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This Week at Interior May 9, 2014


May 9, 2014


The White House releases the third annual National Climate Assessment, showing that climate change is already affecting Americans and the U.S. economy; USGS releases a Climate Change Viewer that can track water resource changes at the county, state, and watershed level; Secretary Jewell joins California leaders and first responders as the state braces for another tough wildfire season; the Secretary meets with community leaders and experts to talk about the balance between conservation and smart development; the Secretary announces the approval of a new solar energy project on tribal lands in Nevada, and attends the 69th Departmental Honor Awards Convocation in Washington, DC. 


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THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR…

 

THE WHITE HOUSE THIS WEEK RELEASED THE THIRD NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT, THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT EVER GENERATED OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS IMPACTS ACROSS EVERY REGION OF AMERICA AND MAJOR SECTORS OF THE U.S. ECONOMY.

 

IT IS AFFECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ALREADY. ON THE WHOLE, SUMMERS ARE LONGER AND HOTTER, WITH LONGER PERIODS OF EXTENDED HEAT. WILDFIRES START EARLIER INTO THE SPRING AND CONTINUE LATER INTO THE FALL. RAIN COMES DOWN IN HEAVIER DOWNPOURS. PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING CHANGES IN THE LENGTH AND SEVERITY OF SEASONAL ALLERGIES. AND CLIMATE DISRUPTION OF WATER RESOURCES AND AGRICULTURE HAVE BEEN INCREASING.

 

YOU CAN FIND THE ENTIRE WHITE HOUSE CLIMATE ASSESSMENT AT GLOBALCHANGE.GOV

 

FOR THE FIRST TIME CLIMATE CHANGE-DRIVEN CHANGES IN WATER RESOURCES CAN BE TRACKED AT THE COUNTY, STATE, OR WATER SHED LEVEL… INTERIOR THIS WEEK UNVEILED THE NEW USGS CLIMATE CHANGE VIEWER, WHICH SHOWS THE PROJECTED CHANGES IN WATER SOURCES THAT A CHANGING CLIMATE MIGHT BRING ACROSS THE U.S. LOOKING ALL THE WAY TO THE YEAR 2100… CHECK OUT THE CLIMATE CHANGE VIEWER AT USGS.GOV.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL THIS WEEK JOINED CALIFORNIA LEADERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS AS THE STATE BRACES FOR WHAT’S FORECAST TO BE A SERIOUS FIRE SEASON. LAST YEAR NEARLY 10-THOUSAND FIRES BLAZED ACROSS THE GOLDEN STATE, BURNING 578-THOUSAND ACRES. NOW AS A CHANGING CLIMATE SPELLS EXTENDED DROUGHTS AND LONGER FIRE SEASONS, INTERIOR AND THE U-S FOREST SERVICE ARE PROJECTED TO SPEND SOME ONE-POINT-EIGHT *BILLION* DOLLARS FIGHTING FIRES… THAT’S 400-MILLION DOLLARS *MORE* THAN THOSE AGENCIES ACTUALLY HAVE IN THEIR BUDGETS. 

 

DURING HER CALIFORNIA VISIT THE SECRETARY ALSO HOSTED A DISCUSSION WITH EAST CONTRA COSTA COUNTY COMMUNITY LEADERS, AND OTHER EXPERTS FROM AROUND THE STATE, ABOUT PUBLIC - PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS WHEN IT COMES TO BALANCING THE CONSERVATION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES, WITH SUPPORTING SMART ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. THE SECRETARY TOURED AN AREA OF THE COUNTY THAT COVERS NEARLY 175-THOUSAND ACRES AND IS HOME TO 28 IMPERILED SPECIES AS WELL AS RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL IN PHOENIX THIS WEEK TO ANNOUNCE THE APPROVAL OF THE 2ND UTILITY SCALE SOLAR PROJECT ON TRIBAL LANDS: THE 200-MEGAWATT MOAPA SOLAR ENERGY CENTER PROJECT IN NEVADA… SHE ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT NINE FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBES HAVE BEEN AWARDED ENERGY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS TOTALLING MORE THAN 700-THOUSAND DOLLARS. THE ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE PART OF THE WHITE HOUSE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN TO CUT CARBON POLLUTION, CREATE CLEAN ENERGY JOBS, AND BUILD STRONG AND PROSPEROUS TRIBAL COMMUNITIES.

 

AND THE 69TH DEPARTMENTAL HONOR AWARDS CONVOCATION, WAS HELD THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR’S YATES AUDITORIUM. SECRETARY JEWELL ON HAND FOR THE ANNUAL AWARDS, WHICH SALUTE INTERIOR EMPLOYEES FOR THEIR EXCELLENCE, DISTINGUISHED SERVICE, AND VALOR. 

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.