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This Week at Interior September 27, 2013


September 27, 2013


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR… 

THE FIRST-EVER LIVE WEBCHAT FROM THE ROOF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR THIS WEEK, AS SECRETARY JEWELL MARKED THE UPCOMING 20TH ANNUAL NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY.  SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH  IS THE DAY ALL AMERICANS ARE ENCOURAGED TO RE-CONNECT WITH THE GREAT OUTDOORS BY VOLUNTEERING THEIR TIME ON PUBLIC LANDS - PLANTING TREES, PICKING UP TRASH, BUILDING TRAILS, AND MUCH MORE… 180-THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO TAKE PART, AT MORE THAN 22-HUNDRED SITES.

I know from personal experience that when people…especially people that have very little connection with public lands…get out and work on those lands, build a trail, build a structure, clean up garbage, remove invasive species, that not only do they understand that landscape, they never look at it the same way. They go to that place and they look for the tree they planted. They’ll look at the land that they cleared. They’ll look at the building that they worked on. And I can’t think of a better way to engage America’s young people than that.

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS CELEBRATING NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY WITH FREE ADMISSION TO *ALL* 401 NATIONAL PARKS ON SATURDAY. TO FIND A SITE WHERE YOU CAN VOLUNTEER CHECK OUT PUBLIC LANDS DAY DOT ORG. 

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH ALSO MARKS NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY, AND THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED PLANS TO OPEN NEW HUNTING PROGRAMS ON SIX REFUGES, *AND* EXPAND EXISTING HUNTING AND FISHING PROGRAMS ON ANOTHER *TWENTY* REFUGES. SECRETARY JEWELL SAYS SPORTSMEN AND WOMEN HAVE BEEN A DRIVING FORCE IN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY – AND NOTES THAT HUNTING AND FISHING ARE MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO OUR NATION’S RECREATION ECONOMY… FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF THE SITES CHECK OUT FWS DOT GOV. 

FISH AND WILDLIFE THIS WEEK ALSO ANNOUNCED A NEW *URBAN* WILDLIFE REFUGE INITIATIVE, TO BETTER ENSURE ITS PROGRAMS REFLECT THE DIVERSE FACE OF AMERICA, WHERE 80 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION LIVES IN CITIES. IN MARYLAND THE SERVICE IS PARTNERING WITH THE STATE AT A 50-ACRE WILDLIFE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER IN BALTIMORE… THE NEW CENTER WILL PROVIDE RESIDENTS OF THE MASONVILLE COMMUNITY WATER ACCESS FOR CANOES AND KAYAKS, ALONG WITH COMMUNITY MEETING SPACE AND WEEKEND PROGRAMS ON EVERYTHING FROM WATERPROOFING HOMES TO PLANTING URBAN GARDENS. 

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION COMMISSIONER MICHAEL CONNOR TOURED FLOOD RAVAGED COLORADO THIS WEEK. PARTS OF THE STATE HAVE BEEN DEVASTATED BY RECORD RAINFALL… CONNOR INSPECTED THE DAMAGE TO THE COLORADO – BIG THOMPSON PROJECT, AND OBSERVED WHAT’S LEFT OF HIGHWAY 34 AT THE MOUTH OF BIG THOMPSON CANYON AND THE HANSEN FEEDER CANAL SIPHON. DURING HIS TOUR CONNOR ALSO MET WITH INTERIOR EMPLOYEES TO EXPRESS SUPPORT AS THE RECOVERY EFFORTS BEGIN.

THEY CAME TO LEARN ABOUT GEOMAGNETISM… THEY LEFT WANTING TO HELP SCIENTISTS MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. SIX YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR FATHERS MADE THE TRIP TO USGS HEADQUARTERS IN RESTON, PART OF the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE, A COMPETITION FOR KIDS TO LEARN ABOUT SCIENCE IN FUN WAYS. THE KIDS LEARNED ABOUT THE USGS’ 14 GEOMAGNETIC OBSERVATORIES, AND HOW THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD INTERACTS WITH SOLAR STORMS. 

AND AS WE ALL SAID GOOD BYE TO SUMMER THIS WEEK, WE WANTED TO THANK *YOU* FOR ALL YOUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR SUMMER IN AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS PHOTO PROJECT. WE RECEIVED HUNDREDS OF PHOTOS THIS SUMMER OF FOLKS IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS, IN THE MOUNTAINS TO THE PLAINS, FROM EAST COAST TO WEST, FROM ALASKA TO HAWAII… AND YOU CAN CHECK OUT A SPECIAL VIDEO COMPILATION OF THOSE PHOTOS, ON OUR YOU TUBE PAGE. 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.