Representatives from the National Association of Conservation Districts today joined local, state and national leaders for the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors in Washington, D.C.
“Today’s event highlighted the Obama Administration’s commitment to conservation and American lands,” said NACD President Steve Robinson, a producer from Marysville, Ohio. “We commend the Administration for making this a priority and providing an opportunity for partners to discuss issues on farm, ranch and forest land, as well as parks, neighborhoods, trails and fields. The nation’s 3,000 conservation districts touch these lands in their work every day.”
Ray McCormick, NACD Board Member from Indiana, was one of four participants on a private lands panel moderated by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. McCormick stressed the importance of farm bill conservation programs, calling them critical to partnerships and private land conservation.
The Administration called the conference to address the challenges, opportunities and innovations surrounding modern-day land conservation and the importance of reconnecting Americans to the outdoors. At the conference, President Obama addressed leaders representing the conservation, farming, ranching, sporting, recreation, forestry, private industry, local parks and academia communities from all 53 states and territories, announcing the new America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Conference attendees participated in in-depth panel discussions on private and public lands issues; and attended various break-out sessions hosted by senior Administration officials.
“The main message we walked away with was the need for Americans to feel connected to forests, working lands and public lands, and a challenge to do whatever we can to support efforts across the nation to strengthen and facilitate that connection,” said Robinson. “NACD and its member conservation districts are perfectly equipped to do just that, but we need support from both Congress and the Administration. The success of the Administration’s Great Outdoors Initiative will require strong budgetary support for conservation on private and public lands. We look forward to working with them to achieve the conservation goals shared by all Americans. “
Posted by Kaci Switzer