White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors. I'm Greg Martin with today's Line On Agriculture.
Last week Obama Administration Officials announced that they will host a White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors on Friday, April 16, 2010. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, and Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture are leading the conference, which will address the challenges, opportunities and innovations surrounding modern-day land conservation and the importance of reconnecting Americans and American families to the outdoors.
SUTLEY: American's have always cherished the parks, wild lands, landscapes and waters that span our country. They're where we farm, ranch, fish and hunt and carry out many of the traditions that are deeply tied to America's history and culture. Just as important they are the neighborhood parks, trails and streams that we turn to for rest and enjoyment to spend time with our families and friends creating memories that last throughout our lives. But today, too many of these places are disappearing and we are finding less and less time for them in our daily lives.
Secretary Salazar says that each year we are losing more and more of the natural landscape.
SALAZAR: Our open lands, waters, watersheds and wildlife are disappearing under the pressures of population growth, habitat fragmentation and climate change. Every year we lose more than 2 million acres of land to development or an area roughly the size of Indiana every 10 years.
This conference will bring together leaders from communities across the country that are working to protect their outdoor spaces. Participants will include working ranchers and farmers, sportsmen and women, State and local government leaders, Tribal leaders, public lands experts, conservationists, youth leaders, business representatives and others who view the outdoors as integral to their communities. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.
VILSACK: America's farmers and ranchers are actually the first stewards of our natural resources. Not only do they depend on the natural resources for their livelihood perhaps more importantly it is the place where they convey a sense of values to their children and grand children. It is also the place that is responsible for nearly 80% of the drinking water that American's enjoy. So it is important and necessary for us to continue focusing on conserving and protecting our private working lands and utilizing them to the fullest possible extent to conserve our natural resources or soil quality and our water quality.
Discussion will center on the conservation opportunities in communities, the challenges facing them, and the innovative solutions they are crafting from the bottom up.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.