Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
August 8, 2006
CONTACT: Hugh Vickery, DOI
(202) 501-4633
Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, EPA, Council on Environmental Quality Announce Second Series of Listening Sessions on Cooperative Conservation

The Secretaries of Interior, Commerce and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality today announced the dates and locations of the second set of listening sessions on cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships.

These sessions, the second group of some two dozen to be held around the country, are scheduled at the following locations:

  • Omaha, Nebraska, 1 p.m., August 24, 2006, Qwest Center Omaha-Convention Center Junior Ballroom. Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service Dale Hall will attend.
  • Muncie, Indiana, 10 a.m., August 26, 2006, Horizon Convention Center Exhibition Hall. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett will attend.
  • Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 a.m., August 28, 2006. The Carlson Center. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will attend.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado, 9 a.m., September 15, 2006, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Gymnasium. United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, Mark Rey will attend.
  • Brewer, Maine, 4 p.m., September 20, 2006, Jeff’s Catering Banquet and Convention Center. Kempthorne will attend.
  • Brunswick, Georgia, 1 p.m., September 21, 2006, Coastal Georgia Community College, Southeast Georgia Conference Center. Hall will attend.
  • Colton, California, 10 a.m., September 28, 2006, Colton High School Auditorium. Kempthorne will attend.

The listening sessions will give citizens an opportunity to exchange ideas on incentives, partnership programs, and regulations that can improve results and promote cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships.

The meetings are the latest in a series of discussions the Administration has hosted since the President’s Conference on Cooperative Conservation in August 2005. The conference identified three broad approaches to improving conservation results: promoting cooperation within the federal government, promoting cooperation between the federal government and others, and eliminating barriers to cooperation in existing policy. Some aspects of these ideas are reflected in a recently released summary of new legislation. Other aspects will be explored in the listening sessions announced today.

The meetings will focus on issues, programs, and policies mentioned frequently at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation. Discussion topics will include:

  • How can the federal government enhance wildlife habitat, species protection, and other conservation outcomes through regulatory and voluntary conservation programs?
  • How can the federal government enhance cooperation among federal agencies and with states, tribes, and local communities in the application of environmental protection and conservation laws?
  • How can the federal government work with states, tribes, and other public- and private-sector partners to improve science used in environmental protection and conservation?
  • How can the federal government work cooperatively with businesses and landowners to protect the environment and promote conservation?
  • How can the federal government better respect the interests of people with ownership in land, water, and other natural resources?

Previously, eight of the listening sessions were announced. Additional details not available at the time of the initial announcement are included.

  • Spokane, Washington, 10 a.m., August 9, 2006, Spokane Convention Center, Bays 1 and 2, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, 99201. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen L. Johnson will attend.
  • Helena, Montana, 1 p.m., August 14, 2006, Public Health and Human Services Building, Auditorium. EPA Regional Administrator Robbie Roberts will attend
  • Roanoke, Virginia, 10:30 a.m., August 14, 2006, Roanoke College in Salem, Va. Colket Center, Wortmann Ballroom. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett will attend.
  • Columbus, Ohio, 4 p.m., August 21, 2006, Ohio State University Agricultural Administration Building Auditorium. Scarlett will attend.
  • Redmond, Oregon, 10 a.m., August 22, 2006, Deschutes County Fairgrounds Expo Center. Kempthorne will attend.
  • Jefferson City, Missouri, 1 p.m., August 29, 2006, Runge Conservation Nature Center. United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Natural Resources and Environment Dave Tenny will attend. (Note this is a time change from previous announcement.)
  • Enid, Oklahoma, 1 p.m. August 30, 2006,Cherokee Strip Conference Center, Piner Hall. Tenny will attend.
  • Redding, California, 9 a.m., September 13, 2006, Cascade Theater. United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment Mark Rey will attend.