Wildlands vanishing out West, says Jewell

Sally Jewell, Interior Secretary and former REI president, warned Tuesday that without “a major course correction” in conservation practices, our public lands, water, and wildlife face a bleak future.
     Jewell’s policy speech, delivered three days before Earth Day and four months before the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday, raised concerns over climate change, development, and “land grabs.”
     The latter brought to mind a recent Northwest story. The city of Kent agreed in 2015 to sell 10-acres of public land, Pine Tree Park, to a home developer, but didn’t publicize the sale. Once news of the sale spread, community backlash prompted Kent to reverse the deal at a taxpayer cost of $760,000.
     Jewell also cited a new scientific study showing the West’s natural areas are disappearing at the rate of a football field every 2.5 minutes.
     “Let us use this special year of the (Park Service) centennial to set a new path for conservation in the 21st century,” Jewell said. Read the Associated Press story that ran in The Seattle Times.

by  Jon Osterberg

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