Tuesday, May 11, 2010

America's Great Outdoors Initiative - What Do You Hope For?

A few weeks ago, President Obama launched a "Great Outdoors" initiative with two main goals:
1. Conservation, and
2. Reconnecting Americans to the outdoors.

Interestingly, Obama made a case for conservation during tough economic times in passing during his introductions -- saying "conservation is not contrary to economic growth, it is an integral part of economic growth" -- and came back later in the speech to make the point more fully: "It was in the midst of civil war that Abraham Lincoln set aside lands that are now Yosemite.  It was in midst of a great depression that FDR formed the Civilian Conservation Corps that built the trails and campgrounds and parks we enjoy today. Even in times of crisis, we’re called to take the long view to preserve our national heritage –- because in doing so we fulfill one of the responsibilities that falls to all of us as Americans, and as inhabitants of this same small planet."

Of course, it remains to be seen what substance will come out of this. First up: a series of listening sessions that will culminate in a Nov. 15 report. What do you hope to see come out of the plan? Leave us a comment below. Or hop on over to the intiative's website, and share your ideas.



Skip to 2:15 to miss the tedious introductions -- and to 3:40 for the best laugh line.

2 comments:

Swamp Thing said...

My hope is that any of this actually happens. Too few outdoor enthusiasts are willing to pay more in taxes & fees to access the outdoors, and obviously non-outdoors people are not willing to pay more for a resource that in most cases, they've never seen.

We have GOT to get people outdoors to appreciate the cost and benefit of saving it.

USFWS can't even get birders to purchase the migratory waterfowl stamp - a $18(?) annual pass to Wildlife Refuges - and all funds go towards restoring habitat on refuges.

We have a mighty tall hill to climb!

uu-mom said...

Thanks, Swamp Thing, about mentioning some of the problems. I would like walkable, bikable communities that will help us actually get outside in more than just a car. I recently bought a bike after years of paranoia about traffic, but I'm doing it any way. I didn't get killed when I biked as a youth and young adult.

I think pro-conservation needs a lot more awareness than going outdoors and enjoying nature. People need to be aware that without great change, oil is apt to cost up to $300 a gallon in as early as 20 yrs. from now and alternatives are not coming fast enough. The population will double in less than that time and more people, particularly in other nations that are at earlier stages of industrializing, are using more energy. So I'm pessimistic that the initiative will help enough with the latter - the #1 goal.

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