Charleston Listening Session for America’s Great Outdoors

On Monday, June 28, the Obama administration will hold a listening session as part of its America’s Great Outdoors initiative in the Longleaf pine region of South Carolina.

This summer, the Obama administration is organizing a series of “listening sessions” on America’s Great Outdoors to hear our best ideas for developing a new conservation strategy for protecting and connecting us to nature.

America’s Great Outdoors, a national conservation initiative, kicked off with a conference in April 2010 where government agencies came together in a show of unity to address conservation for the 21st century.

After hearing stories from across the country this summer about community-driven efforts to conserve America’s land, water and wildlife, the administration will compile our ideas into a November report that will focus on a revitalized national outdoors initiative that works for all Americans.

The administration is traveling to Charleston, South Carolina to listen to local stakeholders who have worked together to restore the longleaf pine ecosystem.

The listening session is open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend!

When: Monday, June 28, 1- 5 p.m.
Where: Founders Hall - Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site (1500 Old Towne Road. Charleston, SC)
Who: Senior Washington, D.C. and local leadership

If you cannot attend the listening session, The Wilderness Society asks that tell the administration to employ America’s Great Outdoors to connect, protect and restore our public lands for future generations:

Protect our wildest public lands: The Obama administration should use all available tools to protect our public lands including designating our wildest lands as Wilderness, national parks or monuments, expanding National Wildlife Refuges, creating new national trail systems and ensuring maintaince of existing recreational resources.

Fully fund restoration needs: The Obama administration should fully fund restoration needs and make restoring damaged public lands a national priority. By restoring our natural lands and waters we can spur economic growth by providing needed jobs, and improve recreation opportunities. Our public lands are also critical in shaping strategies to help communities adapt to the effects of climate change.

Support fully funding LWCF: The administration should support fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and other programs that help foster conservation on private lands. These efforts would help keep wildlife habitat intact, protect lands around our waters, and maintain land in agricultural and timber production.

Connect people – especially our youth – to the great outdoors: The Obama administration should create a national program to connect everyone, including our youth, with nature. No matter where they live, all children deserve the opportunity to learn about and experience the wildlands that belong to all Americans.

Stay tuned for more listening sessions in Seattle on July 1 and Los Angeles on July 8.