The past few years have been a time
of immense change for the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service as we
have begun to transform our organization
to meet the enormous conservation
challenges of the 21st century.
We are proud of
than 150 years
the Nature of
America, led by
as Ding Darling
and Rachel Carson,
and driven by the
work of thousands of past and present
But we have to be more efficient and
effective to sustain and expand our
successes in the face of increasing
habitat fragmentation and degradation,
a changing climate and other growing
global conservation challenges. Thats
why weve put so much effort into
developing our surrogate species
approach to strategic habitat conservation
and into implementing Conserving the
Future for the Refuge System.
I know our new Secretary of the Interior,
Sally Jewell, will help us achieve our
conservation mission despite obstacles in
front of us.
She will surely carry on the great
legacy of former Secretary Ken Salazar.
Secretary Salazar was, and is, a friend
not only to me but to the entire Service.
He was at our side in Madison in July
2011 when we set our course for the
Refuge System. Under his leadership,
we established 10 national wildlife
refuges. He energized President
Obamas Americas Great Outdoors
initiative and spearheaded the National
History will regard him as a conservation
hero, and he leaves an outstanding legacy
to Secretary Jewell.
Importantly, Secretary Jewell recognizes
the work of public servants and
understands the vital role of public
service in our nations life. I was happy
and proud that in her first town hall
with Interior folks she talked about the
importance of diversity and noted the
strides the Service has made.
To echo Secretary Jewell, we must
ensure that public lands and their stories
are relevant to all Americans, not just a
subset of Americans, and it begins right
here and doing the job here at Interior
and setting the right example.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in
Florida this spring. (Ryan Murphy)
The Secretary began her career as a
petroleum engineer. She later worked in
exploration and production and moved
on to the world of commercial banking,
serving as an energy and natural
resources expert. She then shifted her
focus again, leading outdoor retailer REI.
She understands the importance of the
connection between Americans and
our natural resourcesand the need
to balance energy development with
strong wildlife and habitat protection.
Im looking forward to her ideas for
managing energy development on refuges
and public lands while reconnecting
Americans with their natural heritage.
And Secretary Jewell is an avid
sportswoman with a love for the outdoors.
I was at Nationals Park watching a
baseball game recently and the beer man
actually echoed one of Secretary Jewells
most important ideas. He told me: If you
cant have fun at work, go home! Too
often, we become wrapped up in process
and lose sight of the joy of conservation
and the outdoors. The Secretary has
challenged us to have fun at work. She
knows that we work on important issues
but understands the need to avoid taking
ourselves too seriously.
I am excited to work with Secretary
Jewell and know she will bring a great,
fresh and fun perspective to the Interior
Department and conservation in