USA TODAY | I recently visited the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area—a gem of the national park system in my beloved home state of Tennessee. As I walked its trails, rode horses, camped and met with a wonderful cross-section of Americans along the way, I was grateful for our nation’s public lands and our tradition of bipartisan support for conserving America’s natural resources. More than 24 million jobs are tied to our land—9.3% of total U.S. employment. More than 7 million of us are employed in outdoor recreation; 17 million of us have agricultural jobs. Forests and fisheries account for another 4.8 million jobs.
But right now, I worry about the health of our people, our natural resources, and our government institutions. Getting back to basics for things we all need—healthy land, clean air and water—would be a good start to getting us and our nation on a stronger path. To do that, we need Congress and the Administration to fully support our diverse public lands and investments in our natural resources through effective conservation and science programs.
Read more at USA Today.