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Posts tagged: America’s Great Outdoors’

Secretary’s Column: Strengthening America’s National Forests

As harvest season continues, so does the historic drought that has impacted so many producers and communities. Today, USDA and other Federal agencies continue doing all we can to help farmers and ranchers. Unfortunately, due to inaction by Congress, many programs authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill expired on October 1, and other aspects of the law will continue to expire in the coming months.

While we continue to urge Congress to take up a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible, USDA continues our work to further economic opportunity in rural America.

This includes our efforts to protect, restore and properly manage America’s National Forests. Read more »

Slice of Albuquerque Will be Turned into the Children’s Bosque: More Kids in the Woods Projects and Children’s Forests Nationwide Receive $1 Million Funding

Urban children in Albuquerque, N.M., will soon be able to descend on 20 acres of forestland along the Rio Grande River, where they will have the freedom to climb onto an elevated fort, hike on a trail through the cottonwood forest to learn about the different plants and animals and do what all children are supposed to do: play outside.

Children looking through microscopes in a forest.

Children looking through microscopes in a forest.

Children’s Bosque – Spanish for forest – is one of eight Children’s Forests and 23 More Kids in the Woods projects in 18 states awarded a total of $1 million in cost-share grants from the U.S. Forest Service. Each of the winning projects has the backing of partners and local communities, and winning proposals either expand current projects or create new ones. Read more »

Secretary Vilsack Announces Local Projects to Help Kids Get Outdoors

Connor Stack, a youth volunteer for the National Children's Forest in California, teaches other children about coyotes. Stack and other children help to operate the National Children's Forest, a collaboration between the San Bernardino National Forest and the National Forest Association. It is the oldest among four Children's Forests associated with the Forest Service. On April 4, the agency and the USDA announced plans to add nine Children's Forests to create a national network.

Connor Stack, a youth volunteer for the National Children's Forest in California, teaches other children about coyotes. Stack and other children help to operate the National Children's Forest, a collaboration between the San Bernardino National Forest and the National Forest Association. It is the oldest among four Children's Forests associated with the Forest Service. On April 4, the agency and the USDA announced plans to add nine Children's Forests to create a national network.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday the infusion of $1 million from the current U.S. Forest Service budget toward projects and programs that get kids outside to experience the great outdoors, connect with nature and help nurture future land stewards.

The two programs receiving funding through this announcement will reach tens of thousands of young people this year, and support the goals of both President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.

Read more »

Nebraska Hosts America’s Great Outdoors Initiative Listening Session

President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative came to Nebraska on July 12, when 200 attendees gathered in Grand Island for a listening session.  They were joined by Dave White, Chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and senior representatives of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and the Interior (DOI). Read more »

Seventeen Forest Service Delegates Attended the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival in New York City’s Central Park

By Deidra McGee, USDA Forest Service Public Affairs

On June 19 and 20, the USDA Forest Service sent 17 delegates from across the country to join with 520 young adults from across the country for the world’s first two-day Outdoor Youth Summit and Festival in New York City’s Central Park. With the emphasis on youth engagement, the Forest Service thought it was vital to go to the source and ask young people for their ideas and thoughts about conservation in America. Read more »

New Federal Conservation Council Boosts America’s Outdoors

Hunters, fishers and all wildlife enthusiasts – there’s a new USDA and Department of Interior council that is going to make the great outdoors even greater for you.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar have announced the new Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council that will advise government on wildlife conservation and hunting issues. The Secretaries were joined by Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana for the announcement at the Theodore Roosevelt Island national memorial in Washington, D.C.

Sparked by the spirit Theodore Roosevelt, the new council focuses on the importance of hunting and fishing in American life and their connections to healthy lands and native species.

The new council replaces the Sporting Conservation Council, bringing in members from the hunting and shooting sports industries and representatives of the nation’s major hunting organizations.

The council will provide a forum for sports men and women to advise the Federal government on wildlife and habitat conservation. New opportunities partnerships will abound as the council brings together the public, the sporting conservation community, the shooting and hunting sports industry, wildlife conservation organizations, the States, Native American tribes, and the Federal government.

USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and Forest Service and the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management will provide support and guidance to the council.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (left), Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (center) and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (left), Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (center) and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, share a light moment before the announcement of the creation of the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council a new cooperative Federal advisory council on wildlife conservation and hunting Issues. The Advisory Council will provide advice to the government on wildlife conservation and hunting issues and promote efforts to preserve America’s hunting heritage for future generations. The event took place in Washington, D.C. on February 4, 2010.

From left: Tom Strickland, Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Department of Interior, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer sign the proclamation creating the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council a new Federal advisory council on wildlife conservation and hunting Issues on Theodore Roosevelt Island National Monument in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., on February 4, 2010.
From left: Tom Strickland, Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Department of Interior, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer sign the proclamation creating the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council a new Federal advisory council on wildlife conservation and hunting Issues on Theodore Roosevelt Island National Monument in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., on February 4, 2010.


Submitted by Brad Fisher, Public Affairs Specialist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington,