Americans have a proud tradition of working together - from the ground-up - to conserve farmland and open space for future generations, restore rivers and streams, protect areas for hiking and biking, preserve beaches and coastlines, conserve wildlife habitat for fishing and hunting, and restore the cultural and historic sites that tell America's story. In fact, community-driven efforts to conserve America's land, water, and wildlife are a major reason why we are blessed with the parks, refuges, forests, and open spaces that we enjoy today.
Starting with the White House Conference on the Great Outdoors on April 16, President Obama launched a national dialogue about conservation in America. As part of this dialogue, we are bringing together ranchers, farmers and forest landowners, sportsmen and women, state and local government leaders, tribal leaders, public-lands experts, conservationists, youth leaders, business representatives, and others to learn about some of the smart, creative ways communities are conserving outdoor spaces.
Please join senior representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for a public listening session and discussion in the Chesapeake region on land conservation, recreation, and reconnecting people to the outdoors. The session will be held June 25th in Annapolis Maryland; participants from throughout the Chesapeake region are welcome.
Here in the Chesapeake region there is a long-standing effort to conserve the working farms, forests, natural areas and historic and scenic lands and waters of the Chesapeake watershed. Many citizens and organizations are deeply involved in daily stewardship of these resources and in celebrating and enjoying the Chesapeake's outdoor heritage. The recently released Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, developed through President Obama's May 2009 Executive Order on the Chesapeake, builds on these efforts. The strategy sets out goals and actions for conserving land, increasing public access to the Chesapeake and its rivers, and expanding citizen stewardship.
The June 25th public listening session and discussion is an opportunity for leaders of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to hear from you and other Chesapeake voices on solutions for building a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and reconnecting people with the outdoors. Please join us - here are the details:
When: Friday, June 25th - Check-in desk opens at Noon; session begins at 1:00 pm and ends by 4:30 pm (please allow time for check-in before session starts)
What: Opening session with senior officials from DOI, USDA, EPA, and CEQ, expert panel discussions, and opportunities to share your ideas in breakout groups. (See Agenda for details)
Where: Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts (Directions)
801 Chase Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Who: Representatives from DOI, USDA, EPA, and CEQ will be present to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America's Great Outdoors.
Please Register: The event is free and open to all, but please let us know if you will attend so we can plan accordingly. Register by 5:00 pm, Tuesday June 22 by sending your name, telephone number and primary area of interest:
More Info: You can find more information on the America's Great Outdoors Initiative and submit comments on-line at: www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/.
We hope you will participate and look forward to hearing from you.