From Westword: (Alan Prendergast): "...but this is Ken Salazar we're talking about, the famously affable, centrist senator from Colorado. Wearing a bolo tie and flag pin (but no cowboy hat), he emerged from the three-hour chat with his colleagues on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Thursday morning smiling and unscathed. No one laid a glove on him."
More coverage from Avery Palmer writing for CQ Politics:
Sen. Ken Salazar told a Senate panel Thursday that if confirmed as Interior secretary, he will try to include funding for national parks and other public lands in the pending economic stimulus package. At the confirmation hearing, before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Chairman Jeff Bingaman questioned Salazar about the economic recovery plan that House Democratic leaders had outlined. Bingaman urged Salazar to make sure the final plan includes funding to address deferred maintenance projects for national parks, forests and water infrastructure.
In particular, Bingaman, D-N.M., said he wants to address a $9.5 billion backlog in maintenance projects at the National Park Service, a $5 billion backlog at the Forest Service and $3 billion for aging water infrastructure. He also said the stimulus plan could help fund Bureau of Indian Affairs schools.
"Our first and foremost task will be to restore the integrity of the Department of Interior" -- Ken Salazar via Reuters (Ayesha Rascoe).
More Coyote Gulch coverage here.