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WHEREAS, America’s system of public lands includes parks, unique landscapes, forests, wildlife refuges, historic trails, natural streams, wetlands, nature centers, community gardens, and other landmarks that individually and collectively represent our shared irreplaceable national resources; and
WHEREAS, public lands provide locally-accessible natural and cultural resources for environmental learning, wildlife appreciation, and recreation; and
WHEREAS, public lands promote civic ideals that include shared stewardship and recognition of public ownership; and
WHEREAS, shared stewardship requires the goodwill, cooperation, and active support of citizens, community, local and state officials, business leaders, youth and adults; and
WHEREAS, recreation opportunities offered by public lands help families and individuals lead an active lifestyle and reduce the incidence of childhood obesity; and
WHEREAS, land conservation efforts improve access to public lands for urban residents and work to break down the barriers that prevent Americans from actively utilizing their public lands; and
WHEREAS, a collaboration among state and local residents, land managers, and community leaders improves the condition of publicly-held lands for the greater enjoyment and enrichment of all Americans; and
WHEREAS, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands and is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation. State and city park systems join with federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Forest Service to deliver an annually anticipated celebration for local participation on publicly held lands in this great Commonwealth of Virginia;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 22, 2018, as NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.