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America's Great Outdoors

static image:  banner for American Great Outdoors, A Promise to Future Generations; people kayaking

Throughout 2012, the Region organized new events and continued existing programs that support a federal initiative to better connect the public to the outdoors.

President Obama launched the America Great Outdoors initiative in 2010, calling on the Secretary of the Interior and other federal officials to develop a 21st century conservation agenda that will protect America’s natural and cultural resources, and connect people to the outdoors through jobs, education, recreation and service.

The companion to AGO was the First Lady’s Let Move Outside! Initiative, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

In 2012, the Region participated for a second year in a major exhibit on AGO/LMO at the California State Fair in Sacramento. The popular exhibit featured activities for all ages and highlighted various aspects of the AGO initiative and the roles of the Department of the Interior agencies. The exhibit was a cooperative effort between agencies within the department and state agencies.

The exhibit showcased California’s wildlife; landscapes; and rivers, lakes and reservoirs. It informed visitors about the myriad ways they can enjoy the outdoors, from bird watching and white-water rafting, to canoeing and driving dune buggies. Activities to engage youth included making water-related bracelets, painting bird masks, playing a bird identification game called “Bird Bingo,” and posting promises to help preserve America’s outdoors.

interactive image:  kayakers participate in a recreational program at Lake Berryessa near the San Francisco Bay area; click for larger photo

Kayakers participate in a recreational program at Lake Berryessa near the San Francisco Bay area.


As part of AGO’s agenda of connecting people to the outdoors through jobs, the Klamath Basin Area Office, located in southern Oregon and Northern California, worked with the Klamath Tribes to again employ high school students during the summer. The interns receive training from biologists across the spectrum of activities performed by members of the Area Office’s Fisheries Division.

The Region also supports the AGO initiative through a wide range of interpretive, educational and recreational activities at facilities such as the American River Water Education Center near Folsom Lake, and at New Melones, Berryessa and Shasta lakes.

Examples in 2012 included:

The Region also conducted a wide range of events in which public volunteers assisted with environmental restoration and rehabilitation.

Examples in 2012 included:

Among the most popular and best known of the events at many of the reservoirs is the Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Fishing events. Children with disabilities or disadvantages have an opportunity to go fishing out on a boat, many for the first time. The events are supported by Reclamation in a broad partnership with other agencies and community groups.

interactive image:  photo - Fishing enthusiasts team up with disabled and disadvantaged kids for fishing at Shasta Lake, under the program “Catch A Special Thrill” for Kids fishing.; click for larger photointeractive image:  photo - Volunteers for the annual cleanup day at Lake Berryessa pose behind the pile of trash they collected; click for larger photo

Above left: C.A.S.T. For Kids - Fishing enthusiasts team up with disabled and disadvantaged kids for fishing at Shasta Lake, under the program “Catch A Special Thrill” for Kids fishing.

Above right: Volunteer Events - Volunteers for the annual cleanup day at Lake Berryessa pose behind the pile of trash they collected.

interactive image:  photo - Reclamation park rangers help children attending the fair better understand the environment; click for larger photointeractive image:  photo - Fish biologist James Ross, left, and Mickey Hicks work in the field. The Region hired Hicks as a summer intern through the Klamath Tribes Summer Youth Employment Program; click for larger photo

Above left: California State Fair Exhibits - Reclamation park rangers help children attending the fair better understand the environment.

Above right: Summer Youth Employment - Fish biologist James Ross, left, and Mickey Hicks work in the field. The Region hired Hicks as a summer intern through the Klamath Tribes Summer Youth Employment Program.

interactive image:  photo - Anne Castle, assistant secretary for water and science, toured much of the Region. She is shown here with children on a river’s edge with a view of Red Bluff Fish Passage project construction on the other side of the river; click for larger photointeractive image:  photo - Reclamation rangers lead school students on a trip to explore Table Mountain near New Melones Lake; click for large photo

Above left: Assistant Secretary's Visit - Anne Castle, assistant secretary for water and science, toured much of the Region. She is shown here with children on a river’s edge with a view of Red Bluff Fish Passage project construction on the other side of the river.

Above right: Exploration Tours - Reclamation rangers lead school students on a trip to explore Table Mountain near New Melones Lake.

February 22, 2013