Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Great Outdoors by Alison Hoyt

Warner Pacific College

September 12, 2011

When I first began writing this paper, I thought that a particular topic would stand out to me and I would just go with it, however, I got caught up just reading about so many different areas of interest that for the sake of time and considering that this paper only required 500 words, I started just rambling about my views on environmental regulations, but it wasn’t well put together so I kept looking around on the internet when I found a subject that may not be considered a direct environmental regulation, but it is associated and definitely brings a breath of fresh air to all of the negativity that comes with politics, money, and our one and only mother nature. When the president of the United States of America gets involved with an issue, it means that there is serious business to be conducted. That’s why on April 16th, 2010, President Obama initiated the America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative to develop a modern day conservation and recreation plan. This initiative is a joint effort between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. America’s Great Outdoors believes that permanent conservation solutions should rise from the American people, and that the security of our natural legacies is an unbiased intention shared by all Americans and beyond. America’s Great Outdoors may be one of only a few organizations that recognizes that many great ideas do not come from the political powerhouse within Washington, D.C. What makes America’s Great Outdoors so unique is that rather than determining policies, this initiative relies on communities for local, grassroots conservation proposals. Instead of brewing the system of government, it summons for the reworking of useless policies as well as making the Federal Government a better companion with all of the states, tribes, and local communities and even those afar. This initiative at first glance did not seem to have a specific target population, but after further review, I realized that it is subtitled, “A promise to future generations.” While the outdoors are for everyone of every age, race, creed, and color to enjoy, I do recognize the importance of educating our youth to preserve what they have, just like my generation was taught. The truth is we cannot undo all of the damage that has been done, so education is vital and begins with the next generation of responsible and compassionate human beings. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar stated that “Young people are the next generation of conservationists and we must empower them to take a leadership role in shaping their future.” As I stated above, I couldn’t agree more.

The Secretary of the Interior Mr. Ken Salazar recently announced a new website that is directly targeted at concerned active youth. YouthGo.gov is full of information that allows adolescents to take on some responsibility without being overwhelmed. What makes this program even more exciting is the different partnering environmental agencies have begun creating paid jobs for youth to gain work experience while making a difference within an ecosystem and gaining an extreme amount of pride amongst themselves. In 2010, more than 21,000 adolescents worked in a position related to the great outdoors ranging from working in the concession stands of National Parks, ensuring the cleanliness of a specified area, to creating trails for Unlike many of our governments ideas, this program was not just put into place by adults, many people from all backgrounds and areas of expertise, of all ages were involved in this effort, all with an abundance of targeted goals. This is an example of one of the reasons that I am proud of my country and of my president. So much responsibility lies on the shoulders of adults, mainly parents to provide appropriate information to our children, here is a perfect example of the government positively getting involved and making a direct difference to not just a young adult, but to their future and our planet!


America’s great outdoors. 2010. Accessed on September 12, 2011 from http://americasgreatoutdoors.gov/

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