President Proclaims June 2007 "Great Outdoors Month"

Washington, D.C. (May 29, 2007)- June is again Great Outdoors Month across the nation, proclaimed by President George W. Bush as a means to celebrate the rich blessings of America’s natural beauty and to highlight a commitment to protecting our environment so that we can leave our children and grandchildren a healthy and flourishing land for outdoor enjoyment.

The Presidential proclamation states, “Through recreational activities such as fishing, skiing, biking, and nature watching, we can teach our young people about the wonders of our Nation’s landscapes. Experiencing our Nation’s natural splendor contributes to healthier lives for our citizens and a deeper appreciation for the great outdoors.”

The proclamation also states, “[W]e have restored, improved, or protected millions of acres of wetlands and enhanced our parks and wildlife refuges. We are also encouraging cooperative conservation, innovation, and new technologies to help ensure America’s outdoors remain places where families and friends can learn, exercise, and create meaningful memories.”

This is the fourth year that the President has taken this action. In addition, 2007 marks the first year that a number of state governors have also proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month in their state. For example, Michigan’s proclamation declares, “Great Outdoors Month gives our children the opportunity to be reintroduced to nature and the fun adventures it holds,” while Washington’s proclamation states that “outdoor recreation is an ideal way to exercise and enjoy memorable experiences with family and friends.” Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has linked Great Outdoors Month to the Get Healthy Kentucky initiative, which is aimed at the reduction and prevention of chronic diseases.

The presidential proclamation was requested by the Great Outdoors Month Coalition, comprised of more than 60 organizations and companies. A list of those organizations and companies, as well as a guide to the wide range of activities underway to commemorate the month can be viewed at www.funoutdoors.com. The activities include major volunteer events, ranging from National Trails Day (June 2) to week-long celebrations like National Fishing and Boating Week (June 3-10) and Great Outdoors Week (June 11-16).

“June 2007 will be a very busy outdoor recreation month, indeed,” American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall said. “We kick off the month with National Trails Day and the start of National Fishing and Boating Week. As that week wraps up, we'll launch Great Outdoors Week with its action-packed agenda. And action will continue with the Great American Backyard Camp-Out (June 23) and on to the end of the month with National Clean Beaches Week starting on June 28!”

The text of the presidential proclamation follows. The proclamation may also be accessed by going to http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070525-6.html.

GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH, 2007
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

During Great Outdoors Month, we celebrate the rich blessings of our Nation’s natural beauty, and we renew our commitment to protecting our environment so that we can leave our children and grandchildren a healthy and flourishing land. This month is also an opportunity to pay tribute to those whose hard work and dedication keep our country’s open spaces beautiful and accessible to our citizens.

Through recreational activities such as fishing, skiing, biking, and nature watching, we can teach our young people about the wonders of our Nation’s landscapes. Experiencing our Nation’s natural splendor contributes to healthier lives for our citizens and a deeper appreciation for the great outdoors.

My Administration is working to protect and conserve our natural wonders for future generations. To keep our National Park System vibrant, we requested the highest increase ever in park operations funding in the FY 2008 Budget and launched the National Parks Centennial Initiative. We are also promoting responsible stewardship and conservation of our air, water, and land. Harmful air pollutants are down more than 10 percent since 2001, but there is more work to be done. Through the “Twenty in Ten” plan, my Administration aims to limit greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles and reduce America’s dependence on oil by cutting our gasoline usage by 20 percent over the next 10 years.

In addition, we have restored, improved, or protected millions of acres of wetlands and enhanced our parks and wildlife refuges. We are also encouraging cooperative conservation, innovation, and new technologies to help ensure America’s outdoors remain places where families and friends can learn, exercise, and create meaningful memories.

Countless citizens volunteer their time and talents to protect America’s natural resources. By working together with the private and non-profit sectors and the general public, we can help preserve our local parks, lakes, rivers, and working lands. I am grateful for the efforts of all those who work to conserve our Nation’s natural wonders, and I encourage citizens to visit takepride.gov to learn about more opportunities to help keep our environment healthy and safe.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2007 as Great Outdoors Month. I call on all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities and to take time to experience and enjoy the outdoors.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.

George W. Bush