Help Expand Our Conservation Education & Advocacy Impact

Threats to our public lands are growing increasingly urgent and our ability to respond to these issues is limited by capacity and funding. To be a strong catalyst for further action, we need your help to invest in our conservation and advocacy work so we can do more to protect the places we recreate and provide you with more opportunities to take action.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
August 26, 2019

The hard truth is that public lands legislation is complicated, victories can be slow, and our public lands are chronically underfunded. The threats to these places are becoming increasingly urgent, and our ability to respond to issues – and thus create space for you to engage – is limited by staff capacity and funding. In order to provide more opportunities for outdoor recreationists to learn about and understand the issues facing our public lands and become an even stronger voice for threaten landscapes, we need to bring on a staff position focused on public lands advocacy and engagement. To make sure we not only keep our footing on this precarious ground, but also find ways to play offense and not just defense, we need your help. 

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As advocates for public lands, we work hard to effect positive change on issues at the intersection of conservation and recreation. Your engagement helps us to be a leading voice for public lands issues in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

For example, our community took more than 5,000 individual actions on issues in this year’s bi-partisan public lands package, signed into law in March 2019. We publish about 40 conservation-related blogs annually and deliver a monthly conservation e-newsletter to more than 40,000 people (almost triple our membership). In December, we launched the first phase of our innovative approach to protection through eLearning and online engagement in our foundational class "Protecting Public Lands 101", which breaks down the role of different national land management agencies, conservation laws, and designations. We’ve spent the last six years laying the groundwork for this role by building relationships, educating our membership, and providing pathways to advocate for action

These tools and experiences make The Mountaineers and our members a powerful voice for public lands. But we have to expand to defend our wild places with the rigor they deserve. In our Vision 2022 strategic planning process, you made it clear that conservation and advocacy should be at the top of the priority list. Now we’re asking for increased support to realize our shared goal of fiercely defending our threatened landscapes.

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This expansion is crucial and the urgency is inherent: without thriving landscapes, and access to these public lands, our outdoor education courses and activities become obsolete. Such threats have been all too common in recent years, from wildfires contaminating our air and closing our trails to national monuments facing unprecedented scrutiny. In order to move the needle and make a difference in public lands planning, advocacy education, and the climate crisis, we need to invest in our conservation department. 

With more capacity and funding, we will be able to:

  • Deepen our advocacy education and engagement work to increase influence in national and Washington State public lands planning processes and legislation. 
  • Better track and address  issues to provide more opportunities for our community to engage, increasing our  voice for threatened landscapes and the experiences they provide. 
  • Accelerate our focus and impact in addressing the climate crisis.

An investment in The Mountaineers conservation and advocacy programs will have positive ripple effects for our community for generations. In the near term, we’ll be able to engage more outdoor enthusiasts through conservation education and increase actions taken to protect public lands and responsible recreational access to these places. 

As an organization that has been getting people outside responsibly for over a century, connecting the people who experience our wild places to the vital importance of protecting the places where we play is more important than ever. 

Please consider making a gift to help us grow our conservation work for the future of public lands.

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Another way for folks in the Seattle area to support this effort and get to know our conservation community is to attend our upcoming Cocktails for Conservation rooftop party at Mountaineering Club with 200 other outdoor advocates. We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, September 25.