Interior Department Forum

New Mexico – Conservationists, sportsmen groups and others interested in the outdoors are getting a chance to share their ideas with the federal government.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and other administration officials will be in Albuquerque on Saturday for a listening session as part of President Barack Obama's "America's Great Outdoors Initiative."

The officials want to hear from people in the region about developing a conservation and recreation agenda and reconnecting Americans with the outdoors.

Saturday's session in Albuquerque is part of a series of meetings being held across the country.

A coalition of New Mexico environmental groups says protecting large natural areas, such as Otero Mesa, Ute Mountain and the Organ Mountains, should be among the priorities.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.