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America's Great Outdoors
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NOTICE OF A PUBLIC LISTENING SESSION ON THE PRESIDENT’S AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS INITIATIVE

Fort Pierre, South Dakota

Please join senior representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a public listening session and discussions in South Dakota on conservation, recreation, and reconnecting people to the outdoors.  The session will be held September 1 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Central time) at the AmericInn in Ft. Pierre, South Dakota.

This past April, at the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors, President Obama signed a memorandum establishing the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to develop a conservation agenda worthy of the 21st century and to reconnect Americans with our great outdoors.  The President understands that protecting and restoring the lands and waters that we love and reconnecting people to the outdoors must happen at the local level. 

Therefore, President Obama directed the principal leaders of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to travel across the country to listen and learn from people directly involved in finding grassroots solutions to conserve our lands, waterways, historical and cultural resources, and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.  The President indicated that the sessions should engage the full range of interested groups, including tribal leaders, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen, community park groups, foresters, youth groups, businesspeople, educators, State and local governments, recreation and conservation groups, and others.

This listening session in South Dakota offers an opportunity for us to engage in a conversation about the solutions you and your community have created to address the challenges and opportunities facing land and water conservation; for engaging people in outdoor activities; and in restoring and conserving our vital natural and cultural resources.

The public listening session and discussions on September 1st  provide an opportunity for the leaders of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to hear from you and other voices in the region about solutions for building a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and for reconnecting people with the outdoors.  We welcome your participation and hope that you will join the session.  Here are the details:

 Listening Session and Discussion Information:

WHEN: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 from 8:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Central time)
(Check-in table opens at 8:30 a.m.)
WHERE: AmericInn
312 Island Drive
Fort Pierre, South Dakota  57532
WHO: Senior Washington, D.C. and local leadership from DOI and USDA will be present to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America’s Great Outdoors.
WHY: The listening session will be an opportunity to share ideas related to these four topics:
• What Works: What are the most effective strategies for conservation, recreation, and reconnecting people to the outdoors that you have used?
• Challenges: What obstacles exist to achieve your goals for conservation, recreation, or reconnecting people to the outdoors?
• Federal Government Role: How can the federal government be a more effective partner in helping to achieve conservation, recreation or reconnecting people to the outdoors?
• Tools: What additional tools and resources would help your efforts be even more successful?
PRE-REGISTER: This event is free and open to the public.  For planning purposes, please pre-register by Friday, August 27th by sending an email to FW6_AGOTeam@fws.gov with your name, the name of the organization with which you are affiliated, if any, your telephone number and email address.  Every effort will be made to accommodate everyone.

In the event you are unable to participate in person, please submit your comments and ideas via the America’s Great Outdoors website at http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/.

If you have questions, please call Lori Iverson at (307) 733-9212 ext. 6.  We look forward to your participation – please join us!