News outlets reported this morning that President Obama will name Sally Jewell, CEO of the outdoor company REI, as his next Secretary of the Interior. As the Washington Post wrote, Jewell:
"…has earned national recognition for her management skills and support for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation. In 2011 Jewell introduced Obama at the White House conference on “America’s Great Outdoor Initiative,” noting that the…outdoor-recreation industry supports 6.5 million jobs."
The Department of the Interior is the agency responsible for the management of 700 million acres of public lands onshore, in addition to nearly a billion acres offshore. It oversees areas important to American culture and history, like national parks and national seashores, in addition to a significant amount of fossil and renewable energy development like solar energy and offshore wind.
Jewell, if confirmed by the Senate, embodies the true meaning of conservation in the 21st century. At the helm of a $2 billion dollar company, she understands the economic value of conservation that requires it to be on equal ground with energy development on public lands. This type of leadership is particularly important in a time of changing climate.
But a steady chorus is growing to encourage a better balance between energy development and conservation when it comes to public lands and waters. In fact, just yesterday, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt called on the current administration to permanently protected one acre for every one leased for oil and gas development. He noted that:
Faith United to End Childhood Obesity, a multi-denominational coalition organized by Save the Children’s Campaign for Healthy Kids, has joined with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to focus on better nutrition and more physical activity to counteract increasing obesity and overweight among America’s youth.
Play Perch is a treehouse-cum-classroom designed by Syracuse University School of Architecture students and installed in the grounds of Jowonio School, Syracuse, New York. It was built in order to provide Jowonio's pupils – almost one third of whom have special needs – a safe and tranquil environment to interact with nature.
The grounds of Jowonio preschool contain a nature trail which the school's staff feel is therapeutic for children with ADD and related conditions. It was decided that a classroom located in the vicinity of the nature trail could offer a beneficial environment for the young pupils. Therefore, Syracuse University School of Architectures' AIAS Freedom By Design group was tasked to help bring this about.
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