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Babbitt to address conservation biologists on The Age of Restoration

Unveils user-friendly scientific publication to help local communities restore health even as they grow

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt will give the keynote address to the Society of Conservation Biologists at 8 p.m. on June 17 at the University of Maryland, College Park, at the Tawes Theater.

His remarks will focus on the steady shift from conservation to restoration -- of fire, river flows, wildlife populations, and landscape health -- and the local, place-based community efforts that underlie the movement. Babbitt will also unveil a long-awaited, two volume scientific publication that examines the ecology of the nation and specific threats and remedies involved in restoring watersheds back to their former vigor.

Said Babbitt: "In my travels across the country, I have discovered the stirring of a third generation of environmental activism, not political activism directed at Washington, but hands-on work directed at their own communities, focused at reclaiming their known heritage, their local landscapes, their sense of place which reminds them where they are and, therefore, who they are. These activists are saying, 'We can do better. We can do more than just stop our waters and our soils from declining. We can apply these conservation laws to make America's landscapes cleaner, healthier, richer, more independent.' As America's communities used our laws to restore their waters, those waters, in turn, have begun to restore America's communities.

I saw that the current generation of Americans was not just approaching, but was already crossing the threshold into an entirely new era, literally a third great environmental movement, called: American Restoration. The flowering of restoration demands a powerful role for science, to help them answer: Restore to what? What is the baseline? How do we measure success?"
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Contact: Jamie Workman
James_G_Workman@ios.doi.gov
202-208-6416
United States Geological Survey
16-Jun-1999


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