Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Great Outdoors America: The Report of the Outdoor Resources Review Group

This report by the Outdoor Resources Review Group dated July 2009 states that are multiple opportunities to bring about lasting change to enhance the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and offers the eight recommendations:

1. Congress should permanently dedicate funding for the LWCF at the highest historical authorized level.

2. To overcome fragmentation among multiple programs at multiple levels, geospatial
planning tools should be fully utilized to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and
transparency with which the LWCF and other public and private funds are spent.

3. Public and private organizations should aggressively promote recreation and nature
education for America’s youth so as to engage them early in realizing the lifelong
health and other benefits from participating in outdoor activities.

4. Federal, state, and local agencies should continue to promote and support privatesector stewardship through public-private partnerships, joint funding, extended tax benefits for conservation easements, and other incentives.

5. Federal and other public agencies, as the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are doing, should elevate the priority for regional- or landscape level conservation in their own initiatives and through partnerships across levels of
government, and with land trusts, other nonprofit groups, and private landowners to
conserve America’s treasured landscapes.

6. A new nationwide network of Blueways and water trails along rivers and coastal
waterways should be established through public-private partnerships among federal,
state, and local agencies, nonprofits and private landowners.

7. Any national program to reduce greenhouse gases should include funding to adapt
resource lands and waters to the ecological impacts of climate change.

8. Current structures and funding for outdoor resources are insufficient to meet the needs of a growing population.

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