About The Author


Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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December 18, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress

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Under New Management

Regardless of how much I'd love to post nonstop field reports on well-earned harvests at this time of year, we should really take a break now and then to discuss the world beyond the woods. President-elect Obama's selection of U.S. Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado as his Secretary of the Interior seems like one of those times. 20081215__kensalazar5p1_200

Salazar is a controversial choice. According to this New York Times story, his record drew, "mixed reviews from environmental groups on Wednesday, but cautious praise from energy and mining interests."

On one side are executives such as Marc Smith of the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, who said in a statement, “We are pleased that the president-elect has chosen someone who understands that there is a direct connection between federal lands and access to affordable, clean natural gas."

On the other side are opinions such as that of Daniel R. Patterson, a former official of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, who is now southwest regional director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Patterson stated that, "Salazar has a disturbingly weak conservation record, particularly on energy development, global warming, endangered wildlife and protecting scientific integrity.”

Wearing his usual ten-gallon hat during Wednesday's news conference, Salazar said that his job would include not just the development of green energy like wind, the Times story said, but also, "the continued domestic development of coal, oil and natural gas, [and] fossil fuels that generate heat-trapping gases when they are burned."

It's a fine line between energy development and habitat protection, and I can only hope the most talented, experienced, well-informed and forward-thinking candidate has been chosen to walk it. -K.H.


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Comments

Paula

I am ashamed to admit but I am clueless on this stuff. I did research presidential candidates before voting, but have no idea or opinions on anyone else in gov't. I know with the economy and global warming I should get more involved with who's who in office but I don't. On a personal level, I do try to be global friendly. I recycle, use paper not plastic, stopped buying beverages in plastic bottles (bottled water mainly) keep my heat low, and I don't run to the store everytime I need something, I usually make one trip a week and run all errands then.

Laura Bell

I've only read little bits of stuff that have been in the paper. So I really can't comment. I should probably be reading into it more, but with the holidays approaching, I haven't had the time to do a lot things on my To Do list.

Sarah M.

Like the others that have already posted on this, I'm a bit clueless as well. It's embarrassing to admit, but true. I feel that we hunters are the true conservationists and maybe this is a wake-up call to all of us that we need to get a little bit more "in-the-know." It really does scare me to think that in 50 years, 100 years or maybe less, the land that we all use and love may be gone. Where will our children and grandchildren hunt, hike, kayak and go to "get away from it all?"....

Jan

Based on what I've read on Mr. Salazar, he may be the right choice for the job. I sure hope so. With our current economic state, and the energy crisis, there's no room for error! Since I am not an Obama fan, I'm trying to keep an eye and an ear on every decision he makes. It's not fun! I have just realized that I don't care for politics AT ALL!

B

As long as Messrs. Obama and Salazar understand the difference between preservation and conservation I think we'll be alright. If the new administration pushes a preservationist agenda forward then we'll have something to be fearful of.

Judy Black

Anytime there is a change, it scares me. It scares me to know that what was, what we were once comfortable with, can be taken away by a vote.
We have the right to bear arms, we are told we have freedom of speech but are either of these really true?
The wrong people in the right office, saying the right things to the right people have more of a voice than we can ever think of having. They have the power and the sad thing is...we voted for them thinking we had made the "right" choice.
As sports people we try to practice good conservation. We harvest does to make the buck/doe ratio right. We plant trees for clean air, food plots that are not only a source of food but to help grow bigger and better bucks. We recycle our Christmas trees to make better rabbitat and the list goes on.
But, with TB running rampant here in Michigan, we can't feed and now there is rumor of food plots being out lawed. It just seems like one step forward sends you back 2 or 3.
I worry about my own 300 acres and am scared to death for the world we live in. I worry that what I enjoy the most, may be sadly taken away by the vote of a person that has been chosen by the person that was voted in.
Definatley a domino effect and damn scarey.
JB

Paula

Judy, you definitely said what I felt but could not figure out how to express it. I am scared for all of us. Unfortunately I trust no one in office. As far as I'm concerned they say what they think will get them the votes and we vote for the better BS'er. I do not trust the media as it is sensationalized and not always fact. I think Americans, myself especially need to quit being so damn complacent. Just not sure how to get involved, and what organiztion to trust. I am open for suggestions.

Judy Black

I am sad to say and almost ashamed but I am so not a political person. I too believe that the tell you what they think you want to hear until they get in office and then the proverbial sh** hits the fan. (sorry)
I trust none of them and that is very, very sad. I am not that kind of person but past experience has caused many of us to feel that way.
It is only since I got my bow that we have become more involved with organizations like Safari Club, QDMA etc that have opened our eyes to subjects that we wore blinders to avoid before. We support these groups because we feel that there is safety in numbers and by supporting them, they help us keep the rights we have to enjoy the sport we love.
It is way more fun to blog about our successful harvests and look at pictures of smiling faces. It is easier to bury our heads and think happy thoughts. But the ugly issues are still there and they need to be dealt with, thank God for those that are up on them and can deal with them. I commend them.
I'm a lover, not a fighter...lol
JB

Jacee

We here in WY are struggling with balancing energy devleopment with natural/wildlife concerns. It is very tricky and extremely hard to do. Honestly, I think the animals and envornment are the losers, and lots of folks here aren't really sure what to do about it. Mining is how we pay our bills here, it has provided a great economy for your state, and will be a part of the energy puzzle for years to come. It is a tough situation to be in, because both things are important to my state, and yet they are consistently at odds. I hope Salizar will be able to navigate this slippery slope... we will have to see.