ASC site of Dept. of Interior "SLV Community Conversation"

(01-04-2012)

U.S. Secretary of the Interior and San Luis Valley native Ken Salazar hosted the San Luis Valley Community Conversation, held Jan. 4 on the Adams State College campus. The standing-room only event focused on three projects designed to promote tourism, create jobs, and preserve natural and cultural resources in the valley. Salazar and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper selected the San Luis Valley as an area of focus for the Americas Great Outdoors initiative, President Obama's program on conversation, recreation, and reconnecting people to the outdoors.

"We see a great opportunity for tourism and jobs, and the opportunity to see that the unique history and splendor of the San Luis Valley is here for future generations," Salazar told the crowd of federal, state, and local representatives of government and agencies concerned with parks, recreation, natural and historic resources, and tourism.

Hickenlooper and senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet joined Salazar in opening the "community conversation," as did as John Salazar, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture; Jon Jarvis, director of the National Park Service; and Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Speakers detailed the Sangre de Cristo Study and National Historical Park options, a San Luis Valley Trails proposal, and Landscape Scale Conservation in the San Luis Valley. Hickenlooper described the proposals as "a way to showcase this valley as never before, and to do everything we can to preserve the beauty and identity of all the traditions here."

By Julie Waechter