THought you might be interest in this, as there is a "listening session" in Brewer, Maine!
AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO POLICY MAKERS ABOUT THE CONSERVATION OF NATIVE PLANTS . . .
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is joining with the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to host listening sessions on cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships.
The listening sessions will give citizens an opportunity to exchange ideas on incentives, partnership programs, and regulations that can improve results and promote cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships.
The meetings will focus on issues, programs, and policies mentioned frequently at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation. Discussion topics will include:
a.. How can the federal government enhance wildlife habitat, species protection, and other conservation outcomes through regulatory and voluntary conservation programs?
b.. How can the federal government enhance cooperation among federal agencies and with states, tribes, and local communities in the application of environmental protection and conservation laws?
c.. How can the federal government work with states, tribes, and other public- and private-sector partners to improve science used in environmental protection and conservation?
d.. How can the federal government work cooperatively with businesses and landowners to protect the environment and promote conservation?
e.. How can the federal government better respect the interests of people with ownership in land, water, and other natural resources?
The following cities will be hosting listening sessions (for additional information visit http://cooperativeconservation.gov/sessions/index.html)
Spokane, Washington, 10 a.m., August 9
Roanoke, Virginia, 10:30 a.m., August 14
Helena, Montana, 1 p.m., August 14
Columbus, Ohio, 4 p.m., August 21
Redmond, Oregon, 8:30 a.m., August 22
Omaha, Nebraska, 1 p.m., August 24
Muncie, Indiana, 10 a.m., August 26
Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 a.m., August 28
Jefferson City, Missouri, 1 p.m., August 29
Enid, Oklahoma, 1 p.m., August 30
Redding, California, 1 p.m., September 13
Colorado Springs, Colorado, 9 a.m., September 15
Brewer, Maine, 4 p.m., September 20
Brunswick, Georgia, 1 p.m., September 21
Colton, California, 10 a.m., September 28
These meetings are the latest in a series of discussions the Administration has hosted since the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in August 2005. The conference identified three broad approaches to improving conservation results: promoting cooperation within the federal government, promoting cooperation between the federal government and others, and eliminating barriers to cooperation in existing policy. Some of these ideas are reflected in a recently released summary of new legislation. In short this summary reviews the following bills
The Good Samaritan Clean Watershed Act - This bill is designed to allow individuals and organizations who are not responsible for the pollution, but are willing to participate in voluntary remediation projects, to do so without fear of undue liability under the CWA and CERCLA. This bill would also streamline the permitting process associated with voluntary cleanup activities.
Cooperative Conservation Enhancement Act - This legislation would establish several DOI Cooperative Conservation program and clarify existing partnerships and cooperative agreement authorities and reduce barriers to such authorities where appropriate to encourage greater cooperation among Federal agencies, local communities, and citizens.
Healthy Forests Partnership Act - This act would authorize the Secretaries to enter into new partnerships with State and local governments and Indian tribes. It would also authorize the designation of "Healthy Forests Partnership Zones in priority areas to foster investment by non-Federal parties to build in local industry capacity and public infrastructure needed to restore forests and rangelands.
Cooperative Conservation of Marine, Estuarine, Coastal and Riverine Habitat Act - This bill would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to enter into cooperative partnerships and regional plans to support marine, estuarine, coastal and riverine habitat protection and restoration.
For more information about this proposed legislation please visit http://cooperativeconservation.gov/pdfs/JointLetteronProposedLegislation.pdf
For additional information regarding the Cooperative Conservation program visit http://cooperativeconservation.gov/
Plant Conservation Alliance
US Fish & Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 750
Arlington, VA 22203
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