It is hard to believe it has almost been a year since the Administration stated its vision of a new path for conservation: An idea that became a commitment to support the function of landscapes, collaboratively, for human and natural values, developed and led locally as described in the America the Beautiful preliminary report. As reported previously, this statement from the federal level, which identified locally developed approaches and local leadership as essential keys to success, was great to hear.
Last month, the Administration released its year one report on the America the Beautiful effort. Much ongoing work is referenced in the report across a number of federal natural resource agencies and programs. However, there are still many untapped opportunities for federal agencies and programs to engage in locally-led collaborative efforts. Many of these are already ongoing and are working every day to hold together the places that are critical to the people that live there, to the natural resources and ecological processes that exist there, and at a national-level are indispensable for the habitat, open space, food, fiber, water and other services they provide to people and nature. We hope 2022 is the year the country is able to meet, gather, and collaborate effectively post-pandemic and that the Year Two report is filled with stories of people and places that are essential to us all.