I spent the weekend in Tucson at a meeting of the Wyss Foundation. I love those meetings because we give away lots of money to western conservation organizations. The slowing economy hasn't affected our abilities so far to work for protection of the west's landscapes and watersheds. That is good.
We talked a lot about what the new administration in Washington would mean on these issues. We decided that not much will happen for some time because Obama will have his hands full with economic and war issues. We also know that things will be better automatically because bush and cheney will be gone. In fact, on the front page of USA today on Monday the head of the transition for Obama, John Podesta, said they were thinking about undoing last minute bush executive orders on allowing drilling in some of Southern Utah's most beautiful wilderness quality areas. I was astonished to see that they had this on their radar. We all felt great.
In the meantime we will need to make sure that the right people get appointed to the Interior Department. That goes for the position of Secretary, but also for the other appointments like Bureau of Land Management Director, Fish and Wildlife Director, National Park Service Director and Bureau of Reclamation Chief.
I know some folks who will be helping with all that and I am confident we will have a strong team.