"[Wednesday] night's inaugural presidential debate may seem a logical place for the candidates to discuss the role of federal lands in providing energy, recreation and job opportunities at a time of stubbornly high unemployment."
"The debate at the University of Denver takes place in a swing state with more than 20 million acres of federal lands that offer everything from natural gas and oil shale to Rocky Mountain National Park, ski resorts, trout streams and prized hunting grounds.
It's the first time in eight years and only the second time since 1996 that a presidential debate has been held west of the Mississippi River. And it's the first time in at least half a century that the Centennial State has hosted such a debate.
But while Western lawmakers, conservationists and energy advocates said both candidates could benefit at the polls by touting their lands policies, few expect the issue to garner more than a brief mention."