Obama pushes effort to protect public lands


President Barack Obama says a new administration effort to protect public lands will put people back to work in tourism and recreation and help Americans stay healthier by encouraging outdoor activities.

Environmental groups hailed the outdoors program.

"It is foolish in a time of belt tightening to neglect our forests and rivers that supply us with clean air and water for free," said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. "'America's Great Outdoors' will ensure that families have places and opportunities to fish, picnic, and take vacations now and forever."