An email invitation was sent from the office of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar dated September 11, 2012, announcing a stakeholder’s meeting in Western Colorado:
From: Office of the Secretary
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:02 PM
To: Office of the Secretary
Subject: Join Secretary Salazar in Grand Junction this Saturday, September 15th
Please join Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for a stakeholder meeting to discuss the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and the Administration’s conservation accomplishments and outdoor economic development. Secretary Salazar will explore how outdoor recreation, travel and tourism are serving as economic engines in the Grand Junction community, provide updates on Colorado America’s Great Outdoors projects and answer questions from the audience.
When: Saturday, September 15, 2012 Time: 12:30pm – 1:00pm (MDT) – Check-In1:00pm – 2:00pm (MDT) – Meeting & Discussion Where: Colorado National Monument – Saddlehorn Campground Amphitheater(near the Visitor Center Complex – map attached)Grand Junction, Colorado
We look forward to your participation. RSVP with your contact information toDOI_Events@ios.doi.gov by 12:00pm (MDT), Thursday, September 13, 2012.
As it turns out, glaring grammatical errors in the email were not the only problem with this communication. Secretary Ken Salazar, it appears, didn’t really want to meet with stakeholders on the Western Slope after all.
An email dated September 14, 2012, was sent to the same stakeholders announcing that the meeting had been canceled due to a “scheduling conflict.” Secretary Salazar gave no further details in the notice but did send his apologies.
From: Office of the Secretary [mailto:OfficeoftheSecretary@ios.doi.gov]
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 11:11 AM
Subject: CANCELED: Join Secretary Salazar in Grand Junction this Saturday, September 15th, 2012
Due to a scheduling conflict, the stakeholder meeting scheduled for Saturday, September 15 in Grand Junction, has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Secretary Salazar appreciates your support, and looks forward to discussing these important issues at a future date.
Office of the Secretary
Grand Junction’s stakeholders include organizations and individuals who have an interest in how decisions by Ken Salazar’s office may impact access to outdoor recreational opportunities, the costs involved in conservation efforts, and the effect such decisions might have on private property adjacent to federal lands in Western Colorado. By and large these stakeholders (specific names withheld) are not happy with the Secretary of the Interior’s office and the negative effects that regulations on energy, access to public lands, and costly EPA mandates have had on the economy of Grand Junction and surrounding towns. Given the less-than-warm feelings between the Secretary of the Interior and stakeholders in Western Colorado, one might theorize that Salazar got cold feet. However…
The few times that Secretary Salazar has visited the Western Slope he has conducted his meetings at the Colorado National Monument, a natural wonder managed by the National Park Service. The Colorado National Monument is a popular biking, hiking, and car-touring destination for tourists as well as locals. One of the stakeholders to whom Ken Salazar’s office sent out the initial meeting invitation and the subsequent cancellation notice, had an associate who was biking the “Monument” on September 15. According to this stakeholder, who wishes to remain anonymous:
“(name withheld) was riding bike up there that day and saw the government cars and the guys there to meet with Salazar. Jay Seaton from the (Grand Junction Daily) Sentinel was one of them–Interesting that the Sentinel didn’t cover his visit???”
Colorado’s Western Slope has suffered greatly during Ken Salazar’s tenure as Secretary of the Interior. It comes as no surprise that he would want to avoid the tough questions and concerns of businesses and organizations who have been harmed by his policies. It also comes as no surprise that Salazar would meet with Jay Seaton, the publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Since Seaton’s company purchased the Sentinel in 2009 it has taken a decidedly leftist turn and is infamous among locals for its bias toward Liberals and Democrats and its fawning, kid-glove treatment of the Obama Administration.
What is surprising is that a Secretary in the executive branch of the United States government could be so duplicitous and cowardly when it comes to addressing the problems of the people his department is supposed to protect. Ken Salazar is not up to the job of managing the enormous responsibilities of the Interior Department, but he is up to schmoozing with his buddies in the press while ignoring the fact that his policies are harming real businesses and destroying real lives in Colorado.