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Letter to Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior - Complete Monument Document

Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) today sent a letter, along with other members of the Western Caucus, to Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar requesting all relative information pertaining to an internal document that revealed the Administration is considering designating as many as 14 new national monuments on 13 million acres of land in 11 different Western states.

President Obama has routinely stated that this is the most transparent Administration in history. Therefore, Lamborn expects the DOI to answer all of the following requests for information relating to past, present, and future planning of potential national monument designations as well as the involvement of all outside groups and individuals.

"Colorado has a rich supply of natural energy that if used responsibly can provide well paying jobs and reduce energy costs. But this Administration just doesn't get it. It seems President Obama and Secretary Salazar are intent on locking up our valuable Western resources. At the very least, they owe it to the people of Colorado to discuss their agenda in an open manner," said Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO -05).

Highlights from the letter:

"We request the following information..."

- All pages of the "Internal Draft" document of which we obtained only pages numbered 15 to 21.

- With regard to the "brainstorming," a copy of any documents distributed at or in preparation for the meetings, a list of all participants or invitees, any notes taken at the meeting (s), and any memoranda, work product or follow up documents from the meeting(s). All records, electronic or otherwise, of meetings or discussions with private groups, individuals or other persons or entities that are not employees of the Department of the Interior where potential National Monument designations were discussed. All notes, agendas, memoranda or documents from those meetings.

- All documents related to the Secretary's initiative to compile a list of potential National Monument designations since July 1, 2009, including, but not limited to, maps.

- Any communication with any person or entity outside of the Department of the Interior related to the Secretary's initiative since July 1, 2009.

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Dear Secretary Salazar,

We were distressed to learn from an internal "NOT FOR RELEASE" document that deliberations regarding potential National Monument designations sites and "high priority land-rationalization efforts" were taking place within the Department of Interior without public knowledge or participlation.

We do, however, take a degree of comfort in your subsequent statement that you hope for a more open process in which locally affected people and their Representatives are engaged in a "public dialogue" rather than being recipients of surprise announcements. While not an explicit assurance that the unilateral actions outlined in the document will not be carried out, we hope the statement does mean that an open, transparent process involving the public will occur prior to any action by the Department of the President.

Left unanswered at this point are many questions about the status of potential National Monument designations, what groups and individuals are or were involved in this endeavor, and the extent to which the process will continue to be carried out behind closed doors. Therefore, we request the following information no later that March 26, 2010.

1. All pages of the "Internal Draft" document of which we obtained only pages numbered 15 to 21.

2. With regard to the "brainstorming," a copy of any documents distributed at or in preparation for the meetings, a list of all participants or invitees, any notes taken at the meeting (s), and any memoranda, work product or follow up documents from the meeting(s). All records, electronic or otherwise, of meetings or discussions with private groups, individuals or other persons or entities that are not employees of the Department of the Interior where potential National Monument designations were discussed. All notes, agendas, memoranda or documents from those meetings.

3.All documents related to the Secretary's initiative to compile a list of potential National Monument designations since July 1, 2009, including, but not limited to, maps.

4.Any communication with any person or entity outside of the Department of the Interior related to the Secretary's initiative since July 1, 2009.

We thank you for your prompt response to our previous letter and look forward to an equally prompt and fully informative reply to this letter.

Sincerely,


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