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Top Obama Administration Officials to Hold America’s Great Outdoors Initiative Listening Session in Minneapolis

Release Date: 08/03/2010
Contact Information: EPA Press Office, press@epa.gov, 202-564-6794

WASHINGTON – On August 4, top Obama Administration officials will hold a listening session in Minneapolis on President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to hear the public’s ideas for building a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and reconnecting Americans with the outdoors. The listening session will be held at the University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Concert Hall. Additional details on the session will be released in the coming days.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Will Shafroth, Agriculture Under Secretary Harris Sherman, and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will participate in the session.

Prior to the listening session, the administration officials will hold a roundtable with tribal leaders in Shakopee. They will also join Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Congressman Keith Ellison, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Deputy Mayor Ann Mulholland to meet with Minnesota youth from the Wilderness Inquire Urban Canoe Program and hold a press conference on Harriet Island and hold an Environmental Justice and Youth listening session at Mill City Museum.

President Obama launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative at a White House Conference in April. The conference brought together leaders from communities across the country that are working to protect their outdoor spaces and focused on developing and supporting innovative ideas for improving conservation and recreation at the local level.

The secretaries of the departments of Interior and Agriculture, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and chair of the Council on Environmental Quality have been asked by the president to lead this effort and to listen and learn from people all over the country. Listening sessions will engage a full range of stakeholders including tribal leaders, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen, community park groups, foresters, business people, educators, state and local governments and recreation and conservation groups.

WHO: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley

          Department of the Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Will Shafroth
Agriculture Under Secretary Harris Sherman
Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    WHAT: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative activities

    WHEN: Wednesday, August 4
    8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. – Roundtable with Tribal Leaders [closed press]
            11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Meeting with youth involved in Wilderness Inquire Urban Canoes program followed by a press conference [open press]
    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Environmental Justice/Youth Listening Session [open press]
    4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. – AGO Listening Session [open press]
      WHERE: Roundtable with Tribal Leaders: Shakopee, Minn.
      Wilderness inquire Urban Canoe Program/Press Conference: Wilderness Inquire Urban Canoes, Harriet Island, Downtown St. Paul
      Environmental Justice/Youth Listening Session: Mill City Museum, 704 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis
              AGO listening session: University of Minnesota, Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 Fourth Street South, Minneapolis