Salt Lake City, Utah
Released On: February 22, 2011
The Commissioner congratulated the Pueblo of Sandia for its forward thinking in preserving one of its greatest assets as he pointed to President Obama's action plan under the America's Great Outdoors initiative.
"We want to recognize the big undertaking by the Pueblo of Sandia to work toward restoring this area of the Rio Grande to something more like what it once was. We realize that the river is important to the people of Sandia both from an environmental and cultural standpoint," Connor said. "President Obama, Secretary Salazar and I share this vision of conservation."
President Obama last week announced the Administration's action plan, under the America's Great Outdoors initiative, to achieve lasting conservation of the outdoor spaces that power our nation's economy, shape our culture and build our outdoor traditions. By making the federal government a better partner with American communities, this initiative seeks to reinvigorate our approach to conservation and reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the lands and waters that are used for farming and ranching, hunting and fishing, and for families to spend quality time together.
Sandia Pueblo recently completed two habitat restoration projects totaling about 80 acres of land. The projects lowered the banks of the Rio Grande to reconnect them with the river, which had become deeper and more channelized through the years. They also created side channels, removed invasive species, removed 60 jetty jacks and revegetated some of the land with native plants. One of the projects created a channel aimed specifically at the Rio Grande silvery minnow. This channel flows throughout the year, even at low flows and allows a slow moving area of water for the fish to reproduce. The total for the two contracts was about $1.5 million.
Recognizing that many of these places and resources are disappearing and under intense pressure, the President established the America's Great Outdoors Initiative last April to work with the American people in developing a conservation and recreation agenda that makes sense for the 21st century. The report released last week outlines ways in which the Federal Government will help empower local communities to accomplish their conservation and recreation priorities. Last summer, senior Administration officials held 51 listening sessions across the country, including one in Albuquerque, to gather input from Americans about the outdoor places and activities that they value most.
The full report and additional information is available at: www.doi.gov/AmericasGreatOutdoors.
DOI | Recreation.gov | USA.gov
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