TPL Attends White House Conference on Outdoors

The Trust for Public Land applauded the White House today for hosting the Great America Outdoors conference and convening a broad and diverse constituency to develop a sound approach to 21st century land conservation. The conference addresses the challenges, opportunities and innovations surrounding modern-day land conservation and the importance of reconnecting Americans and American families to the outdoors.

“This is a critical moment for land conservation in America. Projected population growth will put additional pressure on existing parks and reduce remaining open space, an entire generation’s health is at risk from a sedentary lifestyle, and climate change threatens to alter many of our important natural systems,” said Will Rogers, The Trust for Public Land’s President. “Investing now in the continuum of conservation – from the urban core to wilderness areas – will ensure a healthier and greener future for America and leave an important legacy for our children and grandchildren.”

Will Rogers and Sam Hodder, California State Director, attended the conference in support of the Administration’s effort to develop innovative approaches to land conservation that will protect our natural resources and keep Americans connected to the land.

“The America’s Great Outdoors initiative will support local economic development, ensure future security for water and other natural resources, and provide public access to recreation,” said Rogers. “Community-driven conservation is most successful when it engages a wide range of interests, but it needs federal leadership to bring together stakeholders and federal resources to leverage state, local and private dollars.”

TPL’s recommendations at the conference include:

  • Greater investment in parks and open space across America’s “urban landscapes.” There is a clear federal interest in creating a network of parks and close-to-home green spaces in urbanized areas – the urban core and suburban areas -where the majority of Americans live.
  • Increased and consistent funding to support federal, state and local conservation and, at a minimum, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. LWCF investments ensure continued protection of America’s public lands for their full range of values – trails, natural areas, hunting and fishing access points, historic sites and cultural lands – and enhance public access to recreation through grants to states, counties and cities
  • Focused federal coordination and investment to support landscape conservation. Integrated landscape conservation that addresses both public and private working lands will be the most effective strategy to achieve water security for people and fisheries, protect forest systems that provide carbon sequestration, timber production and recreational use, and establish connective corridors to ensure adequate distribution of habitat for wildlife species most vulnerable to climate change.