----"It’s not fattening. It can change your mood in a heartbeat. And it's romantic. Taking nature personally is as American as freedom -- and nature doesn't belong to a party," said David Yarnold, President & CEO of Audubon.
"Audubon has been celebrating our nation’s spectacular landscapes and natural abundance and working to protect them for more than a century. We’ve learned that the best way to inspire a conservation stewardship is by first making sure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to discover and enjoy nature.
"We share the Administration’s commitment to bridging the gap between people and nature – a gap that that is widening under the pressures of urbanization and increasingly complicated lives. That’s what our national network of Audubon Centers and Chapters does everyday, from Debs Park in East Los Angeles, to the plains of Nebraska, to the boreal forests of the northeast and in hundreds of communities in between.
"Audubon thanks President Obama for his leadership in highlighting the importance of conservation and connecting people to nature. We are pleased to join forces with Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley, over the coming months and years to reconnect people with nature and our great American landscapes."
Yarnold added, “The President's remarks sounded like Audubon's mantra: connect people with nature and they'll protect it for generations to come.”
Background: Last April, President Obama established the America’s Great Outdoors initiative, and charged the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop, in partnership with the American people, a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda. Over the summer, senior Administration officials began a national conversation at 51 listening sessions and generated over 105,000 comments from people all across America who shared their ideas about approaches to protect our lands and waters, connect Americans to our natural heritage, and to empower local communities to protect and restore the places they love.
To view a full copy of the America's Great Outdoors report, visit: http://americasgreatoutdoors.gov/report/
Yarnold's quote on the Environmental News Service represents the only NGO quoted. http://bit.ly/e2gkfH
More about The Great Backyard Bird Count at www.birdcount.org
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at www.audubon.org
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