A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
First Lady, Senator Reid and Assistant Secretary Suh Kick Off National Campaign for Children at Red Rock
LAS VEGAS, NV—First Lady Michelle Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Assistant Secretary of the Interior Rhea Suh today launched the Administration's national Let's Move Outside! initiative to promote outdoor physical activity for children and families.
Speaking at Nevada's Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, the First Lady characterized Let's Move Outside! as a critical new component of Let's Move— the comprehensive strategy she announced in February to help solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.
She joined some 20 children from nearby schools to “highlight the many different opportunities for children and families to get physical exercise while also enjoying our nation's most treasured public lands, conservation areas, and national parks.”
“There is no better place for America's children to get moving than in the parks, trails, and waters near them,” said Suh, the Assistant Interior Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget. “Throughout the summer, we will highlight a range of opportunities for families to get active on public lands, in addition to promoting a series of outdoor events across the country.” Suh represented Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar at today's event.
“The Department of the Interior applauds the First Lady for promoting outside activities for children and wants our national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands to contribute greatly to that effort because these lands and waters belong to all Americans,” Secretary Salazar said today. “Let's Move Outside! goes hand-in-hand with the America's Great Outdoors Initiative announced by President Obama at the Interior Department in April to reconnect Americans—especially children—with nature and the outdoors.”
Let's Move Outside! will engage young people from all backgrounds in a range of educational programs and self-guided activities on America's public lands and waters. From hiking and biking, to swimming, paddling, and horseback riding, these activities promise to be fun, healthy, and family friendly. Throughout the summer, Let's Move Outside! programs and events will be held in conjunction with schools, community groups, and other partners.
Also joining the First Lady and children at the national kickoff were Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-3), Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources & the Environment Jay Jensen, and Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Hank Kashdan.
Following the First Lady's remarks, the officials joined the children for adventurous activities including a rock scramble and “geology stretching” in front of Red Rock Canyon's spectacular sandstone formations, some of which reach 3,000 feet tall. The site, a 197,000-acre National Conservation Area managed by Interior's Bureau of Land Management, has been used as a scenic backdrop for countless motion pictures and television programs. Red Rock Canyon is about twenty miles from Las Vegas.
At the end of the event, the First Lady inducted the children as Let's Move Outside! Junior Rangers in support of the National Park Service's widely recognized Junior Ranger program, and similar programs in other bureaus that get kids moving in the great outdoors. Beginning next week, select national parks will offer Let's Move Outside! stickers to children who complete physical activity tasks as part of their Junior Ranger curricula.
Let's Move Outside! will soon be integrated into other programs, like the Fish and Wildlife Service's “Let's Go Outside” initiative, which seeks to reconnect kids and families to nature in our country's 552 National Wildlife Refuges. To promote and consolidate these efforts, a Let's Move Outside! website was launched in conjunction with today's announcement. It can be found at http://www.letsmove.gov/outside/
Primary federal partners in this initiative are the Department of the Interior's National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service.
At the same time, Let's Move Outside! will focus on community-based solutions to expand access to and participation in outdoor activities. To this end, the First Lady and federal partners will work with state, local, and tribal governments, community leaders and organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
For more information, please visit our website at www.doi.gov.