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This Week at Interior August 8, 2014


August 8, 2014


Secretary Jewell on the road again, this time in North Carolina, Indiana, New Mexico and Arizona, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and make the case for its full and permanent funding; wildlife trafficking one of the top agenda items at the U.S. - Africa Leaders' Summit in Washington DC; a new White House video shows how climate change is playing a part in making the U.S. wildfire season longer and more intense; and new images from Secretary Jewell's visit last week to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.


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THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR…

 

SECRETARY JEWELL ON THE ROAD ONCE AGAIN THIS WEEK, MARKING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND, AND MAKING THE CASE FOR ITS FULL AND PERMANENT FUNDING. THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND HELPS BOOST LOCAL ECONOMIES… CONSERVES NATURAL AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE, PROTECTS CLEAN WATER SOURCES, AND OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACES ALL WITHOUT SPENDING TAXPAYER DOLLARS… THE FUNDING COMES INSTEAD IN PART FROM THE FEES OIL AND GAS COMPANIES PAY TO DRILL OFFSHORE IN WATERS OWNED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THIS WEEK THE SECRETARY JOINED FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS IN CARVER’S GAP NORTH CAROLINA, TO TOUR GRASSY RIDGE… THAT’S A 600-ACRE PARCEL OF LAND CONSIDERED FOR AN ADDITION TO THE PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST WITH LWCF FUNDS. FROM NORTH CAROLINA IT WAS OFF TO CARMEL INDIANA, WHERE SHE JOINED MAYOR JAMES BRAINARD TO TALK ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND TO PROTECTING URBAN PARKS AND RECREATIONS AREAS IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES.

NEXT UP… A TRIP TO VALLE DE ORO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE IN ALBUQUERQUE, THE FIRST URBAN WILDLIFE REFUGE IN THE SOUTHWESTERN UNITED STATES… THERE THE SECRETARY JOINED U-S SENATORS TOM UDALL, MARTIN HEINRICH, AND CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM TO ANNOUNCE THE FINAL LAND ACQUISITION TO COMPLETE THE 570-ACRE URBAN REFUGE.  THIS WEEK’S TRAVELS WILL CONCLUDE SATURDAY WITH A VISIT TO PHOENIX ARIZONA WHERE THE SECRETARY WILL JOIN MAYOR GREG STANTON AND U.S. CONGRESSMAN ED PASTOR TO TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF URBAN PARKS.

 

WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING ONE OF THE TOP AGENDA ITEMS THIS WEEK AS SECRETARY JEWELL HOSTED FOUR AFRICAN HEADS OF STATE…FROM THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA, TOGOLESE REPUBLIC…UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA AND THE GABONESE REPUBLIC ...IT WAS ALL PART OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S HISTORIC U-S AFRICA LEADERS’ SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON D-C.  OFFICIALS SAY ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE UNDERMINES SECURITY ACROSS NATIONS, AND OFTEN INVOLVES WELL ARMED, WELL EQUIPPED AND WELL ORGANIZED NETWORKS OF CRIMINAL AND INSURGENT ELEMENTS… THEY CALL IT A GLOBAL CHALLENGE THAT DEMANDS A GLOBAL RESPONSE. THE U-S WILL INVEST MORE THAN 60-MILLION DOLLARS THIS YEAR AS PART OF THE OBAMA  ADMINISTRATION’S NATIONAL STRATEGY TO COMBAT WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING. ALSO AS PART OF THIS WEEK’S SUMMIT… A MEETING IN THE SECRETARY’S OFFICE WITH YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS FROM SEVERAL COUNTRIES ON THE CONTINENT. 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE IS PLAYING A PART IN MAKING THE U-S WILDFIRE SEASON LONGER AND MORE INTENSE… THAT’S THE TAKEAWAY FROM A NEW VIDEO RELEASED BY THE WHITE HOUSE THIS WEEK… IN THE THREE MINUTE VIDEO PRESIDENTIAL SCIENCE ADVISOR DR. JOHN HOLDREN SAYS THE DANGER DOESN’T JUST COME FROM SUSTAINED, HIGHER TEMPERATURES AND DRY CONDITIONS.. CLIMATE CHANGE RESULTS IN MORE DEAD TREES WHICH IN TURN PROVIDE MORE FUEL. HOLDREN SAYS THE EIGHT WORST YEARS FOR WILDFIRES HAVE ALL OCCURRED SINCE THE YEAR 2000… CHECK OUT THE FULL VIDEO AT WHITEHOUSE.GOV.

 

AND NEW IMAGES THIS WEEK OF THE SECRETARY’S VISIT TO THE PITTSBURGH BOTANIC GARDEN… THE 460 ACRE SITE CONSISTS OF LAND GRADUALLY BEING RECLAIMED FROM THE SITES OF SEVERAL ABANDONED COAL MINES. SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS FROM THE OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT ARE WORKING WITH THE GARDEN TO RESTORE THE LAND AND RECLAIM ITS STREAMS AND PONDS.

 

I’M GOING TO BE TELLING THE STORY ABOUT WHAT I SAW HERE IN PITTSBURGH. NOT ONLY BECAUSE PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING HERE TO CREATE A BOTANIC GARDEN IN THIS WONDERFUL CITY, BUT BECAUSE YOUR EXAMPLE HERE CAN INSPIRE OTHERS TO SAY HOW CAN WE TAKE SOMETHING THAT WAS PROBLEMATIC IN THE PAST, AND TURN IT INTO SOMETHING THAT IS WONDERFUL FOR THE FUTURE.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR.