Jewell: Charting a new course

In an address to the National Geographic Society today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell called on Congress and the American public to chart a new course forward for the future of national parks and public lands.


“I believe we are at the dawn of a new conservation era in America,” Jewell said. “Americans are more determined than ever to solve the problems we face. To take action to confront climate change. To pass ballot initiatives to fund parks and open space. To work the lands in a sustainable way. To give everyone an equal chance to get outdoors.”


Among other things, Jewell called for a multi-faceted “course correction” to our conservation approach, encouraging diversity, continuing to implement collaborative landscape-level planning to support healthy ecosystems and sustainable development and greater investments in national parks and public lands to prepare for the next century of conservation.


“I’m hopeful that we can convince even more Members to support public land management agencies in accomplishing what the American public expects of us, which is being in the ‘forever business’,” Jewell said.


Her emphasis on adequate funding drew rounds of applause as she noted the record backlog in maintenance, record visitation and the ongoing fight to fund parks and public lands. She specifically called on Congress to “do right” by fully and permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


“Congress took an important initial step to reauthorize the fund for three years, but it should not have been the battle it was, and it should not be seen as enough.”


And here at Trout Unlimited, from horizon of this dawning era to the trenches of the fight to fund these places that give us so much, we couldn’t agree more.


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