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America’s Great Outdoors Initiative – Share Your Input

Posted on: July 2nd, 2010 by Erik Lambert

The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative was established by Presidential Memorandum, and represents a huge push to reconnect the American people to the outdoors alongside community-level undertakings to restore and conserve outdoor areas. As climbers who use these outdoor spaces, it’s important that we get involved in and pay attention to what the AGO is doing.

Around the country, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality will be soliciting public input from communities on how the government can better serve conservation interests. These groups will submit a summary report of their findings to the White House in November.

The OIA (Outdoor Industry Association) got involved to host a series of “listening sessions,” open to the public, in which leaders from the active outdoor recreation community can dialogue with these agencies. We encourage all of our members to take part in these sessions on behalf of climbers, and can help connect you with the OIA if interested (reach out to us via comment, below). The federal agencies, in the listening sessions, are focusing on the following questions (from the OIA website):

I. Challenges – What obstacles exist to achieving your goals for conservation, recreation, or reconnecting people to the outdoors?

II. What Works- Please share your thoughts and ideas on effective strategies for conservation, recreation and reconnecting people to the outdoors.

III. Federal Government Role – How can the federal government be a more effective partner in helping to achieve conservation, recreation or reconnecting people to the outdoors?

IV. Tools – What additional tools and resources would help your efforts be even more successful?

The links above will allow you to submit your online input at the Department of Interior AGO website. In addition, (and this is the important part), check out the listing of listening sessions, and plan to attend one near you. The next events are July 7, 8 and 15, with grassroots sessions on the 15th, 22nd, and numerous TBD dates. Check early and be sure to register.

If you operate a company in the outdoor industry (or know a local guide service or gear shop owner who does) and would like to get involved in a listening session, contact Alex Boian or David Weinstein at the Outdoor Industry Association. Please also send in suggestions for additional meeting locations!

The OIA website is a fantastic resource for all information on the AGO, including background information, the most current event listings, suggestions for the November report, the latest AGO news, and links to the AGO Facebook page and IdeaJam website.

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