Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
For Immediate Release: Dec. 24, 2003

Contact: Mark Pfeifle at
or Kathryn Harrington at

Secretary Norton to Announce Volunteer Hours to Restore Southern California's Forests and Communities

U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton will highlight the more than 365,000 volunteer hours pledged on work on lands in Southern California devastated by this year's forest fires.

Norton and Take Pride in America Executive Director Marti Allbright will join kids from Wonderful Outdoor World on horse-back in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Jan. 1, 2004, to encourage more people to volunteer their time to help rehabilitate fire ravaged lands and communities in need.

Take Pride in America, working with Southern California Friends of Take Pride, sponsored a New Year's Resolution Volunteer Pledge Drive to solicit 10 hours per person to work on the approximately 800,000 acres burned this fall.

In addition to individual commitments, the effort netted 25,000 hours from Wonderful Outdoor World; 100,000 hours from the Good Sam Club, a member-based organization committed to making RV-ing safer and more enjoyable; 150,000 hours from the California Four Wheel Drive Association; 10,000 hours from a local Girl Scouts of the USA chapter; and 10,000 hours from the National Forest Recreation Association. The San Diego Chargers also have permitted pledge solicitation at their home games.

Wonderful Outdoor World is an urban camping program designed to bring the great outdoors to children in their neighborhood parks. A national program with offices in Los Angeles, Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Washington, D.C. and New York City, WOW is sponsored on a national-level by the city of Los Angeles, department of Recreation and Parks; The Coleman Company; Leave No Trace, Inc.; The Recreation Roundtable; USDA Forest Service; USDI Bureau of Land Management; USDI National Park Service; The Walt Disney Company and Wells Cargo Trailers.

Take Pride in America is a national partnership that aims to seek, support and recognize volunteers who work to improve our national parks, wildlife refuges, public lands, cultural and historic sites, playgrounds and other recreation areas. With close to 100 partners, Take Pride involves federal, state and local government, conservation and recreation organizers and top national corporations and organizations - such as the National Park Service, the Walt Disney Company and Bass Pro Shops. Together, we protect and enhance the special legacy all Americans share - our public lands that cover one in every three acres across the nation. Find out more about volunteering and Take Pride in America at


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