In 2010 the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative charged the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop a conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st Century.
The intent of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative is to build on the country’s “long history of actions taken to conserve our natural heritage. What has resulted is a nationwide system of public lands — both large and small and including parks, wildlife refuges, forests, wilderness areas, scenic seashores, hiking trails, protected waters, and recreation areas.”
The Fifty-State Report, released in November 2011, highlights three key findings:
1. People value close-to-home places to access the outdoors.
2. People love their rivers.
3. People want to conserve our large, rural landscapes.
Based on input from State Governors, their staff, and other stakeholders, the Fifty-State Report identifies two project ideas in each state for the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies to partner with state and local governments and other stakeholders on a shared conservation and recreation agenda.