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ENVIRO-NEWS  June 2011

ENVIRO-NEWS June 2011

Subject:

America's Great Outdoors: Administration Announces Federal Council Dedicated to Promoting Outdoor Recreation

From:

"Makuch, Joseph" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Makuch, Joseph

Date:

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 09:55:42 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (140 lines)

USDA
Release No. 0251.11
Contact:
Kendra Barkoff (DOI) 202-208-6416
Matt Herrick (USDA) 202-720-4623
Sahar Wali (CEQ) 202-395-5428
Shannon Gilson (DOC) 202-482-4883
Moira Kelley (DOA) 703-614-3992
 
America's Great Outdoors: Administration Announces Federal Council
Dedicated to Promoting Outdoor Recreation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Obama Administration today announced the creation
of a new federal interagency council to coordinate and promote outdoor
recreation opportunities on public lands in partnership with federal,
state, and tribal agencies.

As part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative, the
Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of the
Army, Department of Commerce, and the White House Council on
Environmental Quality signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish
the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR). The FICOR
Memorandum was announced today at a White House event with the Wildlife
and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, the Sport Fishing and Boating
Partnership Council, and other wildlife conservation and outdoor
recreation organizations.

"With the outdoor industry contributing an estimated $730 billion to the
U.S. economy, outdoor recreation is a vital part of growing our nation's
economy and creating jobs," Salazar said. "The Federal Interagency
Council on Outdoor Recreation will help achieve the goals of the
America's Great Outdoors initiative to reconnect Americans - especially
our young people - to the natural world. By ensuring the federal
government is coordinating its policies and programs with our state,
local and tribal partners, we can better fuel our nation's spirit of
adventure and economy."

"Through community-led 21st century conservation, President Obama's
America's Great Outdoors initiative aims to reconnect American families
with the outdoors that are vital to the health of our communities and
economy," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on
Environmental Quality. "The Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor
Recreation will ensure that the Federal Government is a smarter, better
partner for Americans, making it easier to access opportunities to
explore and enjoy the outdoors."

"America's Great Outdoors initiative provides a great opportunity for
Americans to reconnect with our country's amazing forests and
grasslands," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Together with the
rest of the Obama administration, USDA is working to revitalize our
rural economies and communities, many of which neighbor the 193 million
acres of forests and grasslands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The
Forest Service offers a huge array of programs to help families and
individuals connect with their natural environment and learn about how
to conserve our vital natural resources. AGO is also important in our
efforts to offset childhood obesity through outdoor activities and
healthier lifestyles, led by the Let's Move! Outside campaign launched
by First Lady Michelle Obama."

"Americans are fortunate to have diverse opportunities to recreate on
our federal lands and waters," said Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary
of the Army, Civil Works. "The Corps of Engineers manages 12 million
acres of lands, hosts 370 million recreation visits a year, generates
$18 billion per year for our nation's economy, and supports 350,000
jobs. The Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation will provide
a framework wherein our agencies will work together to improve the
quality and access of the public's recreation experiences. The Corps and
the staff at our 422 recreation sites are pleased to be able to work
with the other federal partners to make this happen."

"The America's Great Outdoors Initiative encourages our citizens to get
outdoors and rediscover adventures in our own backyard. From coasts and
mountains to farmlands and forests, our country is rich in cultural and
natural treasures. We must continue to do all we can to make sure we
have healthy and accessible lands and waters to enjoy for generations to
come," said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. "Outdoor recreation and
tourism related businesses have become powerful elements of rural and
urban economic development. Hunters, anglers, bird watchers, boaters,
and others who enjoy outdoor recreation spend billions of dollars on
their activities."

The purpose of the FICOR is to:

    * Coordinate recreation management, access and policies across
multiple agencies to improve public enjoyment and recreational use of
federal lands;
    * Provide the public with reliable and up-to-date web-based
information, on outdoor recreation that is easily accessible with modern
communication devices; and to evolve and promote the federal interagency
www.recreation.gov website to become a one-stop portal for information
and resources about federal and federally supported outdoor recreation
opportunities, locations, permit and reservation requirements, access,
routes, features, and transportation options;
    * Streamline and align policies and procedures among federal, state,
local, tribal and other outdoor recreation providers;
    * Improve engagement of young people and their families in outdoor
recreation through healthy, active lifestyles;
    * Target underserved and disadvantaged communities for both access
and engagement in the benefits of and opportunities for outdoor
recreation;
    * Identify ways to improve access to and benefits from our parks,
refuges, and other public lands, waters, and shores for persons with
disabilities; and
    * Identify partners outside the federal government who can promote
outdoor recreation and provide additional resources and access.

The new council will work closely with the existing Federal Advisory
Committee Act bodies and will work to strengthen the relationship
between health and the outdoors through the First Lady's Let's Move!
initiative and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and
Nutrition.

#

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a
complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director of Civil Rights, 1400
Independence Ave., S. W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800)
795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TTD).

#

[USDA news releases are available in the "Newsroom" section at
http://www.usda.gov/ .]

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The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
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