March 2014 - Parks & Recreation - 53

As I make the case for conservation on Capitol Hill and elsewhere,
these numbers are helping shape the
discussion in a new way. The message is clear: This isn't just about
fishing rods and kayaks. It's about
putting people to work in a wide
range of jobs - from manufacturing
to retail to hotels and restaurants -
that all benefit directly and indirectly
from outdoor recreation and public
lands. Our goals reflect the importance of America's Great Outdoors
to our economy and the opportunity
to link thoughtful conservation to
economic health.

in the private sector,
I know that there are
many organizations
and individuals who
want to see our lands
protected and the next
generation engaged.
transferred to the next generation of
park rangers, wildlife biologists, scientists and policymakers.
The youth initiative seeks to inspire millions of young people to
play, learn, serve and work outdoors.
Our goals over the next four years

include establishing partnerships in
50 cities to create opportunities for
outdoor recreation; providing educational opportunities to at least 10
million of the nation's K-12 students
annually; engaging one million volunteers in support of public lands,
effectively tripling the numbers we
have now; and providing 100,000
work and training opportunities to
young people.
What we do now to engage the
millennial generation in service on
public lands is not only good for the
economy and good for young people
who gain valuable job skills, but it's
also laying the foundation to care for
the special places that help define us
as a country.
Tulipane: In a time of constrained
federal resources, is it possible to
meet these goals? 

U.S. Department of the Interior/Jose Calabeiro

Tulipane: You have launched an
ambitious youth initiative to connect millions of young people with
the great outdoors - including setting up what is essentially the Civilian Conservation Corps 2.0. Why is
this one of your priorities?
Secretary Jewell: The millennial
generation - young people born between 1980 and 1995 - is the largest
generation in the history of the United States at 79 million strong. This is
a generation that's more disconnected
from nature than earlier generations,
but more tech-savvy, well-educated
and interested in making a difference
in their careers and communities.
Our youth initiative provides a great
opportunity for us to reach out and
connect a new generation to the great
outdoors, while enhancing our public
lands and providing needed job skills
and confidence in our nation's future
workforce.
The Department of the Interior -
just like many federal, state and local
organizations - has an aging workforce. About a third of our employees will be eligible to retire within
five years; these are great people who
have deep knowledge about public
land management. We need to ensure their knowledge and passion is

From my experience

During a January visit to the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area in Florida, Secretary Jewell highlighted her department's commitment to
landscape-level conservation.

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March 2014 - Parks & Recreation

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