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This Week at Interior May 24, 2013


May 24, 2013


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THIS WEEK… AT INTERIOR…

A NEW STUDY FROM THE U-S GEOLOGICAL SURVEY CONFIRMS THAT FROGS, TOADS, AND SALAMANDERS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE VANISHING AT AN ALARMING RATE. IT’S THE FIRST EVER SUCH ESTIMATE OF THE DECLINE OF U-S AMPHIBIAN POPULATIONS… SCIENTISTS SAY THE DECLINE IS WIDESPREAD, FROM THE SWAMPS OF FLORIDA TO THE TOPS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. EVEN NATIONAL PARKS AND PROTECTED REFUGES ARE AFFECTED. THE NEW STUDY DOCUMENTS THE DECLINE, BUT DOES *NOT* EVALUATE THE CAUSES.

WITH THE MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY FAST APPROACHING MILITARY VETERANS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM INTERIOR TEAMED UP WITH VETERANS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM G-E, AND THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, FOR A *DAY* OF SERVICE TO HONOR THE NATION’S FALLEN SERVICEMEMBERS. SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED INTERIOR EMPLOYEES ON THE NATIONAL MALL, WHERE SHE PRAISED CITIZENS WHO GIVE THEIR TIME AS A WAY OF GIVING BACK TO THE NATION.

All of the public lands that we enjoy in this country are made better because of volunteerism and that’s certainly true here. Thank you for stepping
up to volunteer…I don’t think that there’s an activity that connects us more deeply to place than getting out and taking care of place. Picking up garbage, removing
invasive species, beautifying through painting or polishing…you will never walk by that memorial, or that trail that you built, or that park that you cleaned up of garbage, and look at it the same way.

THE VOLUNTEERS SPENT THE MORNING SPRUCING UP AREAS AROUND THE VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL, THE
KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL, AND THE WORLD WAR TWO MEMORIAL, WHERE CROWDS ARE ALREADY BUILDING AS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND APPROACHES.

These war memorials kind of represent the people and events of our past and I think some of the folks here have personal connections to folks who served and died in some of these conflicts and it’s a very important and personal moment I think for all of us.

AND AS THIS WEEK DRAWS TO A CLOSE SECRETARY JEWELL IS HEADED FOR HER FIRST OFFICIAL WEST
COAST VISIT… THE SECRETARY IS IN PORTLAND OREGON TO UNVEIL A PLAN TO CREATE YOUTH JOBS
THROUGH NEW CONSERVATION EFFORTS. JEWELL IS ANNOUNCING $4.2 MILLION IN GRANTS THAT WILL SUPPORT CONSERVATION EMPLOYMENT AND MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE THAN 600 YOUNG PEOPLE, AGES 15 TO 25 ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE GRANTS, WHICH SUPPORT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S EFFORTS TO DEVELOP A 21ST CENTURY CONSERVATION SERVICE CORPS, WILL GO TO 22 PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE NATION -- PROJECTS LIKE THE PORTLAND URBAN YOUTH CORPS, WHICH EMPLOYS AT-RISK TEENS IN OREGON TO BUILD TRAILS AND IMPROVE RIVER HABITATS.

WHILE IN PORTLAND, JEWELL IS ALSO SIGNING AN AGREEMENT AIMED AT SPEEDING UP THE REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.