Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
NISC: Anna Cherry, 410-507-4996
|For Immediate Release:March 29, 2004||
Frank Quimby 202-208-6416
Ed Loyd, 202-720-4623
Conference Kicks Off Collaborative
(WASHINGTON) - More than 400 representatives from around the West will meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this week to lay the groundwork for a coordinated, regional approach to the problem of invasive saltcedar and native habitat management in the Southwest.
The March 31 to April 2 conference at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center brings together federal, state and local officials, tribal representatives, water and land managers and plant and water scientists to identify opportunities for collaborative efforts that make the most effective use of collective resources.
Rebecca Watson, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior, will deliver the keynote address at 8 a.m. on April 1. Dr. Chuck Lambert, Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will address the conference on March 31. Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Cameron and Dr. James Tate, Science Advisor to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, also will address the conference.
Other speakers include Frannie Miller, New Mexico State Weed Coordinator; Tim Carlson, Tamarisk Coalition; Mallory Dimmitt, The Nature Conservancy; Debra Hughes, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts; Erika Zavaleta, University of California; Mary Kelly, Environmental Defense Fund; David Brunner, National Fish and Wildlife Federation; Jan Lowrey, Cache Creek Conservancy of California; Jack DeLoach, Agricultural Research Service; Mark Renz, New Mexico State University; David Bubenheim, NASA; Rosendo Trevino, Natural Resources Conservation Service; John Brock, Arizona State University; Eric Lane, Colorado State Weed Coordinator; and Tom Stohlgren, U.S. Geological Survey.
The conference is sponsored by 15 public and private organizations, including Interior, Agriculture and the National Invasive Species Council, a Cabinet-level group that helps to coordinate complementary, cost-efficient and effective federal efforts on invasive species. Saltcedar, also known as tamarisk, is a non-native tree that infests 1.6 million acres of river banks, springs and wetlands, costing the Southwest
hundreds of millions of dollars annually in economic activity. Dense stands of saltcedar crowd out native cottonwoods and willows, dominate many riparian areas, damage wildlife habitat, increase the risk of wildfires, complicate water management for municipalities, irrigation districts, and hydropower plants, and limit recreational values on affected lands.
Beginning on the morning of March 31, participating agencies will set up graphic displays of more than 40 invasive species initiatives around the West. The all-day poster session provides excellent visuals for television news coverage. B-Roll Beta SP cassettes with a video message from Interior Secretary Gale Norton and examples of tamarisk removal projects also will be available.
All conference sessions are open to the news media and there will be opportunities to interview participants during the three-day event. Reporters wishing to schedule interviews should contact Media Coordinator Anna Cherry in the conference hall or on her cell phone at 410-507-4996. A concluding media availability for Albuquerque area news representatives will be held at noon on April 2, following the formal ending of the conference. For reporters and editors unable to attend the conference, there will be a media telephone conference call at 1 p.m. (Mountain Time) on April 2, during which conference leaders will report on results and respond to questions. Instructions for participating in the call are below.
WHO: Rebecca Watson, Interior's Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management; Dr. Chuck Lambert, Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the Department of Agriculture; Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Cameron; and Dr. James Tate, Science Advisor to Interior Secretary Gale Norton
WHAT: Team Tamarisk: Cooperating for Results is a three-day conference to lay the groundwork for a coordinated, regional approach to the problem of invasive saltcedar and native habitat management in the Southwest
WHERE: Radisson Hotel
and Conference Center, 2500 Carlisle Blvd. Northeast,
WHEN: March 31 through April 2
MEDIA: News media representatives check in at the registration desk in the Conference Center. If help is needed scheduling interviews or for other information, contact Media Coordinator Anna Cherry at conference hall or on her cell phone at 410-507-4996
MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: A concluding media availability for Albuquerque area news representatives will be held at noon on April 2 in the conference hall, following the formal ending of the conference.
ATTENDED CONFERENCE CALL: Reporters and editors wishing to participate in this telephone conference should call 1-888-243-0814 a few minutes before 1 p.m. (Mountain Time), state the title: Tamarisk Conference, and give their name and media affiliation. The attendant will provide instructions.
Selected News Releases