America's Great Outdoors

Grand Canyon North Rim

"Americans are blessed with a vast and varied natural heritage. From mountains to deserts and from sea to shining sea, America's great outdoors have shaped the rugged independence and sense of community that define the American spirit."

- Presidential Memorandum on America's Great Outdoors

What Makes America’s Great Outdoors Great?

The Obama administration is seeking the answer to this and other questions through public "listening sessions" around the country and collecting public comments. 

Launching the America's Great Outdoors Initiative

At a White House Conference on April 16th in Washington, DC, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum launching the "America's Great Outdoors" (AGO) initiative. The goals include:

  1. "Reconnect Americans, especially children, to America's rivers and waterways, landscapes of national significance, ranches, farms and forests, great parks, and coasts and beaches."

  2. "The conservation of land, water, wildlife, historic, and cultural resources, creating corridors and connectivity across these outdoor spaces, and for enhancing neighborhood parks."

  3. "Use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations."

The presidential memorandum calls for a report on America's Great Outdoors by November 15th detailing an action plan with specific steps to meet the initiative's goals. The effort is being led by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley.

See what a handful of National Wildlife Federation's four million members and supporters think makes America's outdoors great and what policies the Obama administration should include as part of the initiative, in NWF's new report - America's Great Outdoors: A Vision for Conserving the Nation's Wildlife in the 21st Century (pdf).


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