Greg Siekaniec


Uploaded by americaswildlife on 21.07.2011

Transcript:
LET'S WELCOME GREG SIEKANIEC, CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE
REFUGE SYSTEM! [ APPLAUSE ]
>> YOU KNOW, FOR A MOMENT I THOUGHT I'D JUST LET THE MAYOR
CONTINUE ON. NOT MUCH NEED FOR ME TO STEP UP
HERE. THOSE WERE GREAT WORDS.
MAY WE ALWAYS BE ABLE TO LOOK TO THE SKY AS THE MAYOR SAID.
ALL RIGHT. GOOD MORNING!
THE LIGHTS ARE DOWN KIND OF LOW. I'M NOT SEEING MANY OF YOU.
AFTER THAT RECEPTION LAST NIGHT I THOUGHT I WOULD GET A PRETTY
GOOD GLARE OFF THE FOREHEADS THIS MORNING.
IT WAS WARM. IT WAS FUN.
IT WAS THAT BEAUTIFUL WISCONSIN BLUE SKY BUT WHAT A GLORIOUS
DAY, WHAT A GLORIOUS EVENING. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
I LOOK AROUND AGAIN, I AM SEEING A FEW OF YOU NOW.
IT'S LIKE, I'M STARTING TO GET INTO THAT MOMENT OF LIKE, WOW,
WHAT AN ESTEEMED GROUP! CONSERVATION GUARDIANS.
FROM ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY. THIS IS JUST REALLY, REALLY
EXCITING. THIS IS COOL.
I'M HUMBLED, ACTUALLY, AND I'M HONORED TO BE AMONG YOU.
ACTUALLY, I NEED TO SAY THANKS. YOU ALL TOOK TIME AWAY FROM YOUR
BUSY SCHEDULES TO TRAVEL GREAT DISTANCES TO JOIN US HERE AS WE
REALLY BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT RIGHT HERE IN MADISON,
WISCONSIN, WHAT IT'S GOING TO MEAN FOR A VISION FOR THE
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM. SO MY ROLL RIGHT NOW TODAY IS
I'M GOING TO OPEN THIS UP A LITTLE BIT.
HOPEFULLY I'LL PROVIDE A FEW THOUGHT PROVOKING REMARKS, MAYBE
GET THE OL' BRAIN CELLS MOVING A LITTLE BIT.
IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD PARTY LAST NIGHT, I'M SURE.
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR HISTORY, SPEAK A BIT TO THE WORK
WE'VE ALREADY PUT INTO THE VISION EFFORT, AND HOPEFULLY
MAYBE WE'LL SET JUST A LITTLE BIT OF THE COURSE OF WHAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN THROUGH THE COURSE OF THE NEXT FEW DAYS.
BUT FIRST LET ME THANK THE FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE HONOR GUARD
FOR A REMARKABLE PRESENTATION OF THE COLORS.
THIS CADRE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE BRAND-NEW TO US.
THEY ONLY FORMED A YEAR AGO. THEY HAVE BECOME THE PRIDE OF
THE FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, AND
FOR THAT I SAY THANK YOU! [ APPLAUSE ]
GINA SWOOPE, WOW, HUH? WHAT AN INSPIRATIONAL RENDITION
OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM. [ APPLAUSE ]
AND THE SECRETARY -- SECRETARY STEPP, THANK YOU FOR YOUR
MESSAGE, THANK YOU FOR WELCOMING US TO WISCONSIN.
AS I SAID, ALREADY, MAYOR PAUL SOGLIN, THOSE WERE GREAT WORDS.
HOW COULD YOU GET ANY BETTER OF A WELCOME.
AND MR. MELIUS, WAY TO PUMP UP THAT REGION, MIDWEST REGION,
WELL DONE. SO THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!
[ APPLAUSE ] WE CHOSE TO COME TO MADISON IN
PART BECAUSE OF ITS HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE TO CONSERVATION.
HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN YOU ALL KNOW ALDO
LEOPOLD BEGAN OUR PROFESSION OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT.
HERE IS WHERE HE WROTE THE ESSAYS THAT WOULD BECOME "A SAND
COUNTY ALMANAC." THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE THE LAND
ETHIC WAS BORN. I HOPE EACH OF YOU REMEMBERS AS
I DO THE FIRST TIME YOU PICKED UP A COPY OF "A SAND COUNTY
ALMANAC" AND ACTUALLY READ IT. I HOPE IT DID FOR YOU WHAT IT
DID FOR ME. IT EXPLAINED SOME OF THAT
CONNECTION TO THE LANDSCAPE THAT YOU'VE FELT ABOUT BUT YOU REALLY
DIDN'T SORT OF PUT IN YOUR OWN WORDS.
YOU WEREN'T THERE. I'M SURE IF YOU CAN RECALL YOU
PROBABLY PONDERED AS I DID THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT SORT OF
ECOLOGY, THE ECOLOGICAL CONNECTION THAT YOU ACTUALLY
FELT AS THE FIERCE GREEN FIRE DYED FROM THE EYES OF THAT OLD
WOLF IN "THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN."
SO MADISON IS A FITTING PLACE FOR ALL OF US TO COME TOGETHER,
THE STEWARDS OF LAND, WATER AND WILDLIFE, WHAT A PLACE TO
GATHER. AND WHAT A GATHERING THIS WILL
PROVE TO BE. THE ENERGY I FELT LAST NIGHT AT
THE RECEPTION WAS NOTHING SHORT OF REMARKABLE.
IT WAS EXCITING. IT'S POWERFUL.
ANY TIME YOU GET A THOUSAND PEOPLE GATHERED WITH A
CONSERVATION SORT OF PERSPECTIVE AND BACKGROUND AND INTEREST, I
KNOW THERE WERE MORE DEALS CUT LAST NIGHT TO DO THINGS ON THE
LANDSCAPE THAN ANY OTHER TIME, AND I KNOW THEY'RE GOING TO
CONTINUE BECAUSE THE IMPORTANT PART OF THE BUSINESS HERE
HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE OUT HAVING COFFEE WANDER AND TRYING TO
ACTUALLY GET YOU TO GO TO SESSIONS AND DO THOSE SORTS OF
THINGS. SO KEEP THAT UP.
AND IT'S REMARKABLE FOR ME TO SEE SO MANY CONSERVATION
PARTNERS AND FRIENDS SHARING IN THIS EXCITEMENT.
WE HAVE REPRESENTATION, WE HAVE ALL OF THE REFUGE MANAGEMENT, WE
HAVE REFUGES, WETLAND DISTRICT MANAGERS, MONUMENTS FROM ALL
OVER THE COUNTRY. FRIENDS FROM ALL OVER THE
COUNTRY. I'M GRATEFUL TO SEE LEADERSHIP
FROM OUR STATE FISH & WILDLIFE AGENCIES HERE WITH US.
AND I'M PLEASED TO BE HONORING OUR RECENTLY CONFIRMED DIRECTOR
DAN ASHE TO THIS CONSERVATION GATHERING.
WELCOME, DAN! [ APPLAUSE ]
YES, I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DID NOT TAKE A MOMENT TO REMEMBER
SAM HAMILTON. I'M SURE SAM'S CONSERVATION
SPIRIT IS WITH US THIS WEEK. SO THE SYNERGY OF PASSION FOR
WILD PLACES AND CREATURES CREATES A POWERFUL ATMOSPHERE TO
FINISH THE WORK OF CRAFT INNOVATION FOR AMERICA'S
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM. IT SETS THE STAGE FOR US TO PLAN
AND BEGIN ITS IMPLEMENTATION. IMPLEMENTATION.
TO TURN OUR WORDS INTO ACTIONS. I MUST ADMIT, A LOT OF PONDERING
HAS GONE INTO THIS EVENT LEADING UP TO THIS.
I WANDERED BACK A COUPLE TIMES TO OUR GATHERING AT KEYSTONE,
COLORADO IN THE FALL OF 1998. WE FIRST FELT THAT POWERFUL
EXPERIENCE AND EMOTION OF GATHERING THE WHOLE LARGE GROUP
TOGETHER TO CONSIDER A SHARED FUTURE.
THE VISION WE CRAFTED THERE FULFILLING THE PROMISE HAS
ACTUALLY SERVED US INCREDIBLY WELL.
AND IT IS A FOUNDATION TO OUR RENEWED VISION, CONSERVING THE
FUTURE. I REMEMBER THESE WORDS VERY
VIVIDLY. WE WORKED ON THESE WORDS, WE
TOILED OVER THESE WORDS... WE ARE LAND STEWARDS GUIDED BY ALDO
LEOPOLD'S TEACHING THAT LAND IS A COMMUNITY OF LIFE AND THAT WE
LOVE AND RESPECT FOR LAND IS AN EXTENSION OF ETHIC.
WE SEEK TO REFLECT THAT LAND ETHIC IN OUR STEWARDSHIP AND
INSTILL IT IN OTHERS. THOSE WORDS ARE THE FIRST OF THE
GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM
THAT WE ARE ARTICULATED IN FULFILLING THE PROMISE.
THESE PRINCIPLES, THEY REPRESENT OUR CORE VALUES.
THE THINGS THAT NEVER CHANGE, EVEN WHEN EVERYTHING ELSE AROUND
US DOES. IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYTHING IS
CHANGING AND CHANGING FASTER THAN WE AS LAND MANAGERS AND
CONSERVATIONISTS HAVE EVER SEEN. YET THINGS HAVE CHANGED BEFORE.
THEY'VE CHANGED IN THE PAST. DRAMATIC CHANGE.
CHALLENGES OCCURRED OVER TIME. OUR CONSERVATION HEROES AND OUR
COLLEAGUES ROSE TO THOSE CHALLENGES.
JUST AS WE MUST AND WILL RISE TO THE CHALLENGES OF TODAY.
JUST AS WE MUST. THINK FOR A MOMENT, PUT YOURSELF
BACK IN TIME, WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE TO FIND YOURSELF A
CONSERVATIONIST IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY.
WHAT WAS HAPPENING? WOULD YOU HAVE KNOWN YOU WERE
WITNESSING THE EXTINCTION OF THE PASSENGER PIGEON?
WOULD YOU HAVE SENSED BISON WERING SLAUGHTERED UNTIL THEY
NEARLY DISAPPEARED FROM THE GREAT PLANES?
ALL IN THE BRIEF SPAN OF A SINGLE GENERATION.
THINK AGAIN WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN TO WITNESS THE DUST BOWL
COMING ON THE HEELS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION.
TOPSOIL FROM THE PLAINS SETTLED ON OCEAN-GOING VESSELS.
AND THE FISHING FLEET OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC.
MORE THAN 100 NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES FOLLOWED ON THE HEALS OF
THOSE DIRTY '30S. AND MORE RECENTLY THINK OF THE
INDUSTRIAL IMPACTS OF THE 1950S AND THE 1960S.
AN AMERICAN RIVER CATCHING FIRE. AND DISCOVERING THAT THE RAIN
FROM THE SKY WAS FALLING TO THE GROUND AS CAUSTIC ACID.
I ACTUALLY REMEMBER. AND OUR COUNTRY RESPONDED.
WE DEMANDED CLEAN AIR AND CLEAN WATER.
ALL RIGHT. KEEP THINKING.
LET'S GO A LITTLE CLOSER TO TODAY.
NOT EVEN A GENERATION REMOVED. OUR COLLEAGUES, MANY OF OUR
SUPERVISORS, OUR MENTORS AND OUR FRIENDS, WITNESSED WATERFOWL
POPULATION PLUMMET TO ALL-TIME LOWS.
THEY RESPONDED AND THEY DELIVERED WHAT IS ARGUABLY ONE
OF THE GREATEST CONSERVATION SUCCESSES IN RECENT TIME, THE
NORTH AMERICAN WATERFOWL MANAGEMENT PLAN.
WITH THAT EFFORT, THESE MENTORS OF HOPE, THEY HANDED TO THE
DENIZENS OF THE PRAIRIES TO THE FLYWAYS A BLUEPRINT THAT SHOWED
THE WAY FOR CONSERVATION DELIVERY THAT RESTORED
CONTINENTAL WATERFOWL POPULATIONS.
YET THE NORTH AMERICAN PLAN IS A SIMPLE CONSTRUCT.
BUT THE LESSONS ARE IMPORTANT. A SHARED VISION, CONSERVATION
TARGETS, COOPERATION IN THE FORM OF JOINT VENTURES AND FINALLY A
MEANS TO DELIVER THROUGH THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND
THE MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION COMMISSION AND A NEW PARTNERS
FOR WILDLIFE PROGRAM. SO IN EACH OF THESE TIMES PEOPLE
ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE. THEY ROSE TO THE CHANGE OF THE
TIME. AND IN THESE CHALLENGES, TOO, IT
MUST HAVE SEEMED INCREDIBLY OVERWHELMING.
BUT THEY WORKED HARD, THEY INNOVATED, THEY PERSEVERED, AND
THEY HAD A VISION. THEY HAD A VISION.
AND THEY RALLIED. THEY RALLIED OTHERS TO THE
CAUSE. AND YOU THINK BACK AGAIN THE
NAMES... ROOSEVELT, MERRIAM, PINCHOT, MUIR, KROEGEL, LEOPOLD,
MURIE, DARLING, GABRIEL SUN, SALYER, CARSON, AND THE UNSUNG
SO FAR HARVEY NELSON. ARE A FEW OF THESE CONSERVATION
HEROES. AND THEY GAVE US THAT GIFT OF
INSPIRATION. THEY ALSO GAVE US A CORNERSTONE,
THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE TO A CONSERVATION FOUNDATION.
AND IT'S STRONG AND WE WILL BUILD OUR VISION ON THAT
FOUNDATION. SO I'VE BEEN ASKED MORNING ONCE
BY MANY WHY NOW? WHY START THIS VISION PROCESS?
AND THE ANSWER, I THINK, IS IN SORT OF WHERE I'VE BEEN TAKING
THIS... THE CHALLENGES. THE CHALLENGES ARE DIFFERENT
TODAY. ARE THEY DIFFERENT TODAY?
I THINK THE PACE OF CHANGE IS UNPRECEDENTED.
THE PACE OF CHANGE I THINK IS WHAT'S DIFFERENT.
WE RECOGNIZE ECOLOGICAL ISSUES ARE OF A PLANETARY SCALE NOW.
THEY ARE NOT LOCAL. THE NEED TO ACT IS BECOMING
URGENT. THE TIME TO ACT IS SHORT.
AND THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW. THE EARTH'S CLIMATE, LET'S TALK
ABOUT THAT FOR A LITTLE BIT. IT'S CHANGING AT AN ACCELERATING
RATE. AND IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO
CAUSE ABRUPT CHANGES AND TO DISRUPT ECOSYSTEMS AND DO WHAT?
INCREASE THE RISK OF SPECIES EXTINCTIONS.
WHAT WE CARE ABOUT. WHEN I LOOK AT CURRENT FLOODING
AT PLACES WHERE I'VE ACTUALLY WORKED LIKE J. CLARK SALYER IN
NORTH DAKOTA, IT'S NOT ONLY HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE, IT'S HARD FOR
ME TO ENVISION OR IMAGINE THAT THIS LITTLE SERENE RIVER CALLED
THE MOUSE RIVER RUNNING THROUGH THIS LITTLE PLACE IN NORTH
DAKOTA IS BECOMING A RAGING TORRENT.
IF I HAD TO GUESS, IT'S LIKELY TO BECOME THE THIRD LARGEST LAKE
IN NORTH DAKOTA FOR A WHILE. THE RECORD-SETTING FLOODS THIS
YEAR HAVE AFFECTED NEARLY THE ENTIRE MISSISSIPPI AND MISSOURI
RIVER WATERSHEDS. AT THE SAME TIME, THE GREAT
OKEFENOKEE SWAMP IS ON FIRE FOR THE SECOND TIME IN FOUR YEARS
WITH NEARLY 300,000 ACRES BURNED.
ALLIGATOR RIVER REFUGE IN NORTH CAROLINA HAS BEEN BURNING FOR
MONTHS, AGAIN, ALSO THE SECOND TIME IN FOUR YEARS.
LOXAHATCHEE REFUGE IN SOUTH FLORIDA EXPERIENCED ITS MOST
SEVERE DROUGHT EVER, CLOSING A CANOE TRAIL BECAUSE OF A LACK OF
WATER IN FLORIDA. MISSISSIPPI SANDHILL CRANES ARE
ACTUALLY SEARCHING FOR THE FEW PONDS ON THE REFUGE THAT MAY
ACTUALLY STILL HOLD WATER. ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS,
THOSE OF YOU FROM THERE, YOU KNOW SO WELL DEVASTATING
WILDFIRES. THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE WEST HUGE
AREAS OF MOUNTAIN PINE FORESTS HAVE FALLEN VICTIM TO BEETLE
INFESTATIONS, SPRUCE BARK BEETLES IN ALASKA HAVE CHANGED
THE LANDSCAPE PROFOUNDLY IN MANY PLACES.
KATRINA, RITA, IVAN, IKE, OTHER FIERCE STORMS DEVASTATED SO MANY
OF OUR COASTAL REFUGES. THOSE NAMES ARE STILL FRESH ON
OUR MINDS. WE CAN NOW MEASURE A RISING SEA.
WE ARE WITNESS TO CORAL BLEACHING EVENTS AND HYPOXIA IN
THE GULF. SCIENCE MAY NOT PRECISELY TIE
THESE INDIVIDUAL WEATHER EVENTS TO CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT THEY ARE
CERTAINLY CONSISTENT WITH THE PREDICTIONS, AND WE CAN EXPECT
MORE IN THE FUTURE. WE KNOW NOW THAT REGARDLESS OF
WHAT IS DONE TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, THE
CARBON ALREADY IN THE ATMOSPHERE WILL CAUSE THE CLIMATE TO
CONTINUE TO WARM OVER THE NEXT 50 YEARS.
THE TIME IS NOW... BOLD CONSERVATION MEASURES... THE
TIME IS NOW. WE WILL HELP FISH & WILDLIFE
ADAPT TO A CHANGING LANDSCAPE. CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT THE ONLY
STRESSOR. WE CAN'T GET HUNG UP AND STOP
THERE. THE U.S. POPULATION HAS GROWN BY
58 MILLION IN THE LAST 20 YEARS. IT WILL GROW BY ANOTHER 100
MILLION OR MORE BY MID-CENTURY. IT WILL GROW BY ANOTHER 100
MILLION -- SORRY -- BY 2050, BY 2050, 1 IN 5 WILL BE SENIORS.
1 IN 5 WILL ACTUALLY BE SENIORS. THE DEMAND FOR ENERGY RESOURCES
OF ALL KINDS IS GROWING RAPIDLY. WHAT DOES THAT DO?
ITS INCREASING PRICES. YOU'VE ALL FELT IT.
AND IT INCREASES THE DEMANDS ON THE LAND.
THE DEMAND ON THE LAND IS HUGE. OVER 400 MILLION TONS OF GRAIN
THE UNITED STATES HARVESTED IN 2010.
126 MILLION TONS WENT TO ETHANOL FUEL DISTILLERIES.
UP FROM 16 MILLION. 110 ADDITIONAL MILLION TONS IN A
10-YEAR SPAN. THIS PLACE IS A HUGE DE-- THIS
PLACES A HUGE DEMAND ON OUR LAND AND OUR ALREADY SCARCE WATER
SUPPLIES. I SPENT FIVE MONTHS ON A DETAIL
TO THE SOUTHERN NEVADA WATER AUTHORITY IN 2007.
I WITNESSED AND LEARNED JUST HOW COMPLICATED WATER ISSUES CAN BE
OR HOW COMPLICATED THEY ALREADY ARE.
IF YOU LIVE AND WORK IN THE SOUTHWEST, THE EXPECTED
POPULATION GROWTH IS UNBELIEVABLE.
YOUR JOB WILL NOT GET EASIER. NOR WILL CONSERVATION BE THE
HIGHEST PRIORITY. WHEN PEOPLE SIMPLY NEED WATER
FOR THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES, FOR THEIR OWN HOMETOWNS.
ALL THESE PRESSURES WILL FURTHER FRAGMENT LANDSCAPES.
IN TURN, OUR ROLE, WE MUST WORK HARD.
WE NEED TO CONFIGURE A LANDSCAPE THAT WILL GIVE WILDLIFE A CHANCE
TO ADAPT. AS WE CONSIDER OUR VISION FOR
CONSERVING THE FUTURE AND THE STAGGERING ARRAY OF THESE
CHALLENGES WE FACE, I THINK WE'RE WISE TO REFLECT ON
LEOPOLD'S WORDS... WE ABUSE LAND BECAUSE WE REGARD IT AS A
COMMODITY, BELONGING TO US. WHEN WE SEE LAND AS A COMMUNITY
TO WHICH WE ALL BELONG, WE MAY BEGIN TO USE IT WITH LOVE AND
RESPECT. OUR COMMUNITY TO WHICH WE
BELONG. AND WITH LOVE AND RESPECT.
SO AMERICA'S CHANGING IN OTHER WAYS AS WELL.
OUR NATION IS BECOMING MORE URBAN.
80% OF OUR POPULATION ARE NOW LIVING IN AND AROUND CITIES.
WE ARE BECOMING MORE DETACHED FROM THE NATURAL WORLD.
FEWER AND FEWER PEOPLE ARE LIVING RURAL LIFESTYLES.
THEY DO NOT HAVE A CLOSE RELATION AND DEPENDENCY ON THE
LAND. IT'S OUT OF SIGHT, IT'S OUT
MIND. WE ARE GETTING OLDER.
AND WE ARE LIVING LONGER. THE BABY BOOM GENERATION IS
BECOMING ELIGIBLE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY.
THE COST OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS, IT WILL SQUEEZE PRIORITIES.
DO YOU THINK IT WILL SQUEEZE THE CONSERVATION PRIORITY?
I GUARANTEE YOU IT WILL. YET, THINK ABOUT THIS AGING
GENERATION. FOR ONE, IT'S TO BE CELEBRATED
BECAUSE I'M GETTING THERE. BUT THINK ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY,
A POTENTIAL GOLD MINE OF VOLUNTEERS.
IF WE WELCOME THEM TO REFUGES, AND, YES, WE WILL NEED TO MAKE
SURE REFUGES ARE AGE FRIENDLY AND PART OF A LIVE LONG AND LIVE
WELL NETWORK. I THINK WE CAN DO THAT.
THE CHILDREN OF THE BOOMERS ARE GIVING US A NEW BABY BOOM, AND
TALK ABOUT A WIRED GENERATION... THEY ARE TECHNICALLY SAVVY, BUT
THEY'RE LESS LIKELY TO ENGAGE IN THE TRADITIONS OF HUNTING,
FISHING, OTHER OUTDOOR RECREATIONS.
I GREW UP IN WESTERN MINNESOTA. I WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE A LAKE
CABIN NEAR TAMARACK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE.
I SPENT MANY OF MY CHILDHOOD DAYS DOING WHAT KIDS DO,
SWIMMING, RUNNING AROUND, TRAPPING TURTLES, SORT OF
LEARNING MUCH ABOUT THE WILDLIFE OF THE AREA, LEARNING TO FISH,
LEARNING TO HUNT, AND AT A 10 FOOT JON BOAT AND A SMALL BOAT
THERE WAS A WORLD TO EXPLORE. I WAS ENTHRALLED WITH NAVIGATING
THE SMALL BOAT. I WAS FINDING OLD LOGGING
CHANNELS CUT IN EARLIER TIMES. FOUND BACKWATER SLEWS AND LAKES.
I EVENTUALLY FOUND THE OTTER TAIL RIVER WHICH LED ME TO THIS
MYSTERIOUS PLACE, TAMARACK REFUGE.
WHAT A GREAT PLACE IT WAS THEN AND ACTUALLY STILL IS TODAY.
I'M FORTUNATE I GET TO GET THERE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.
I CHERISH THOSE EXPERIENCES. I WISH EVERY KID COULD DO
SOMETHING SIMILAR, BUT I KNOW, AND TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, I'M
SADDENED, MOST WILL NOT. TODAY THE INFORMATION GENERATION
DOESN'T OFTEN GET THE OPPORTUNITY THAT I HAD AND I
HOPE MANY OF YOU HAD YOUR YOUTH BUT THEY KNOW MORE ABOUT THE
WORLD. THEY ACTUALLY KNOW MORE ABOUT
ECOLOGY THAN I COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED IN MY YOUTH.
THEY TRAVEL. THEY TRAVEL SO WIDELY.
YET THEY TEND TO OVERLOOK THE RESOURCES IN THEIR OWN
COMMUNITIES. SO WE MUST WIRE THEM IN TO
CONSERVING THE FUTURE BECAUSE, AFTER ALL, THE FUTURE BELONGS TO
THEM. SO, IT'S NOT NEWS TO ANYONE HERE
IN AMERICA THAT WE'RE BECOMING MORE ETHNICALLY DIVERSE.
THERE ARE OVER 100 LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN THE FAIRFAX COUNTY
SCHOOL DISTRICT WHERE I LIVE. FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA.
100 LANGUAGES. WE HAVE A RICH MIXTURE OF
CULTURES IN OUR NATION. BUT THE CULTURE OF CONSERVATION
IN MANY WAYS, I FEAR, IS MISSING.
WITH MANY LESS LIKELY TO HUNT, FISH AND, AGAIN, SPEND TIMES
OUTDOORS IN RECREATIONAL PURSUITS.
THE BURGEONING POPULATION THAT IS MORE URBAN AND ETHNICALLY
DIVERSE PRESENTS US THE CHALLENGE OF BUILDING AND
MAINTAINING THE STRONG CONSERVATION CONSTITUENCY.
OUR CONSTITUENTS ARE IMPORTANT, MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER, AS THE
ECONOMICS AND THE NATIONAL DEBT OF OUR COUNTRY MAKES COMPETING
FOR FUNDING MORE DIFFICULT. AS EVIDENCED JUST LAST WEEK BY
THE 2012 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MARK, IT'S OUT
THERE, WE KNOW, WE HAVE OUR CHALLENGE, WE WILL STEP TO THE
CHALLENGE. TODAY'S ECONOMY IS VASTLY
DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE WE HAD AT THE TIME WE WERE IN KEYSTONE.
OUR BUDGETS WERE RUNNING SURPLUSES.
WE WERE NOT AT WAR. THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SOME OF THE
BIG FUNDING INCREASES THAT WE EXPERIENCED, WE WERE FORTUNATE
FOR. THE ONES WE SAW IN THE PAST IS
UNLIKELY IN THE SHORTRUN. SO IF WE WANT OUR CONSERVATION
MISSION TO REMAIN RELEVANT IN A CHANGING AMERICA, WE MUST DEVICE
A MEANS TO GROW A LARGER CONSERVATION CONSTITUENCY.
IT'S IMPERATIVE. ALL THESE CHANGES PRESENT
ENORMOUS CHALLENGE THAT THREATEN OUR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
MISSION. THE CHALLENGE FOR US IS TO FIND
NEW AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO THIS IMPENDING ECOLOGICAL MORAS.
WE NEED TO STEP UP. LET'S MOVE WITH A SENSE OF
URGENCY. WE MUST TELL OUR STORIES.
WE MUST TELL OUR STORIES WITH THE HEART OF A POET AND THE
FACTS OF A SCIENTIST. AS WE ENGAGE AMERICANS IN THE
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR LAND. IF WE ARE GOING TO SUCCEED, WE
MUST HAVE THIS SHARED VISION OF HOW WE WILL GO FORWARD.
THAT, IN PART, IS WHY WE'RE HERE.
THAT IS WHY WE HAVE WORKED SO HARD OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS TO
CRAFT A VISION FOR CONSERVING THE FUTURE.
OUR JOURNEY HAS BEEN FASCINATING.
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE HAVE WORKED TO CRAFT THIS VISION.
THOUSANDS MORE HAVE ADDED COMMENTS TO THE BOLD IDEAS THAT
ENRICHED OUR DISCUSSION. WE OVERREACHED.
WE TOOK IT TOO FAR. BUT WE WERE OPEN, WE HAD A VERY
OPEN PUBLIC PROCESS. WE SLID BENEATH THE SURFACE FOR
JUST THAT LITTLE PERIOD OF TIME, AND THEN WE KIND OF CAME UP FOR
A BREATH OF AIR AND WE PRODUCED A MUCH MORE VISION-ORIENTED
STATEMENT. I HOPE YOU'VE HAD A CHANCE TO
READ IT. IT IS REALLY STARTING TO COME
TOGETHER. ALL YOUR EFFORTS, YOUR HARD
WORK, YOUR CREATIVE THINKING HAVE SORT OF SHARPENED OUR
FOCUS. THIS WEEK WE WILL WORK TO REFINE
AND CLARIFY THAT VISION STATEMENT.
SO LET ME TURN NOW FOR A LITTLE BIT.
LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE VISION PROCESS AND SORTED OF
WHERE WE ARE. I WAS STRUCK BY THE EXTENT OF
THE COMMENTS CONCERNING ISSUES THAT FRANKLY ARE HUGE.
THEY'RE MUCH LARGER THAN WHAT WE AS A REFUGE SYSTEM OR WHAT WE AS
A FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE COULD PROBABLY DELIVER.
THERE WAS AN OBVIOUS TO ME, A HUE AND CRY FOR A COMPREHENSIVE
APPROACH THAT ADDRESSES THE CONSERVATION CHALLENGES OF THE
21ST CENTURY. THESE VERY SENTIMENTS WERE
EXPRESSED TIME AND TIME AGAIN DURING THE LISTENING SESSIONS
FOR AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS AS IT WAS CROSS CROSSING OUR
COUNTRY WHILE IT WAS OUT ON THE ROAD.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS PROVIDES A COMPREHENSIVE 21ST
CENTURY CONSERVATION AGENDA. OUR RECOMMENDATIONS, THE
RECOMMENDATIONS IN CONSERVING THE FUTURE VISION DESCRIBE WAYS
THE REFUGE SYSTEM WILL CONTRIBUTE TO OVERALL NATIONAL
EFFORT. SO LET ME TALK JUST QUICKLY.
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT FOUR AREAS OF CONSERVING THE FUTURE THAT I
THINK ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND I HOPE YOU FIND A LITTLE BIT
EXCITING AND HOPEFULLY WILL WHET YOUR APPETITE FOR GETTING INTO
THE RICH CONVERSATIONS, DISCUSSIONS THAT WILL HELP US
REFINE THIS FURTHER OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.
FIRST, THE STRATEGIC GROWTH OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
SYSTEM. IT'S SOMETHING WE'RE VERY PROUD
OF. AN ISSUE THAT'S COVERED IN FOUR
RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE VISION DOCUMENT.
THE REFUGE IMPROVEMENT ACT CLEARLY TELLS US TO PLAN AND
DIRECT THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
SYSTEM. WE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE
CONSERVATION OF THE ECOSYSTEMS OF THE UNITED STATES TO THAT
COMPLEMENT THE EFFORTS OF THE STATES AND OTHER FEDERAL
AGENCIES. HAVE WE CAPITALIZED ON THAT ONE?
WE WILL CONSERVE FISH AND WILDLIFE AND THEIR HABITATS.
SO THE FIRST STEP I THINK WE NEED IS TO TAKE A RAPID
TOP-TO-BOTTOM ASSESSMENT OF THE SYSTEM'S CURRENT ACQUISITION
PROJECTS, THOSE CURRENTLY ESTABLISHED REFUGES, THOSE THAT
HAVE LANDS TO FILL IN WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES.
OVER THE NEXT YEAR WE WILL BE MAKING DECISIONS ON A NUMBER OF
NEW REFUGES AND MAJOR EXPANSIONS THAT ARE ALREADY IN THE
PLANNING. OUR DECISIONS MUST BE INFORMED
BY A THOROUGH KNOWLEDGE OF THE AUTHORIZANCE OF THE -- CURRENT
KNOWLEDGE. WE HAVE TO PROTECT HABITS AT
PLACES LIKE CACHE RIVER, THE LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND THE
GRASSLANDS OF THE MIDWEST. OUR FUTURE PLANS MUST INCLUDE
FINISHING THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK CURRENTLY UNDER WAY.
WE MUST NOT FORGET. LAND PROTECTION STRATEGIES IN
THE FUTURE MUST PLACE REFUGES AND PROTECTED AREAS IN A
LANDSCAPE CONTEXT AND CONSIDER THE ROLE OF WORKING LAND.
EFFORTS MUST FOCUS ON REPRESENTATION OF ECOLOGICAL
COMMUNITIES, REDUNDANCY OF PROTECTION, ADEQUATE SIZE AND
CONFIGURATION AND CONNECTIVITY NEEDED TO EFFECTUATE THESE
PROTECTED AREAS. CONSERVATION WILL INCLUDE THE
IMPORTANT ROLL ROLE OF WORKING RANCHES, FARMS APPEARED FOREST
AS WELL AS PRIVATELY OWNED RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES IN
LYNNING AND -- LINKING AND BUFFERING KEY PROTECTED AREAS.
MUST RECOGNIZE COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS ARE ESSENTIAL IN
CONFIGURING A CONSERVATION LANDSCAPE LARGE ENOUGH TO
PROTECT THE NATURAL WORLD, THE WORLD THAT YOU LOVE, THE FISH
AND WILDLIFE WE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT.
WE'VE BEEN LEADERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THESE STRATEGIES
IN NUMEROUS PLACES. GRASSLANDS OF THE PRAIRIES,
ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT, THE FLINT HILLS OF KANSAS, LET'S JUMP WEST
TO THE FOOTHILLS OF CALIFORNIA. HOW ABOUT TO THE SOUTHEAST IN
THE EVERGLADES HEADWATERS. TO THE NORTHEAST THE SILVIO O.
CONTE. BUT YET THERE IS MUCH MORE TO BE
DONE. WE MUST FINISH A PLAN TO GUIDE
THE STRATEGIC GROWTH OF THE SYSTEM.
HERE AGAIN I THINK LEOPOLD'S ADVICE DOES NOT JUST WHISPER TO
US HERE. IT SPEAKS LOUDLY.
TO KEEP EVERY COG AND WHEEL IS THE FIRST PRECAUTION OF
INTELLIGENT TINKERING. EVERY COG AND WHEEL.
SECOND, A STRONG COMMITMENT TO CONSERVATION SCIENCE.
THE REFUGE SYSTEM IS COMMITTED TO A FOUNDATION OF CONSERVATION
SCIENCE. IT HAS APPLICATION TO REFUGE
MANAGEMENT DECISIONS. IT IS SUPPORTED THROUGH ROBUST
INVENTORY AND MONITORING. ON OCCASION IT WILL REQUIRE
DELIBERATE RESEARCH. AND WE MUST FOSTER COMMUNICATION
AND COLLABORATION WITH OUR STATE COUNTERPARTS, ACADEMICS, OTHER
SERVICES OFFICES AND OUR PARTNERS.
ONE PRINCIPLE IS ABSOLUTE... WE MUST APPLY THE BEST AVAILABLE
SCIENCE TO YOUR REFUGE MANAGEMENT DECISIONS.
WHETHER MANAGERS, POLICYMAKERS, WE MUST GROUND OUR DECISIONS IN
MANAGEMENT ACTIONS WITH THAT SCIENCE.
IT IS NOT A LUXURY. IT IS NOT A LUXURY.
IT IS A CREDIT TO OUR PROFESSION.
IT IS REMARKABLE TO ME THAT AFTER 108 YEARS WE STILL LACK
BASIC INVENTORIES MANY OF THE LIFE FORMS FOUND ON MANY
REFUGES. WE SHOULD KNOW WHAT WE HAVE SO
WE CAN CARE FOR IT PROPERLY. I'M PLEASED THAT WE HAVE
REINVIGORATED OUR INVENTORY AND MONITORING EFFORT AS A KEY
BUILDING BLOCK FOR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES AND WETLAND
MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS. I'M VERY EXCITED BY THE PROGRESS
WE HAVE MADE WITH OUR NEW NATURAL RESOURCE PROGRAM CENTER
IN FORT COLLINS, COLORADO. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING.
IN CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND IN SO MUCH OF OUR VISION WE WILL,
OF COURSE, NOT SUCCEED ALONE. I'VE SAID IT MANY TIMES.
WE INTEND TO BE BOTH STRONG LEADERS AND STRONG PARTNERS.
OUR WORK MUST BE INTEGRATED WITH THE PLANS OF THE STATES AND
COORDINATED WITH THE EFFORTS OF THE LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
CO-OPERATIVES. IF WE COORDINATE, WE PUBLIC OUR
RESULTS AND SHARE OUR FOUNDINGS IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS WE
WILL ENHANCE CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND CONTRIBUTE BROADLY
TO DESIGNING MORE EFFECTIVE CONSERVATION DELIVERY.
WE WILL HAVE MORE EFFECTIVE CONSERVATION DELIVERY.
THIRD, A CONNECTED CONSERVATION CONSTITUENCY.
REFUGE SYSTEM HAS A STEADFAST COMMITMENT TO AND A LONG
STANDING CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIP WITH AMERICA'S
HUNTERS AND ANGLERS. THIS PARTNERSHIP HAS PROTECTED
MILLIONS ACRES. IT HAS RESTORED AND ENHANCED
LAND AND WATERS THROUGHOUT THE NATION AND PROVIDED CONTINUING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THESE TRADITIONS.
DUCK STAMPS... DUCK STAMPS PURCHASED BY HUNTERS CONTINUE TO
PROMOTE ACQUISITION OF IMPORTANT CONSERVATION LAND AND WATER.
I'M CONFIDENT THAT REFUGES CAN PROVIDE NEW HUNTING AND FISHING
PROGRAMS, NEW OPPORTUNITIES, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO STAND
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH HUNTERS AND ANGLERS IN SUPPORT
OF CONSERVATION. WE HAVE A STRONG COMMITMENT TO
AND FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS AND FRIENDS.
WE HAVE ADDED 10,000 NEW VOLUNTEERS SINCE KEYSTONE...
10,000 NEW ONES. WE NOW HAVE MORE THAN 40,000
VOLUNTEERS HELPING US DAY IN AND DAY OUT ON NATIONAL WILDLIFE
REFUGES. WE HAVE 250 FRIENDS GROUPS AND
OUR VISION CALLS FOR ALL REFUGES AND WETLAND MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS
TO BECOME ENGAGED. COMMUNITY SUPPORT AND
VOLUNTEERISM ARE CRITICAL TO SUCCESSFUL CONSERVATION BUT THE
TRUTH IS, WE DO NOT HAVE A BROAD ENOUGH BASE OF SUPPORT TO KEEP
OUR CONSERVATION WORK RELEVANT. THE CHANGING AMERICA AND
RELEVANCY NEED TO COME TOGETHER. WE MUST GROW OUR BASE OF SUPPORT
BY WORKING IN FLEW PLACES AND IN NEW -- NEW PLACES AND IN NEW
WAYS. WE MUST GO WHERE PEOPLE LIVE.
WHAT DID I SAY EARLIER? THAT'S THE CITIES.
OUR VISION CALLS FOR A NEW URBAN REFUGE INITIATIVE.
WE ALREADY HAVE REFUGES IN SOME PRETTY UNIQUE AND PRETTY COOL
PLACES... PHILADELPHIA, DENVER, MINNEAPOLIS, SAN FRANCISCO,
PORTLAND. THERE'S MORE.
BUT WE HAVE NOT YET DEFINED GOALS FOR SUCCESS FOR URBAN
REFUGES TO REACH NEW CONSTITUENTS.
WE HAVE NOT MADE INVESTMENTS THAT SPEAK TO THE POTENTIAL OF
THESE URBAN TREASURES. URBAN TREASURES.
WHEN WE START LOOKING AT THEM THAT WAY, WE WILL BUILD SOME NEW
CONSTITUENCIES. AS WE IMPLEMENT OUR VISION WE
WILL DESCRIBE NEW STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE FOR URBAN REFUGES AND
NOT ALL OF OUR WORK IN CITIES CAN INVOLVE ESTABLISHING A NEW
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, NOR SHOULD IT.
JUST LIKE OUR PARTNERS FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE PROGRAM HAS BROUGHT
CONSERVATION BEYOND OUR BOUNDARY, OUR EXPERTISE IS USED
OUTSIDE OF THE BOUNDARIES, WE NEED TO LOOK FOR THAT AND TAKE
THAT TO OUR URBAN AREAS. LET'S TAKE OUR EXPERTISE AND
LET'S USE IT. ALL THE -- ALDO LEOPOLD SPOKE TO
THIS DILEMMA MANY YEARS AGO. HE WROTE THEN... "THE PROBLEM,
THEN, IS HOW TO BRING ABOUT A STRIVING FOR HARMONY WITH LAND
AMONG A PEOPLE, MANY OF WHOM HAVE FORGOTTEN THERE IS SUCH
THING AS LAND." THEY HAVE FORGOTTEN THERE IS
SUCH A THING AS LAND. AMONGST WHOM EDUCATION AND
CULTURE HAVE BECOME ALMOST SYNONYMOUS WITH LANDLESSNESS.
THIS IS THE PROBLEM OF CONSERVATION EDUCATION.
THAT IS THE PROBLEM OF CONSERVATION EDUCATION.
WE CAN HELP CHANGE THAT. FOURTH, LET'S TALK ABOUT
LEADERSHIP FOR A LITTLE BIT. THE PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP
LIKE OUR COR VALUES ARE TIMELESS.
LEADERSHIP IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE TO EVERY ONE OF
US. IT REQUIRES US TO CONTINUOUSLY
LEARN AND GROW AS PROFESSIONALS AS WE REACH OUR FULLEST
POTENTIAL. FOR SOME OF YOU, IT WILL BE
STRIVING TO BE THE BEST BIOLOGISTS, TO BE THE BEST
TRACTOR OPERATOR, TO BE THE BEST FIRE SPECIALIST, LAW ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER, EQUIPMENT OPERATORS, ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS, TO
BE THE BEST THAT YOU CAN BE. FOR OTHERS IT WILL LEAD TO
BECOMING THAT REFUGE MANAGER, PERHAPS A REGIONAL DIRECTOR, HOW
ABOUT A DIRECTOR? BUT ULTIMATELY YOUR DECISION
ABOUT LEADERSHIP AND YOURS ALONE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR
CONSERVATION. EACH OF US SHARE LEADERSHIP
CHALLENGES AS WE ADVANCE THROUGH THE YEARS IN OUR CAREERS.
WE MUST TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PREPARING, MENTORING,
COACHING, CHAMPIONING THE NEXT GENERATION, PREPARING A NEW
GENERATION OF CONSERVATION LEADERS IS A CENTRAL REASON WE
BEGAN THIS VISION PROCESS, AND IT WILL REMAIN A KEY 10 OTHER OF
OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE. I AM ALWAYS INSPIRED BY OUR
PROFESSIONALISM, LEADERSHIP, DEDICATION AND PASSION OF THE
PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR AND WITH THE U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE.
WE'RE FORTUNATE. WE WAKE UP EACH MORNING KNOWING
THAT WE MAY WELL MAKE MORE MONEY DOING SOMETHING ELSE, BUT WE
COULD NEVER EARN AN EQUAL SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT IN ANY OTHER
WORK. YOU HAVE CHOSEN AN AVOCATION,
NOT A VOCATION. NOTHING MAKES US PROUDER TO
WATCH A YOUNG PERSON WITH WHOM YOU'VE SPENT TIME FLOURISH AND
GROW. I HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY PROUD TO
WATCH REBEKAH MARTIN AND MICHAEL GALE FLOURISH AND GROW AS THEY
HAVE RISEN TO THE CHALLENGE OF LEADING THIS VISION PROCESS.
MICHAEL, REBEKAH?! [ APPLAUSE ]
AND I HAVE BEEN EQUALLY GRATIFIED WATCHING CYNTHIA
MARTINEZ COACH AND MENTOR THEM. THIS IS LEADERSHIP IN ACTION.
CYNTHIA, WELL DONE! [ APPLAUSE ]
SO AS WE BEGIN OUR DELIBERATIONS, I ASK YOU TO
THINK OF HOW... HOW WILL YOU HELP TO IMPLEMENT THIS VISION?
ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON DAY IN AND DAY OUT
REALLY HELPING MAKE THIS VISION COME TO LIFE?
ARE YOU ASKING YOURSELF WHETHER YOUR WORK IS RELEVANT TO THE
CHANGES WE FACE? TO THE CHALLENGES WE FACE?
WHAT COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT TO YOUR LEGACY, TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL
LEGACY, THAN ENSURING A LONG-TERM CONSERVATION VIABILITY
OF THE PLACE THAT YOU HAVE COME TO LOVE?
ARE YOU WORKING TO PROJECT CONSERVATION BENEFITS BEYOND THE
BOUNDARIES? ARE YOU ENGAGING OUR STATE
WILDLIFE COUNTERPARTS? IS YOUR WORK MEETING THOSE
CHALLENGES WE FACE? ARE YOU THE MANAGER, SUPERVISOR
OR THE EXECUTIVE WHO IS ALWAYS TOO BUSY TO MENTOR A YOUNG
PERSON? IF YOU DON'T MAKE DEVELOPMENT OF
FUTURE LEADERS, INCLUDING YOURSELF, A TOP PRIORITY, ARE
YOU MOVING THE CONSERVATION VISION FORWARD?
ARE YOU STEPPING TO THOSE CHALLENGES?
SO I ASK EVERY ONE OF YOU, CHALLENGE YOURSELF AND HELP US
REALIZE A VISION FOR CONSERVING THE FUTURE.
THIS IS OUR TIME. WE WILL CARRY THE WORK FORWARD.
I WANT YOU TO BE EXCITED. I HOPE YOU ARE.
BRING YOUR ENTHUSIASM. CONSERVING THE FUTURE WILDLIFE
REFUGES IN THE NEXT GENERATION, IT'S IN OUR HANDS.
SO I WANT TO CLOSE WITH THE WORDS OF ANOTHER FAMOUS
CONSERVATIONIST FROM WISCONSIN, MANY OF YOU PROBABLY KNOW SIGURD
OLSON. HE TOLD US... "RESPECT THE LAND.
IT HAS INTRINSIC VALUE THAT OUR SPIRITS NEED.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO FIGHT FOR IT. IT IS WORTH THE STRUGGLE."
LET'S MAKE THIS WEEK EVERYTHING IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE AND
LET'S HAVE SOME FUN ALONG THE WAY.
I AM SO HONORED TO BE AMONGST ALL OF YOU.
THANK YOU.