I am hearing things about the Obama transition that have me a little concerned. These things involve the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Land Management specifically. Don't get me wrong. I am elated we have a new President and that he has a big brain. However, as usual, we have a President who knows little of the western public land issues that we deal with every day. I was talking to some friends in some Conservation groups yesterday who are hearing that there is a move afoot to appoint a career civil service employee as Director of the BLM. I am against this totally.
First off, it will highly please the 'Lords of Yesterday', the oil and gas, ranching and mining boys, since they know what I know. A career person won't move to change things dramatically and that suits them just fine. Even if that career person has all the right intentions it will be hard to buck the bureaucracy that has become entrenched over 8 years of bush/cheney. It is time for some visionary leadership and strong political will to change the management of these public lands.
If there is a really good career person with the 'right stuff' then they should be made Deputy Director of the BLM. That will enable a politically knowledgeable Director the time to push the Secretary of Interior and the administration into a logical and well paced regime of reform.