Obama presents America's Great Outdoors report

The America’s Great Outdoors report was released February 16. Download it and fact sheets at americasgreatoutdoors.gov.

In April of 2010, President Obama launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to create a national dialogue and agenda about conservation and recreation in America. 

Fifty-one listening sessions were held across the country to gather input about the outdoor places and activities that Americans value most. The sessions drew more than 10,000 participants and more than 100,000 online written comments.

This week, the result of those sessions was released: America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations.

The 173-page report addresses how to connect Americans to the outdoors, conservation and restoration of America's great outdoors, and ways to make the federal government a more effective conservation partner.

The report outlines ways the federal government will help empower local communities to accomplish their conservation and recreation priorities, including:

  • Accessible parks or green spaces for children.
  • A new generation of great urban parks and community green spaces.
  • Newly-restored river restorations and recreational "blueways" that power economic revitalization in communities.
  • Stronger support for farmers, ranchers, and private landowners that help protect rural landscapes and provide access for recreation.
  • The reinvestment of revenues from oil and gas extraction into the permanent protection of parks, open spaces, wildlife habitat, and access for recreational activities.
  • A 21st century conservation ethic that builds on local ideas and solutions for environmental stewardship and connecting to our historic, cultural, and natural heritage.

The Administration’s goal was to create an action plan that achieves "lasting conservation of the outdoor spaces that power our nation’s economy, shape our culture, and build our outdoor traditions. ... and to reinvigorate our approach to conservation and reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the lands and waters that are used for farming and ranching, hunting and fishing, and for families to spend quality time together."

President Obama spoke about the America's Great Outdoors report at the White House on February 16, 2011.

Watch his speech below, with an introduction by Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI. (Spoiler: The President says he asked Sally if she brought him any gear.)

Or watch the video on www.whitehouse.gov.

Read the transcript of the president's speech.

Additional information and the full report of "America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations" are available at www.americasgreatoutdoors.gov.

Filed under: People & Organizations, Places


Seth Levy (Seth)
625 reviewer rep
1,178 forum posts
February 19, 2011 at 7:12 p.m. (EST)

In my years of working in DC, I seldom met politicians who were opposed to getting more Americans outside.

This is one of those issues that transcends even legitimate partisan disagreement and represents an enormous opportunity to unify folks.  I remember when Earl Blumenauer (liberal democrat) and Greg Walden (conservative republican) walked around Mt. Hood together (42 miles!).  They certainly had disagreements when they were done, but less then when they started!

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