DENVER (AP) — The Interior Department says it will work with Colorado on three water and land conservation projects as part of President Barack Obama’s “America’s Great Outdoors” initiative.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday said two projects are in the Yampa River Basin in northwest Colorado and the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, where his family has roots. He said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will put $350,000 from its budget toward a third project to connect Denver area trails, parks and open spaces.

Salazar made the announcement at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new visitor center at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver.

Obama’s outdoors initiative is designed to protect lands, support jobs in tourism and recreation and encourage Americans to get outside.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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