environmentalists and activists that won’t show up for him in his next election run. Breaching dams, hell. We have a climate change problem, a drought problem in the West, and no amount of damming up rivers is going to create more water. I highly recommend Alex Prud’Homme’s latest book “Ripple Effect:The Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century”. The statistics are starkly sobering, and should scare the bejeesus out of any reasoning Westerner. Which means, of course, the Water Buffaloes will just dismiss its studies and facts as “puffery and extreme left liberal environmental terrorist doctrine that spits on the flag and the great spirits of true

    1. WM Avatar


      Climate change acknowledged, the fact remains CO has alot at stake being at the headwaters of 7 major drainages of important US rivers. To sustain CO’s economic growth the precious CO water that has allowed it to prosper when other Western states are withering during the droughts- the Water Buffaloes as you suggest – will keep all options open. I think the next meeting of the CO Water Congress in Steamboat in August has a topic something to the effect of the “hard choices.”

      Even the liberals and idle trust babies in Boulder would die of thirst during summer without the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and its strangle hold on water diverted from the Western Slope. That fact is, for the most part, lost on the righteous who bask in the afternoon shade of the shadow cast by the Flatirons.

      Udall won’t stand for election until 2014, and as we all know political memories can be short, so your threat by “women environmentalists,” is probably overstated a bit. The bigger problem would be who else would bail if Udall gets too carefree with CO’s water future, with an Asst. Secretary of Interior that could use a squawfish, chub or minnow protected by the ESA to stop a new or expanded water project, or wants to push breaching dams.

      All this said (partly in sarcasm), I do support taking the dams out on the Snake, and have for a long time.

      1. JimT Avatar

        There is no way anyone will touch the current interstate compact; and that would end up in the Supremes with a Water Master. I see dam breaching as a separate issue from overallocation based on very very exaggerated rainfall and flow totals from some plentiful but rare periods of rain. The dams that have been breached so far have not affected water rights or allocations, or power supplies.

        As for the Udall situation, there is LOT of very widespread and background grumbling currently that he has essentially abandoned his environmental positions and credentials; indeed, there is a rumor that he has quietly told his staff to keep him away from that group in his DC office; he has “outgrown” us. I think you underestimate the degree of anger and resentment currently going on here. And your disparaging comments about Boulder were not necessary; you don’t live here. Boulder is hardly the liberal bastion anymore, trust me. Much more development and business oriented these days..and a bit scattered in its thinking these days. The current insanity is thinking they want to take over energy from Xcel and become a municipal power utility…Maybe just a negotiating ploy. We will see. And Boulder has some very senior water rights and its own rapidly melting glacier, so I suspect the powers that be are feeling ok for the moment. Read the book…


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Brian Ertz