Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar this afternoon highlighted two North Dakota projects that will be included in an upcoming report outlining some of the most promising ways to connect Americans to the natural world.
In a news release from the Department of Interior, Salazar said conserving the Dakota Grasslands and restoring and protecting riparian floodplain forests along a 75-mile expanse of the Missouri River are among 100 projects nationwide that will be highlighted in next week’s report — two in every state — as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to establish a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
The Dakota Grasslands initiative calls for seeking to acquire easements from willing sellers on some 2 million acres of native prairie in the Prairie Pothole Region. During the next three years, the Missouri River Forest Restoration Project will restore and protect riparian floodplain forests along the 75-mile expanse of the Missouri River between Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe.
“The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative turns the conventional wisdom about the federal government’s role in conservation on its head,” Salazar said in a statement. “Rather than dictate policies or conservation strategies from Washington, it supports grassroots, locally driven initiatives.”