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This Week at Interior January 24, 2014


January 24, 2014


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THIS WEEK… AT INTERIOR

 

THE NATION PAUSED THIS WEEK TO HONOR THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF THE REVEREND MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR… SECRETARY JEWELL was AMONG THE THOUSANDS COAST TO COAST WHO MARKED THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY WITH A DAY OF SERVICE. IN WASHINGTON DC THE SECRETARY JOINED VOLUNTEERS AT THE MLK MEMORIAL AND THE FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL, TO RAKE LEAVES, WEED FLOWER BEDS AND COLLECT RIVER DEBRIS… THE SECRETARY SAYS VOLUNTEERS WHO SPEND TIME HELPING TO CLEAN UP OR RESTORE AN AREA, NEVER LOOK AT THAT AREA in QUITE THE SAME WAY AGAIN.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL WAS ALSO IN COLORADO THIS WEEK… SHE JOINED GOVERNOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER AND OTHER TOP INTERIOR OFFICIALS FOR A TOUR OF THE BORD GULCH RANCH TO TALK ABOUT INNOVATIVE SAGE GROUSE CONSERVATION EFFORTS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY IN THE WESTERN STATES… INTERIOR IS PARTNERING WITH STATES AND PRIVATE LANDOWNERS TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A CONSERVATION PLAN FOR THE SAGE GROUSE, AS THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE CONSIDERS WHETHER TO PLACE THE BIRD ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST in 2015. 

 

DURING HER COLORADO VISIT THE SECRETARY ALSO JOINED OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES, NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND STATE OFFICIALS FOR A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON REDUCING METHANE EMISSIONS DURING ENERGY PRODUCTION, AS PART OF THE PRESIDENT’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN.

 

FROM COLORADO IT WAS OFF TO UTAH, WHERE THE SECRETARY TOUTED HER INITIATIVE TO CONNECT YOUNG PEOPLE AND VETERANS TO THE OUTDOORS IN HER REMARKS AT THE OUTDOOR RETAILER WINTER MARKET IN SALT LAKE CITY. THE SECRETARY’S YOUTH INITIATIVE IS A KEY PART OF THE PRESIDENT’S 21ST CENTURY CONSERVATION SERVICE CORPS AND IS AN AMBITIOUS PLAN TO ENCOURAGE MORE YOUNG PEOPLE TO PLAY, LEARN, SERVE, AND WORK ON OUR NATION’S PUBLIC LANDS.

 

WHILE IN UTAH, JEWELL ALSO MET WITH LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS TO DISCUSS THE NEED TO TAKE A LANDSCAPE-LEVEL APPROACH TO TO MANAGING PUBLIC LANDS THROUGH BLM’S MASTER LEASING PLANS, WHICH SEEK TO MINIMIZE CONFLICTS BETWEEN OIL, GAS, AND MINERAL DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVING PUBLIC LAND VALUES FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

 

THE SECRETARY’S WESTERN SWING IS SET TO WRAP UP FRIDAY WITH A VISIT TO THE ORGAN MOUNTAINS REGION OF SOUTH-CENTRAL NEW MEXICO… THE SECRETARY WILL JOIN SENATORS HEINRICH AND UDALL FOR A PUBLIC MEETING TO HEAR THE COMMUNITY’S VISION TO PRESERVE, ENHANCE, AND PROTECT PUBLIC LANDS IN DONA ANA COUNTY, A POPULAR DESTINATION FOR OUTDOOR RECREATION.

 

AND SIXTEEN AND HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS WERE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK TO HELP CONSERVE 21 CRITICAL COASTAL WETLANDS SITES, ACROSS 12 STATES AND PUERTO RICO, UNDER THE NATIONAL COASTAL WETLANDS CONSERVATION GRANTS PROGRAM… STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, PRIVATE LANDOWNERS, CONSERVATION GROUPS AND OTHER PARTNERS WILL CONTRIBUTE AN ADDITIONAL 18.2 MILLION DOLLARS. COASTAL WETLANDS MAKE UP LESS THAN 10 PERCENT OF THE NATION’S LAND MASS, BUT THEY SUPPORT A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF WILDLIFE SPECIES, INCLUDING 75-PERCENT OF MIGRATORY BIRDS, NEARLY 80-PERCENT OF FISH AND SHELLFISH, AND ALMOST HALF OF ALL ENDANGERED SPECIES. YOU CAN FIND THE COMPLETE LIST OF THOSE 21 COASTAL WETLANDS SITES AT DOI.GOV.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.