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Video



America's Great Outdoors - Live Q&A with Secretary Salazar


June 10, 2011


Video will appear here.


Transcript

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. MY NAME IS TIM FULLERTON; I AM THE DIRECTOR OF NEW MEDIA HERE. WE ARE HAPPY TO BE JOINED TODAY BY SECRETARY KEN SALAZAR WHO IS GOING TO BE ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS ON AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS INITIATIVE. WE HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED A LOT OF GREAT QUESTIONS OVER E-MAIL. WE'LL START WITH THOSE. BUT IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED YET, PLEASE GO MAKE SURE YOU ENTER THEM IN THE CHAT WINDOW BELOW AND WE'LL DO OUR BEST TO ANSWER AS MANY OF THEM AS WE CAN OVER THE NEXT THIRT MINUTES. SO MR. SECRETARY WOULD YOU LIKE TO OFFER ANY OPENING COMMENTS BEFORE WE GET INTO THE QUESTIONS?

WE ARE HERE AT THE BISON BISTRO AT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS CAFETERIAS BUILT BY HAROLD ICKES WITH A LOT OF NATIVE AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE BEHIND US AND THE PAINTINGS FROM THAT ERA. IT'S AN HONOR TO BE WITH ALL OF YOU TODAY SPEAKING ABOUT AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS PROGRAM AND WHAT IT IS WE ARE DOING FOR CONSERVATION FOR AMERICA.

GREAT. WELL THANK YOU, MR. SECRETARY AND THE FIRST QUESTION WE HAVE IS ACTUALLY A QUESTION FROM JOSEPH ON FACEBOOK AND HE WANTS TO KNOW WHAT IS THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN MEETING PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DIRECTIVE ON CONSERVATION AS PART OF THE A.G.O. CAMPAIGN AND WHAT IS THE GREATEST THREAT TO CONSERVATION?

OUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR HAS BEEN THE PASSAGE OF THE PUBLIC LANDS BILL OF 2009. IT WAS SOMETHING THE PRESIDENT AND I WORKED ON VERY HARD. IT ESTABLISHED TWO MILLION ACRES OF WILDERNESS AROUND OUR COUNTRY, 1,100 MILES OF WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS, THREE NEW NATIONAL PARKS, NATIONAL CONSERVATION UNITS, AND REALLY IS PROBABLY THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CONSERVATION MAJOR PASSED IN THE UNITED STATES OVER THE LAST THIRTY YEARS. SO I AM VERY PROUD OF THAT ACCOMPLISHMENT. WE HAVE MOVED FORWARD WITH THAT ACCOMPLISHMENT AND BUILT FROM IT AS WE MOVED FORWARD WITH AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS.

GREAT. THE NEXT QUESTION IN COMES FROM BEVERLY IN MICHIGAN. THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF INTEREST IN THIS TOPIC IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS. WHAT DO YOU AND THE ADMINISTRATION PROPOSE THAT WE DO TO PROTECT AMERICA'S PRECIOUS WILDERNESS?

YOU KNOW BEVERLY; OUR WILDERNESS IN AMERICA REALLY IS SOMETHING WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT AND SOMETHING WHICH WE MUST PROTECT. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE HEROES OF CONSERVATION IN OUR LIFE THEY ARE PEOPLE LIKE TEDDY ROOSEVELT, WHO BECAME THE WILDERNESS WARRIOR AND PEOPLE LIKE STEWART UDALL AND JOHN KENNEDY IN THE 1960'S, WHO MOVED FORWARD WITH THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND. SO TODAY WE NEED TO PUSH AS MUCH AS WE CAN TO MAKE SURE WE PROTECT AS MUCH OF OUR PUBLIC LANDS AND WILDERNESS AND WE DO OTHER THINGS INCLUDDING CONNECTING UP WILDLIFE CORRIDORS, PRIVATE LANDS TO OUR PUBLIC LANDS AND A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER THINGS. FOR RIGHT NOW WHAT WE ARE DOING WITH WILDERNESS IS FIRST WE HAVE THE WILDERNESS PACKAGE THAT WE WERE ABLE TO GET THROUGH THE CONGRESS IN 2009. NUMBER TWO, TODAY I HAVE ASKED THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO HELP IDENTIFY THE CROWN JEWELS OF WILDERNESS. WHERE THEY WANT TO HELP US GET THESE WILDERNESS AREAS PERMANENTLY PROTECTED. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO HAVE ALREADY INTRODUCED LEGISLATION, INCLUDE BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, BEAUTY MOUNTAIN IN CONGRESSMAN ISSA'S DISTRICT IN CALIFORNIA, THE WHITE CLOUDS AREA IN IDAHO IN CONGRESSMAN SIMPSON担 DISSTRICT, A NUMBER OF PLACES IN NEW MEXICO AND ALL OVER THE WEST. SO WE HOPE TO COMPILE THAT INVENTORY BY OCTOBER THE FIFTEENTH AND BE ABLE TO PUT THE SHOULDER BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE CONGRESS TO GET SOME OF THESE ENACTED INTO LAW AND PERMANENT PROTECTIONS. THEN THIRDLY, OUT OF THAT 250 MILLION ACRES OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, THERE ARE LANDS OUT THERE WHICH HAVE WILDERNESS CHARACTERISTICS AND THOSE WILDERNESS CHARACTERISTICS NEED TO BE FIRST OF ALL INVENTORIED WHICH WE ARE DOING THAT RIGHT NOW THROUGH THE B.L.M. AND SECOND OF ALL WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE ARE PROTECTING THOSE WILDERNESS CHARACTERISTICS AS WE MOVE FORWARD.

GREAT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM MARGE. IT IS, IS THERE ANY FUNDING FOR A.G.O. PROJECTS IN THE CURRENT YEAR'S BUDGET? THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012 CONTAINS A FUNDING REQUEST FOR A.G.O. THROUGH THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND. HOW MUCH OF THAT FUNDING WILL GO TO A.G.O. PROJECTS?

MARGE, WHAT WE ARE DOING IS PUTTING A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF FUNDING INTO CONSERVATION IN THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BUT FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME SINCE THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND WAS CREATED IN 1960, WE HAVE PROPOSED FULLY FUNDING THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND AT $900 MILLION DOLLARS. IF WE ARE SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING THAT THROUGH CONGRESS, THAT WILL BE ONE OF THE BUCKETS OF DOLLARS THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE TO IMPLEMENT AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS PROGRAM. WE ALSO HAVE OTHER BUCKETS OF FUNDING, INCLUDING THE NORTH AMERICAN DUCK STAMP FUNDS AND A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER FUNDING STREAMS WE HOPE TO INTEGRATE TO MAKE THE DIVISION OF AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS A REALITY. AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS, IF I MAY JUST TAKE A MINUTE TO TALK ABOUT IT, REALLY IS A RESULT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S INITIATIVE LAST YEAR TO HOST A WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON CONSERVATION. WE HELD FROM THAT CONFERENCE 51 LISTENING SESSIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY, LISTENED TO 100,000 PEOPLE AND CAME UP WITH THE PRIORITY AREAS FOR CONSERVATION FOR OUR TIME. IN OUR VIEW THOSE PRIORITY AREAS ARE URBAN PARKS, AND WILDLIFE AREAS, AND WE HAVE MANY OF THOSE THAT WE HAVE IDENTIFIED AROUND THE COUNTRY. THE REDUCTION OF SIGNIFICANT RURAL LANDSCAPES IN PLACES LIKE CROWN UPPER CONTENENT IN MONTANA, THE HEADWATERS AREAS OF THE EVERGLADES AND DAKOTA GRASSLANDS AND A HOST OF OTHERS. AND THIRDLY, A RIVER RESTORATION AGENDA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY THAT WILL HELP US WITH THE RESTORATION OF RIVERS FROM THE SAN JOAQUIN IN CALIFORNIA TO THE ALBA RIVER IN WASHINGTON, TO THE RIO GRANDE IN COLORADO, AND ALL AROUND THIS COUNTRY. SO AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS INITIATIVE IS ABOUT URBAN PARKS AND WILDLIFE AREAS. IT'S ABOUT RURAL LANDSCAPES WHICH ARE LARGE AND IMPORTANT TO WILDLIFE AND RECREATION, HUNTING AND ANGLING. IT'S IMPORTANT FOR WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO WITH THE NEW ERA OF RIVER RESTORATION IN AMERICA.

GREAT. THANK YOU MR. SECRETARY AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE JUST JOINED US, I JUST WANT TO REMIND YOU IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR US, YOU CAN USE THE CHAT BOX UNDERNEATH THE VIDEO HERE AND WE ARE GETTING SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR VOLUME IS A LITTLE LOW. SO IF WE COULD JUST WE WILL TRY TO TALK A LITTLE LOUDER FOR ALL OF YOU SO YOU CAN HEAR US. WE ACTUALLY HAVE A QUESTION NOW FROM THE CHAT. THIS IS FROM CHRISTINA. SHE'S ASKING WHAT FUNDING IS AVAILABLE TO CONNECT YOUNG PEOPLE TO THE OUTDOORS.

WE IN THE INTERIOR HAVE MOVED AGGRESSIVELY TO TRY TO GET YOUNG PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH US AND ENGAGE WITH US IN THE DEPARTMENT. WHEN I CAME IN PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DIRECTION WE DECIDED WE WOULD HIRE AS MANY YOUNG PEOPLE AS WE POSSIBLY COULD HERE IN THE DEPARTMENT. SO LAST YEAR IN 2010 WE WERE ABLE TO HIRE 21,643 PEOPLE, ALL ACROSS AMERICA, WHO ARE WORKING WITH US IN OUR WILDLIFE REFUGES AND NATIONAL PARKS, HERE IN HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON DC. WE EXPECT TO CONTINUE TO DO MORE AND MORE OF THAT. WE ALSO ARE WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS, STUDENT CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION, AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS OUT THERE TO STAND UP A 21ST CENTURY CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WE CAN TRULY BE PROUD OF. OUR VIEW UNDER AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS IS THAT WITHOUT THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF AMERICA, BEINGINVOLVED AND BEING INVESTED IN WHAT WE ARE DOING IN CONSERVATION, WE FRANKLY WILL NOT SUCCEED. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE A KEY TO CONSERVATION. SO WE'LL CONTINUE TO HAVE THE FOCUS ON YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN EVERYTHING THAT WE DO HERE IN INTERIOR.

GREAT. THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM JANIA, AND SHE SAYS MY LOCAL AND LOCAL IS IN QUOTES PARKS IS SHENANDOAH. AS WONDERFUL AS IT IS IT IS APPARENT THERE IS A DEARTH OF NATIONAL PARKS ON THE EAST COAST WHERE THERE IS SO MUCH WORTHY, EXCUSE ME, WHERE THERE IS SUCH AN UNDERSERVED POPULATION. IS THERE SOMETHING THAT WE AS PARK ENTHUSIAST CAN DO TO ENCOURAGE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LARGE RECREATIONAL PARKS SUCH AS SHENANDOAH IN OTHER PLACES ON THE EAST COAST? SHE SUGGESTS PENNSYLVANIA OR MAINE AS POSSIBLE LOCATIONS.

JANIA THE ANSWER TO THAT IS ABSOLUTELY, YES, WE CAN. AND ABSOLUTELY YES, WE WILL. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO TRY TO GET IT DONE. WE NOW HAVE 394 NATIONAL PARKS UNITS. WE HAVE PROPOSALS OUT THERE FOR ANOTHER ADDITIONAL 20 OR 30 MORE. I CAN THINK OF THE STATE OF MAINE WHERE FOR THE LONGEST TIME THERE'S BEEN A LONG DISCUSSION ABOUT ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL PARK IN THE NORTH WOODS OF MAINE. WE HAVE A LANDOWNER WHO HAS 100,000 ACRES UP THERE WILLING TO DONATE THAT TO THE NATIONAL PARKS CREATE A NEW NATIONAL PARK UP IN MAINE. WE WILL BE IN MAINE LATER THIS YEAR AND HOPEFULLY SOME OF YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO JOIN US WHEN WE ARE THERE AS WE EXAMINE THE WAY WHICH WE CAN GET THE POLITICAL SUPPORT FROM THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THE MAINE DELEGATION TO TRY TO GET THAT DONE. SAME THING IS TRUE FOR PENNSYLVANIA AND WEST VIRGINIA AND A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER PLACES. SO, YES. WE HAVE AN IMPORTANT AGENDA FOR THE NATIONAL PARKS. AND IT'S PROBABLY A GOOD TIME ALSO JUST TO REMIND EVERYBODY WHO IS WATCHING THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR IS REALLY A DEPARTMENT OF AMERICA. IT'S ABOUT EVERYWHERE IN AMERICA. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE WEST. SO OUR WILDLIFE REFUGES FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAVE MORE IN FLORIDA AND NORTH DAKOTA THAN WE DO ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY. OUR NATIONAL PARKS UNITS WHICH INCLUDE OUR CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELDS ARE FOUND THROUGHOUT THE EASTERN COAST. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE HAVE YET DONE ENOUGH. WE HAVE CANDIDATES FOR NATIONAL PARKS IN WEST VIRGINIA AND PENNSYLVANIA, IN MAINE, AND A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER PLACES. SO WE LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION AND HOPEFULLY BEING ABLE TO GET THE SUPPORT OF CONGRESS TO GET SOME OF THESE THINGS ENACTED INTO LAW.

GREAT, THANK YOU, MR. SECRETARY. THE NEXT QUESTION IS ABOUT OFF ROAD VEHICLES, CARL SAYS, THE CURRENT POLICIES HAVE BEEN TO SHUT OFF AREAS AND CLOSE DOWN TRAILS WE HAVE USED FOR YEARS. HE SAYS I AGREE THERE SHOULD BE SOME WILDERNESS AREAS WHERE NATURE CAN HAPPEN AS IT ALWAYS HAPPENED, BUT THERE ARE MILLIONS OF ACRES DEDICATED TO NATURE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS CAN MY FRIENDS AND I COUNT ON YOU IN THE A.G.O. INITIATIVE TO INCREASE AND IMPROVE THE AREAS AVAILABLE FOR US TO RIDE OUR OFFROAD VEHICLES?

CARL, THE ANSWER IS WE ARE DOING THAT AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT. WE HAVE A HEALTHY RESPECT FOR OFF ROAD VEHICLES. THE YOUTH IN SOME OF THE GREAT PLACES IN THE UNITED STATES. I WAS AT THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND JOINED FAMILIES WHO HAVE BEEN USING THEIR OFF ROAD VEHICLES THERE IN THOSE GREAT SAND DUNES NOW FOR FOUR, FIVE GENERATIONS. THERE ARE MANY PLACES ON OUR PUBLIC DOMAINS, 20% OF THE LAND IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE WE DO IN FACT ALLOW OFFROAD VEHICLE USAGE. BUT THEN THERE'S ALSO THOSE AREAS WHERE WE BELIEVE ARE APPROPRIATE FOR WILDERNESS WHERE WE DO NOT ALLOW OFFROAD VEHICLE USES THERE. SO I THINK IT'S FINDING THE RIGHT PLACES AND THE RIGHT USES, BUT IT'S NOT AT ALL AN INTENT OF MINE OR THE PRESIDENT'S TO KEEP PEOPLE OFF OF THE PUBLIC LANDS. WE WANT THE USAGE TO BE THERE. WE WANT OUR PUBLIC TO ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS. AND THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF WHICH ONE CAN ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS, INCLUDING THE USE OF OFF ROAD VEHICLES.

GREAT. WE HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION THAT'S JUST COME IN THROUGH THE CHAT AND THIS PERSON WANTS TO KNOW, HOW DO UNDERUTILIZED COMMUNITIES BECAME ENGAGED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR?

YOU KNOW WE HAVE TO DO A LOT MORE ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AMERICA AND WITH MINORITY GROUPS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN AS INVOLVED IN THE OUTDOORS AS WE NEED THEM TO BE. WHEN TEDDY ROOSEVELT BECAME THE GREAT CONSERVATION PRESIDENT OF THE COUNTRY, MOST OF OUR POPULATION LIVED IN RURAL AREAS. NOW MOST OF POPULATION LIVES IN THE URBAN AREAS. THAT'S WHY WE ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH THE INITIATIVE ON GREAT URBAN PARKS AND WILDLIFE AREAS AND PLACES LIKE NEW YORK CITY AND JAMAICA BAY WHERE WE HAVE 27,000 ACRES AND WORKING NOW WITH MAYOR BLOOMBERG TO MAKE THAT INTO ONE OF THE GREATEST URBAN PARKS AND WILDLIFE AREAS IN AMERICA. WE ARE DOING THE SAME THING AT ST. LOUIS WITH THE DRED SCOTT COURTHOUSE AND THE ARCH AT ST. LOUIS AND MISSISSIPPI RIVER; WE ARE DOING THE SAME THING IN PLACES LIKE DENVER WITH THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN GREENWAY. SO ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY OUR EFFORTS ARE TO TRY TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE CLOSE TO HOME AND HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES TO RECREATE ON THESE GREAT LANDS. NOW IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT THAT WE CREATE EXPOSURE TO YOUNG PEOPLE IN ALLTHESE PLACES. I WAS IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS AND MET WITH YOUNG PEOPLE FROM EAST L.A. WHO FOR THE FIRST TIME HAD GONE OUT THERE A MONTH OR TWO BEFORE I GOT TO THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS. THEY WERE IMPRESSED. THEY ARE SOME OF THE PEOPLE WE NOW HAVE HIRED ON AS JUNIOR RANGERS IN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. SO WE NEED TO CONTINUE OUR OUTREACH TO YOUNG PEOPLE BECAUSE I THINK ONCE THEY ARE EXPOSED TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS, WHETHER IT'S BIRD WATCHING, WHETHER IT'S FISHING, WHETHER IT担 HUNTING, OR WHETHER IT'S OFF ROAD VEHICLE USAGE, I THINK IT HAS DRAMATIC AND POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE LIVES OF YOUNG PEOPLE.

GREAT AND I'LL JUST ADD IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO CONTACT US DIRECTLY, THERE IS AN EMAIL SIGNUP BOX IN THE UPPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF OUR WEBSITE ON DOI.GOV. YOU CAN ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS THERE OR IF YOU WANT TO SEND US A QUESTION OR LEARN MORE HOW YOU CAN BECOME ENENGAGED YOU CAN EMAIL US AT INFO AT IOS. DOI.GOV. WE WILL MAKE SURE SOMEONE GETS BACK TO YOU. SO THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM DENTON IN NORTH CAROLINA AND HE SAYS I'M a 19-YEAR-OLD NORTH CAROLINIAN AND I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON OUR NATION. WHAT STEPS IS YOUR DEPARTMENT TAKING TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE, AND WHAT MORE DO YOU THINK NEEDS TO BE DONE?

DENTON, I APPRECIATE THE QUESTION. I WAS JUST IN NORTH CAROLINA MEETING WITH YOUR GOVERNOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO ON A SUNDAY TO TALK ABOUT AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS AND SOME OF THE IDEAS THEY HAVE IN NORTH CAROLINA, INCLUDING THEY ALREADY HAVE SIGNIFICANT FUNDING STREAMS TO HELP US ON THE CONSERVATION AGENDA. IT'S IMPORTANT WE DO THIS IN COLLABORATION WITH THE STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. YOUR QUESTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE, IT IS A HUGE ISSUE FOR OUR COUNTRY AND FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY OF OUR GOAL. I PROBABLY AS SECRETARY OF INTERIOR GET TO SEE THIS FIRSTHAND IN THE WAY MOST PEOPLE DON'T GET TO SEE IT. I WAS AT GLACIER NATIONAL PARK A FEW YEARS AGO WITH OUR SCIENTISTS AND THEY TELL US THE GLACIERS AT GLACIERS NATIONAL PARK WILL DISAPPEAR FROM OUR PLANET BY THE YEAR 2020. THAT'S NOT THAT FAR AWAY. THAT担 RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. I SEE IT IN LAKE SUPERIOR AND THE APOSTLE ISLANDS WHERE THE TEMPERATURE OF LAKE SUPERIOR HAS NOW WARMED UP FIVE DEGREES WARMER THAN IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO. I SEE IT IN THE DECLINE OF THE WATER SUPPLY IN THE COLORADO RIVER IN THE SOUTHERN STATE REGIONS OF THE SOUTHWEST AND ON THE RIO GRANDE WHERE WE ARE SEEING TERRIBLE FIRES IN ARIZONA AND THE GREAT DROUGHTS OF THAT AREA. SO CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL. AND WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD IN WAY THAT ADDRESSES THE ISSUES COMPREHENSIVELY. JOINING THE OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD IN A CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA THAT WILL BRING US ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY FOR THE FUTURE. AS WELL AS ADRESS ISSUES RELATING TO THE ENERGY CONCERNS WE ALL HAVE.

GREAT. THANKS. THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM MOLLY IN COLORADO AND SHE WANTS TO KNOW, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENSURE THAT THE COLORADO RIVER KEEPS FLOWING FOR GENERATIONS TO COME?

YOU KNOW, MOLLY, THE COLORADO RIVER IS A GREAT RIVER IN SOME WAYS. IT'S A ROSARY OF GREATNESS, IF YOU WILL, FROM THE HEADWATERS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK RIGHT THERE NEXT TO ESTES PARK ALL THE WAY THROUGH GRAND JUNCTION, THROUGH UTAH, THROUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE MEXICO AND THE WHOLE AREA THAT IT SERVES. THE WATER OF THE COLORADO RIVER SUPPLIES THE WATER FOR ABOUT 1/3 OF ALL THE PRODUCE THAT FROM COMES FROM OUR FARMS AND RANCHES AS WELL AS GREAT RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITES AND CONSERVATION OPPORTUNITIES ALONG THE COLORODO RIVER. SO WE JUST NEED TO MANAGE THE COLORADO RIVER IN A WAY THAT'S RESPECTFUL OF WATER RIGHTS IN THE WEST, WHICH ARE SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR THE SEVEN STATES THAT SHARE THE COLORADO, BUT ALSO TO CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR WAYS OF IMPROVING THE COLORADO SYSTEM. WE HAVE DONE THAT THROUGH ONE GREAT PROGRAM CALLED THE UPPER COLORADO RIVER RECOVERY PROGRAM, WHICH IS BUILDING FISH PASSAGES, IMPROVING HABITAT ALONG THE RIVER. IT IS A JOINT EFFORT WITH ENVIRONMENTALISTS, WITH THE CONSERVATION COMMUNITY AND RANCHERS AND MUNICIPAL WATER USERS AND OTHERS. SO WE WILL HAVE A COLORADO RIVER THAT WILL CONTINUE TO FLOW. I WILL AND HOPEFULLY WILL BE IMPROVED FOR THE AGES. WE ARE NOT DOING TO OUR RIVERS WHAT WAS SADLY DONE TO OUR RIVERS 100 YEARS AGO. WE ARE TAKING MUCH BETTER CARE OF OUR RIVERS TODAY AND UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT WE DO TO THOSE RIVERS IS IMPORTANT. THE COLORADO RIVER IS PROBABLY GOING TO SEE A 10% TO 15% DECLINE IN THE AVAILABLE WATER SUPPLY FOR THE COLORADO RIVER. IT'S A RIVER THAT PEOPLE HAVE FOUGHT OVER FOR A 100 YEARS. MANY CASES UP TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS IMPORTANT FOR US IS TO ALSO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE ADAPTING TO THIS IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE. SO THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AND THE PEOPLE WHO WORK THERE IN THIS DEPARTMENT HAVE BEEN WORKING VERY HARD TO DEVELOP AN AGENDA FOR MAKING SURE WE ARE READY FOR THOSE CHANGES TO COME.

GREAT THANK YOU, MR. SECRETARY. AND I JUST SEE A QUESTION HERE FROM RESEARCHER WANTS MORE OF A STATEMENT. THAT HE IS SAYING IT IS CLEAR THERE IS SIGNIFICANT INTEREST IN THESE LIVE CHAT SESSIONS AND WILL THEY BECOME A REGULAR FEATURE FOR INTERIOR. THE ANSWER WILL BE, YES, WE WILL BE DOING THESE REGULARLY. WE'LL HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET TO TODAY. SO HOPEFULLY WE'LL BE DOING THESE NOT ONLY WITH SECRETARY SALAZAR BUT ALSO WITH SOME OTHER OFFICIALS AT INTERIOR. SO WE THANK YOU ALL FOR SENDING IN THESE QUESTIONS AND CONTINUE TO DO SO. SO THE NEXT QUESTION IS, FROM DAVID IN DENVER, AND HE IS ASKING, WHAT ACTIONS WOULD CITIES NEED TO TAKE AND WHEN TO DEVELOP PILOT LAND CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PROJECTS THAT HELP ACHIEVE RESTORATION HABITAT AND RESEARCH GOALS?

YOU KNOW DAVID, I THINK THAT WHAT CITIES CAN DO AND WHAT STATES CAN DO IS HELP US IDENTIFY THESE PROJECTS THAT ARE GREAT PROJECTS THAT ACHIEVE RESTORATION, ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION, AND CONNECTIONS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. DENVER IS A GREAT EXAMPLE BECAUSE OF THE LEADERSHIP OF THE GOVERNOR HICKENLOOPER THERE AS WELL AS THE CITY AND COUNTY OF OFFICIALS IN THE DENVER METROPOLITAN AREA. THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN GREENWAY PROJECT WILL CONNECT UP THE 27 SQUARE MILES OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENAL WHICH IS NOW A WILDLIFE REFUGE WHICH WE CONTROL. TO THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER TO CLEAR CREEK, CHERRY CREEEK IN CHATSVILLE AND ROCKY FLATS WHICH IS A WILDLIFE REFUGE OF 6,000 ACRES, AND EVENTUALLY OUR HOPE IS THAT WE HAVE A TRAIL SYSTEM THAT CONNECTS UP THAT ENTIRE SYSTEM ALL THE WAY TO ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK WHICH IS ONE OF THE GREAT CROWN JEWELS OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM. SO THOSE IDEAS REALLY AS ILLUSTRATED BY WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THE DENVER, METROPOLITAN AREA ARE REALLY IDEAS THAT CAME OUT FROM LOCAL GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN WORKING ON AND TRYING TO MAKE THESE DREAMS A REALITY. WE ARE IN A POSITION WHERE WE WANT TO HELP MAKE THOSE DREAMS A REALITY.

GREAT. THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM VALERIE WHO IDENTIFIES HERSELFAS A COLLEGE STUDENT. HER QUESTION IS, BEING FROM A BIG CITY FAR FROM WILD SPACES THAT I HAVE NOTICED THE AREAS WITH WILD AREAS AROUND THE CITIES AREN'T REALLY CONNECTED. WHAT IS BEING DONE TO CONNECT THESE SPACES?

YOU KNOW, IT'S VALERIE, RIGHT?

YES.

VALERIE, THE IN THE HISTORY OF CONSERVATION, THAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS BEEN MISSING THERE HAS NOT BEEN CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN OUR CORRIDORS, OUR WILDLIFE CORRIDORS, HABITATS, PUBLIC LANDS, AND PRIVATE LANDS. THAT'S ONE OF THE INTEGRAL PRINCIPLES OF AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS PROJECT. SO WE ARE TRYING TO DO THAT AROUND THE COUNTRY. WE HAVE GREAT TOOLS NOW WE DIDN'T USED TO HAVE 10, 20 YEARS AGO WITH SOME OF THE GEOSPATIAL PLANNING AND SCANNING DEVICES WE HAVE THAT CAN TELL US WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO CONNECT UP THESE CORRIDORS. HOPEFULLY WE'LL SEE A LOT MORE OF THAT. I WILL TELL YOU JUST A QUICK STORY IF I MAY, I KNOW WE ARE SHORT, TIM, BUT I WANT TO TELL YOU THIS STORY. I WAS IN BRAZIL NOT TOO LONG AGO. THERE WAS A GROUP OF CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS WHO CAME TO MEET WITH ME FOR ABOUT TWO HOURS. THERE WAS A MAN WHO HAD BEEN WORKING FOR 30 YEARS TO SAVE THE MONKEY IN BRAZIL. HE TELLS THE STORY WHEN HE GOT TO RIO AND STARTED TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT SAVING THE MONKEY, PEOPLE THOUGHT HE WAS CRAZY BECAUSE THE MONKEY WAS SEEN AS, THIS GOLDEN TAMARIN MONKEY, SCRATCHED PEOPLE AND SPIT ON PEOPLE. IT DIDN'T SEEM TO LIKE PEOPLE. EVERYBODY WANTED TO GET RID OF THE MONKEY. HE WANTED TO PROTECT THE MONKEY. SO HE WASN'T SEEN AS VERY POPULAR PERSON IN BRAZIL. BUT HE WENT IN THERE WITH THAT CONSERVATION INITIATIVE. WELL THE YEARS PASSED AND HE WAS ABLE TO FIND SOME COMMON GROUND BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE FARMERS AND THE CITIES IN RIO AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS RECOGNIZED THAT IN ORDER FOR THEM TO HAVE A POSITIVE ECONOMIC FUTURE, THEY NEEDED TO PROTECT THEIR RIVERS AND NEEDED TO PROTECT THE WATER IN THOSE RIVERS. FOR THE MONKEYS, THE MONKEYS NEEDED TO HAVE THE CANOPY UNINTERRUPTED ALONG MANY MILES OF RIVER. NOW THE MONKEY TODAY IS THRIVING AND IS HAPPY AND IT IS HAS BEEN SAVED FROM EXTINCTION AND THE FARMERS AND THE CITY OF RIO IS HAPPY BECAUSE THEY ALSO HAVE A GOOD WATER SUPPLY. THERE ARE WIN-WIN SOLUTIONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AT ODDS WITH THE GOOD ECONOMIC NEEDS THAT WE ALL HAVE FOR JOBS.
GREAT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SECRETARY. THE NEXT QUESTION IS ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARKS. EDDIE WANTS TO KNOW, HOW WHAT DO YOU ENVISION THE NATIONAL PARKS WILL LOOK LIKE IN 100 YEARS?

EDDIE, 100 YEARS. THAT'S A LONG TIME, EDDIE, BUT LET ME TAKE A STAB AT IT. I THINK IF WE LOOK AT THE NATIONAL PARKS 100 YEARS AGO, THEY DID NOT EVEN EXIST BECAUSE THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM BEGAN HERE IN THIS COUNTRY IN 1916. SO WE WILL BE CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL PARKS IN THE YEAR 2016 AND ARE DOING A LOT TO TRY TO CELEBRATE THEM. KEN BURNS AND DANE DUNCAN HAD A MAJOR DOCUMENTARY ON PBS LAST YEAR CALLED AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS, AMERICA'S BEST IDEA. AND THEY ARE AMERICA'S BEST IDEA BECAUSE THEY ARE AS KEN BURNS WOULD SAY, UNIQUELY DEMOCRATIC, UNIQUELY AMERICAN BECAUSE THEY ON'T BELONG TO JUST A NOBLEMAN OR THE RICH PEOPLE OF THE WORLD AND COUNTRY, BUT THEY BELONG TO THE COMMON MAN, COMMON PERSON, COMMON WOMAN OF AMERICA. AND SO WE ENVISION THAT THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND WILL CONTINUE TO EXPAND IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS. I WOULD SAY THIS. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE NATIONAL PARKS SYSTEM EXPANDS TO TELL ALL OF AMERICA'S STORY. BECAUSE NOT ALL OF AMERICA担 STORY HAS BEEN TOLD WITH RESPECT TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND SLAVERY OR THE HISTORY OF WOMEN AND CONTRIBUTIONS THAT WOMEN HAVE MADE TO OUR COUNTRY. YET IT'S ONE OF THE KEY MISSIONS OF OUR NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. WE NEED TO MAKE THE MISSION RELEVANT TO ALL OF AMERICA, NOT JUST A PART OF AMERICA. AND SECONDLY, AS I THINK VIRGINIA OR SOMEONE ASKED IN THE CHAT EARLIER ON, THERE ARE MANY PLACES IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE ADDITIONAL NATIONAL PARKS ARE NEEDED. THERE'S SOME IN WEST VIRGINIA WHICH THE SENATORS FROM WEST VIRGINIA HAVE BEEN PROMOTING. THERE ARE SOME IN OTHER PLACES AROUND THE COUNTRY. SO WE'LL CONTINUE TO BUILD. IT ALREADY IS A GREAT IDEA AND GREAT SUCCESS STORY. WE ARE THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. WHEN I WAS IN BRAZIL AGAIN A FEW WEEKS AGO, I WAS REMINDED THAT THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM IN BRAZIL GETS FOUR MILLION VISITORS A YEAR. FOUR MILLION VISITORS A YEAR. WE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES ARE GETTING ALMOST 400 MILLION VISITORS A YEAR. AND SO WE HAVE A GREAT SYSTEM THAT IS THE ENVY OF THE WORLD AND IT'S A GREAT SYSTEM THAT CAN AND WILL BE IMPROVED UPON.

GREAT. THANK YOU, MR. SECRETARY. WE HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION FROM MIKE. THE GENERAL QUESTION IS HE SAYS WE WORK WITH CONSERVATION GROUPS TO HELP DEVELOP POLICIES. HE IS ASKING WHAT OUTREACH WE HAVE DONE TO RANCHERS AND FARMERS IN THE WEST TO ALSO DIRECT OR POLICY POSITIONS.

RANCHERS AND FARMERS ARE THE KEY TO THE FUTURE OFCONSERVATION. SO MANY OF THE PROJECTS WE HAVE WHICH WE CALL WORKING LANDS OR RURAL LANDSCAPES ARE INVOLVED WITH RANCHERS WHO REALLY DEPEND ON THE LAND FOR THEIR WAY OF LIFE. I HAVE MANY EXAMPLES, DAKOTA GRASS LANDS, THE CROWN OF THE CONTENENTAL MONTANA, THE HEADWATERS OF THE EVERGLADES, I WILL REFER JUST TO ONE TO GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE THE FLINT HILLS, CONSERVATION AREA IN KANSAS. IT'S 1.1 MILLION ACRES. IT'S THE LAST OF THE REMAINING TALL GRASS PRAIRIES IN NORTH AMERICA. IT WAS THE RANCHERS WHO CAME TO US AND WORKED WITH OUR FISH AND WILDLIFE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AND THE ORGANIZATIONS IN KANSAS TO SAY WE WANT THESE 1.1 MILLION ACRES PRESERVED AS WORKING RANCHES SO WE CAN PASS THEM ON TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. SO THE NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA WHICH WE HAVE CREATED THERE IS ONE I AM VERY PROUD OF. IT'S AN EXAMPLE OF THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

GREAT. THANK YOU, MR. SECRETARY. WE HAVE TIME FOR ONE MORE QUESTION. AND I WILL JUST SAY THIS VIDEO WILL BE AVAILABLE BOTH ON LIVE STREAM.COM/INTERIOR AFTERWARDS AND WE'LL ALSO HAVE IT UP ON DOI.GOV NEXT WEEK. SO IF YOU JOINED US A LITTE BIT LATE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CATCH THE ENTIRE CHAT. SO THE FINAL QUESTION IS FROM RUTH IN KENTUCKY. SHE SAYS I'M A VERMONT LAW SCHOOL STUDENT ORIGINALLY FROM KENTUCKY. I WANT CLEANER EASIER TO BREATHE AIR BUT I AM ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT THE DAMAGE TO AMERICA担 UNIQUE LANDSCAPES TO THE INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDED TO SET UP AND MANAGE WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY. HOW IS THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION ASSESSING AND BALANCING GREENER ENERGY AGAINST INFRASTRUCTURE BUILDING RISKS?

RENEWABLE ENERGY IS AN IMPORTANT PRIORITY FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA, FOR ME HERE IN THE DEPARTMENT. AND SO AS WE HAVE MOVED FORWARD WITH LICENSING THE MOST ROBUST RENEWABLE INDUSTRY IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, WHAT WE HAVE ALSO SAID IS WE HAVE TO BE SMART FROM THE START. WE HAVE TO CITE THESE FACILITIES IN THE RIGHT PLACES. IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, FOR EXAMPLE, TO SITE WIND FARMS OR SOLAR PROJECTS IN PLACES WHICH ARE SENSITIVE AND HAVE ECOLOGICAL VALUES THAT NEED TO BE PROTECTED. SO WE ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH WHAT ESSENTIALLY IS A NATIONAL PROGRAM TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE BEST PLACES FOR THE SITING OF SOLAR FACILITIES AS WELL AS WIND PROJECTS. WE WORK ON THAT EVERY DAY. I PROBABLY SPEND THREE HOURS OF MY TIME YESTERDAY JUST WORKING ON THE SET OF GUIDELINES RELATING TO WIND FARMS AND PLACES FOR SITING AND THE KIND OF SCIENCE YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS ON SITING. SO I THINK WE CAN DO BOTH. I THINK WE CAN MOVE FORWARD AND STAND UP, THE IMPERATIVE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY, BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE NEED FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AS WELL AS OUR ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY. AND AT THE SAME TIME WE CAN DO IT IN A WAY THAT PROTECTS THE CONSERVATION VALUES WHICH WE ALL HOLD SO DEAR.

GREAT. WELL THANK YOU, MR. SECRETARY. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME. I ALSO WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY WHO HAS JOINED US TODAY. AGAIN THIS VIDEO WILL BE AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK ON DOI.GOV. AND IF YOU LIKE TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING A WORD ON WHEN OUR NEXT CHATS WILL BE, MAKE SURE YOU SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL LIST. WHICH IS RIGHT ON THE HOMEPAGE, THER IS A BOX RIGHT IN THE UPPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF DOI.GOV. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE ANSWERED OR YOU WANT TO FIND OUT MORE WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED WITH OUR WORK, PLEADS FEEL FREE TO SEND US AN EMAIL AT INFO@ IOS. DOI.GOV. SO THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE TODAY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR PARTICIPATING AND HAVE A GREAT AFTERNOON. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.