OIA Extends Thanks to LWCF Coalition Members, Plans for New Push

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LWCFDespite a strong, bipartisan push in the final days of the lame duck session, the 111th Congress adjourned without acting on full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Support was strong. Calling for full and dedicated funding of $900 million annually, S. 2747 garnered 26 senate cosponsors. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), led a handful of Republican senators in support, carrying the message directly to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Peak 7 Adventures Partners with Outdoor Companies to Help At-Risk Youth

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Peak 7Peak 7 Adventures, an outdoor adventure organization based in Spokane, Washington, aims to help teens find the purpose they’re searching for by taking them out of their existing environments and introducing them to the great outdoors. The organization's ACA certified raft guides, ACA certified kayak instructors and highly experienced WFR certified guides and volunteers lead participants on whitewater raft trips, ascent (multi-day backpacking) trips and rock climbing trips along with other outdoor adventures around the Pacific Northwest. It targets youth who are underprivileged or have been labeled "at-risk."

Secretary of the Interior Restores Bureau of Land Management's Preservation Powers, OIA Extends Thanks

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OIAOutdoor Industry Association has thanked U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for acting to restore a policy of balanced management of public lands. During a press conference in Denver, Salazar issued an order which will restore the ability of the Bureau of Land Management to designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics as "Wild Lands" and to manage them to protect their wilderness values.

In issuing the order, Salazar said he was “establishing common-sense policy for the protection of backcountry areas where Americans recreate, find solitude, and enjoy the wild.”

President's Challenge Program Endorses Nordic Walking

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PCNordic Walking has been added to the list of selected activities by the nation's physical activity program the President's Challenge.

Developed by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, the President's Challenge helps people of all ages and abilities increase their physical activity and improve their fitness through research-based information, easy-to-use tools, and friendly motivation.

Top US Officials to Participate in First White House Environmental Justice Forum

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WhitehouseOn December 15, Obama administration officials will convene the first-ever White House Forum on Environmental Justice. Environmental leaders from across the country will attend the day-long forum featuring White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Congress Receives Moving Outdoors in Nature Act

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Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) recently introduced the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act (MONA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, H.R. 6426, supports federal, state and local strategies that connect children with the natural world.

MONA intends to get America’s kids healthy and active by connecting children, youth and families with nature through natural play areas, outdoor recreation programs, public health initiatives, outdoor learning environments and service learning.

Access Fund Secures Jailhouse Rock in California, Asks for Further Support

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Unlock JailhouseWith the help of landowners Marta and Steve Weinstein, local climbers Steve Russell, Tom Addison, Brian Poulsen and Access Fund Regional Coordinator Paul Minault have spearheaded a successful effort to secure permanent access to Jailhouse Rock near Sonora, California. However, more help is needed from the climbing community for long-term conservation.

The existing parking area and access trail will remain open for the immediate future, but a new subdivision threatens the access trail. The Access Fund has secured a route to the cliffs through a different access point, but still needs to secure the funding needed to build a new parking area with trailhead facilities, pay for the construction of a security gate, as well as cover legal, surveying, and other transactional costs.

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