U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
|Release Date: 05/23/12|
Salazar Highlights 10 Projects in Pacific Northwest and Western States as America’s Great Outdoors Rivers Interior will leverage resources to support river initiatives in every state and District of Columbia (05-22-12)
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today identified river projects in 10 western and Pacific Northwest states to serve as models of the America’s Great Outdoors River Initiative to conserve and restore key rivers across the nation, expand outdoor recreational opportunities and support jobs in local communities.
The 10 river projects are part of a list of 51 ongoing projects that the Secretary is highlighting nationwide, one in each state and the District of Columbia. Ranging from the Elwha River Fish Passage Project in Washington to the Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park in Nevada, today’s projects were selected to provide models for how communities across America can restore and reconnect with the rivers in their backyards.
“Across the country, we are working hand in hand with states, tribes, local communities and other partners to revitalize our nation’s rivers and expand the opportunities for people to fish, swim, boat, and otherwise connect with the great outdoors,” Salazar said. “These on-going projects demonstrate how the federal family can be an effective conservation partner for community-led efforts to improve our rivers, which are the lifeblood of our communities and our economies.”
A map and more detailed descriptions of the river initiatives highlighted by Salazar can be accessed here. Additional river projects across the nation will be announced in the coming days.
The projects identified today are:
Alaska: Kenai River – Kenai River Restoration and Protection Project
California: Sacramento River – Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project
Colorado: Dolores River – Dolores River Tamarisk Removal Project
Hawaii: He’eia River – Lower He’eia Stream Restoration Project
Idaho: Yankee Fork – Yankee Fork Rehabilitation Project
Nevada: Colorado River – Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trails
Oregon: Sandy River – Sandy River Basin Restoration Project
Utah: Escalante River – Escalante River Watershed Partnership
Washington: Elwha River – Elwha River Restoration
Wyoming: North Platte River – Trappers Route Special Recreation Management Area
As part of America’s Great Outdoors Rivers, Interior Department agencies – including the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – will work with states and communities to advance river restoration and recreation by providing technical and other assistance through existing programs and staff, and by leveraging non-federal investments.
“America has more than 3.6 million miles of rivers and streams, and nearly every American lives within a mile of a river or stream, making them some of the nation’s most important recreational and ecological assets,” Salazar added. “America’s Great Outdoors Rivers will help fulfill President Obama’s vision for healthy and accessible rivers as we work to restore and conserve our nation’s treasured waterways.”
Rivers are economic engines for many local communities, supporting recreation and tourism industries by providing opportunities for boating, fishing and hunting, hiking, camping, swimming, and numerous other outdoor activities. Salazar noted that the outdoor industry creates an estimated 6.5 million jobs in the United States and pumps an estimated $730 billion a year into our nation’s economy.
Salazar unveiled America’s Great Outdoors Rivers in January as part of President Obama’s overall America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to work with communities across the country to establish a conservation and recreation agenda for 21st century and to reconnect people, especially young people, to the great outdoors.
The goals of America’s Great Outdoors Rivers include protecting and restoring America’s rivers for people and wildlife and enhancing river recreation that supports jobs in tourism and outdoor recreation.
Under the initiative, Salazar issued a Secretarial Order in February establishing a National Water Trails System, creating a network of designated water trails on rivers across the country that will help facilitate outdoor recreation, especially around urban areas, and provide national recognition to existing, local water trails. He designated the Chattahoochee River Water Trail, which encompasses 48 miles of river within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Georgia, as the first National Water Trail.
In March, Salazar, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Secretary of Commerce John Bryson signed a memorandum of understanding implementing the National Fish Habitat Action Plan to assist state and local governments, landowners, and community groups in protecting and restoring waterways and fisheries.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
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|Last updated: 05-23-2012|
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