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Proposed FY '05 Budget Highlights Cooperative Conservation Initiative: Assistant Secretary Lynn Scarlett to Tour Conservation Project at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge in Florida


February 3, 2004

Bert Byers, (772) 562-3909, ext 248
Joan Moody, (202) 208-6416

On Feb. 4, 2004, Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget, will tour conservation projects at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge on U.S. Highway 1, one mile south of Hobe Sound, Florida and 20 miles north of West Palm Beach.

As part of her itinerary, Assistant Secretary Scarlett will conduct a media availability from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the refuge's headquarters, 13640 S.E. Federal Highway. Reporters are then invited to join her on all or part of the refuge tour. In addition to sharing her experiences of the refuge, she will answer questions on the President's 2005 budget request and its benefits for Florida including restoration of the Everglades and protection of national parks and wildlife refuges in the state.

Assistant Secretary Scarlett will visit a mangrove wetlands restoration project that shows the type of creative conservation programs possible under the Administration's Cooperative Conservation Initiative (CCI), a key part of the FY 2005 budget proposed by President Bush on February 2. The President's budget includes $129.5 million for CCI, a 25 percent increase over 2004. These grants are part of broader cooperative conservation spending in the Department of the Interior's 2005 budget of $507 million.

The refuge includes sand pine scrub forest on the mainland and more than three miles of beach, sand dunes, and mangrove swamp on Jupiter Island. Hobe Sound protects many species of birds and other wildlife such as endangered sea turtles.

For further information or to accompany the tour, please contact Bert Byers at (772) 562-3909, ext 248 or by cellular phone at (772) 532-0443 so that directions and the latest schedule of events may be provided to you.

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