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America's Great Outdoors
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Please join senior representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other Federal agencies for a public listening session on conservation, recreation, and reconnecting people to the outdoors. The session will be held Monday, July 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Grand Island - the heart of the Rainwater Basin region of south central Nebraska.

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 conserving our lands and waters and reconnecting 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, and recreation and conservation groups. 

The Rainwater Basin Joint Venture is a diverse partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations and private landowners who are successfully collaborating to restore wetlands.  While more remains to be done, this collaborative effort exemplifies an ecosystem-based restoration effort that is improving communities’ natural resources, providing cleaner water, and improving critical habitat for threatened and endangered species while also sustaining and improving the agricultural economy.

The July 12th public listening session and discussion is an opportunity for leaders of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to hear from you and other voices in Nebraska about solutions for building a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and for reconnecting people with the outdoors.  Please join us.  Here are the details:

Listening Session and Discussion Information:

When: Monday, July 12th, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Quality Inn and Conference Center
7838 HWY 281 (just south of the I-80 Grand Island/Hastings exit)
Grand Island, NE
Senior Washington, D.C. and local leadership from U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior and other Federal agencies will be present to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America’s Great Outdoors.
Please Register: This event is free and open to the public.  For planning purposes it would be helpful if you would pre-register by Thursday July 8 by sending an email to with your name, the name of the organization with which you are affiliated, if any, and your telephone number.  Please let us know if you have any special needs.  We will make every effort to accommodate everyone.

In the event you are unable to participate in person, please submit your comments and stories via the America’s Great Outdoors website at
If you have questions, please contact Joanna Pope at (402) 437-4123 or  We hope you will participate and look forward to hearing from you.

If you have questions, please call Nelly Sun at (415) 947-4237.  We look forward to your participation – please join us!