The Obama Administration’s “America’s Great Outdoors” Should Look to Our Wild Lands for Long-Term Benefits

Apr 15, 2010

Wild Lands for Long-Term Benefits The Wilderness Society Offers Constructive and Positive Recommendations to Make Initiative a Success

WASHINGTON – Ahead of the conference on America’s Great Outdoors, The Wilderness Society highlights the valuable role that America’s public lands will play in protecting and restoring our wild areas and waters, while connecting them to the communities they sustain.

“The conference provides a beneficial and positive opportunity to hear from diverse stakeholders, which is critical to the initiative’s success,” said Bill Meadows President of the Wilderness Society. “Public lands can enrich America’s Great Outdoors, assuring that the multiple benefits of our wild areas are a key component of this initiative.”

The Wilderness Society recommends that the Obama administration consider the following criteria when designing America’s Great Outdoors:

  • Focus America’s Great Outdoors on large areas that have core wild lands components and are surrounded by areas that allow for complementary land uses.
  • Maximize interagency and intergovernmental cooperation to protect and manage our wild lands.
  • Our public lands and working lands should be used by multiple stakeholders in a balanced, sustainable manner.
  • Utilize and empower local stakeholders – such as recreationists and businesses, hunting and angling groups, ranchers and land owners – to lead on restoration and conservation efforts.
  • Seek opportunities for protecting our public land values through conservation designations, such as national parks and monuments and wilderness.
  • Locate restoration opportunities on our public lands to spur economic growth for communities.
  • Use the Land and Water Conservation Fund to add to our public lands systems creating large connected and resilient areas.