The Secretary of the Interior is promising more cooperation with Western states before the federal government takes unilateral action on public lands.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has been on the job just a couple of months. She was invited to speak to the Western Governors Association at its meeting in Park City. Jewell was asked whether the Obama administration is ready to create a new national monument in the Greater Canyonlands area. She repeated a commitment made during her confirmation to ask local residents what they think before taking that kind of action.
“What are the special places that they feel strongly need to be conserved?" Jewell told reporters after her address. "What are the areas that have high potential for development? How can we take all that input into account before we make any decisions?”
Jewell told the governors that federal agencies need help managing wildfires in the West this summer. Thanks to the sequester, she says there’s not enough money for prevention or mitigation efforts when so much is being spent on active firefighting.