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This Week at Interior February 15, 2013


February 15, 2013


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR...

 

"5...4...3...2...1...0...and ignition and lift off of the Atlas V rocket on the Landsat Data Continuity Mission...continuing the 40-year legacy of observing Earth's natural resources from space."

 

TOP INTERIOR OFFICIALS WERE ON HAND THIS WEEK AT VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE CALIFORNIA, AS THE NEWEST LANDSAT SATELLITE HEADED INTO ORBIT SECRETARY SALAZAR JOINED NASA ADMINISTRATOR CHARLES BOLDEN, INTERIOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR WATER AND SCIENCE ANNE CASTLE AND U-S-G-S DIRECTOR DR. MARCIA MCNUTT AT THE LAUNCH SITE. IT WAS THE FIRST LANDSAT LAUNCH IN 14 YEARS... FOR THE LAST FOUR DECADES THE LANDSAT PROGRAM HAS HELPED EARTH SCIENTISTS TRACK CLIMATE CHANGES, URBAN PATTERNS AND DEVELOPMENT, WATER AND ENERGY NEEDS, AND CHANGES IN AGRICULTURE. SALAZAR SAYS THE SATELLITE HELPS US ALL UNDERSTAND OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND TO MAKE BETTER, MORE INFORMED DECISIONS.

 

THE SECRETARY ALSO USED THE LANDSAT LAUNCH TO RELEASE A NEW STRATEGY TO STRENGTHEN AND INSPIRE EDUCATION AND CAREERS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH, COMMONLY CALLED *STEM*. SALAZAR SAYS THE NATION'S FUTURE DEPENDS ON THE NEXT GENERATION OF CUTTING EDGE SCIENTISTS, TECHNICIANS AND ENGINEERS.

 

THE SECRETARY THIS WEEK TOOK PART IN *ANOTHER* LAUNCH, THIS TIME A STUDY OF ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE. THE SECRETARY JOINED NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR JONATHAN JARVIS AND INTERIOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR POLICY, MANAGEMENT AND BUdGET RHEA SUH, AS WELL AS SENATORS MARIA CANTWELL AND PATTY MURRAY, AND CONGRESSMEN JIM MCDERMOTT AND ADAM SMITH AT SEATTLE'S *WING LUKE* MUSEUM. TO ANNOUNCE THAT HE'S DIRECTED THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO INVESTIGATE THE STORIES, PLACES AND PEOPLE OF PACIFIC ISLAND AND ASIAN AMERICAN BACKGROUNDS, TO DETERMINE THEIR IMPACT AND INFLUENCE ON OUR NATION'S HISTORY AND CULTURE. SALAZAR DESIGNATED THE WING-LUKE MUSEUM AS AN *AFFILIATED AREA* OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE... THAT LINKS IT WITH OTHER SIGNIFICANT ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC SITES, AND ALLOWS THE MUSEUM TO TAP INTO TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE SERVICE.

 

THIS WEEK THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GOT ONE PARK *BIGGER*. SECRETARY SALAZAR JOINED CONGRESSMAN SAM FARR AND HUNDREDS OF MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY TO WELCOME *PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT* IN CALIFORNIA AS THE NATIONíS 59TH NATIONAL PARK. IN THE LAST YEAR PINNACLES SAW MORE THAN 340-THOUSAND VISITORS, WHO SPENT NEARLY 5-MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP SUPPORT THE LOCAL ECONOMY. STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS SAY THE NEW DESIGNATION WILL ENSURE THAT PINNACLES GETS THE NATIONAL ATTENTION IT DESERVES.

 

AND LOVE WAS IN THE AIR AT AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS, LAND MARKS, AND PUBLIC LANDS IN A SPECIAL VALENTINEíS DAY VIDEO... INTERIOR USING ITS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS TO PROMOTE A NEW YOU TUBE VIDEO, SHOWING JUST *SOME* OF THE THOUSANDS OF COUPLES WHO CHOOSE THE NATION'S MOST DRAMATIC LANDSCAPES, AS BACKDROPS FOR THEIR MARRIAGE CEREMONIES, *AND* THEIR PROPOSALS.

 

 

"Will you marry me?" (Laughter)

 

"She said yes!!" (Cheers)

 

YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE *ENTIRE* VIDEO ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE, OR AT YOUTUBE-DOT-COM, SLASH U-S INTERIOR.

 

AND THAT'S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.