On Friday, April 16, 2010, President Obama hosted a White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors. I was lucky enough to be invited to this meeting, which was created to bring together the communities that protect, preserve and use our land and water resources to not only continue our collective conservation efforts but also to encourage people to get outdoors and reconnect to the land.
During the meeting, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum to launch what is being called America’s Great Outdoors Initiative for the 21st Century.
This Presidential Initiative has three main goals:
- Reconnect Americans, especially children, to America’s rivers and waterways, landscapes of national significance, ranches, farms and forests, great parks, and coasts and beaches by exploring a variety of efforts.
- Build upon State, local, private, and tribal priorities for the conservation of land, water, wildlife, historic, and cultural resources, creating corridors and connectivity across these outdoor spaces, and for enhancing neighborhood parks; and determine how the Federal Government can best advance those priorities through public private partnerships and locally supported conservation strategies.
- Use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations.
I was delighted to hear that the Administration is making America’s Great Outdoors a priority and is open to ideas from groups like RBFF. If we can get more people involved in boating and fishing, we’ll influence more people who take an interest in our nation’s waterways; people who will become more likely to want to conserve and protect those waters they enjoy!
Photo Credit: Tami A. Heilemann