Date: April 19, 2016
Contacts: Jessica Kershaw (Interior), Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov
WASHINGTON – In remarks at the National Geographic Society and released early on Medium, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today laid out a vision for actions the nation can take to build upon America’s rich conservation legacy and pass on healthy public lands and waters to the next generation.
The Secretary delivered the remarks during National Park Week to help mark the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. During the speech, Jewell called for a “course correction” for conservation that includes inspiring all Americans from all backgrounds to connect with public lands; implementing smart, landscape-level planning to support healthy ecosystems and sustainable development; and greater investments in national parks and public lands to prepare for the next century of conservation.
During her remarks, Jewell also announced that the federal government will undertake a first-of-its-kind study to analyze the impact outdoor recreation has on the nation’s economy. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis feasibility study will present detailed and defensible data on the importance of outdoor recreation as a distinct component of the economy that can help inform decision making and management of public lands and waters.
“By producing credible data on the tangible economic benefits of public lands, we can help the public and Members of Congress better understand the benefits of investing in them,” Jewell said. “Industry estimates show that consumer spending for outdoor recreation is greater than household utilities and pharmaceuticals combined – and yet the federal government has never fully recognized or quantified these benefits. This project is the start of a multi-year effort to count these contributions in a comprehensive and impartial way.”