Salazar clearly highlighted stories that he thinks would best serve the interests of the current administration, and help it survive the coming election, so journalists should, as always, take his tips with a grain of salt. [Update: For example, an article by Pittman at the St. Petersburg Times tempered Salazar’s optimism about the Tamiami Trail Bridge Project, reporting that raising only the one segment of highway will not provide enough new water flow to save the Everglades by itself.] But that doesn’t make the Secretary wrong. Environmental restoration and conservation efforts, and all their political and economic reverberations, are something reporters nationwide should be paying more attention to.

Note: Audio recordings of Salazar’s and Hiaasen’s remarks can be found here and here, respectively, on the Society of Environmental Journalists’ conference coverage page.

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.