“America’s Great Outdoors” comes to WNC

Whether you’re a birder or mountain biker, paddler or hiker, photographer or hunter, now is your chance to bend the President’s ear on the future of outdoor recreation in America.

A series of listening sessions are being held across the country “to hear Americans’ ideas on land conservation, recreation, and best ways to reconnect Americans to the great outdoors.”

WNC outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists will weigh in on “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative” from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

“The listening session in Asheville on July 15 is a rare opportunity to be heard on a number of outdoor-oriented issues relating to a place that is special to us all,” said Ken Murphy, vice chair of The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, who plans to attend. “Given that somebody is listening, we have not only an opportunity, but in some sense a duty, to speak out in order to enhance means of protecting our landscape and sharing our natural treasures with those who are losing touch with them.”

President Obama launched the initiative to develop a conservation and recreation agenda worthy for the next century.

“Even in times of crisis, we’re called to take the long view to preserve our national heritage — because in doing so we fulfill one of the responsibilities that falls to all of us as Americans, and as inhabitants of this same small planet,” Obama said.

For more, go to www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors.

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