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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

March 26, 2010

Contact: Kristina Johnson
(415) 977-5619

Sierra Club Applauds America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Washington, D.C. - Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at engaging the American public in identifying new strategies to protect public lands, wildlife, and the communities and local economies that depend on them. The White House will host a conference on April 16 to kick off the effort.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

This initiative is a chance for Americans to help shape the fate of the public lands that belong to all of us. Smart management of our forests, mountains, rivers, and wildlife has never been more challenging or more important than it is today. In the face of global warming, we have to transform the way we think about conservation. As climate change alters food sources and habitat for wildlife like grizzly bears, lynx, and bighorn sheep, we need to limit stresses like unchecked development and protect migration routes that will help animals adapt and survive.

It is also more important than ever to make America's wild legacy accessible to families and young people. Our public lands are one of our nation's greatest treasures. Every family and every child should be able to share in the wonder of places like the Rocky Mountains, the Everglades, and Redwood forests.  By acting as good stewards of our public lands, we can ensure that our children and grandchildren enjoy these special places.

In uncertain times, America's public lands offer a stable, sustainable source of jobs in fields like tourism and recreation. We must manage our lands in a way that supports healthy local economies and communities.

It's time to change the way we do conservation in America. For too long, public lands have been managed to help polluters rather than American families. Federal conservation funds need to protect our wild legacy rather than subsidize polluting industries like oil, gas, and mining. We applaud the Obama administration for this important initiative and look forward to working with them throughout this process.

For more information on Sierra Club's work to encourage climate-smart management of wildlife and public lands, visit www.sierraclub.org/habitat



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