'Mitigation' is not mysterious. It simply means taking reasonable steps to avoid harm to our natural resources, reducing that harm as much as possible if it can't be avoided and compensating for any harm that remains.
They're part of what define America's outdoor heritage and fuel our outdoor recreation economy, responsible for about 6.1 million jobs and $646 billion in spending yearly. These same lands, however, also provide some of the best wind and solar resources our county has to offer.
Outdoor recreation employs 6.1 million Americans, and the sector is growing about 5 percent annually. Conservation and access for recreation, including climbing, biking, hiking, and fishing make this economic impact possible.
Secretary Ken Salazar has announced his retirement, bringing an end to his tenure at the Interior Department. I'm grateful to Secretary Salazar for his leadership in conserving America's lands and for protecting special places that pay tribute to our military heritage.
My award for gross incompetence goes to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and they still hold that first place honor after more than 33 years of my reporting. The sad thing is that their incompetence has hurt so many impoverished American Indians. The BIA's place in the Hall of Shame is assured.
The callous greed in the oil patch seems to know no limits. Here we have a company, Royal Dutch Shell, bursting with earnings, at the apogee of its yearly returns, going after the last dollar or Euro to make things fatter still.
Lamborn's bill actually creates a new taxpayer-funded subsidy for companies like Shell by allowing cuts to royalties and shifting basic infrastructure and services costs onto the backs of struggling local governments.
Would a Perry presidency be tempted to follow in this predecessor's footsteps? Given the incestuous interrelationship between Texas politics and oil, in many ways the Bush presidency becomes a cautionary tale.
If there's any lesson to be learned, it is that the BP oil spill is not a thing of the past -- it's very much an ongoing tragedy that, as prior massive oil spills have taught us well, will continue for many years to come.
Through public engagement and sharing of knowledge, we can make the National Landscape Conservation System a model program for land conservation that promotes economic values and fosters planning for future growth.