Department of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Mark Pfeifle
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2003


Interior Secretary Norton and Interior Officials
Herald Earth Day

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Interior’s assistant secretaries and bureau directors will travel throughout the nation on Earth Day, April 22, to celebrate the land and wildlife administered by the Department and call for all Americans to become citizen stewards dedicated to restoring and conserving public and private land.

Interior officials will also highlight Take Pride in America, a program launched by Secretary Norton on April 16, 2003. The initiative encourages citizens to volunteer and work in partnership with government to empower volunteers to improve our parks, refuges, recreation areas and cultural and historical sites.

The program works with governors and other partners to launch volunteer conservation projects. Take Pride In America is part of the President’s USA Freedom Corps volunteer service initiative.

“As we celebrate Earth Day, we must highlight the need for cooperative conservation to build partnerships with states, tribes and local communities. Americans must be empowered to become citizen stewards, so conservation and restoration on the ground is accomplished by the people who live and work the land in partnership with scientists, neighbors and the government,” Secretary Norton said.

Secretary Norton travels to Carrboro, N.C., on Earth Day. She will celebrate the partnerships leading to the protection of the 154-acre Kuenzler family farm as a wetland habitat preserve.

Assistant Secretary, Policy, Management and Budget, Lynn Scarlett travels to the Meadow Spring Farm near Charles Town in Jefferson County, W.V., to tour the Mickey Farm Project. The Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners completed 5,500 feet of three-strand, high-tensile electric fence and three-rock armored cattle/equipment crossings and installed wood duck nesting boxes to restore streambank along the North Fork of Bullskin Run and 4.4 acres of riparian habitat.

Assistant Secretary, Water and Science, Bennett Raley visits Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in East Orland, Maine. Raley will participate in the annual grounds cleanup of the facility as well as attend an open house.

Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson attends events at Point Reyes Bird Observatory and the Celebration of Park Flight program. At the observatory, the Park Flight program has supported community outreach programs to raise awareness of the important role that conservation plays in protecting migratory birds. Manson also participates in a bird-banding event.

Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, Rebecca Watson assisted in a day-long Earth Day cleanup of BLM lands southwest of Santa Fe, N.M. on April 15. The New Mexico National Guard, the City of Santa Fe and the New Mexico State Land Office participated in the cleanup of areas near the Santa Fe River and the village of La Cieneguilla, a Spanish Land Grant community.

National Park Service Director Fran Mainella participates in the Yosemite Earth Day event, a partnership between the National Park Service, Yosemite Valley School, Planada School, Richmond School and the Wawona School. Mainella will meet and welcome school students prior to their project of clearing bushes and collecting litter in the park. She will make remarks about the importance of observing Earth Day every day.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams participates in the annual Woodcock Walk at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Mass., on April 23. Each spring the American woodcock migrates from the southeastern United States north to breed on the refuge. In an effort to attract a female, the male performs a spectacular aerial courtship display. Suitable habitat is necessary to allow this activity to occur. Habitat conservation efforts on and off the refuge are necessary to ensure viability of this species.

U.S. Geological Survey Director Chip Groat leads a group to a pond in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. The group will look for salamanders, assess water quality and look for egg masses as part of an amphibian research project that looks at potential ecological indicators and studies species that are susceptible to population declines.

Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clarke attends a meeting of the Resource Chairs in Washington, D.C. The meeting focuses on providing a national forum for BLM partners to combat invasive species.

Office of Surface Mining Director Jeff Jarrett attends the Earth Day tree planting on a mountaintop mining restoration site near Charleston, W.V. The event will include a briefing on reforestation efforts at Catenary, a tour of greenhouse and reforestation areas and Director Jarrett’s participation in tree planting by the Classroom on the Mountain program for local students.

Minerals Management Service Director Johnnie Burton joins the mayor of Herndon and Herndon High School students at the Herndon Library on April 22 and will name the winners of the Earth Day poster contest. Partners in the event include MMS, the Herndon High School student recycling club and the city of Herndon.

External and Intergovernmental Affairs Director Kit Kimball will join BLM employees from the San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area near Hereford, Ariz., to share in the bureau’s Earth Day efforts to clean up trash and repair damages caused by smugglers and undocumented immigrants in southeast Arizona.


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