Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jewell: Oregon takeover among several threats to West

An armed takeover of an Oregon national wildlife refuge is part of a disturbing “extreme movement” to seize public lands and reject the rule of law — putting communities and public employees at risk throughout the West, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says in a speech outlining Obama administration conservation policies.The 41-day standoff this winter came at the same time as two other trends that threaten the West, Jewell said: A push by some politicians to sell off lands that belong to all Americans to the highest bidder, and the rapid disappearance of natural areas throughout the region due to climate change and increased development.Citing a new analysis by a non-profit conservation group, Jewell said natural areas in the West are disappearing at the rate of a football field every two-and-a-half minutes. The trend is especially alarming “because healthy, intact ecosystems are fundamental to the health of our nation,” she said.Jewell, who began her fourth year as Interior secretary this month, is set to deliver the speech Tuesday at the National Geographic Society in Washington. The Associated Press obtained excerpts in advance.The convergence of trends threatening the West has “propped up dangerous voices that reject the rule of law, put communities and hard-working public servants at risk, and fail to appreciate how deeply democratic and American our national parks and public lands are,” Jewell said...more

No comments: