Ken Salazar Takes on Interior's Western Image

January 22 2009, 10:12 AM
Get this: Cowboy-hat-wearin' Ken Salazar, newly confirmed as the nation's 50th Interior Department secretary, vows to move the agency away from its image as "the Department of the West," writes The Wall Street Journal, noting that Salazar told a throng of agency employees the Interior ought to be thought of as "the Department of America." Yet when Salazar named his chief of staff yesterday, boy howdy it was a Westerner: former Colorado U.S. Attorney Tom Strickland (more from The Denver Post). Good. Because Salazar can't avoid giving his attention to the West right now anyway, and that includes his home state. President Barack Obama has ordered the review of many plans launched under President George W. Bush, including the proposed removal of gray wolves from endangered species protections in the northern Rocky Mountains and a "roadless rule" in Colorado that critics say will do little to protect lands, according to The Washington Post.