WHEREAS, Alaska summers are filled with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation as Alaskan families and visitors fish, hike, boat, bike, swim, and participate in many more activities that provide physical and mental benefits; and
WHEREAS, American kids today spend an average of 10 hours a day in front of a screen, and outdoor activity is touted by many leading health organizations as a remedy for the adverse effects caused by society’s increasing inactivity; and
WHEREAS, diverse events during Great Outdoors Month provide all Alaskans, and especially our children, with exciting opportunities for recreation on the great waters, lands, and local park systems throughout our state, and these events help connect citizens of all ages to healthy, and fun outdoor gatherings; and
WHEREAS, the economic impact of outdoor recreation is both large and growing nationally, exceeding $650 billion in annual expenditures, and in our state, where it is estimated at $11.5 billion and supports thousands of jobs; and
WHEREAS, Alaska’s 23 national park units, 8 State Park areas, 2 national forests, and more attract millions of visitors per year and many of our important cultural and historic events and traditions are linked to places in our state which are parts of national, state and local park systems; and
WHEREAS, the summer months are a crucial time each year for many Alaskans to spend time outdoors supporting themselves and their families through subsistence activities, filling freezers and pantries with supplies for the coming year. The ability to support one’s family from the rich resources of our land is an important part of the Alaskan lifestyle and the heritage and culture of Alaska Natives.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Bill Walker, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim June 2017 as:
Great Outdoors Month
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans and visitors from other states and countries to explore and enjoy, protect and conserve Alaska’s Great Outdoors.