Monday, January 11, 2016

Former Interior Secretary Salazar: Bundys 'out of touch' on lands issues

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the Bundys, who are at the center of a 10-day siege of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon, don't represent the views of Western residents and are merely jockeying for attention. "The Bundys and those who sympathize with them are far out of touch with most folks living in the West. By and large Westerners do not agree with the policies or sentiments being advocated in Oregon," Salazar said in a Monday teleconference. "Bundy and his ilk are just squeaky wheels getting the grease." Salazar, a Colorado native who was a U.S. senator and served as Interior secretary from 2008 to 2013, spoke to 2016 poll results on public lands issues released by the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project. The annual Conservation in the West survey — which included Nevada residents for the first time — tapped opinions of 400 registered voters in seven Western states, including Utah. Salazar said the showdown at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon, led by Ammon Bundy — son of Cliven Bundy who had an armed confrontation with the federal government over ranching — does not reflect top concerns among residents of Western states. "What Westerners are actually concerned about is drought and water scarcity, our dependence on foreign oil, climate change and the outdoor recreation economy. Westerners want our public lands to stay public," he said...more

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