Youth Recreation

For kids, wilderness is a natural playground that provides exercise and emotional well-being. Yet, America’s youth are spending less and less time outdoors.

Through our youth recreation program, we’re making sure that America’s kids experience wilderness first-hand.

Why get youth outside?

America’s children are spending less time outside than ever before. We see the consequences in their health, in classrooms and on neglected lands. Youth recreation can help restore our youth and our lands, and make both healthier and more resilient.

Youth organizations on national forests

Many national forests are near urban areas, making them the perfect place to get city kids outdoors. Yet organizations that provide outdoor experiences for youth find that they are often unable to use national forests because of U.S. Forest Service rules.

Youth recreation partnerships

Diverse and non-traditional allies are all coming together to get our kids outside. Whether it is First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” and President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative or the YMCA and REI, people everywhere are recognizing that we desperately need to reconnect kids with nature.

 

Photo courtesy of Flikr creative commons: Eva Cristescu

  • Michael Reinemer

    On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and National Forests, the agencies are mismanaging the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles, resulting in unnecessary damage to watersheds and wildlife, and conflict with other recreationists. This is in spite of a long-standing legal obligation dating back to the 1970s that requires federal land agencies to minimize such damage and conflict.

  • Michael Reinemer

    Development of natural areas in the United States, coupled with expected changes in climate, have increased the importance of migration corridors that connect protected natural areas. Large, connected wild lands reduce the isolation of animal and plant populations and allow for migration and movement that can help preserve populations of wild species and enhance genetic and ecosystem diversity. 

  • Sarah Graddy

    An analysis of more than 8,700 low-producing natural gas wells in two counties in the San Juan Basin, San Juan and Rio Arriba, determined that BLM’s rule will have little to no negative impact on these marginal wells.

    The results of the study indicate that the new rule—which aims to reduce waste from venting, flaring and leaks from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands—will actually increase overall production and royalties paid to support vital services in the state of New Mexico.