Updated: White House to Hold Conference on Conservation

Sportsmen, ranchers, conservation leaders to share successes, discuss economic benefits that stem from America's great outdoors and outdoor recreation

Last edited 9/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Tomorrow, the White House will host a conference to spotlight the community-driven conservation efforts that have taken root across the country and to discuss how to build on their success. The conference, Growing America's Outdoor Heritage and Economy, will explore the link between conservation and strong local economies through tourism, outdoor recreation, and healthy lands, waters and wildlife.

The conference is expected to bring together boaters, hunters, anglers, farmers, ranchers, land conservationists, historic preservationists, outdoor recreationists, small business owners, local governments, tribal leaders and other key stakeholders from around the nation to strengthen partnerships and identify next steps in spurring and supporting successful conservation projects. For more information on participants, please see below.

As part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative, the Administration is opening up recreational access to lands and waters, supporting the creation of urban parks and trails, increasing youth employment in conservation jobs and making historic investments in large landscapes such as the Everglades. The initiative is empowering locally-led conservation and outdoor recreation efforts, from supporting the working landscapes of the Dakota Grasslands and the Flint Hills in Kansas, to designating the Fort Monroe National Monument in Virginia, to countless other success stories across the country.

White House Conference on Conservation Participant Bios:

Conference participants from all 50 states will be represented and will include conservation leaders such as Jim Stone, a rancher from Montana, Dave Perkins, Vice-Chairman of Orvis, a family-led outdoor sporting good company based in Vermont, and Brian O'Donnell, Executive Director of Conservation Lands Fund from Colorado. Additional participants:

  • Jim Faulstich, a rancher from South Dakota, will participate in a panel entitled Conserving Rural Lands: New Models for Working Lands and Wildlife. Jim operates the 8,000 acres Daybreak Ranch in Hyde County, South Dakota and recently completed a conservation easement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a part of the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area. Jim and his wife, Carol, have been active in the local conservation community for over 30 years. He is the vice chairman of the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, represents South Dakota on the national board of directors of the Partners for Conservation, and contributes to the Leopold Conservation Award.

  • Juan Quezada, a Park Guide at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California, will participate in a panel entitled Renewing Communities: Connecting People to Nearby Open Spaces. Born and raised in inner city Los Angles, Juan's appreciation for the great outdoors began in high school with his involvement in the Youth Employment Program at Santa Monica Mountains NRA. Since then, Juan graduated from The Natural Resource Environmental Science Academy at Woodrow Wilson H.S. in LA and is pursuing his undergraduate degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation. Through avid involvement in campus clubs and committees, local volunteering, and community open space planning, he continues to be an advocate for the outdoors and a role model for other area youth.

  • Frances G. Charles, Tribal Chairwoman from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe in Washington, will participate in a panel entitled Restoring Rivers: Building Resilience for People and Wildlife. Having served the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe for sixteen years, Frances has played vital roles in the recovery of Tse-whit-zen, one of the largest archaeological recoveries in the Northwest, and the negotiation process for the Ancient KlallamVillage on behalf of her people and their ancestors. Francis is an active supporter of the annual Tribal Canoe Journey as well as the language program, Indian Education and honoring Tribal Veterans, the youth and the elders of the Tribe.

  • Marjorie Jackson, Executive Director of the Elizabeth River Project in Virginia, will participate in a breakout session on Urban Open Space. Marjorie is leading the creation of a 40-acre nature park as the cornerstone for engaging the public in the turnaround of the urban Elizabeth River, better known as the Norfolk harbor – one of the most toxic rivers in America and one of the busiest military and commercial harbors in the world. She was one of four citizens who hatched the idea of the Elizabeth River Project around a kitchen table in 1991. She then quit her career in journalism to devote her life to bringing the Elizabeth back to health.
WHO: Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture

Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)
WHAT: White House Conference on Conservation: Growing America's Outdoor Heritage and Economy

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

11:00 a.m-12:00 p.m. Registration

12:00 p.m-5:30 p.m. White House Conference on Conservation

To view the agenda, please click HERE.
The forum will be live streamed at www.doi.gov/live

Department of the Interior

Yates Auditorium

1849 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20240
MEDIA RSVP: Due to limited space, interested media must RSVP with their NAME, POSITION, (Reporter, TV Camera, Photographer, etc.) MEDIA OUTLET, PHONE and EMAIL for each person planning to cover the event to interior_news@ios.doi.gov by COB today. Credentials will be distributed on site. Media logistics will be sent to those who are confirmed.