Responding to the announcement of his departure at the end of March, NWRA today praised Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ken Salazar, for his tremendous leadership and steadfast support in protecting America’s wildlife and natural resources. His implementation of expansive conservation programs that protect large landscapes and wildlife, keep working lands working, and engage diverse stakeholders has helped usher in a 21st century vision for conservation.
“Secretary Salazar is a true conservation hero with a 10-gallon hat legacy,” said David Houghton, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. “By working with landowners, sportsmen, Friends and partners in rural and urban communities, he has chartered a new path forward for American conservation.”
A hallmark of Secretary Salazar’s approach has been partnerships with states, localities and landowners to protect working landscapes, improve water quality and restore wetlands. These collaborative efforts have also spurred new wildlife corridors, refuges, andmonuments. Under Salazar’s leadership, the Department of the Interior has expanded efforts with farmers, ranchers and community partners such as refuge Friends to protect critical landscapes as well as make historic investments in places like Montana and the Florida Everglades. And his work with states, industry, and conservation groups has forged a strong consensus around renewable energy on public lands that ensures we don’t have to choose between our natural heritage and a more sustainable future.
“Secretary Salazar understands more than any of us that we have a moral obligation to future generations to protect our nation’s diverse natural world,” said Houghton. “NWRA and our 200 Affiliate “Friends” organizations wish Secretary Salazar the best in his future endeavors and we look forward to visiting a Colorado national wildlife refuge with him in the near future.”