All Federal Waters in Gulf of Mexico Closed to Fishing Due to Spill Now Open

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NOAAThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reopened 1,041 square miles of Gulf waters immediately surrounding the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, just east of Louisiana, to commercial and recreational fishing April 19. This is the twelfth and final reopening in federal waters since July 22, and opens all of the areas in federal waters formerly closed to fishing due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

OIA and The Conservation Alliance Disappointed by Defunding of Wild Lands Policy and LWCF

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OIAOutdoor Industry Association and The Conservation Alliance have expressed deep disappointment that the Obama administration’s Wild Lands policy was defunded as part of the 2011 budget agreement passed by Congress April 14. The agreement also cuts the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by 33 percent over 2010 levels. The program would receive $301 million overall, with $40 million going to local parks and trails through the LWCF State Assistance program.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Commits Funding to Help Kids Get Outdoors

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USDAAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has committed $1 million in cost-share funding for children's programs in 18 states and Puerto Rico. The two programs receiving funding—"Children's Forest" and "More Kids in the Woods"—will reach tens of thousands of young people this year, and support the goals of both President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Initiative.

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day to Be Held June 4

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American Hiking SocietyOn June 4, 2011, the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day will bring together outdoor enthusiasts across the country for the 19th annual celebration of America's trail system. 2,000 events will take place around the country focusing on trail maintenance, hiking, paddling, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, running and more.

Paddlers Rally to Protect Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining

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American WhitewaterThe paddling community is rallying to support a proposed 20-year federal moratorium on new uranium mining claims around Grand Canyon National Park. Citing unacceptable risk to the recreational, environmental, and aesthetic effects uranium mining could have on a “national treasure,” paddling clubs across the nation are calling on the US Bureau of Land Management to support U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s position that new uranium mining claims should not be permitted at this time.

Interior Launches New Website to Encourage Youth Employment and Activity in Outdoors

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Youth in the Great Outdoors Department of the InteriorSecretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced that the department has established a website for youth that will serve as a one-stop shop for information on upcoming outdoor events, job and internship opportunities, educational resources and more. was announced during Secretary Salazar's live webchat on the White House website with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (see Outdoor USA's past reportage on AGO).

EPA Ranks U.S. Cities with the Most Energy Star Certified Buildings for Third Consecutive Year

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EPA Environmental Protection AgencyFor the third consecutive year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the greatest number of energy-efficient buildings that earned EPA’s Energy Star certification during the 2010 calendar year. The growth in Energy Star certified buildings across the country has prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from the energy use of nearly 1.3 million homes a year, protecting people’s health, while saving more than $1.9 billion.

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