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Interior Secretary Touts Conservation Plan

Photo by Kirk Siegler
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar spoke about the initiative earlier this year at a dedication ceremony for a new visitor center at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar formally rolled out the Obama Administration’s ambitious conservation initiative Thursday that identifies 100 priority land protection projects in 50 states. The Obama Administration’s newly released “50 State America’s Great Outdoors Report” is part of an ambitious land and wildlife habitat conservation program first announced last year. 

Speaking at a wildlife refuge in Florida, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the administration has been getting input from governors in all fifty states about which projects should be a priority for the federal government. 

"We believe strongly that that conservation agenda is one that will be designed by the American people and accomplished with the support and buy-in of local communities and stakeholders, community by community and state by state," Salazar said.

But it’s not yet clear how much – if any - federal funding will go to the state projects.

Plans for Colorado were not part of the initial announcement, but the Secretary earlier this year visited Denver to hail three local conservation initiatives the Interior Department is interested in; one in the metro area, one in the San Luis Valley and one along the Yampa River basin in northwest Colorado. 

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.
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