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This Week at Interior March 14, 2014


March 14, 2014


President Obama designates a stunning stretch of public lands to be added to the California Coastal National Monument; Secretary Jewell joins Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as LA is selected one of eight pilot cities for the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative; the Secretary tours water facilities in central California as state and federal officials look to respond to an historic drought; the Secretary thanks Interior employees for their public service at a DOI employee meeting in Sacramento; National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis on hand in Selma, Alabama to official designate the Edmund Pettus Bridge as a National Historical Landmark; and the National Wildlife Refuge System celebrates its 111th birthday, you can find a number of birthday events at fws.gov.   


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR…

 

EXCITING NEWS THIS WEEK WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA DESIGNATING A STUNNING STRETCH OF PUBLIC LANDS ALONG CALIFORNIA’S COASTLINE AS A NATIONAL MONUMENT. SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED WITH HUNDREDS OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN MENDOCINO COUNTY ON WEDNESDAY TO CELEBRATE THE ADDITION OF THE POINT ARENA-STORNETTA PUBLIC LANDS TO THE CALIFORNIA COASTAL NATIONAL MONUMENT.

IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, PRESIDENT OBAMA PLEDGED TO USE HIS AUTHORITY TO PROTECT MORE PRISTINE FEDERAL LANDS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. HIS ACTION IS A TESTAMENT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY’S VISION TO PRESERVE THE SPECTACULAR LANDSCAPE, WHICH INCLUDES UNMATCHED VIEWS OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN, UNIQUE HABITAT FOR WILDLIFE, AND MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR RECREATION LIKE HIKING AND FISHING.

 

Right here, the community got together and they said this is a special place. This is a place we want to share with everyone. And this is a place that we want protected, not just for this generation but for many generations to come.

 

THE DESIGNATION IS EXPECTED TO PROVIDE A BOOST FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY THROUGH INCREASED TOURISM. IN 2012 OUTDOOR RECREATION ON BLM LANDS IN CALIFORNIA GENERATED NEARLY 900-MILLION DOLLARS IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY. 

 

SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED LOS ANGELES MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI THIS WEEK TO ANNOUNCE THAT L-A HAS BEEN SELECTED AS ONE OF EIGHT PILOT CITIES AS PART OF THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE’S URBAN WILDLIFE REFUGE INITIATIVE… THAT’S A PROGRAM AIMED AT CONNECTING URBAN YOUTH WITH THE GREAT OUTDOORS, AND PART OF INTERIOR’S YOUTH INITIATIVE TO INSPIRE MILLIONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE TO PLAY, LEARN, SERVE AND WORK OUTDOORS. 

 

What’s happening here in LA is an effort to take young people who have had a disconnect from Nature, and reconnect them with Nature and the great outdoors.

 

These leaders who are here are part of making sure that they are not just the consumers of the outdoors, but they are the stewards of the outdoors.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL SAYS CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR URBAN YOUNG PEOPLE TO RECONNECT WITH NATURE NOT ONLY SUPPORTS HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES, IT ALSO SPARKS A PASSION FOR THE OUTDOORS THAT CAN LAST A LIFETIME. 

 

CALIFORNIA’S HISTORIC DROUGHT ALSO HIGH ON THE AGENDA DURING THE SECRETARY’S VISIT… 

SHE WAS JOINED BY BUREAU OF RECLAMATION ACTING COMMISSIONER LOWELL PIMLEY, AND CALIFORNIA SECRETARY FOR NATURAL RESOURCES JOHN LAIRD FOR A TOUR OF THE 

WATER STORAGE AND CONVEYANCE FACILITIES IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA, AND MET WITH AGRICULTURAL WATER USERS WHO RELY ON WATER EXPORTED FROM THE SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN DELTA. SHE COMMENDED THE STATE’S GOVERNOR AND TOP OFFICIALS FOR THEIR RESPONSE, AND PLEDGED THAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS *ALL IN* WHEN IT COMES TO THE FEDERAL RESPONSE. THE PRESIDENT’S PROPOSED FISCAL YEAR 2015 BUDGET, INCLUDES A BILLION DOLLARS FOR A CLIMATE RESILIENCE FUND, DEDICATED TO BUILDING COMMUNITIES BETTER ABLE TO WITHSTAND THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE, AND FINDING SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHALLENGES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH.  

 

THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND A WIDE RANGE OF OTHER ISSUES AS THE SECRETARY HELD AN EMPLOYEE TOWN HALL MEETING AT THE INTERIOR OFFICES IN SACRAMENTO. A STANDING ROOM ONLY CROWD OF MORE THAN 250 EMPLOYEES FROM MOST OF INTERIOR’S BUREAUS AND AGENCIES WERE ON HAND… THE SECRETARY TOOK A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS AFTER HER REMARKS, AND ABOVE ALL THANKED THOSE GATHERED FOR THEIR DEDICATION AND PUBLIC SERVICE.

 

 

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR JONATHAN JARVIS WAS ON HAND IN SELMA, ALABAMA THIS WEEK TO HELP OFFICIALLY DESIGNATE THE EDMUND PETTUS BRIDGE AS ONE OF THE NATION’S NEWEST NATIONAL HISTORICAL LANDMARKS. IT’S THE SPOT WHERE 600 CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS WERE ASSAULTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN A MARCH 1965 INCIDENT IMMORTALIZED AS *BLOODY SUNDAY*. JARVIS SAID THE LANDMARK STATUS IS A FITTING RECOGNITION FOR AN EVENT THAT SPURRED THE PASSAGE OF LANDMARK LEGISLATION, AND MARKED A WATERSHED EVENT IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

 

AND IT’S THE 111TH BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK FOR THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM. PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT CREATED THE FIRST NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AT PELICAN ISLAND FLORIDA ON MARCH 14TH 1903, TO PROTECT BROWN PELICANS FROM HUNTERS. TODAY THE SYSTEM INCLUDES 562 REFUGES AND 38 WETLAND MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS, ALL MANAGED BY THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, AND PROVIDING VITAL HABITATS FOR THOUSANDS OF ICONIC ANIMAL AND PLANT SPECIES. A NUMBER OF WILDLIFE REFUGES ARE CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAY WITH SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEKEND, CHECK THEM OUT AT FWS.GOV.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.