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Crowdsourcing conservation

Posted by bchristensen at Jun 24, 2010 03:25 PM |
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This spring the Obama administration announced a pretty good idea: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. In essence, it’s a community driven “idea gathering” about how to get Americans old and young outside to enjoy nature, get healthy, and reconnect with their communities. The Initiative is talking to communities through a series of public listening session and an IdeaJam, which is a nerdy name for a website where you can post your ideas, vote on the ideas that inspire you, and even demote the ones you that think might be a bit far-fetched or not-so-environmentally friendly. It’s crowdsourcing for the whole country! As you can imagine, we have some good ideas of our own, but one in particular you can vote on right now...

Crowdsourcing conservation

President Obama is asking for the best ideas to get families outdoors and ensure our shared natural heritage. Please vote today for this important idea! Photo: C Raines

This spring the Obama administration announced a pretty good idea: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. In essence, it’s a community driven “idea gathering” about how to get Americans old and young outside to enjoy nature, get healthy, and reconnect with their communities.

The Initiative is talking to communities through a series of public listening session and an Idea Jam, which is a nerdy name for a website where you can post your ideas, vote on the ideas that inspire you, and even demote the ones you that think might be a bit far-fetched or not-so-environmentally friendly. It’s crowdsourcing for the whole country!

As you can imagine, we have some good ideas of our own, but we’re focusing our energy, and hopefully enlist your support for this one: ensuring our healthy heritage through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Can you help us put this idea to the top of the list of the national radar? All it takes is a click to vote and a share to your friends!


Here’s the idea:
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established over 40 years ago as a powerful tool to bring recreation access to the great outdoors for millions of Americans by using a portion of fees collected from oil/gas operations. What a great use of a little bit of the money made by these industries to give back to states' conservation needs, reconnect people with wild places, and ensure working lands are not converted to development.

This tool helps states acquire open space or conservation easements, to build recreation areas, and to protect ecosystems by underwriting projects that bring a broad range of people to the outdoors.

From small things like building ballparks to preserving wild ecosystems, the Fund gives states the power and leadership role to determine their own healthy future. The Fund has helped create or improve national treasures like Harper's Ferry, the Big Sur Coast, Yellowstone, NYC's Central Park, and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Seventy-five percent of the total funds obligated have gone to locally sponsored projects to provide close-to-home recreation opportunities that are readily accessible to America's youth, adults, senior citizens and the physically or mentally challenged.

Here in Washington, you can find how the fund has helped your community with Washington State interactive map (I've set the link to show Fund projects as little red triangles: just zoom to your town!)

There is just one thing wrong with the Fund: It has only been fully funded twice in 45 years. There is so much more this fund can do to get people outside, get them playing, and get them thinking about wild places.

Fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund: Make the powerful tools we already have work to their fullest potential!

 
Please vote for our shared healthy future today.

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Entrance fees

Posted by Doug Goodall at Jul 02, 2010 12:06 AM
One way to encourage people to get out would be to drop all recreation fees for all low impact uses such as hiking, swimming and kayaking. These fees have been allowed for far too long.

let them know

Posted by Barbara Christensen at Jul 02, 2010 12:07 AM
Doug, you should propose your idea on the initiative's website and see what people think.

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