U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California

News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 251

Interior Secretary at listening session in San Bernardino

About 160 people joined Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne in San Bernardino to discuss “Cooperative Conservation” last week, the 24th of 26 “Listening Sessions” on the topic being held throughout the country.

While the Secretary held a short news conference, presented awards to local schoolchildren for their conservation efforts, and made brief remarks at the start of the day-long session, his main purpose, he told the crowd, was to listen to them “in an atmosphere that leaves rhetoric aside.”

Secretary Kempthorne and Col. John McMahon listen to a participant's question at the San Bernardino Listening Session.
Secretary Kempthorne and Col. John McMahon listen to a participant's question at the San Bernardino Listening Session.

He indicated that in addition to the listening sessions, more than 15,000 public emails had been received. The goal, he said, was to try to “draw some conclusions on what's working and what's not working.”

Colton Mayor Deirdre Bennett refers to her notes while speaking of her city's problems with the Endangered Species Act while trying to expand a regional medical center
Colton Mayor Dierdre Bennett refers to her notes while speaking of her city's problems with the Endangered Species Act while trying to expand a regional medical center

Secretary Kempthorne congratulates local schoolchildren on their awards for conservation efforts
Secretary Kempthorne congratulates local schoolchildren on their awards for conservation efforts

Some 60 speakers took the opportunity to share with the Secretary their views on a wide range of topics, mostly focusing on the Endangered Species Act. Other public land topics included the Eagle Mountain landfill, Revised Statute 2477, wild burros, and carbonate plants.

Special presentations were made by Ryan Broddrick, Director, Department of Fish and Game, representing Governor Schwarzenegger's Administration and Colton Mayor Deirdre Bennett. Broddrick described the “incredible diversity” of both the people and landscapes in California and noted the California public's “willingness to invest” in conservation. Bennett described the effect of the listing of the Delhi sand-loving fly under the ESA on her city and recent efforts to mitigate those impacts.

Interior Secretary Kempthorne and other panelists listen to informal comments from the audience
Interior Secretary Kempthorne and other panelists listen to comments from the audience


10/06

BLM California News.bytes, issue 251