President Barack Obama has signed a Presidential Memorandum to establish America's Great Outdoors Initiative, a program designed to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
"In the months ahead, members of this administration will host regional listening sessions across America. We'll meet with everybody - from tribal leaders to farmers, from young people to businesspeople, from elected officials to recreation and conservation groups. And their ideas will help us form a 21st century strategy for America's great outdoors to better protect our natural landscape and our history for generations to come," the President said.
The initiative will be led by the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and departments of Agriculture and Interior.
"It is more important than ever for people to have access to outdoor space," said CEQ chair Nancy Sutley. "Just as we cherish our childhood memories of hiking and sledding, fishing and camping, and just as we enjoy spending time outdoors with our families, we must guard these places and traditions for new generations."