Friday, February 13, 2015

We interrupt this program with.....

What happens to Natural Resources if/when the Governor resigns?

With John Kitzhaber announcing his resignation today [effective Feb 18], Tom Wolf/OCTU Executive Director weighs in on the impacts for TU interest and expresses continued hope for the future:

[With the resignation of  Governor John Kitzhaber...] Secretary of State Kate Brown will become Governor until 2016 when there will be a special election to fill out the last 2 years of Kitzhaber's term.

So what happens then to natural Resources?.....
First of all, the current Governor Kitzhaber Natural Resource Policy team, like all of the current Governor's staff, may be asked to leave. So then Governor Brown would appoint some new Natural Resources policy staff. This becomes interesting because friends of mine who work here in Salem believe that one of what we call the Fish people (Joe Rohleder, Bob Oleson, Jim Myron, myself) could be appointed as part of this new staff as Secretary of State Brown has always come to us for advice. It won't be me but it could be Bob [Oleson] or Joe [Rohleder]. If that happens that makes the Governor's NR staff very accessible [for] TU. It is a very interesting possibility.

As for the state NR agencies, I don't [believe] much will change. Kate Brown, while environment has not been her forte in the past, has a background in environment and has been good on voting on these issues when she was a representative and senator. She also attempted, as Secretary of State, to do something about river accessibility here in Oregon. The effort died but she did try. Maybe if she is Governor this effort can be re-started.

So I am following this very closely, and [am hopeful to continue a] good relationship with the new Governor's NR team.

I am in Salem today following the ODFW Director search-a final decision should be made today. I will be monitoring what is happening in the Capitol building and may go over then if something breaks.

Any way an interesting time in Salem-we could get a new Governor and a new ODFW Director on the same day.

Tom Wolf, Executive Director
Oregon Council Trout Unlimited