Opening Ceremony of the Conserving the Future Conference


Uploaded by americaswildlife on 13.07.2011

Transcript:
>> IN THE SUMMER OF 2010 U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
EMPLOYEES BEGAN THE PROCESS OF CHARTING THE COURSE FOR THE
FUTURE OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM.
THAT JOURNEY HAS CULMINATED IN ALL OF YOU BEING HERE AT THE
CONSERVING THE FUTURE CONFERENCE.
YOU WILL HAVE THREE DAYS TO REFINE THE VISION AND BEGIN THE
URGENT AND IMPORTANT WORK OF IMPLEMENTATION.
NOTHING LESS THAN THE FUTURE OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN AMERICA
IS AT STAKE. >> WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS FIGURE
OUT WHERE WE'RE GOING IN THE NEXT GENERATION AND HOW WE'RE
GOING TO CONNECT UP TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
>>
PLEASE RISE FOR THE PRESENTATION OF THE COLORS BY
THE U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE HONOR GUARD AND THE NATIONAL
ANTHEM, SUNG BY GINA SWOOPE. >>
PLEASE WELCOME TO THE STAGE TOM MELIUS, MIDWEST REGIONAL
DIRECTOR AND CATHY STEPP, SECRETARY OF THE WISCONSIN
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES. [ APPLAUSE ]
>> WELL, GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. WELCOME TO THE MIDWEST REGION.
IT'S MY PLEASURE TO BE A PART OF THE OPENING CEREMONIES TO THIS
VISIONING CONFERENCE BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO BE GETTING BUSY
PRETTY SOON TO HELP CHART OUT THE PATHWAY FORWARD INTO THE
FUTURE FOR THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM.
BUT BEFORE WE GET STARTED, IT'S GREAT TO SEE PEOPLE FROM ALL
OVER THE COUNTRY, FROM ALL PROGRAMS OF THE AGENCY, FROM
REPRESENTATIVES FROM A NUMBER OF STATES AND CONSERVATION
ORGANIZATIONS IN ATTENDANCE. I KNOW IN THE MIDWEST REGION WE
HAVE QUITE A FEW PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE, AND I'D LIKE TO TAKE A
MOMENT JUST TO HAVE THOSE PEOPLE FROM THE MIDWEST REGION RAISE
THEIR HANDS. I KNOW THE MIDWEST REGION IS
ALSO THE HOME FOR MANY OF THE EMPLOYEES THAT HAVE STARTED
THEIR CAREERS OR HAVE WORKED DURING THEIR TENURE HERE IN THE
MIDWEST REGION. LET'S SEE A SHOW OF HANDS WHO
HAVE WORKED IN THE MIDWEST REGION.
NOW, I KNOW THERE'S A NUMBER OF FOLKS THAT HAVEN'T RAISED THEIR
HANDS AND ARE PROBABLY A LITTLE ENVIOUS.
[ LAUGHTER ] BECAUSE THEY KNOW IN THE MIDWEST
REGION THERE'S THREE OR FOUR THINGS THAT STAND OUT...
FIRST, IT'S FASHION. WHERE ELSE CAN YOU WEAR
CAMOUFLAGE TO A FORMAL EVENT AND IT'S VERY APPROPRIATE?
CUISINE, WE ALWAYS HAVE THE FOUR FOOD GROUPS AT EVERY MEAL...
VENISON, FISH, BRATS AND CHEESE. AND WHERE, IF YOU GO TO A
POTLUCK AND YOU BRING A FRUIT JELL-O, YOU GET CREDIT FOR THREE
DISHES. YOU GOT A SALAD, YOU GOT A SIDE
DISH AND YOU GOT DESSERT. THE WEATHER... ALL FOUR SEASONS
ARE HERE IN THE MID-WEST, PRE-WINTER, WINTER, POST-WINTER,
ROAD CONSTRUCTION. BUT, REALLY, FOLKS, IT'S BECAUSE
IN THE MIDWEST REGION WE HAVE 54 GREAT WILDLIFE REFUGES, 12
WETLAND MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS, OVER 40 FRIENDS GROUPS, AN
ACTIVE FISHERIES PROGRAM, ECOLOGICAL SERVICES, MIKE RAW
MIGRATORY BIRDS AND OVER 12 HUNDRED PEOPLE OF THE
FISH & WILDLIFE AND IT'S AN HONOR TO BE THEIR REGIONAL
DIRECTOR IN THE HOST REGION OF THIS CONFERENCE.
NOW, THIS REGION HAS EIGHT GREAT STATES, MINNESOTA, MICHIGAN,
OHIO, INDIANA, ILLINOIS, IOWA, MISSOURI AND THE GREAT STATE OF
WISCONSIN. SO IT IS FITTING TODAY TO BE
ABLE TO HAVE THE SECRETARY OF THE WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF
NATURAL RESOURCES BE HERE TO GIVE US A WELCOME TO THE STATE
OF WISCONSIN. NOW, CATHY STEPP HAS NOT BEEN A
PERSON UNFAMILIAR TO GOVERNMENT. FROM 2002 TO 2006 SHE WAS A
STATE SENATOR FROM RACINE AND WHILE SHE WAS IN THE SENATE, SHE
WAS A COCHAIR OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE.
GOVERNOR WALKER RECENTLY APPOINTED CATHY AS THE NEW
SECRETARY OF THE WISCONSIN DNR, AND SO PLEASE LET'S WELCOME,
CATHY STEPP. [ APPLAUSE ]
>> GOOD MORNING! I HAD NO IDEA TOM WAS SUCH A
STAND-UP COMEDIAN. HAD I KNOWN THAT I WOULD HAVE
PREPARED MUCH MORE THOROUGHLY AND GOT IN A FEW SHOTS AT HIS
HOME STATE. BUT WE'RE GOING TO LET IT SLIDE
IN THE INTEREST OF LINKING ARMS AND PROTECTING OUR NATURAL
RESOURCES WHICH IS WHAT WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF DOING IN THE
GREAT STATE OF WISCONSIN THROUGH THE STATE WISCONSIN DNR AND
GETTING TO WORK WITH PARTNERS LIKE TOM AND ALL OF YOU IN OUR
NATIONAL SERVICE AND THE U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE.
THE DEDICATION AND THE INSPIRATION THAT I SEE ON A
DAILY BASIS FROM MY STAFF AND FOR MANY OF YOU THAT I'VE
ACTUALLY HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING ON OCCASION DURING MY
TRAVELS AROUND THE STATE REALLY INSPIRE ME EVERY DAY.
I TELL ANYBODY WHO WILL LISTEN TO ME THAT I HAVE THE BEST JOB
IN STATE GOVERNMENT. I HAVE THE PLEASURE AND THE
HONOR TO BE ABLE TO REPRESENT OVER 2,000 MEN AND WOMEN WHO GET
OUT OF BED EVERY DAY, AND IT'S NOT GOING TO A JOB, IT'S LIVING
OUT THEIR MISSION AND THEIR PASSION AND THEIR SPIRIT FOR OUR
STATE AND OUR NATURAL RESOURCES THAT WE ALL HOLD SO DEAR.
IT IS REALLY AN HONOR FOR ME TO BE THE WINDOW DRESSING FOR ALL
THE HARD WORK THAT THEY DO EVERY SINGLE DAY.
WE CERTAINLY HAVE A LOT OF NATURAL RESOURCES HERE IN
WISCONSIN AND TOM SHARED A FEW OF THOSE WITH YOU.
WE'VE GOT THE STATISTICS TO TALK ABOUT ALL THE DIFFERENT SPECIES
AND ENDANGERED RESOURCES THAT WE WORK SO HARD TO PROTECT.
BUT, REALLY, THE THING THAT WE HAVE MOST TO OFFER TO OUR
RESIDENTS HERE IN WISCONSIN AND TO ALL OF YOU WHO WE EXPECT TO
SPEND A LOT OF MONEY WHILE YOU'RE HERE IS FABULOUS TOURISM
OPPORTUNITIES AND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT SPAN THE
GAMUT OF ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF THINGS YOU CAN DO IN OUR GREAT
OUTDOORS BUT WE KNOW WE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DO ANY OF THOSE KINDS
OF THINGS WERE IT NOT FOR THE HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN WHO
WORK SO HARD AROUND OR COUNTRY TO BUILD UP AND TO WORK AND DO
THE MAINTENANCE AND TO WORK WITH THE FRIENDS GROUPS TO GET PEOPLE
OUT THERE TO DO THE HANDS-ON WORK THAT HAS TO BE DONE IN OUR
PROPERTIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE UNSUNG HEROES REALLY ARE
SITTING IN THE ROOM WITH US TODAY AND CERTAINLY MORE OF THEM
BACK AT HOME THAT WEREN'T ABLE TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE TODAY.
I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU NOT JUST AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF OUR
STATE AND OF GOVERNOR WALKER'S ADMINISTRATION BUT MOST
IMPORTANTLY TO THANK YOU AS A MOM.
WHEN I TAKE MY KIDS ON VACATION AND WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
BE ABLE TO VISIT ALL OF THESE FABULOUS PROPERTIES IT IS A GIFT
THAT YOU ARE CARRYING ON TO MY CHILDREN, AND CERTAINLY DOWN TO
MY CHILDREN'S CHILDREN AND BEYOND.
IT'S THROUGH YOUR HARD WORK AND DEDICATION AND THE MOTIVATION
THAT YOU SHOW EVERY DAY THAT WE'RE ABLE TO OFFER THAT TO OUR
CHILDREN. WE'VE GOT A LOT OF DIFFERENT
SPECIES LIKE I TALKED ABOUT IN WISCONSIN AND WE'RE GOING TO
SHOW YOU A SHORT VIDEO TO BRAG ABOUT ALL OF OUR GOOD STUFF IN A
MINUTE, WHOOPING CRANES, BULLETTER FLIES, WARBLERS, AND
THE PIPING PULVER. SAY THAT THREE TIMES FAST.
LIKE TOM SAID, WE HAVE EIGHT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES AND
TWO WETLAND MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS HERE IN WISCONSIN, OVER 182,000
ACRES RIGHT HERE IN OUR STATE ALONE.
WE HAVE ABOUT 130 PERMANENT EMPLOYEES IN WISCONSIN OF THE
U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE DOING EVERYTHING FROM THE
MANAGEMENT OF THE REFUGES, WORKING WITH PRIVATE LANDOWNERS,
WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT, TOO, RAISING FISH AND, OF COURSE,
ENFORCEMENT OF THE FEDERAL FISH & WILDLIFE LAWS.
THE KEY TO OUR MUTUAL SUCCESS AND INTEREST CERTAINLY A STRONG
PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN OUR AGENCIES AT ALL LEVELS OF OUR
ORGANIZATIONS FROM THE BOOTS ON THE GROUND LIKE YOU ALL TO THE
UPPER LEVELS OF ADMINISTRATION LIKE TOM.
I WANT TO WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK TODAY IN YOUR VISIONING
CONFERENCE AND I KNOW YOU'RE ALREADY MINDFUL OF THE CRITICAL
ROLE THAT STATE AGENCIES PLAY IN ACHIEVING THAT SHARED VISION
THAT WE HAVE. PLEASE ENJOY OUR RICH OUTDOOR
HERITAGE, NATURAL RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE TO OFFER, AND JUST A
QUICK PLUG FOR YOU, WE DO AT WISCONSIN DNR HAVE A ONE-DAY
FISHING LICENSE FOR A VERY AFFORDABLE $8, AND THE BLUEGILLS
ARE BITING IN LAKE MONONA RIGHT OUTSIDE.
SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY.
MAKE SURE TO TAKE A PIECE OF WISCONSIN HOME WITH YOU TONIGHT.
THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]
[ MUSIC ] [ APPLAUSE ]
>> THANK YOU, CATHY, FOR THAT VIDEO.
I THINK IT'S A GREAT WAY TO -- FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THE
GREAT RESOURCES HERE IN THE MIDWEST AND SPECIFICALLY IN
WISCONSIN. JUST A LITTLE TRIVIA QUESTION...
OF THE EIGHT REGIONAL DIRECTORS IN THE FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE,
WHICH ONE WAS BORN MARCH 1ST, 1951, JUST DOWN THE ROAD IN WEST
BEND, WISCONSIN? YOU GOT IT.
EVERYBODY HAVE A GREAT CONFERENCE!
EVERYBODY HAVE A GREAT DAY! WELCOME TO WISCONSIN!
[ APPLAUSE ] >> PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THE
STAGE TOM MELIUS AND MAYOR PAUL SOGLIN OF THE CITY OF MADISON.
>>
WELL, GOOD MORNING! [ LAUGHTER ]
THIS IS WHERE WE LIKE TO BE FLEXIBLE AS WE GO THROUGH THE
AGENDA. MY OTHER DUTIES WERE TO ALSO
INTRODUCE THE MAYOR WHO WAS A LITTLE DELAYED IN TRAFFIC IN
GETTING HERE, BUT HE HAS ARRIVED, AND SO I'M JOINED ON
STAGE BY THE MAYOR OF MADISON, AND I WANT TO JUST SAY A FEW
THINGS, BECAUSE LAST NIGHT MAYOR, WE HAD A RECEPTION ON THE
ROOFTOP HERE, AND THANK YOU FOR ORDERING BOTH THE HEAT AND THE
COOLNESS HERE IN MADISON. WE HAD GREAT TIME AND I THINK
PAUL WAS -- WE'LL GIVE HIM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE JUST TO THANK
HIM FOR THE WEATHER THAT HE WAS ABLE TO PROVIDE.
NOW, PAUL HAS BEEN A MAYOR FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, FIRST ELECTED
IN 1973. SHORTLY AFTER HIS 28TH
BIRTHDAY. HE ALSO HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVE
HERE IN MADISON AND HERE IN THIS CONVENTION CENTER.
FIRST CONCEIVED BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT BACK IN THE '30S, THIS
CONVENTION CENTER OPENED JUST 14 YEARS AGO IN 1997.
PAUL IS ALSO NOT ONLY THE MAYOR OF MADISON, HE'S AN ADJUNCT
PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AND IF YOU'VE BEEN
ABLE TO GET AROUND A LITTLE BIT IN THIS GREAT STATE AND THIS
PARTICULAR CITY, YOU WILL SEE THERE'S A LOT OF BIKE TRAILS,
AND I THINK THAT'S A LITTLE BIT OF A COMPLIMENT OF PAUL'S
INTEREST AS A BICYCLIST. SO WOULD YOU PLEASE WELCOME TO
THE STAGE PAUL SOGLIN, MAYOR OF MADISON.
PAUL? [ APPLAUSE ]
>> THANK YOU AND I CERTAINLY DO WANT TO WELCOME ALL OF YOU.
THIS HAS BEEN A REALLY WONDERFUL WEEK HERE IN MADISON, AND
PRINCIPALLY BECAUSE YOU'RE HERE. I WANT TO JUST GO BACK A LITTLE
BIT TO A DAY IN 1984. I WAS SITTING IN MY OFFICE
LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW, TRYING TO RECALL NOW HOW OLD I WAS
THEN, I GUESS, 39, AN HONEST 39. I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW AND I
SAW A BIRD HERE IN MADISON THAT I'D NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
NOT THAT I KNOW MUCH ABOUT BIRDS, BUT AT LEAST I KNOW WHAT
I HADN'T SEEN. THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE, AS IT
TURNED OUT, IT WAS A HAWK. I WAS 39 YEARS OLD AND I HAD
NEVER SEEN A HAWK. NOT AT LEAST IN CHICAGO WHERE I
WAS RAISED OR HERE IN WISCONSIN. THINK ABOUT THAT... AND THINK
ABOUT TODAY WHEN YOU STEP OUTSIDE, WHEN YOU GO A COUPLE OF
MILES TO THE EAST TO THE WEST, TO WHERE I LIVE, A GOOD PART OF
THE DAY YOU LOOK UP IN THE SKY, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A BIRD OF
PREY. THINGS HAVE CHANGES
SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE 1984 AND CERTAINLY SINCE THE 1950S.
WHAT'S CHANGED HOPEFULLY, PERMANENTLY, IS OUR APPRECIATION
OF OUR ENVIRONMENT, OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT CITIES, AS
WELL AS RURAL AND RUSTIC AREAS, ARE PART OF THAT ENVIRONMENT,
AND AN UNDERSTANDING THAT WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO FUTURE
GENERATIONS, NOT JUST TO OURSELVES.
WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF
LOOKING IN THE SKY, NOT JUST TO THAT SINGLE BIRD, BUT WHAT THAT
BIRD REPRESENTS. NOWADAYS, WE ARE HEARING A GREAT
DEAL AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, AND IF YOU'VE READ
THIS MORNING'S PAPER, YOU SEE THAT WE FACE THE PROBLEMS RIGHT
HERE IN MADISON. WE HEAR GREAT DEAL ABOUT TOUGH
RESOURCES, ALLOCATION OF WHAT REVENUES GOVERNMENT HAS, AND
MAKING DIFFICULT DECISIONS IN TERMS OF ALLOCATIONS.
IT'S TIME WE SAT BACK AND YOU ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE
DISCUSSION, BECAUSE YOU KNOW FIRSTHAND THE CONSEQUENCES OF
DOING GOOD THINGS. IT'S TIME THAT WE SAT BACK AND
HAD A DISCUSSION ABOUT OUR VALUES.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO US, WHAT IS MEANINGFUL TO US.
WHEN WE BUILT THIS BUILDING, IT WAS NOT EASY.
PART OF THE DIFFICULTY WAS RAISING THE FUNDS, THE $64
MILLION. BUT THERE WERE OTHER THINGS WE
HAD TO DEAL WITH, WHICH WERE JUST AS DIFFICULT.
THERE WAS A BIKE PATH AROUND LAKE MONONA THAT HAD COST US
$50,000 TO BUILD. I WAS OFTEN ASKED WHAT WAS THE
THING I WAS MOST PROUD OF AS MAYOR, AND I WOULD SAY THAT BIKE
PATH. $50,000, NO MOVING PARTS,
BROUGHT JOY AND HAPPINESS TO THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EVERY WEEK
WHO USED IT. WE HAD TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WORK
THE DESIGN OF THIS BUILDING SO THAT THE BIKE PATH WOULD NOT BE
INTERRUPTED, AND THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE GOT A CHANCE TO GET OUT
ON A BICYCLE IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO FISH, YOU'LL FIND THAT THIS
IS THE ONLY BIKE PATH IN THE WORLD THAT HAS AN ELEVATOR.
YOU'LL FIND IT AT THE EAST END OF THE BUILDING.
WE ALSO HAD TO CONTEND WITH ISSUES REGARDING THE FISH.
AND AS IT TURNS OUT, THE FOLKS WE WORKED WITH, THE EXPERTS WE
WORKED WITH, FOLKS LIKE YOU, WERE CORRECT... IF WE BUILT THIS
BUILDING PROPERLY, AS IT HUNG OUT OVER THE LAKE, THIS DID NOT
DRIVE AWAY THE FISH, AND, IN FACT, STANDING OFF THE EDGE OF
THE BUILDING HERE YOU'LL FIND PEOPLE FISHING EVERY DAY BECAUSE
THIS HAS BECOME A HABITAT THAT THE FISH ENJOY.
BUT IT TAKES THOUGHTFUL PEOPLE SUCH AS YOURSELF TO HELP US DO
THIS KIND OF PLANNING, WHETHER IT HAS TO DEAL WITH THAT HAWK OR
THESE FISH OR THE BICYCLISTS. WE ALL WORK TOGETHER.
CAN'T PROMISE THIS KIND OF WEATHER FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK
BUT I CERTAINLY HOPE YOU ENJOY IT.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. [ APPLAUSE ]
>> AND SO WITH THAT, AN OFFICIAL WELCOME TO THIS MIDWEST REGION,
TO THE GREAT STATE OF WISCONSIN, TO THE GREAT CITY OF MADISON.
LET'S HAVE A GREAT CONFERENCE. THANK YOU!