White House Conference on Conservation
By: Mark Singleton
American Whitewater participated in the White House Conference on Conservation — Growing America’s Outdoor Heritage and Economy — which took place at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. The conference explored the connection between stewardship, outdoor recreation, healthy lands, rivers, wildlife and the job creation strategies fueled by nature based tourism.
President Obama addressed the crowd, reinforcing the importance of conservation and expressing that it can go hand-in-hand with economic vitality and a sustainable approach to job creation. A transcript of his address and video is posted here.
The White House Conference was a gathering of boaters, hunters, anglers, farmers, ranchers, land conservationists, historic preservationists, outdoor recreationists, small business owners, local governments, tribal leaders and other key stakeholders from around the nation to strengthen partnerships and identify next steps in spurring and supporting successful conservation projects.
The Administrations conservation projects have a direct impact on rivers for many whitewater paddlers. These projects include protecting flows on the Yampa River (CO), removing dams and restoring whitewater flows for boating and fish on the Elwha River (WA) and protecting the Grand Canyon and Colorado River (AZ) from the impacts of uranium mining.