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This Week at Interior March 28, 2014


March 28, 2014


This week: the National Park Service says the Washington Monument will reopen to the public on May 12; an 81-million year old dinosaur is the star of an exhibit at the Bureau of Land Management; a family of Hawaiian geese is spotted where none have been seen since the 1700's; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is distributing $1.1 billion to states and territories to help fund conservation and recreation projects; a river in Colorado comes back to life, thanks to the work of a federal, state, and local restoration team; and Secretary Jewell testifies on Capitol Hill in favor of the Obama Administration's FY 2015 budget proposal.


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR…

 

THE MONUMENTAL REOPENING IS SET FOR MAY 12TH… THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED THAT THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT REPAIR PROJECT IS NEARING COMPLETION, AND THAT VISITORS WILL BE WELCOMED BACK TO THE ICONIC STRUCTURE IN A LITTLE MORE THAN SIX WEEKS. THE MONUMENT SUSTAINED HEAVY DAMAGE DURING A FIVE POINT EIGHT MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE IN 2011 THAT RATTLED THE EAST COAST FROM THE CAROLINAS TO CANADA… AND IT TOOK 32 MONTHS, 15 MILLION DOLLARS FROM PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SOURCES, AND A GIANT SCAFFOLDING STRUCTURE TO FIX. THE PARK SERVICE SAYS TICKETS FOR THE FIRST PUBLIC TOUR SINCE THE EARTHQUAKE WILL BE AVAILABLE AT 8:30AM ON THE MORNING OF MAY 12TH, ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS, AT THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT LODGE. THE TOUR GETS UNDERWAY THAT DAY AT 1PM. TICKETS FOR THE REST OF THE SPRING AND SUMMER CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT RECREATION DOT GOV STARTING APRIL 16TH. THE MONUMENT WILL BE OPEN DAILY FROM 9AM TO 10PM ALL SUMMER LONG. 

 

IT’S A SPECIAL EXHIBIT, 81-MILLION YEARS IN THE MAKING, UNVEILED THIS WEEK BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. MEET DIABLOCERATOPS… A HORNED DINOSAUR THAT WAS SOME TEN FEET LONG AND WEIGHED ABOUT TWO TONS, ONE OF SEVERAL REMARKABLE DINOSAUR DISCOVERIES ON BLM-MANAGED LANDS. THIS DIABLOCERATOPS, AN ANCESTOR OF THE MUCH LARGER AND BETTER KNOWN TRICERATOPS, IS A REPLICA OF THE ONE UNEARTHED AT THE GRAND STAIRCASE-ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT IN UTAH IN 2010. ONLY ONE SUCH SKULL HAS EVER BEEN RECOVERED. THIS REPLICA PROUDLY ON DISPLAY OUTSIDE BLM’S OFFICES IN THE MAIN INTERIOR BUILDING.

 

ENCOURAGING NEWS THIS WEEK OUT OF HAWAII, WHERE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN CENTURIES, ENDANGERED HAWAIIAN GEESE HAVE BEEN SPOTTED IN THE WILDS OF OAHU. THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SAYS A PAIR OF NENE NESTED AND SUCCESSFULLY HATCHED THREE GOSLINGS AT THE JAMES CAMPBELL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE NEAR KAHUKU ON THE NORTH SHORE. THE NENE WEREN’T TRANSPORTED BY HUMANS, AND MADE IT TO THE REFUGE ON THEIR OWN. THE NENE IS HAWAII’S STATE BIRD, ONLY AN ESTIMATED TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED REMAIN IN THE WILD. BUT POPULATIONS ARE INCREASING DUE TO COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT BY FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES.

 

THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE WILL DISTRIBUTE NEARLY ONE-POINT-ONE BILLION DOLLARS TO STATE AND TERRITORIAL FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCIES, TO HELP FUND CONSERVATION AND RECREATION PROJECTS ACROSS THE NATION… THOSE FUNDS ARE COMING FROM THE EXCISE TAX PAID TO THE GOVERNMENT BY SPORTSMEN AND WOMEN ON EVERYTHING FROM HUNTING EQUIPMENT AND FISHING TACKLE TO BOATING FUEL AND TARGET SHOOTING AMMUNITION. FOR A STATE BY STATE BREAKDOWN OF FUND ALLOCATION. CHECK OUT FWS DOT GOV.

 

 

AND FISH AND WILDLIFE, THROUGH THE NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT AND RESTORATION PROGRAM, WAS PART OF A FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL TEAM THAT HELPED BRING A RIVER IN COLORADO BACK TO LIFE. JUST 20 YEARS AGO THE TROUT POPULATION IN THE *ARKANSAS RIVER* HAD BEEN DEVASTATED BY MINING POLLUTION… BUT NOW THANKS TO HABITAT RESTORATION, IMPROVED WATER QUALITY AND CREATIVE FISHERY MANAGEMENT, THE RIVER HAS ACHIEVED *GOLD MEDAL TROUT WATERS* STATUS, AND IS NOW RANKED AS THE FAVORITE FISHING DESTINATION FOR COLORADO RESIDENTS.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL ON CAPITOL HILL THIS WEEK, TESTIFYING BEFORE BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PROPOSED FISCAL YEAR 2015 BUDGET FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. THE ADMINISTRATION REQUESTS 11-POINT-NINE BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE DEPARTMENT… THE SECRETARY APPLAUDS THE BUDGET REQUEST, SAYING IT MAKES KEY INVESTMENTS TO MAINTAIN VITAL FUNDING FOR INTERIOR’S CRITICAL MISSIONS.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.