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07/03/2013

What comes next, after Great Outdoors America Week

Betsy and I are back home in Vermont fresh from our Great Outdoors America Week in Washington, DC.  It was a most productive week promoting efforts that reconnect Americans, especially kids and young adults, with the outdoors.

OUR WEEK IN WASHINGTON

(1) Meeting with senators, representatives and their staff and sensing their willingness to help move legislative initiatives forward.

(2) Enthusiastic support registered in conversations with Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior; Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Mike Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club; Jamie Williams, President of the Wilderness Society.

(3) Welcoming youngsters at the Kids, Youth and the Great Outdoors Festival on the National Mall and feeling the kids energy levels rise with our hands-on displays of canoeing, mountain biking and hiking equipment.

(4) Our own outing along the impressive Great Falls Park trails along the Potomac in nearby Virginia.

NEXT STEPS

We’ll be continuing to support these efforts long after Great Outdoors America Week, and hope you’ll join in our common effort to create meaningful opportunities in the great outdoors for everyone.

Reauthorization bills have been introduced in Congress: "The Public Lands Service Corps Act", H.R. 1352 in the House, S. 360 in the Senate.  This Act would expand service employment opportunities -- like the Conservation Corps -- for young adults on public lands.

We spent many person-hours in DC advocating in favor of these bills.  Join us by emailing, writing or calling your own Representative or Senators urging them to co-sponsor this bill.

--by Denis Rydjeski and Betsy Eldredge, Sierra Club of the Upper Valley, Vermont; Sierra Club Outdoors Delegates for Great Outdoors America Week 2013


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