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DOI Secretary Salazar Kicks Off National Landscape Conservation System's 10th Birthday Celebration

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today joined Wilma
Lewis, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, and Bureau of
Land Management Director Bob Abbey in launching a national year-long
celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the BLM’s National Landscape
Conservation System (NLCS).


"The establishment of the National Landscape Conservation System was a
major step forward in recognizing lands of exceptional beauty, historical
value, and cultural significance that are under the jurisdiction of the
Bureau of Land Management," said Secretary Salazar. "Through effective,
forward-looking stewardship, the BLM will protect and preserve these
treasured landscapes as a legacy for the American people."


"In the ten years that have passed, the people have truly shown that these
lands belong to them – their tireless efforts prove their passion," said
BLM Director Bob Abbey. "From advisory councils and committees to friends
groups and individuals who simply care enough to volunteer their free time,
the NLCS has inspired thousands to embrace public lands stewardship as
never before."


More than 90 events across the country marking the 10th Anniversary will
focus on celebrating a decade of accomplishments and discoveries while
setting goals for the next ten years. The NLCS is managed for science and
conservation under the BLM’s multiple-use mandate, yet to many, it
represents immense backyards abounding in recreational opportunities,
remoteness, and solitude. Going forward, the BLM will continue to balance
these interests while managing lands within the NLCS to conserve, protect,
and restore their extraordinary resources.


The NLCS was created by the Secretary of the Interior in 2000 to manage the
BLM’s specially designated conservation areas. The 27-million acre NLCS is
composed of 880 units that include national monuments, national
conservation areas, wilderness and wilderness study areas, wild and scenic
rivers, national scenic and historic trails, and conservation lands of the
California Desert. In March 2009, Congress passed the Omnibus Public Lands
Management Act, providing a statutory basis for the NLCS.


The past decade of accomplishments could not have been achieved without the
help of hundreds of volunteers, working thousands of hours—more than
430,000 in 2009 alone. These volunteers sacrifice their free time to work
closely with BLM staff on improving the public lands they love. By working
with gateway communities and local partners, the BLM is able to expand
interpretive and educational services, and resource restoration and
protection.


BLM resource advisory councils, NLCS advisory committees, friends groups,
and other partnerships are critical to the BLM in carrying out its
conservation vision and priority programs for the NLCS. In celebrating the
10th Anniversary of the NLCS, the BLM salutes these important volunteers
and partners. To find out more about NLCS 10th Anniversary events scheduled
near you, go to http://www.blm.gov and select "What We Do," then "National
Landscape Conservation System."

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