THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR….
BRIDGING THE GROWING DIVIDE BETWEEN YOUNG PEOPLE AND NATURE… THAT'S THE AIM THIS WEEK OF A NEW SECRETARIAL ORDER, ISSUED TO EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES FOR MILLIONS OF YOUTH AND VETERANS TO PLAY, LEARN, SERVE AND WORK IN AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS. ENGAGING THE NEXT GENERATION is ONE OF SECRETARY JEWELL'S KEY INITIATIVES, AND ONE OF THE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S 21ST CENTURY CONSERVATION SERVICE CORPS, OR 21 CSC… THAT'S A NATIONAL COLLABORATIVE EFFORT TO PUT AMERICA'S YOUTH AND VETERANS TO WORK PROTECTING, RESTORING, AND ENHANCING THE NATION'S NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES. THIS WEEK'S SECRETARIAL ORDER FORMALIZES AMBITIOUS GOALS TO EXPAND RECREATIONAL, EDUCATIONAL. VOLUNTEER AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH AND VETERANS ON THE NATION'S PUBLIC LANDS.
THE SECRETARY'S YOUTH ENGAGEMENT ORDER COMES AS THE WHITE HOUSE THIS WEEK HONORED FOURTEEN HEROES AS CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE for ENGAGING COMMUNITIES AND YOUTH IN ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AND CONSERVATION. THE FOURTEEN CHAMPIONS WERE HONORED FOR INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO RE-CONNECTING YOUTH TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS… SECRETARY JEWELL WAS THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER, AND SHE READ FROM SOME OF THE WINNERS' BLOG ENTRIES AS THEY TALKED ABOUT WHAT CONSERVING THE ENVIRONMENT MEANs TO THEM AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.
Despite the overwhelming hardships we persist as a crew, we work, learn, and thrive. Conservation pay doesn't lift individual members out of intergenerational poverty. It does something so much more valuable. It empowers them to lift themselves and to overcome obstacles they set their minds to.
TO SEE THE LIST OF CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE AND READ THEIR STORIES, CHECK OUT WHITE HOUSE.GOV/CHAMPIONS.
THE LAND BUYBACK PROGRAM - THAT'S PART OF THE COBELL SETTLEMENT WITH NATIVE AMERICAN LANDOWNERS - CONTINUES TO MOVE FORWARD… INTERIOR THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED MORE THAN 100-MILLION DOLLARS IN PURCHASE OFFERS have BEEN MADE TO NEARLY 16-THOUSAND OGLALA SIOUX LANDOWNERS WITH FRACTIONATED INTERESTS AT THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION.
THESE OFFERS WILL ALLOW TRIBAL COMMUNITIES WHERE LAND HAS MULTIPLE OWNERS THE ABILITY TO CONSOLIDATE THAT LAND, HOLD IT IN TRUST, AND GIVES TRIBES THE ABILITY TO MAKE FUTURE DECISIONS ABOUT HOW BEST TO DEVELOP THAT LAND FOR THEIR OWN USE.
SECRETARY JEWELL IN IDAHO EARLIER THIS WEEK FOR A BRIEFING AT THE NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER IN BOISE… WITH FIRE SEASONS BECOMING LONGER AND MORE INTENSE, THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR FISCAL YEAR 2015 PROVIDES STABLE FUNDING FOR INTERIOR AND THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE FIRE SUPPRESSION EFFORTS.
AND SOME NEW IMAGES THIS WEEK OF THE SECRETARY'S SWING THROUGH MONTANA THIS PAST WEEKEND… SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED U.S. SENATOR JON TESTER IN MEETINGS WITH LOCAL LEADERS AND STAKEHOLDERS TO DISCUSS A RANGE OF ISSUES, INCLUDING THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF HUNTING, FISHING, OUTDOOR RECREATION AND TOURISM ON PUBLIC LANDS, AND BALANCED ENERGY DEVELOPMENT. THE SECRETARY AND THE SENATOR ALSO MET WITH TRIBAL LEADERS AND TRAVELED TO THE CROW INDIAN RESERVATION FOR A TOUR OF A PLANNED HYDROPOWER PROJECT, PART OF AN HISTORIC WATER RIGHTS AGREEMENT WITH THE CROW TRIBE SIGNED IN 2012.
THAT'S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.
A new Secretarial Order is issued to expand opportunities for youth and veterans to play, learn, serve, and work in America's great outdoors; the White House honors 14 Champions of Change for engaging communities and youth in environmental stewardship and conservation; the Land Buy-Back Program continues to move forward under the Cobell Settlement, with more than $100 million in purchase offers to nearly 16,000 Oglala Sioux landowners; in advance of this year's fire season Secretary Jewell visits the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID; and a recap of the Secretary's visit to Montana last weekend.