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Obama Marks Interior's 160th Anniversary

By Ed O'Keefe

During a brief appearance to mark the 160th anniversary of the Department of Interior, President Obama formally announced plans to restore elements of the Endangered Species Act and called out provisions of his economic recovery plan that will help preserve the nation's natural resources and support Native American populations.

Joined by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at the department's Main Building, Obama said the recovery plan will provide Interior with more than $3 billion "to create jobs doing the work that America needs you to do" by bolstering renewable energy programs, replacing some of the department's aging equipment and make the nation's buildings more energy efficient.

President Obama shakes hands with Interior Department staffers following his remarks at the department's headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. (Photo by Alison Klein/

The money will fund "long-delayed work to preserve our natural wonders" and help pave roads "on which 275 million visitors travel to reach these sites across our country," Obama said.

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will rebuild and remodel schools on Indian reservations while providing $100 million in loans to spur job creation in the Indian economy," he added. The investments will be made "with unprecedented oversight," he said, acknowledging previous ethical lapses by some of the department's leadership.

Obama said he issued today's memorandum to "help restore the scientific process to its rightful place at the heart of the Endangered Species Act." He said the work of scientists and experts will be respected in his administration, a swipe at the Bush administration's December 2008 decision allowing some projects to go ahead without scientific review.

Speaking before the president, Salazar noted that, "When the first Secretary of the Interior, Thomas Ewing, took the oath of office on March 3, 1849, the United States ended at the Mississippi River. There were only 29 stars on our flag. The Department of the Interior’s mandate now reaches across 12 times zones. It includes responsibility for places as grand as Yosemite, structures as mighty as the Hoover Dam, and creatures as small as the tiniest songbird."

The president also acknowledged the department's history, noting the department was "born less of a singular purpose then of a series of growing needs," and thus earned the nickname "The Department of Everything Else." He reflected on a trip he took as an 11-year-old boy with his grandmother, mother and sister that started in Seattle, snaked down the West Coast to the Grand Canyon, out to the Great Plains and Great Lakes then back West through Yellowstone National Park.

"That was an experience I will never forget. It's an experience I want for my daughters and all our daughters and sons," telling the rank-and-file it is "only possible because of the work you do each and every day."

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By Ed O'Keefe  | March 3, 2009; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Within the time frame of 15 consecetive months, eight children have tragically died under Indiana care of Dept of Children, DCS, Child Protection Services. Many of these children were removed from safe homes, but DCS demanded parents to perform actions that were not necessary, so the children were taken. It is do what you are told by DCS in Indiana. Indiana, children are stolen from innocent parents without probable cause, the handed to abusers, who abuse & kill the children. No one is held accountable, as Child Protection Services, walks as a god without any audits or external investigations. What is President Obama going to do to stop the human trafficking of the U.S. children, done so by Child Protective Services, a governmental agency, accountable to no one.

The question is, "What is the motivation of Child Protection Services, as they falil to protect children in great need of protection from danger, but yet remove children from safe home, to place them into deadly danger?" The issues of Child Protection Services is far more dangerous and deadly for children, not to mention, this governmental agency, destroys families with lies & deception, in order to gain federal grants. Who can start saving the children that are being abused and murdered in silence by the governmental agency, Child Protection Services. We know the truth of what facade is allowing the human trafficking to go un-noticed. Also, all citizens need to start looking at how many children are being abused and killed under the governmental facade, Child Protection Agency, of which is nothing more than a human trafficking business. Many children are literally kidnapped by the state for the federal incentive programs to make a profit for the state. There is nothing in the constitution that supports the crimes and terrorizm committed by this governmental agency that is happening without any means of protection for the parents, or the children, who are stolen by the state for the price tag on the children' head.

Posted by: revealtruth | March 3, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

My eyes tear. I took Salazar's trip when 10, 1940. We traveled part of the "Lincoln Road",a black ribbon today I 70. The huge decline in caring for infrastructure And Natures structure is appalling. Our kids saw East and West,nature and history.Our grandkids not, their parents, nose to the corporate grindstones never get enough time off, as European factory workers have had. Now Phil Gramm and the Enron Wall Streeters have stolen what we've saved to aid their dreams. Ken,please scour "End Time" books out of western park gift shops. Sarah Palin's ideology and the State of Alaska is an Oxymoron. Then, I'm afraid the stink of methane gas permeates too much besides dear Yellowstone. Jewels remain, REDROCK Utah has been spared. The mind boggles at the million fixes for Obama's Cabinet "plumbers".

Posted by: africa1 | March 3, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

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