President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative continued throughout August, with senior representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of the Interior travelling across America and listening to the people.
Over 400 people attended the listening session in the Hudson Valley including citizens, conservation leaders, kayak outfitters, park managers and many others, reports the timesunion.com.
Hudson Valley farmers supply the majority of fresh fruits and vegetables sold at markets from the Capital Region to New York City. But as in other places, agricultural land is being taken over by development. Having lost nearly 100,000 acres of farmland to suburban housing developing in the last 10 years makes it one of America’s 10 most threatened agricultural areas.
17 Hudson Valley land trusts are campaigning to protect 65,000 acres of the most scenic, ecological and agricultural significant land in the Valley. The program is mainly funded privately, and slated to take a generation to complete. Federal funding could speed up the process and complete their goals in about a decade, suggests the TimesUnion.com.
The Hudson Valley was one of the first American region to be designated as a National Heritage Area by Congress. Its natural environment and related beauty are attracting people to the growing suburbs. As often happens, this is starting to destroy the very character that originally attracted people. Hopefully the campaign to save it will be successful, and safeguard the remaining farms, water resources, river and Valley.
The Mid-Hudson News Network has an article about the actual listening session if you’d like more details.