Back in the drill-baby-drill heyday of the George W. Bush administration, the Department of the Interior was plagued by nasty oil royalty scandals and cockeyed public lands policies that brazenly favored energy interests over environmental concerns. But now that the Bushies are long gone, is the si ... More >>
A little-known chapter of indigenous Colorado history will unfold tonight when the History Colorado Center's ongoing monthly lecture series presents "And Many Wore Moccasins: The Ute, Navajo and Blackfoot Nations and World War I," with Dr. Timothy Winegard of Colorado Mesa University. See also: - ... More >>
When the dust finally settled on December 31, a complicated $10 million land swap involving the Colorado State Land Board, Boulder and Boulder County, Jefferson County and the Department of the Interior -- which now owns Rocky Flats, the former nuclear weapons plant -- had gone through. And that pav ... More >>
Uneasy hangs the cowboy-hatted head of the man in charge of one-fifth of the land mass in the United States. The strain of running the Department of the Interior seems to be catching up with Ken Salazar, who offered to "punch out" a reporter last month in response to a question about Interior's scan ... More >>
The situation was stupid enough that Ken Salazar probably wanted to punch someone. When the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was unveiled in 2011, eagle-eyed wordsmiths quickly pointed out that one of the quotes etched into the granite monument had taken King's words out of context, making him seem l ... More >>
Cory Gardner is on fire. More than two hundred homes and thousands of acres of forests went up in flames in his district in the past few weeks, and the freshman congressman from Colorado knows exactly who and what to blame. Not drought, not climate change, not even the bark-beetle epidemic that's ki ... More >>
In these lean times, last week Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proposed slashing costs and hiking a range of user fees -- everything from the cost of a federal stamp for duck hunting to oil and gas drilling permits -- to make ends meet at his agency. But one bit of government welfare is consid ... More >>
This week's cover story, "Drilled, Baby, Drilled," reports on the efforts of a group of federal auditors to hold energy companies accountable for underpaid royalties on oil and gas leases. On the eve of its publication, the U.S. Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) announced a $25 million sett ... More >>
Ken Salazar.The long-awaited, much-debated Bureau of Land Management plan for oil-and-gas drilling on public lands in northwest Colorado has something in it to annoy everybody. In other words, it's the kind of classic, middle-of-the-road, concessions-to-all-sides-and-favoritism-toward-none c ... More >>
That gnashing of teeth and muttered cursing you hear is coming from energy companies and developers north of the state border. Last week, U.S. District Judge John L. Kane ruled that an obscure jumping mouse should be considered a threatened species not only in Colorado but in Wyoming, too -- ... More >>
Ken Salazar.During last night's sophomore edition of Countdown on Current TV, Keith Olbermann featured an extended segment about Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filing an ethics complaint against Louisiana Senator David Vitter. But the man in the middle of the cont ... More >>
Philip Van CiseThis week's cover story, "A Dam Shame," looks into the controversy generated by a state dam inspector named John Redding, who raised concerns about ethical violations inside the Colorado Department of Natural Resources--and ended up paying a high price for his concern. People w ... More >>
Deepwater Horizon.Does any other day carry as heavy a load as April 20? The day's fate was sealed in 1889, when Adolf Hitler was born in a small village in Austria. In the early '70s, April 20 also became an underground stoner holiday, now so aboveground that it's celebrated across the countr ... More >>
Martin Luther King Jr.Check out these three Colorado-centric blog posts. 5280's Michael de Yoanna shares his take on Greeley school board member Brett Reese's radio attacks on Martin Luther King Jr. Will he take down Mother Teresa next? Colorado Pols: The mercurial Tom Strickland is leaving ... More >>
Ken SalazarIn an interview in the October 15 issue of Rolling Stone, President Barack Obama defends his administration's overhaul of the Department of the Interior amid agency scandals and outrage over the Gulf oil spill -- and insists Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will keep his job, calling ... More >>
Nothing moves swiftly in the upper echelons of government decision-making -- especially when the decisions have to do with a tiny rodent that can stall development projects. Today marks the public-comment deadline on the proposal for critical habitat designation of the Preble's meadow jumpi ... More >>
Today, President Barack Obama gets to enjoy the ultimate, inevitable result of tapping Janet Napolitano -- Janet Napolitano, as though the governor of Arizona was the ideal person for the job! -- to head the Homeland Security department: He'll meet with Republican governor Jan "Jannie Get Her ... More >>
Department of the InteriorSituation hairy: The Deepwater Horizon rig, before it sank. As oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster begins to stain shorelines along the Gulf Coast, beauticians across the nation are learning that one of the more feel-good (and dubious) solutions proposed in recen ... More >>
Department of the InteriorThe explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig still hasn't been explained.The finger-pointing over the massive oil slick threatening the Gulf Coast is spreading almost as fast as the spill itself. While critics on the right chortle over Department of the Interior c ... More >>
Department of the InteriorThe fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon.It's too soon to start putting a figure on the damage -- to marine life, tourism, fishing industries and more -- from the 600-square-mile oil slick oozing onto the Gulf Coast today. And it's too early in the investigation to know ... More >>
Thar she blows: The Penry-Huttner Geothermal Project.The Department of the Interior just designated six renewable energy projects, including a 400-megawatt solar tower, as "fast-track" developments deserving of the highest priority. All six of the projects happen to be in California. Hard t ... More >>
Government 2.0 is just around the corner. This week, the White House announced the launch of the government's very own app store, a place for various arms of the fedeal government to get their assorted IT needs met. It's an effort to streamline and lower the cost of said IT needs via a method ... More >>
Barack Obama, cast in a golden glow, with Michael Bennet.With ex-speaker of the Colorado House Andrew Romanoff's entry into the U.S. Senate race merely a formality at this point, Michael Bennet, appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to fill the slot opened up by the departure (to the Department o ... More >>
In his first few weeks as Secretary of the Interior, former Colorado Senator Ken Salazar was fond of sporting his cowboy hat and declaring that there's a new sheriff in town -- even though the work at hand didn't lend itself to quick draws, as explained in my feature "The Zen of Ken." But now t ... More >>
Probably no other member of the Obama Cabinet has racked up as many frequent-flier miles over the past three months than former Colorado Senator Ken Salazar. As the new sheriff in town at the Department of the Interior, he's been taking his agenda on the road -- presiding over offshore lease sales i ... More >>
This week's feature, "The Zen of Ken," deals with the formidable challenge facing Colorado's own Ken Salazar at the Department of the Interior. It also notes in passing the growing contingent of politicos with Colorado connections that the new Secretary is adding to his leadership team, including fo ... More >>
You might expect a confirmation hearing for a new Secretary of the Interior to be tough going, given the multiple scandals and vast challenges facing the agency after years of Bush administration bumbling and plundering. After all, the Department of the Interior manages a fifth of the land in t ... More >>
A few loose ends from last year are now neatly tied up. New Secretary of State, check: Bernie Buescher will be sworn in at 3 p.m. Wednesday (so long as the Colorado Senate confirms the appointment). New Senator, check. Governor Bill Ritter is currently touring the state with Michael Bennet, his choi ... More >>
At gatherings on New Year's Day, the talk was all about when Governor Bill Ritter will announce a new senator -- and, of course, just who his pick will be to replace Ken Salazar, Barack Obama's choice to head the Department of the Interior. Technically, there's no hurry; Salazar's confirmation hear ... More >>
Local coverage of Barack Obama's selection of Colorado Senator Ken Salazar as the next Secretary of the Interior has mostly been rah-rah, sis-boom-bah. Take the Denver Post editorial "Salazar a Wise Choice for West, Nation." But as noted in a National Public Radio story, assorted environmental gro ... More >>
Shortly before Thanksgiving, the U.S. Department of Interior announced it was carving up several turkeys caught in the sex, drugs and graft scandal at the Minerals Management Service office in Lakewood. After months of costly investigation and blistering official reports on brazen conflicts of inter ... More >>
How government watchdogs became the energy industry's party animals
Will the first new American bird discovered in a hundred years be the next to go extinct?
The debate over gas drilling on the Roan Plateau has become one of the most intriguing and critical environmental battles in the West since the days of Two Forks. The recent acceleration of political maneuvering over the issue deserves close scrutiny, since the outcome will tell us a great deal abou ... More >>
"Short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of the Interior." That's Earl Devaney, the DOI's inspector general, telling a House of Representatives subcommittee yesterday about the ethical black hole among the bureaucrats who manage one-fifth of all the land in the Unite ... More >>
From the week of April 21, 2005
Bush put former industry lobbyists in charge of public lands. Now a deal with a Wyoming rancher has the stewards running for cover.
Douglas County's very own gopher is the latest endangered-species hopeful.
A Denver mining company is looking for copper. All it's found so far is a rich vein of environmentalists.
The Hopi want one of the largest coal mines in North America to stop using their groundwater. If springs and wells dry up, their ancient culture may disappear.