180 Groups Push Obama to Protect America's Great Outdoors

A diverse range of historic, cultural, scientific, conservation and environmental groups united today to push President Obama to “create a bold, tangible legacy of conservation, preservation, recreation and restoration through the America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative.”

While Obama has been more engaged in this topic than his predecessor, there are still some big goals many would like to see him address.

With the great importance nature plays in refreshing our brains, and recent research showing that “84 percent of voters react favorably when they hear about AGO due to concerns that children are spending less time outside and that shared outdoor spaces will not be enjoyed by future generations,” these groups believe the time is now to act strongly on this issue.

Here are the four detailed policy recommendations the 180 groups are pushing for:

  • Protect natural system integrity and connectivity – ensuring clean drinking water for millions of people and habitat for the diversity of America’s plant and animal species.
  • Provide access to high quality outdoor recreation for all Americans – increasing the opportunity for all Americans to experience natural and historic areas provided by our national parks, wildlife refuges, monuments, trails, rivers, blueways and other shared outdoor spaces.
  • Enhance the economic and environmental viability and the quality of life of urban areas – giving parents, school officials, and organizations another tool to connect kids to nature and combat childhood obesity.
  • Commit to new, more reliable and flexible funding for the acquisition of public lands, conservation easements and for the restoration, preservation, and management of lands and waters to achieve the goals of this initiative – guaranteeing adequate, long term and reliable funding to support the additional work that will be required to achieve the goals of AGO including funds to build collaborative partnerships, engage youth, serve park visitors, and for the acquisition of conservation and recreation lands in fee or easement.

Groups signing on to a letter to the President include: the Civil War Preservation Trust, Federation of Fly Fishers, National Hispanic Medical Association and Society for American Archeology in addition to environmental groups such as Defenders of Wildlife, the Land Trust Alliance, National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, Wilderness Society, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, and numerous more.

You can view the letter to President Obama and a full list of the signatories on the Great Outdoors America website. And more on the AGO initiative is available via the Department of the Interior.

Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs via flickr

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