Our man from Rifle, David Bernhardt, was confirmed by a 53 to 43 Senate vote Monday to be deputy secretary of the Interior Department, defeating a smear campaign launched by Beltway environmental activists.

Not even U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet fell for it, and along with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner voted to confirm Bernhardt.

“David Bernhardt is a native Coloradan from the Western slope who has a deep understanding of Western land issues and will do what is right for the American people when it comes to our public lands,” said Gardner. “I’ve known David for many years and know he is the right man for the job. His command of public policy and experience working in the Interior Department will be an enormous asset to Secretary Zinke and I look forward to working with David on issues important to Colorado as he assumes his new role.”

Bernhardt was attacked by environmentalists as a “walking conflict of interest,” which is what they call people who refuse to march with them in lockstep just because it’s the latest fad.

Bernhardt is a stand-up, ethical guy, a true westerner who will protect his home state and public lands, while keeping it open for everyone to use.