On April 21, Secretary Jewell took to Twitter to answer the public's questions about national parks. Below is the transcript of the Twitter chat.
Tweet from @Interior: Hi - Sally Jewell here, Sec of Interior. Ready to take your questions! #AskInterior
Video from Sally Jewell: Hi everybody! I’m Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, and it’s my pleasure to be with you today on this live chat on twitter. If you want to ask me a question #AskInterior. This is a follow on to a speech I gave earlier this week at National Geographic. So questions on that or anything else, I look forward to taking them, thanks so much.
Question from TStremski (@TStremski)
@SecretaryJewell why aren't there more positions 4 permanent Rangers?Providing for family is hard as a seasonal #askInterior #lifelongdream
Video response from Sally Jewell: Thanks very much for your question. I really appreciate the work of our seasonal rangers. Part of the reality is our parks are seasonal, so we need people at different times of the year. But I also know it’s very hard to raise a family on a seasonal ranger’s salary, and some work multiple jobs to be able to do that. We’ll continue to work to create permanent jobs where it makes the most sense, recognizing that our budget is highly variable. But very much appreciate the work and hope that you’ll continue to keep it up. Thank you.
Question from Kasia Mikurda (@KasiaMikurda)
Is there any way we can open more NPS trails to visitor w/ dogs?
Would proof of training (like CGC) help? #askInterior
Video response from Sally Jewell: Hi, thanks so much for your question. You know, I’m a dog owner and it is great to be with my dog in the great outdoors. National Parks, though, have to balance the interests of dog owners with the interest of wildlife that they are charged with protecting, and the interests of other visitors as well. So, we are selective about where dogs are allowed and where they aren’t, based on the resource and based the visitor experience for others. So I hope you do get out there and enjoy the great outdoors with your dog. Thank you very much.
Question from Kimberly M. Bauer (@KimberlyMBauer)
Our public lands are increasingly challenged by climate change. What role does this play in the NPS vision for next 100 yrs? #askInterior
Video response from Sally Jewell: Many of our National Parks are on the front lines of climate change. We see it with wildfires and droughts. We see with sea level rise. National Park Service is a scientific based organization. It’s an opportunity to study and research what we can do, and we are doing just that. Every National Park has a climate change plan. We’re looking at it. We are preparing for the future. To try and make our parks more resilient but also learn from them.
Question from Kimberly M. Bauer (@KimberlyMBauer)
@SecretaryJewell America's history plays out more and more in its urban centers. Plans to have NPS sites reflect this? #askInterior
Video response from Sally Jewell: You know, the National Park Service is America’s storyteller, and we’re not telling all the stories that need to be told. Just about a week ago, the President declared a new national monument, the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, right in Washington D.C. -- close to the Capitol. There are places like this that need to be preserved that tell the story of our history so we welcome opportunities to do more of that and engage congress in doing the same.
Video response from Sally Jewell: You know, if I told you my favorite under-the-radar place, it wouldn’t be under-the-radar for very long. But I will say this, that if you go early, or if you go late, and you open your ears and you listen, that definitely is a happy place. Or when it’s nighttime and you look up at the sky, especially in the parks that are away from cities, you’ll see a little bit of magic.
Question from Hallie Smith (@hallieasmith)
.@SecretaryJewell We are on the cusp of next President in WH - what advice/hopes do you have for the next Sec of @Interior? #askInterior
Video response from Sally Jewell: My hope for the next occupant in this position under a new President is that they’ll continue the great work that’s been going on across the United States. I gave a speech -- just this week -- on the future of conservation, and it’s about engaging communities and collaborating and learning from each other. It’s also about looking at our landscapes more wholistically and making smart long term decisions about where we develop, where we don’t, and what places are special. That’s what it’s all about.
Question from James Ramos (@plusjames)
@SecretaryJewell what's your favorite documentary on any national park? #askInterior
Video response from Sally Jewell: You know, there is nothing better than Ken Burns and Dayton Duncans’ multi-series documentary on the National Parks. From their history to their present day. I highly commend that to anybody. It’s a great watch!
Question from Project WET (@projectwet)
What role do you see for environmental education in encouraging stewardship among young people? #AskInterior
Video response from Sally Jewell: The best classroom out there is the one with no walls. It’s Mother Nature. It’s unlocking curiosity in kids and their natural creativity. Environmental education does that for kids, but just letting kids play, letting them get outside. It’s a chance for them explore, for them to be creative, to create new games. That’s what environmental education is all about, so just let them play.
Video response from Sally Jewell: You know at the speech I gave this week I cited an economic analysis that’s out there that says the economic value of outdoor recreation is equivalent to the sum, roughly, of pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles and parts combined. That’s big. So we have asked the Bureau of Economic Analysis to do a study for us that is independent and the economists are trying to figure out exactly what is included in that study. But what it will do is help us all understand the economic value of public lands.
Question from CSS at Columbia (@columbiacss)
How does the #NPS engage young people with nature? #askInterior
Video response from Sally Jewell: You know one of the biggest challenges we face right now is making the National Parks and public lands relevant to all Americans, especially young ones. Spending so much time connected to social media, spending time in front of television, or being told what to do by adults. So one of the best things the National Park Service can do is welcome them to the best classroom we have, and that’s the one with no walls. To Every Kid in a Park, free passes for fourth graders to public lands, for parents, get your kids out there...
Tweet from @Interior: Thanks for joining us for the #AskInterior Q&A. Looking forward to chatting in the future. Go #FindYourPark!
Video response from Sally Jewell: Thanks so much for joining our first ever Twitter chat Q&A. We’re out of time right now, but my colleagues at Interior are going to be continuing to take your questions and I encourage you to ask them. So thanks very much, it’s been great fun. Take care, and get outside.