President Obama launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative today at a White House sponsored conference. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, and Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture are leading the conference that addresses land conservation and the need to reconnect Americans with the outdoors.
The conference’s agenda is evenly divided on the need to perserve working lands for the benefit of all Americans, and the need to connect people with our lands, water and wildlife. There are roughly 600 leaders in attendance from a diverse base that includes farming/ranching, sporting and recreation groups as well as state, local and tribal governments.
The event is expected to broadly outline conservation policy that is heavy on the need for coalitions with state and local goverment and the private sector that encourages sustainable use of private land. This first step isn’t expected to generate any concrete policy directions, but will set the stage for further discussions.