"We’re grateful to see the opportunities for accessible outdoor recreation growing, as the need for Latinos to breathe fresh air and enjoy time outdoors is greater than ever,” said Arce. “Hispanic Access Foundation welcomes greater coordination between government agencies to address the barriers underserved communities face when recreating outdoors, such as the nature gap, overcrowding, and climate impacts on our treasured coasts and landscapes."
The FICOR includes national leaders from the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce and Defense. Together, they will work on increasing access to nature for all by providing the public with accessible experiences to America’s public lands and waters. It was first launched in 2011, but suspended by the previous administration.
“The outdoors is who we are as a nation,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “It is a big part of my life. Equity and inclusion remain a centerpiece in the revival of FICOR.”
In early 2021, during his first weeks in office, President Biden established the first-ever national conservation goal to ensure all Americans, including Latino communities, have access to the outdoors by conservice 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. One of its six areas of focus in the initiative is increased access to outdoor recreation.
“We hope with this initiative the U.S. can guarantee every child in America has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of nature near their home,” said Arce. “Equitable access to nature will ensure Latino communities aren’t experiencing severe health consequences at a disproportionate rate. We need to continue protecting diverse communities and our natural heritage.”