On July 21st the Biden-Harris Administration re-launched an interagency effort called the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR) to create safer and more affordable opportunities for Americans to get outdoors, according to a White House press release. FICOR is one piece of the America the Beautiful Initiative.

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Wyoming, among other states, is seeing record-high temperatures and historically low water levels. In line with the America the Beautiful Initiative, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso sponsored a legislation that would re-designate land within certain wilderness study in the state—The Wyoming Public Lands Initiative Act (S. 1750), which would add nearly 13,000 acres of wilderness to Wyoming, including cold water habitat on two important Wyoming rivers, the Encampment in Carbon County and the Upper and Lower Sweetwater in Fremont County.

“These bills represent many years of hard work and dedication by local stakeholders, including hunters, anglers, private landowners, tribal nations, recreationists, and business owners,” said Corey Fisher, Trout Unlimited public lands policy director.

“More than ever, we need to secure important trout fisheries and conserve and restore watersheds to help counter the impacts of climate change. These proposals deserve serious consideration, and it’s imperative that Congress moves forward this year to advance legislation that will conserve our public lands for future generations.”

FICOR was first created by the Obama administration in 2011. It was responsible for the creation of Recreation.gov, a website that allows you to book campgrounds, permits, passes, and tours on federal land, all on a single website.
The FICOR focuses on improving access to nature, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities, and providing the public with improved and more affordable experiences on America’s public lands and waters.

The White House press release said, “The U.S. Department of the Interior expanded hunting and fishing access on 2.1 million acres of National Wildlife Refuge System lands and waters in 2021, the largest expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities in recent history. The Department is continuing to explore opportunities to provide additional access to refuge system lands. Hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States in 2016, according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101 million Americans — 40 percent of the U.S. population age 16 and older — pursue wildlife-related recreation, including hunting and fishing.”

 

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