Land Use Office > National Issues

Change in the Land Managers in DC


From Feb ARRA Summary:

Secretary Salazar Prepares to Leave Washington
Secretary Ken Salazar finally put the rumors to rest about his possible departure from Washington when he announced that he would be leaving his Cabinet post as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Sec. Salazarís resignation is effective March 31, 2013.

It didnít take long for attention to shift away from Salazarís retirement to who will be nominated to take his place. Many environmental organizations seem to be circling their wagons around Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) as a possible replacement. Other names mentioned include the current Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes, former Washington Governor Christine Gregorie, former New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman, and former Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, among others. Seems like a new name pops up almost every day.

An early action item for the new Secretary is the appointment of a permanent Director of the Bureau of Land Management. The current Acting Director, Mike Pool, is said to be retiring from government service.

Also From Feb ARRA:

NEW Sub-COMMITTEE on public lands.

The House Resources Committee has organized for the 113th Congress and among the significant changes made was the creation of a new subcommittee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. The Chairman of the new Subcommittee is Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) and he has already announced an aggressive agenda including a thorough review of the National Environmental Policy Act, known to all as NEPA, and the Antiquities Act, which is the measure that provides the President with the authority to create national monuments. Both measures are long overdue for a comprehensive review. NEPA was enacted back in 1969 and the Antiquities Act in 1906!

Rep. Bishop wants the Subcommittee to do some serious fact finding on the cost associated with NEPA compliance both in terms of monetary cost as well as jobs lost due to administrative delays associated with administering the Act. No one should assume that Congress will revoke NEPA, but there is plenty of room to improve it. The Subcommittee doesnít have an easy task ahead of it because of the political volatility associated with this issue. Nonetheless, this review is desperately needed.

In terms of the Antiquities Act, the original Act is quite specific that any monuments created should have as small of a footprint as possible. Presidents of both political parties have ignored this restriction. Rep. Bishop will be looking for ways to tighten this footprint restriction while at the same time ensuring that multiple use practices, among those being recreation, are not severely limited when a new national monument is created.


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