Fredericksburg, VA (Vocus) May 1, 2010
Environmental and conservation consulting firm Marstel-Day announced that it would celebrate Arbor Day (April 30th) with the posting to its Vital Voices of the Environment Website Series of an interview with Lynn Scarlett, the former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2005-2009. The interview may be viewed at: http://www.marstel-day.com/vitalvoicesdetail.php?challenge=lynnscarlett. Marstel-Day Founder and President, Rebecca R. Rubin, noted that “Posting Lynn Scarlett’s interview on Arbor Day honors both the national tree planting movement that Arbor Day memorializes and the exceptional work performed by Lynn Scarlett to conserve and make healthy the nation’s and the world’s ecological landscapes.”
The wide-ranging interview celebrates the hard-won successes of cooperative conservation efforts led by the Department of Interior, citizen groups and non-governmental organizations to preserve vital water, forest and other natural resources at a landscape scale. She also queries: "I just ask those who govern this nation... are we really adequately investing in these lands?" Ms. Scarlett, a prolific thinker and writer on conservation subjects, calls attention to critical ecological services that these lands perform, such as filtering and cleaning water, prevention erosion, sustaining wildlife and absorbing green-house gases like carbon dioxide. She also cautions us to avoid the temptation to distil environmental services solely to a "comparison of dollar values" or to an interpretation of the natural world that offers benefits to humans alone. Instead, she encourages an understanding of what she refers to as "complexities of place and ecology." She identifies two especially pressing challenges: first, the daunting timelines involved in dealing with climate adaptation; she questions whether the nation will meaningfully address greenhouse gas emissions "in anything like the near term." Second, she highlights the urgency involved in understanding and addressing water quality and quantity issues: " If you throw a dart on the map just about anywhere you see water issues impending or already unfolding."
Since leaving the Department of Interior in 2009, Ms. Scarlett has become a visiting scholar at Resources for the Future and has collaborated with numerous organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund. She serves as a member of Marstel-Day’s Advisory Council and supports the company’s work in the area of collaborative conservation and land-use planning.
# # #