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April 14, 2010

Contact: Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin (307) 335-2328

National Outdoor Leadership School to Attend White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors

Lander, WY. John Gans, executive director of the Lander-based National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), has been invited by President Obama to attend the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors, scheduled for Friday, April 16. This conference will focus on land conservation and the importance of reconnecting Americans and their families with the outdoors.

“Across the country, Americans are working to protect the places they know and love, from the streams they fished as children and the parks where families gather together, to the battlefields and buildings that tell America’s story,” said Interior Secretary Salazar, who is leading the conference along with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The Conference is a great chance to learn about these efforts, start a new dialogue about conservation in America and find ways to further the work that is already going on in cities and towns, counties and states throughout the country.”

NOLS’ John Gans is one of several outdoor community leaders who has been invited to participate in this conference. Other participants will include working ranchers and farmers, sportsmen and women, state and local government leaders, Tribal leaders, public lands experts, conservationists, youth leaders, and business representatives.

The conference appears designed to kick-start a dialogue between the Executive Branch and the outdoor community. “I think they hope to come out with some solutions to reconnecting America’s children and families with nature, and looking across jurisdictional boundaries to do so,” said Jennifer Lamb, NOLS Director of Sustainability and Stewardship. “I suspect funding of public lands will be discussed, as well as the creation of new National Monuments. The next step will be a series of ‘Listening Sessions’ with people engaged at the local level. I look forward to NOLS participating in this process, as wilderness education and connecting people to nature is the core of the NOLS curriculum.”

Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is the leader in wilderness education and sets the industry standard for responsible, high-quality educational expeditions. NOLS provides an awe-inspiring, transformative experience that develops active, positive leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills to more than 10,000 students each year. A private nonprofit school, NOLS runs courses from 10 days to a full academic year in length on five continents. NOLS students, ages 14 to over 70, explore the most remote wilderness the Rocky Mountains, Idaho, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Alaska, Western Canada, Mexico, Patagonia (Chile), India, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Scandinavia have to offer. College credit and scholarships are available. For more information, call NOLS at (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit the web site at

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The National Outdoor Leadership School International Headquarters in Lander, Wyoming.
Photo: Brad Christensen
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