Outside pitch: Asheville gives feds input on Great Outdoors Initiative

What did a roomful of federal undersecretaries, local and regional nonprofit leaders and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy have in common on July 15? They wanted to talk about how to preserve the Great Outdoors — from environmental stewardship to saving farms. The gathering of about 350 people at AB-Tech was one of a half-dozen listening sessions the Obama administration has been holding across the United States as part of the Great Outdoors Initiative.

photo by Danny Bernstein

Listening for the Great Outdoors: public forum today

Obama’s back in town Thursday, July 15 – or at least, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and the White House’s own Council on Environmental Quality are – for a Great Outdoors Listening Event, a public forum aiming to gather information about successful conservation efforts in the region and to receive input on how the federal government can partner with communities in conserving more land and reconnecting American families to nature. The forum will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. today at AB-Tech. But on Wednesday, July 14, area officials gathered at Carrier Park for a preview.