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

    Citing some of “the most beautiful and iconic landscapes on earth” in Teton County’s backyard, the board of commissioners Tuesday morning unanimously passed a resolution that “opposes any and all efforts by the State of Wyoming to obtain the wholesale transfer of federal lands in Wyoming” to the state. In January, Sweetwater County filed a letter with the state legislature stating similar opposition to measures that would turn over federal public lands—such as parks, wilderness, and national forests—to state jurisdiction and management.

  • Tim Woody

    In spite of Royal Dutch Shell’s disastrous performance during the 2012 Arctic Ocean drilling season, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today conditionally approved the company’s 2015 exploration plan, which provides even fewer safeguards for the Chukchi Sea and its sensitive coastline than Shell had in place three years ago. Shell also plans to bring a different rig operated by a new contractor to the Arctic Ocean in 2015, which could result in unexpected transport and drilling problems.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society strongly supports bipartisan legislation, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 (S. 235, H.R. 167), to fix a budgetary problem called “fire borrowing.”  This is a destructive cycle in which the Forest Service is forced to take funds from other forest programs when its allotted wildfire funds are used up, essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul to put out fires in our national forests.