BEACON ROCK STATE PARK — Oregonians share a special connection to the outdoors. It’s part of what makes our state and her people so special: our collective love for nature, and our commitment to preserving it.
As such, today marks a special opportunity when we come together to give back. National Public Lands Day is the largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands. It’s celebrated nationwide to strengthen the connection between people and the outdoors, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage recreation.
Public lands are special places. Many people upon hearing the term immediately think of our national parks and monuments, but public lands are so much more. They can be forest land or a wildlife refuge. They can be scenic rivers, lakes, or reservoirs. Across the U.S. there are nearly 250 million acres of public lands, and here in Oregon, we are fortunate to have plenty of these special shared spaces.
I’ve always believed the outdoors and nature provide a wealth of benefits, and that everyone should have the same opportunity to enjoy its beauty. That’s why I will be volunteering today.
I will be spending the day in our beloved Columbia River Gorge with REI, the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Parks & Recreation and many other groups. I encourage you to join me on this national day of public service. Give back, enjoy the fresh air, and celebrate the outdoors with us. Your efforts today will help ensure we can continue to enjoy these lands for years to come.