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The time has come for a new alliance of outdoor interests embracing a 21st century vision of recreation management and cooperation on our public lands.
The inability of the recreation community to work collectively and long-standing rivalries between recreation interests have resulted in inadequate funding and focus on outdoor recreation; complicated land management policies; conflicting and contradictory messages; and frustrated legislators and constituents.
As long as outdoor recreation groups continue to work at cross purposes, we will lack a strong and unified voice.
Times are changing and we must capitalize on opportunities to unify all who love the great outdoors. The creation of a new 21st century vision for recreation management and cooperation would be a key step toward unifying diverse recreation interests and increasing support for recreation programs and policies.
Most agree with the central theme which has emerged over and over again: the increasing disconnect between people, especially young people, and the land. Coupled with this disconnect is the concern over the relevance of our public lands. These national treasures will not be relevant to Americans who have little awareness or appreciation for the benefits of our public lands. The implications of this disconnect affect physical and emotional health, stewardship values, and economics.
We must take advantage of this unique opportunity to coalesce the outdoor recreation community with a common sense of purpose.