Last week was a bruising week of meetings and travel with an inspiring day at the end.
Mondays are always full with meetings. This Monday, I met with DOI senior political staff; FWS Director's staff; and others to review the previous week, catch up from the weekend, and prepare for the week to come.
After an evening flight to Las Vegas, on Tuesday morning I joined the NRCS Chief and USFS Deputy Chief in addressing the annual conference of the National Association of Conservation Districts.
I spent a short day on the ground, but by nightfall, I was already flying back home for work the next day.
Wednesday and Thursday were packed with more meetings on important issues like FY 2012 budget allocations for refuges, endangered species, and land acquisition.
I also had the chance to catch up with Secretary Salazar. During our meeting, the Secretary and I talked about progress in planning new refuges, upcoming ESA decisions, and renewable energy, among a grab bag of other items.
After a long week, I was excited to head out to the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia for the graduation of the 2nd cohort of Diversity Change Agents.
These people are fired-up and ready to lead the Service in becoming a better organization that can think bigger in addressing 21st Century conservation challenges. They were inspired after a week together in the program, and were anxious to share their own stories about diversity while encouraging me to share mine.
I also got to stop in and visit with the participants in our Refuge Officer Basics training. This outfit is a tremendous collection of people, and it was great to say hello.
All in all, I saw some of our very best in action on Friday. What a way to end the week.
It made me proud.