He was the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior during president Obama’s very first term.
Ken Salazar was at the Domenici Conference – and while he didn’t give specifics on whether the organ mountains could become a national monument -- he said this much --
“I was very involved in the President’s decision on the Rio Grand del Norte in Northern New Mexico…I expect that if the same thing happens in Southern New Mexico as happened in northern New Mexico, you will see potential presidential action coming to protect the monument.”
I asked Salazar, who’s ancestors lived in the southwest before the united states, where immigrants in this particular place fit into the overall picture.
“I would ask not only them but the people of this country to understand the history of the United States…. people of New Mexico were here before it was part of the United States of America.”
Salazar is from Colorado. Secretaries of the interior almost exclusively have roots in the western United States.
“I think the West is so open…so it’s just a very special place to be a Westerner.”
Ken Salazar was Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2009 to 2013.