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This Week at Interior May 23,2014


May 23, 2014


President Obama designates half a million acres in New Mexico for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument; for the first time in decades the fresh water of the Colorado River has reunited with the salt waters of the Sea of Cortez; and Secretary Jewell travels to Denver to announce $6.7 million in public/private grants to hire young people to work on public lands across the nation.


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YOU'RE WATCHING THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR... SECURITY THROUGH HEALTH, IRON MEDICS...

[MUSIC]

THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR...

I'VE PRESERVED MORE THAN 3 MILLION ACRES OF PUBLIC LANDS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS...AND I AM NOT FINISHED.

[APPLAUSE, CHEERING]

PRESIDENT OBAMA THIS WEEK DESIGNATED NEARLY 500-THOUSAND ACRES IN SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO AS THE NEWEST NATIONAL MONUMENT, THE LARGEST OF HIS ADMINISTRATION.
IN A CEREMONY AT INTERIORS YATE'S AUDITORIUM, THE PRESIDENT OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED THE ORGAN MOUNTAINS-DESERT PEAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT, A SPECTACULAR CORNER OF THE COUNTRY KNOWN FOR ITS BREATHTAKING MOUNTAIN RANGES, DESERT LANDSCAPES AND RICH ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY.

IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT A PRICE ON TOWERING PEAKS AND PRISTINE FORESTS AND AMERICA'S CULTURAL HISTORY. BUT WE KNOW THAT OUR NATIONAL PARKS HAVE AN ECONOMIC IMPACT THAT EXTENDS BEYOND THEIR BOUNDARIES.

THE LOCAL COMMUNITY HAS BEEN WORKING FOR A DECADE TO PRESERVE THE SPECIAL AREA IN DONA ANA COUNTY NEAR LAS CRUCES... THE OFFICIAL DESIGNATION AS A NATIONAL MONUMENT IS LIKELY TO SPELL AN ECONOMIC BOOM FOR THE AREA, INCREASING THE NUMBER OF VISITORS AND OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SEEKERS.

SECRETARY JEWELL IS JOINING SENATORS TOM UDALL, MARTIN HEINRICH AND CEQ ACTING CHAIR MIKE BOOTS AND OTHER LOCAL LEADERS TODAY IN LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO TO CELEBRATE THE NEW MONUMENT IN THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT.

THANKS TO AN EXPERIMENTAL WATER RELEASE, THE FRESHWATER OF THE COLORADO RIVER RECONNECTED WITH THE SALT WATER OF THE SEA OF CORTEZ FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES ... THE MEETING OF THE WATERS USED TO BE THE NATURAL CONDITION OF THE RIVER DELTA IN NORTHWESTERN MEXICO. BUT TODAY, THE RIVER RARELY REACHES THE SEA, GIVEN ALL THE DEMANDS ON THE COLORADO RIVER IN THE US AND MEXICO. THE COLORADO REACHED THE SEA AS A RESULT OF THE EXPERIMENTAL WATER RELEASE THAT BEGAN IN MARCH FROM MORELOS DAM NEAR THE U-S MEXICO BORDER. CALLED A *PULSE FLOW*, THE RELEASE WAS CAREFULLY DESIGNED TO IMPROVE HABITAT IN THE U.S. AND MEXICO AND INFORM FUTURE COOPERATIVE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. IT'S ALL PART OF AN HISTORIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE US AND MEXICO CALLED MINUTE 319, A PACKAGE OF COOPERATIVE TREATY ACTIONS TO MAKE SURE THE RIVER CONTINUES TO MEET THE NEEDS OF BOTH NATIONS DURING A PERIOD OF DROUGHT AND A CHANGING CLIMATE.
 
AND SECRETARY JEWELL IN DENVER THIS WEEK TO ANNOUNCE SIX-POINT-SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FUNDING TO HIRE YOUNG PEOPLE TO WORK ON PUBLIC LANDS ACROSS THE NATION. IT'S ALL PART OF INTERIOR'S YOUTH INITIATIVE TO INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF OUTDOOR STEWARDS, BY GETTING MILLIONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND VETERANS TO PLAY, LEARN, SERVE, AND WORK IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS.
THE GRANTS WILL SUPPORT CONSERVATION EMPLOYMENT AND MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES AT 43 PROJECTS ON PUBLIC LANDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY... EMPLOYING 620 YOUNG PEOPLE, AND MORE THAN 15-HUNDRED VOLUNTEERS. YOU CAN SEE A COMPLETE LIST OF THE PROJECTS AT DOI.GOV.

THAT'S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR