Washington, D.C. 20240
Ms. Carol W. LaGrasse
Dear Ms. LaGrasse:
Kit Kimball, Director of our Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, referred your letter to my attention because its substance largely related to our strategic planning effort. Your comments are pertinent to each of the DOI strategic goal areas that represent the nucleus of our strategic plan, including the section reflecting the President's Management Agenda that aspect of the plan was not specifically addressed at the focus group session you attended earlier this year.
With respect to your recommendation that endangered, threatened and rare species restoration should be contracted out, the President's Management Agenda does call for a greater focus on competitive sourcing. Whether a particular species protection activity should be conducted by the private sector will first depend on whether the function is viewed as inherently governmental. If not, open competition can take place. Agencies across government are now completing assessments of their functions to identify commercial-type activities and potential opportunities for competitive sourcing. We share your desire for transparency and a wide range of partnerships for conservation.
On another front, I am sure you have heard of new developments in the handling of the Klamath water use situation. I believe you would agree that Klamath illustrates a common dilemma facing the Interior Department that of competing rights, interests and obligations. The Secretary has committed the Department to a philosophy that will result in more satisfactory resolution of disputes and conflicting demands. The Secretary's "Four C's" approach of consultation, communication and cooperation all in the service of conservation permeates all aspects of our mission work and management processes. I hope you and all Americans will soon observe the positive differences this approach brings.
With regard to the Strategic Plan, the logic model development, that included the January 14 session you attended in Washington, D.C., is drawing to a close. Information and recommendations from hundreds of hours of internal and external meetings and from well over a thousand e-mail submissions has been factored into the set of recommendations that will receive a final evaluation by Departmental senior officials before publication for a final round of public comment. The public comment period will be announced through the Federal Register in late August and the full draft plan for public comment will be available on the DOI website (www.doi.gov) and through other contacts listed in the Federal Register notice. We expect that a revised final strategic plan will be released in December 2002. You are welcome to provide further comments in response to this upcoming notice.
Thank you again for your thoughts and suggestions. A summary of the transcript of the January 14 meeting is being sent under separate cover.
See Original Letter of Carol W. LaGrasse to U.S. Department of Interior