Betsy and Denis Go To Washington
Betsy and I care deeply about the great outdoors, and want all to be able to enjoy these special places for generations to come. That’s why we are going to Washington, DC on June 24 for Great Outdoors America Week.
We’re joining delegates from around the country to remind our elected representatives to support efforts that reconnect Americans, especially kids and young adults, with the outdoors. It’s well-documented that we don’t spend much time outdoors anymore - 80% of Americans live in urban areas with little access to green spaces and young people spend an average of 7.5 hours a day connected to electronic media, and less time getting outside in nature.
Coincidentally, we are also planning events to celebrate 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act -- a conservation and public policy milestone. The 1964 Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). It designated the first 54 wildernesses: 9.1 million acres in 13 states. There are now 757 wildernesses totaling more than 109 million acres in 44 states and Puerto Rico.
In the words of the act: “A wilderness, in contrast to those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
Doesn’t that inspire you to get outside even a bit more yourself?
--by Denis Rydjeski and Betsy Eldredge, Sierra Club of the Upper Valley, Vermont; Sierra Club Outdoors Delegates for Great Outdoors America Week 2013