Interior Secretary Sally Jewell spoke to a crowd at the National Press Club, calling for new mitigation standards, funding for conservation, a push to bring young people into agency service and other important issues.
The valuable role our public lands play across America was highlighted today in a speech by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at a National Press Club luncheon. With the Interior Department still recovering from the recent government shutdown and the long-term impacts of budget cuts brought on by the sequester, Secretary Jewell’s speech underscores the need to fully invest in the management of our public lands as well as looking for ways to balance our country’s energy needs with conservation.
The announcement of a Secretarial Order outlining how the department will mitigate the impacts from development was welcomed by The Wilderness Society. Land conservation, restoration and protection must be put on equal ground with development.
The following statement is from The Wilderness Society’s president, Jamie Williams:
“Polls show a strong consensus that we must do more to protect and conserve our last great places. Today’s announcement is an important one for our public lands.
Mitigation is best accomplished by taking a landscape-level approach, assessing projects ahead of time so that we can identify and protect the areas of highest conservation value, guiding development to areas of least conflict and developing new tools for offsetting impacts. This is a wise step that will better balance energy development and conservation.
We applaud Secretary Jewell for finding ways to connect a diverse country to its great outdoors and we support the Obama Administration in taking bold actions to ensure these special places will be protected for future generations of Americans.
Before the shutdown, reductions in funding were already negatively impacting natural areas and smarter energy planning on public lands. We are confident that Secretary Jewell will highlight these issues across the country. I encourage her to continue a conversation with the American people about protecting our national treasures, which are economic engines for so many communities across the country.”