Interior Secretary Says He Will Resign, Go Home to Colorado

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U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has announced that he will leave the department by the end of March and return home to Colorado. "Colorado is and will always be my home," Salazar said. "I look forward to returning to my family and Colorado after eight years in Washington, D.C."

* Salazar is a fifth-generation Coloradan, having served for his state and country for 14 years, first as a Colorado Attorney General then as a United States Senator before accepting the position of secretary of the interior.

* According to the Denver Post , Salazar's home is Alamosa, Colo. He obtained his education from Colorado College, with a political science degree, and later a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

* Salazar was named chief legal counsel to Colorado Gov. Roy Romer in 1986 and was appointed the director of the state Department of Natural Resources in 1990.

* In 1998 and again in 2002, Salazar was elected Colorado Attorney General. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

* According to the Department of the Interior's biography page on Salazar, while he served as a U.S. Senator for Colorado, he was a member of the Energy and National Resources Committee and helped lead to the passage of the 2005 and 2007 Energy Policy Acts. He also helped lead the bipartisan effort on the 2007 Farm Bill, including energy provisions.

* During his time at the state Attorney General, his biography notes, Salazar established the first-ever Colorado Attorney General Fugitive Prosecutions Unit to apprehend and prosecute fugitive murders. Salazar was awarded the Conference of Western Attorneys General "Profile in Courage" for his work in that position.

* Salazar was also the author and first chairman of Great Outdoors Colorado, a land conservation effort that was the model for President Barack Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative.

* Salazar was a farmer for more than 30 years and has, along with his wife, owned and operated small businesses including a Dairy Queen and radio stations in Pueblo and Denver.

* Obama appointed Salazar as secretary of the Interior in 2009.

* On Wednesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper stated of Salazar's resignation as Secretary of the Interior, "Ken Salazar reflects the best that is Colorado. He and his family have a long history of public service in our state and country. As Secretary of the Interior, Ken expanded the integrity of the agency and was a strong advocate for Colorado and the West. He is someone who gets things done."

* Hickenlooper stated that Salazar's many accomplishments included establishing the expansive Rocky Mountain Greeway across metropolitan Denver and creating a conservation area in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. "We look forward to welcoming him back to Colorado," the governor said.

* According to the Denver Post, Salazar spent much of his personal time throughout the fall campaigning for Obama in the state. However, his family obligations -- he and his wife are primary caretakers of their 5-year-old autistic granddaughter -- and long days in Washington were too great to commit to four more years with the Obama administration.

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