21st Century Approach to Conservation

The White House Conference on Conservation was held last week to publicize plans to aid conservation of national parks, waterways, recreational land and resources, and protect wildlife for years to come. This is great news for an aquatic community such as Augusta, with both the Savannah River and Clarks Hill/Thurmond Lake at our fingertips.

The initiative, called America’s Great Outdoors (AGO), will strive to promote a 21st century approach to conservation that will incorporate partnerships with Americans and within their communities.

“Protecting our natural resources creates jobs in rural communities, preserves habitat for fish and wildlife, and ensures that our nation’s outdoor heritage will continue to be enjoyed by future generations,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Encouraging outdoor involvement through conservation efforts will benefit us economically through job stimulation as well as physically through improving our overall health.

The areas that the AGO program will cover are: outdoor education, driving tourism & recreation, creating a new water trail system, community engagement, and protecting & restoring our waterways and fisheries. AGO will also introduce millions of recreational acres, create thousands of miles of water and land trails, encourage the employment of youth in conservation, and make parks more clean and accessible in cities.

Said Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, “We know that an investment in conservation now is a direct investment into our nation’s economy – and one that will benefit generations to come.”

For more information about the AGO program, visit the White House’s website.

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