This week, as part of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative, I had the opportunity to travel to Missoula, Montana to see and hear about some of the locally led conservation successes in the spectacular "Crown of the Continent." We also held the first of a series of listening sessions to hear about on-the-ground conservation efforts, and to find out how we can help them grow and succeed.
The President launched the America's Great Outdoors Initiative in April of this year to promote and support innovative, community-based efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to explore ways to reconnect people to them. Many of these creative strategies are being successfully employed around Montana. Amid the grandeur of Montana's rich natural landscapes and working lands, it was easy to remember why this initiative is so important.
The breadth and depth of the ideas and information we heard in Montana underscore why modern-day land conservation has to continue to be driven from each community. Nobody knows which places are most important to American communities better than the people who live and work in them. It was wonderful to be on the ground in Big Sky Country to learn from the community about new opportunities to work together on a modern approach to conservation that begins at the ground level, and to reinvigorate the national conversation about our great outdoors.
Nancy Sutley is the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality