America’s Great Outdoors report shows progress and potential

Oct 12, 2011

Report highlights next steps in conservation


The Wilderness Society today welcomed the Obama administration’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) “2011 Progress Report” as a step forward in the unprecedented conservation initiative. The report catalogs the dozens of completed AGO-related projects, and highlights the agency plans moving forward in several areas critical to protecting wild lands, such as enhanced recreation opportunities; raising awareness of the value and benefits of our great outdoors; conserving and restoring our public lands and rural working lands through partnerships and incentives; and protecting and renewing rivers and other waters.

The report specifically outlines that agencies will work together to achieve landscape-scale conservation in Crown of the Continent in the northern Rockies and the northern forests of New England and New York, two critical wild land areas.

The “2011 Progress Report” is the next step in the 21st century conservation conversation with the American people that began with over 50 “listening sessions” across the United States last year. After a summer of traversing the country, the Obama administration released a report, and then met with the Governors of all 50 states to assess how to implement the ideas heard during the listening sessions. “2011 Progress Report” combines the feedback from the American people and elected officials nationwide.

“In a time when we are seeing our lands and waters facing unprecedented attacks, America’s Great Outdoors is a necessary reminder that Americans strongly support conservation,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society.  “Now President Obama must give this progress report legs and act to protect the natural legacy the American people love.”
When crafting the America’s Great Outdoors report, The Wilderness Society and our supporters asked the Obama administration to implement the following policies:

• Protect our wilderness by designating new national monuments using the Antiquities Act
• Address conservation at a large scale
• Fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
• Improve watersheds and wildlife habitat
• Connect people, especially kids, with Nature
• Provide increased access and recreational opportunities