“America’s Great Outdoors” Listening Session in Seattle, July 1st



On April 16, President Barack Obama launched a national dialogue on conservation and reconnecting Americans to the outdoors.  As part of this initiative, the Department of the Interior is hosting a “listening session” in Seattle on Thursday evening, July 1st (details below.)   The session, one of a series being held around the country, offers members of the public to share some of the smart, creative ways communities are conserving outdoor spaces and to reconnecting Americans to the outdoors.

It is urgent that the heritage community voice support for the recognition of cultural resources within the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.  Public input from the listening sessions will be collected and compiled by the White House Council on Environmental Quality for a report to the President in September.

As the nation’s largest land manager, the Federal Government has a responsibility to engage with its partners in order to help develop a conservation agenda worthy of the 21st Century. The Government is looking to the private sector and nonprofit organizations, as well as towns, cities, and states, and the people who live and work in them, to identify the places that mean the most to Americans, and leverage the support of the Federal Government to help these community-driven efforts succeed.

I hope you can join National Trust Western Office Regional Attorney Brian Turner at next Thursday’s listening session to help assure that historic preservation and cultural heritage concerns are a key part of the conversation about America’s Great Outdoors.  Go prepared to tell about the places you love, your community’s efforts to protect them, and how the Federal Government can better support historic preservation efforts happening in your community.

You must RSVP by 10pm Monday, June 28th and space is based on availability.  You may register at this link: http://www.discovernw.org/ago-signup.htm#register

Please let us know if you plan to attend the listening session by emailing wro@nthp.org with “Seattle AGO” in the subject line.

We have attached talking points for your assistance and consideration to use at the listening session.

Listening Session Event Details

When: Thursday, July 1, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. (Registration desk opens at 5:30 pm)
What: Representatives from the U. S. Department of the Interior, The U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality will be present to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America’s Great Outdoors.
Where: Franklin High School (Map & Directions)
3013 S. Mount Baker Blvd, Seattle, WA 98144-6139
Transit: Light Rail Stop Mount Baker;  Metro Bus Routes 8 or 42

Please Register: The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. Registration will close at 10 pm, Monday, June 28.

More Info: You can find more information on the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and submit comments online at: www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/.

Each listening session will ask these four questions:

1. Challenges: What obstacles exist to achieve your goals for conservation, recreation, or reconnecting people to the outdoors?

2. What works: What are the most effective strategies for conservation, recreation and reconnecting people to the outdoors that you have used?

3. Federal government role: How can the federal government be a more effective partner in helping to achieve conservation, recreation or reconnecting people to the outdoors?

4. Tools: What additional tools and resources would help your efforts be even more successful?

Additionally, please visit the web site at http://ideas.usda.gov/ago/ideas.nsf/ and register to submit your own ideas and comments about America’s Great Outdoors and historic preservation.  Please scroll through the ideas and vote on ideas that you like.  For instance, we posted an idea “Put history back in the conversation about our national heritage.”  Just click on the box next to it on “Promote” to vote for this idea.  If you see ideas listed on the web site you don’t like, just click “Demote” to lower its standing.