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Interior Secretary Offers Vision for Conservation

Secretarial Order underscores LCC role and commitment to landscape-scale planning and design to conserve the Nation's land, water, wildlife and cultural resources in the face of climate change.

Nov. 1, 2013 -- In remarks today at the National Press Club, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell laid out a strong agenda to strengthen the nation's economy and pass along its rich conservation legacy to the next generation – a path forward that includes balanced development and engaging and employing youth on our public lands.

In the wake of the government shutdown, Jewell underscored the real need for Congressional action to support our national parks, refuges, rivers and conservation lands, including mandatory, full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 2015.

As part of Interior’s efforts to encourage balanced development and ensure landscape-level planning, Secretary Jewell issued her first Secretarial Order, which calls for a Department-wide mitigation strategy. The Order will ensure consistency and efficiency in the review and permitting of new energy and other infrastructure development projects, while also providing for the conservation, adaptation and restoration of our nation’s valuable and natural and cultural resources. Central to this strategy will be the use of landscape-scale approaches to identify and facilitate investments in key regional conservation priorities, as well as early integration of mitigation considerations in project planning and design.

To facilitate initial development of the mitigation strategy, the Department's Energy and Climate Change Task Force will first conduct a comprehensive review of the mitigation aspects of existing land and water management practices and procedures, permitting, and environmental review authorities, regulations, and guidance, including but not limited to the National Environmental Policy Act,  Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

As part of this review, the Task Force will assess the role of existing  Department-wide and partnership programs, such as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, in  facilitating improvements in mitigation practices.

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