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.”
For more information on the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, click here. To view a map of the projects already announced, click here.
Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Minnesota is closing about 1,110 acres in the southwest corner of the refuge to hunting from Nov. 4 through the close of the ruffed grouse season Jan. 1 because of wildfire activity. The refuge on Wednesday issued a news release saying activity burning peat has weakened the root systems of many trees and poses potential hazards. The closed area will be marked with signs. For more information and maps of the area, check out the refuge’s website here or contact refuge headquarters at (218) 449-4115.
Jack Zavoral of East Grand Forks might not be old enough to hunt “for real” yet, but that doesn’t stop the 9-year-old from practicing his aim by shooting cattails with his Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.
Zavoral’s mom, Jodi, shared these photos of Jack in the field with his dad, Dan Zavoral. I’ll let Jodi take it from there:
“When my husband shared these pictures with me, my immediate reaction was: GREAT SHOT!” Jodi writes.
“In the first photo, Jack is sizing up the shot (you can see the cattail is still intact) and in the second photo, you can see the cattail exploded, a direct result of his shot!
“Jack goes often to the hunting shack with his father and grandfather (Pete Zavoral),” Jodi writes. “He loves his BB gun, but he is counting down the days (and years) until he can hunt ‘for real’ just like his dad and grandfather do!”
Jack “leads the pack” of fifth-generation hunters to hunt family land near Grygla, Minn.