The Secretaries of Interior, Commerce and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality today announced the dates and locations of the first eight listening sessions on cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships.
These sessions, the first of at least two dozen to be held around the country, are scheduled at the following locations:
- Spokane, Washington, 9 a.m., August 9, 2006, Washington State University Spokane, Phase 1 Room 122, Auditorium
- Helena, Montana, 1 p.m., August 14, 2006, Public Health and Human Services Building, Auditorium
- Roanoke, Virginia, 9 a.m., August 14, 2006, Roanoke College, Colket Center, Wortmann Ballroom
- Columbus, Ohio, 4 p.m., August 21, 2006, Ohio State University Agricultural Administration Building Auditorium
- Redmond, Oregon, 9 a.m., August 22, 2006, Deschutes County Fairgrounds Expo Center
- Jefferson City, Missouri, 9 a.m., August 29, 2006, Runge Conservation Nature Center
- Enid, Oklahoma, 1 p.m. August 30, 2006,Cherokee Strip Conference Center, Piner Hall
- Redding, California, 9 a.m., September 13, 2006, Shasta County Board of Supervisors Chamber
Interior Secretary Kempthorne is expected to participate in sessions in Spokane and Redmond. Announcements will follow for other dates and times and the Cabinet Secretaries or other Federal officials who will attend.
The listening sessions will give citizens an opportunity to exchange ideas on incentives, partnership programs, and regulations that can improve results and promote cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships.
The meetings are the latest in a series of discussions the Administration has hosted since the President’s Conference on Cooperative Conservation in August 2005. The conference identified three broad approaches to improving conservation results: promoting cooperation within the federal government, promoting cooperation between the federal government and others, and eliminating barriers to cooperation in existing policy. Some aspects of these ideas are reflected in a recently released summary of new legislation. Other aspects will be explored in the listening sessions announced today.
The meetings will focus on issues, programs, and policies mentioned frequently at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation. Discussion topics will include:
- How can the federal government enhance wildlife habitat, species protection, and other conservation outcomes through regulatory and voluntary conservation programs?
- How can the federal government enhance cooperation among federal agencies and with states, tribes, and local communities in the application of environmental protection and conservation laws?
- How can the federal government work with states, tribes, and other public- and private-sector partners to improve science used in environmental protection and conservation?
- How can the federal government work cooperatively with businesses and landowners to protect the environment and promote conservation?
- How can the federal government better respect the interests of people with ownership in land, water, and other natural resources?
Those who wish to pre-register for a particular session may do so online at http://cooperativeconservation.gov.