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This Week at Interior April 4, 2014


April 4, 2014


The Island Night Lizard has successfully recovered and will be removed from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act; details of Secretary Jewell's recent visit on board a U.S. Navy submarine under the polar ice cap; the National Park Service celebrates another successful BioBlitz, this one in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; a $19.6 million contract awarded to build the Tohlakai Pumping Plant for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project; nearly $600,000 is transferred under the Land Buy-Back Program into the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund; Secretary Jewell sits down with some of the original "Rosie the Riveters," calling them true American heroes.


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You’re watching This Week at Interior.

 

THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR…

 

A BIG MILESTONE FOR A SMALL ANIMAL… THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE THIS WEEK REPORTS THAT THE ISLAND NIGHT LIZARD -- WHICH IS ONLY FOUND ON THREE OF THE EIGHT CHANNEL ISLANDS OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA -- HAS SUCCESSFULLY RECOVERED AND WILL BE REMOVED FROM FEDERAL PROTECTION UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT. THE REMOVAL COMES THANKS TO A COOPERATIVE EFFORT BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND THE U-S NAVY, WHICH WORKED TOGETHER TO REMOVE NON-NATIVE GRAZING ANIMALS THAT STRIPPED THE LAND OF VEGETATION, DAMAGING THE LIZARDS’ HABITAT.

 

A LANDMARK U-N REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK, AND ITS EFFECT ON THE WORLD’S POOREST COMMUNITIES… THAT REPORT COMES ON THE HEELS OF THE SECRETARY’S VISIT ON BOARD A U-S NAVY SUBMARINE UNDER THE POLAR ICE CAP, WHERE SHE OBSERVED THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN ARCTIC REGIONS FIRST HAND… WARMING TEMPERATURES IN THOSE REGIONS HAS FAR REACHING IMPACTS, FROM COASTAL EROSION, TO SHIPPING ACTIVITIES.

 

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS CELEBRATING ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL *BIOBLITZ*. THIS YEAR’S GATHERING TOOK PLACE AT THE GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA IN SAN FRANCISCO,  AND BROUGHT OUT SOME NINE THOUSAND PEOPLE, INCLUDING 27-HUNDRED STUDENTS AND MORE THAN 300 SCIENTISTS. THE BIOBLITZ IS TWO DAYS OF INTENSIVE EXPLORATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF UNIQUE PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE. PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR JONATHAN JARVIS AMONG THOSE ON HAND… HE SAYS THE BIOBLITZ PUTS A SPOTLIGHT ON THE VALUE OF SCIENCE IN AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS, OFFERS A CHANCE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO TO GET OUTSIDE, AND HOPEFULLY INSPIRES THE NEXT GENERATION TO PURSUE A SCIENTIFIC CAREER.

 

THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION HAS AWARDED A 19-POINT-SIX MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT TO BUILD THE TOHLAKAI PUMPING PLANT… THE FIRST PUMPING PLANT FOR THE NAVAJO-GALLUP WATER SUPPLY PROJECT THAT WILL BE LOCATED IN NEW MEXICO AND PARTS OF ARIZONA. THAT PROJECT IS THE CORNERSTONE OF AN HISTORIC WATER RIGHTS AGREEMENT BETWEEN FEDERAL, STATE, AND TRIBAL AUTHORITIES, AND WILL DELIVER CLEAN, SAFE DRINKING WATER TO TRIBAL AND RURAL COMMUNITIES. MOLTZ INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED WILL BUILD THE PLANT, ONE OF 

FOURTEEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS MARKED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AS A HIGH PRIORITY.

 

INTERIOR THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED THE FIRST INFUSION OF FUNDS INTO THE COBELL EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP FUND. NEARLY 600-THOUSAND DOLLARS IS BEING TRANSFERRED FROM THE LAND BUY-BACK PROGRAM TO A SCHOLARSHIP FUND THAT WILL PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE STUDENTS SEEKING HIGHER EDUCATION...THE BUY-BACK PROGRAM OFFERS WILLING INDIAN LANDOWNERS THE CHANCE TO SELL TRACTS OF LAND WITH MULTIPLE OWNERS. THAT LAND WOULD THEN BE HELD IN TRUST FOR THE ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF THE TRIBAL COMMUNITY.

AND SIX WOMEN WHO SERVED AS *ROSIE THE RIVETERS* SAT DOWN WITH SECRETARY JEWELL THIS WEEK TO TALK ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES SUPPORTING THE WAR EFFORT DURING WORLD WAR TWO. NOW IN THEIR 80’S AND 90’S, THESE WOMEN HELPED FIGHT THE AXIS FORCES ON THE HOMEFRONT WHEN THEY WERE STILL IN THEIR TEENS AND TWENTIES… HELPING TO BUILD THE SHIPS, AIRPLANES AND WEAPONS THAT SAW THE ALLIES TO VICTORY ALMOST SEVEN DECADES AGO. JEWELL CALLED MEETING THE WOMEN A REAL HONOR, AND SAID THE WOMEN WERE TRUE AMERICAN HEROES.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.