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This Week at Interior June 27, 2014


June 27, 2014


A 30-year recovery effort brings the wood stork back from the brink of extinction; Secretary Jewell releases the results of a USGS assessment of carbon sequestration by natural ecosystems; the strongest U.S. earthquake in more than a decade rocks the Aleutian Islands Alaska; Poverty Point Louisiana is designated a World Heritage Site; and some special needs children get a chance to enjoy fishing in the great outdoors.


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR...

 

A 30-YEAR COOPERATIVE RECOVERY EFFORT HAS BROUGHT THE WOOD STORK BACK FROM THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION. SECRETARY JEWELL ON HAND FOR THE GOOD NEWS THIS WEEK AS THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE RE-CLASSIFIED THE WOOD STORK FROM ENDANGERED TO THREATENED UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT. 

 

AFTER YEARS OF PRECIPITOUS DECLINE, THE WOOD STORK IS ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY THANKS TO IMPORTANT CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, SOUTHEASTERN U.S. STATES, PRIVATE LANDOWNERS, TRIBES AND CONSERVATION GROUPS. 

 

TOGETHER, THEIR EFFORTS CONTINUE TO RESTORE THE BIRD’S WETLANDS HABITAT, HAVE HELPED TO *DOUBLE* ITS POPULATION SINCE IT WAS ORIGINALLY LISTED AND WILL HELP SHEPHERD THIS REMARKABLE BIRD TOWARD FULL RECOVERY.

 

THIS WEEK MARKED THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE PRESIDENT’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN.  BRINGING SOUND SCIENCE TO BEAR, SECRETARY JEWELL RELEASED THE RESULTS OF A COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF BIOLOGICAL CARBON STORAGE BY ECOSYSTEMS IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES, WHICH WILL ALLOW LAND MANAGERS TO MAKE SMART, INFORMED DECISIONS ABOUT NATURAL LANDSCAPES. SCIENTISTS WITH THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY FOUND THAT ECOSYSTEMS IN THE LOWER 48 STATES CAN SEQUESTER 474 MILLION TONS OF CARBON A YEAR, WHICH IS NEARLY TWO YEARS OF U.S. CAR EMISSIONS, OR MORE THAN 20 PERCENT OF THE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS EMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR.

USGS ALSO RELEASED A NEW WEB TOOL ALLOWING USERS TO TRACK CHANGES IN CARBON STORAGE FROM 2005 TO 2050. YOU CAN READ THE ENTIRE REPORT AND USE THE NEW TOOL AT USGS . GOV.

 

THE STRONGEST U-S EARTHQUAKE IN MORE THAN A DECADE ROCKED THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS ALASKA THIS WEEK… THE USGS SAYS TUESDAY’S QUAKE MEASURED AT MAGNITUDE 7-POINT-NINE… NO IMMEDIATE REPORTS OF ANY SERIOUS DAMAGE, AND A TSUNAMI WARNING WAS CANCELLED SOON AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE STRUCK. THIS YEAR MARKS 50 YEARS SINCE THAT DEVASTATING 1964 EARTHQUAKE IN ALASKA, THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE EVER RECORDED AT MAGNITUDE NINE-POINT-TWO… THAT QUAKE AND RESULTING TSUNAMI TOOK MORE THAN 130 LIVES, AND CAUSED WHAT WOULD AMOUNT TODAY TO MORE THAN TWO BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES. THE DISASTER LED TO THE CREATION OF THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE INFORMATION CENTER, NOW PART OF USGS.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL THIS WEEK IS HAILING THE SENATE CONFIRMATION OF TWO INTERIOR NOMINEES… ESTHER KIA’AINA WAS CONFIRMED TO SERVE AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INSULAR AREAS… VINCE LOGAN WAS CONFIRMED AS SPECIAL TRUSTEE FOR AMERICAN INDIANS

 

SECRETARY JEWELL IS ALSO APPLAUDING THE DESIGNATION OF THE MONUMENTAL EARTHWORKS OF POVERTY POINT IN LOUISIANA, AS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE. THE AREA, WHICH FEATURES THE REMNANTS OF A SOCIETY FROM MORE THAN 3-THOUSAND YEARS AGO, MAY BE THE LARGEST HUNTER-GATHERER SETTLEMENT THAT EVER EXISTED.  THE DESIGNATION IS EXPECTED TO BOOST AREA ECONOMIES AS THE SITE DRAWS MORE VISITORS TO LOUISIANA. AS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE, POVERTY POINT JOINS THE LIKES OF THE GRAND CANYON, STONEHENGE, THE TAJ MAHAL, AND AUSTRALIA’S GREAT BARRIER REEF.

 

AND A CHANCE FOR SOME  SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN TO GET OUT ON THE WATER AND DO SOME FISHING… IT WAS SHASTA LAKE’S 15TH ANNUAL *CAST FOR KIDS* DAY… 53 CHILDREN IN ALL, 29 OF THEM HOMELESS, EQUIPPED WITH ROD AND REEL AND TACKLE BOX AND PAIRED WITH FISHERMEN AND VOLUNTEERS… ORGANIZERS CALL IT THE MOST SUCCESSFUL EVENT TO DATE, A CHANCE FOR THESE KIDS TO MEET OTHERS AND EXPERIENCE THE GREAT OUTDOORS.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR.