Transit to Trails to San Gabriel Mountains
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a Secretary’s Order to decrease barriers for disadvantaged and under-resourced youth to access America’s public lands and waters through expediting the permit process.
The Secretary’s Order directs Department of the Interior bureaus to take concrete steps to facilitate outdoor experiences for groups of disadvantaged, disabled or at-risk youth by decreasing barriers for organizers of such groups to obtain permits for access to lands and waters managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation.
The Department of Agriculture’s US Forest Service is also streamlining its process. “We are ensuring all Americans for generations to come will have the opportunity to experience a national forest, hike its trails, gaze at its mountain peaks, and row in its streams,” said Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
This is the latest step in the Obama Administration’s effort to foster the next generation of outdoor stewards. This year President Obama’s “Every Kid in a Park” initiative offers free access to fourth graders and their families to America’s public lands and waters, with transit grants for the school districts that serve students with the greatest needs. A previous Secretary’s Order (Order 3332, 3/24/14) entitled: Engaging the Next Generation, also encouraged the involvement of young people in playing, learning, serving, and working in the great outdoors.
For over eight years, Transit to Trails has taken children of color and low income children to mountains, beaches, and rivers in the Los Angeles region. Transit to Trails is a creative and growing partnership between Santa Monica Mountains Association, The City Project, Anahuak Youth Sports Association, Every Kid in a Park, San Gabriel Mountains Forever, National Park Service, US Forest Service, and others.