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This Week at Interior March 1 , 2013


March 1, 2013


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THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR...

 

NATIONAL PARKS ARE POWERFUL ECONOMIC ENGINES THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE THIS WEEK RELEASED A STUDY SHOWING THAT THE NATION'S PARKS AND LANDMARKS GENERATED MORE THAN 30-BILLION DOLLARS FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES IN 2011, AND SUPPORTED MORE THAN A QUARTER MILLION LOCAL JOBS. THE PARK SERVICE STUDY SHOWS THAT NATIONAL PARKS RETURN MORE THAN 10-DOLLARS FOR EVERY DOLLAR OF TAXPAYER INVESTMENT.

 

WITH MANDATORY, ACROSS THE BOARD BUDGET CUTS LOOMING THIS WEEK, INTERIOR OFFICIALS ARE WARNING THAT THOSE CUTS WILL MEAN REDUCED HOURS OF OPERATION, SHORTER SEASONS, AND THE POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF CAMPGROUNDS, HIKING TRAILS, AND OTHER RECREATIONAL AREAS. AND THOSE COULD HAVE A DEVASTATING IMPACT ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES FROM COAST TO COAST.

 

BUDGET CUTS A BIG TOPIC AT THIS WEEK'S PLENARY SESSION OF THE INTERAGENCY GROUP ON INSULAR AFFAIRS. GOVERNORS AND DELEGATES FROM PUERTO RICO, GUAM, AMERICAN SAMOA, THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, AND THE U-S VIRGIN ISLANDS MET WITH WHITE HOUSE AND INTERIOR OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON DC. THE LOOMING SEQUESTER HAS THE ISLAND NATIONS WARY ABOUT WHAT ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS WOULD MEAN FOR THEIR POPULATIONS.

 

"There's an old analogy that if thereís a sneeze in the States, it'll be pneumonia in the Territories and that fact is also relevant for sequestration."

 

SPEAKING AT THE OFFSHORE WIND POWER U-S-A CONFERENCE IN BOSTON THIS WEEK, SECRETARY SALAZAR ANNOUNCED THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THIS YEAR WILL HOLD THE FIRST-EVER AUCTIONS FOR COMMERCIAL WIND DEVELOPMENT IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. THE OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY PROGRAM IS PART OF INTERIOR'S EFFORTS TO STAND UP RENEWABLE ENERGY, LIKE WIND AND SOLAR, ON OUR NATION'S PUBLIC LANDS AND WATERS.

 

THE SECRETARY HEADED DOWN THE COAST THIS WEEK TO NEW YORK CITY, WHERE HE TOOK A TOUR OF THE HURRICANE SANDY STORM DAMAGED STATUE OF LIBERTY. THE STATUE HAS BEEN CLOSED FOR REPAIRS SINCE THAT TIME SINCE OCTOBER AND SECRETARY SALAZER RESTATED HIS COMMITMENT TO OPEN THE STATUE AS SOON AS IT'S SAFE FOR VISITORS.

 

AND A VISITOR TO YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK MADE A DISCOVERY AFTER SHE AND HER FAMILY RETURNED HOME. A JUNIOR RANGER NAMED *EVIE* RECENTLY CONTACTED THE PARK, MAILING BACK THE TWO SMALL TWIGS SHE HAD ACCIDENTALLY REMOVED FROM THEIR NATURAL HABITAT. EVIE APOLOGIZED, AND ASKED THAT THE STICKS BE RETURNED TO NATURE. A PARK RANGER RETURNED HER LETTER WITH AN EXTRA JUNIOR RANGER BADGE, COMPLIMENTING EVIE ON HER DEDICATION TO NATURE PRESERVATION, AND PROMISING HER TWO TWIGS WOULD FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO WHERE THEY BELONG.

 

THAT'S THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR.