Winslow Homer, Boy Fishing, 1892
Today… we are losing touch with too many of the places and proud traditions that have helped to make America special. Farms, ranches, forests, and other valuable natural resources are disappearing at an alarming rate. Families are spending less time together enjoying their natural surroundings. Despite our conservation efforts, too many of our fields are becoming fragmented, too many of our rivers and streams are becoming polluted, and we are losing our connection to the parks, wild places, and open spaces we grew up with and cherish. Children, especially, are spending less time outside running and playing, fishing and hunting, and connecting to the outdoors just down the street or outside of town. …
it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment.
(a) There is established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (Initiative), to be led by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and implemented in coordination with the agencies listed in section 2(b) of this memorandum. The Initiative may include the heads of other executive branch departments, agencies, and offices (agencies) as the President may, from time to time, designate.
(b) The goals of the Initiative shall be to:
(i) Reconnect Americans, especially children, to America’s rivers and waterways, landscapes of national significance, ranches, farms and forests, great parks, and coasts and beaches by exploring a variety of efforts, including:
(A) promoting community-based recreation and conservation, including local parks, greenways, beaches, and waterways;
(B) advancing job and volunteer opportunities related to conservation and outdoor recreation; and
(C) supporting existing programs and projects that educate and engage Americans in our history, culture, and natural bounty.
(ii) Build upon State, local, private, and tribal priorities for the conservation of land, water, wildlife, historic, and cultural resources, creating corridors and connectivity across these outdoor spaces, and for enhancing neighborhood parks; and determine how the Federal Government can best advance those priorities through public private partnerships and locally supported conservation strategies.
(iii) Use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations.
Barack Obama thinks America’s children are not hunting and fishing enough? And there’s going to be a federal initiative to do various things about this?
Visions of federally-grant-funded programs hiring aging boffers to take a boy fishing swim before my eyes. I should get one of those How-To-Write-Federal-Grant-Proposals books and start a corporation, rather like ACORN, which would recruit the kinds of individuals my mother used to refer to uncomplimentarily as “woods rats,” the kind of guys who’d rather fish and hunt and drink than work, and sign them on board to take under-Field-Sports-privileged youths out bluegill fishing and bunny shooting. I know some of just the bars to look for my first staffers in.
The idea of a democrat administration ponying up to pay for the gasoline, live bait, cartridges, (and beer) required to expose America’s youth to the out-of-doors is wonderfully amusing.