This One Cannot be Ignored

August 11, 2017

Colorado’s late great Senator Bill Armstrong was known for taking days or even weeks to “think about” an issue, without ever reaching a decision on something his staff (including me) thought hyper-urgent. Often it turned out to be less so, as problems often resolved themselves without the need for him to spend time on them. […]

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How Much for the Whole House?

August 4, 2017

When we finished the basement in our house a few years ago, I was shocked to pay 86 cents apiece for 2×4 studs (I am old enough to remember when they were a quarter). That job required many studs so it added up quickly. Today in the big home improvement stores, they cost more than […]

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RESPECT, Just a Little Bit

July 21, 2017

The new Administration has reassigned several federal land managers to positions in other regions, or even in other agencies. The Bureau of Land Management’s Colorado State Director, for example, was transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation. Some reports about the “shakeup” have implied that it is unusual, a few even calling it unprecedented, though in […]

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My What Big Teeth You Have!

July 14, 2017

Forty years after the Mexican wolf was designated as endangered, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has released a draft recovery plan that outlines what is needed to declare the species recovered. At this rate, we are well on the way to recovering all endangered species, in only a thousand years or so. The […]

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Grin and Bear It

July 7, 2017

Declaring that the Yellowstone grizzly bear has recovered from the threat of extinction, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is removing it from endangered species list. That will end 42 years of federal management of a unique American mammal, one of the primary reasons the Endangered Species Act was passed in the first place. It is a […]

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In the End, There is Truth

June 29, 2017

One of America’s founding principles is the public’s right to know what their government is doing. The framers of the Constitution mentioned no exceptions, not even for national security, but a free press was permanently enshrined in the First Amendment, because a vigilant citizenry was – and is – the only sure long-term guardian of […]

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California’s Economic Suicide

June 23, 2017

Last fall, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law requiring his State to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels. That ratchets the State’s already severe limits down even tighter, now requiring a reduction to levels not seen since the 1950s or earlier. Some are beginning to understand that it cannot be […]

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A Republic, If You Can Keep It

June 16, 2017

When Ben Franklin was asked what system of government the Constitutional Convention had produced, he said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” He knew how strong leaders can abuse power, and he knew how easily people can forget that lesson. This week’s agitation over America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement clearly demonstrates both. […]

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Here Comes The Judge!

June 9, 2017

The Great Falls Tribune reported, “Wolverine study’s plan preferred to endangered species listing.” That is a common sentiment in the West, where almost anything is preferable to endangered species listings, and the accompanying federal control over private land. When I started as Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, we were just beginning our […]

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Strange Bedfellows in Aspen

June 1, 2017

The headline in a recent Free Range Report reads, “Water battle pits City of Aspen against feds, enviros.” Nobody familiar with Colorado politics could help smiling at the sarcastic irony in that headline. Aspen fighting environmentalists? We can just as easily imagine headlines proclaiming “Boulder battles liberals,” or “Iowa bans farming.” The issue here, though, […]

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