***RSVP by 10 p.m. TONIGHT*** Public Listening Sessions to be held on the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, June 2

There will be three listening sessions on the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative in Bozeman, Helena, and Missoula, next Wednesday, June 2 from 9-11 a.m. MSGA will attend the Helena listening session, if you are unable to attend, please let us know if you would like us to ubmit any comments for you, or see below for directions to submit comments directly.

Here is the info we received on the listening sessions:

On April 16, at the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors, President Obama signed a memorandum establishing the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to develop a conservation agenda worthy of the 21st century and to reconnect Americans with our great outdoors. The President understands that protecting and restoring the lands and waters that we love and reconnecting people to the outdoors must happen at the local level.

Therefore, President Obama directed the principal leaders of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to travel across the country to listen and learn from people directly involved in finding grassroots solutions to conserving our lands and waters and reconnecting Americans to the outdoors. The President indicated that the sessions should engage the full range of interested groups, including tribal leaders, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen, community park groups, foresters, youth groups, businesspeople, educators, State and local governments, and recreation and conservation groups. This will be an opportunity for you to tell us about what you are doing to address the challenges and opportunities surrounding modern-day land and water conservation and ways that you are reconnecting Americans to the outdoors.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 2nd, 9-11 a.m.

WHERE:
Montana State University
Strand Union Building
Bozeman, Montana

Red Lion Colonial Hotel
2301 Colonial Drive
Helena, Montana

The University of Montana
University Center
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, Montana

WHO WILL BE LISTENING: Washington, D.C. representatives will be there to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America’s Great Outdoors. These representatives will include:

-Secretary Vilsack’s staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
-Secretary Salazar’s staff at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI); and/or
-Staff from the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Local leaders from USDA and DOI will also be there to listen to your ideas.

This event is open to the public. Please let us know if you will attend so that we can plan accordingly. You can do that by sending an email with your name, address, and telephone number to bart.huber@mt.usda.gov by 10:00 p.m. MT on Thursday, May 27, 2010. We will contact you if we reach capacity.

In the event you are unable to participate in person, please submit your comments and stories via the America’s Great Outdoors website at http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/. If you have questions, please call Bart Huber at (406) 587-6957. We hope you will participate and look forward to hearing from you.

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