- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 2, 2014

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it will join forces with the Union Sportsmen Alliance on projects to rebuild, renew and restore national parks across the country.

The Department will partner with the union for “Boots on the Ground” volunteer projects in several states including, Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, Minnesota, Maryland, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called the merger a “win-win.”

“Not only will our nation’s parks and public lands benefit from the expert labor, but many young people will have an opportunity to work alongside the volunteers, learning about the great outdoors and gaining important trade skills,” Ms. Jewell said. “I applaud the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance for their work to continue to strengthen the nation through volunteer efforts that will make a big difference in conservation projects across the country.”

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance created the volunteer based “Work Boots on the Ground” program in 2010 to bring together members of the labor union community to utilize their trade skills for conservation efforts.

“America’s workers are committed to doing our part to save our nation’s parks and restore our public lands,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “[The alliance] was established to unite the union community for conservation under a single banner, to protect our most precious and beautiful lands, waters and wild spaces.”

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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