Impact Giving | Advocacy Training for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Advocacy 101, a donor-funded eLearning course for outdoor enthusiasts, is the most recent development in a rich conservation history at The Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
February 21, 2024
Impact Giving | Advocacy Training for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Cape Alava, Olympic National Park. Photo by Nate Derrick.

Mountaineers programs have always been infused with a conservation ethos. “Mountaineers don’t just love being outside, we love the outdoors itself,” wrote Betsy Robblee, Conservation & Advocacy Director at The Mountaineers. “We want to share the natural world with others and take action to protect the outdoor experience for future generations.”

Mountaineers members are natural champions for the landscapes and ecosystems we love. Designating Olympic National Park and passing the Wilderness Act were among myriad conservation victories made possible by Mountaineers before us. Today, Mountaineers members advocate in support of climate resilient forests, inclusive and sustainable permitting processes, protecting public lands like the Green River Valley, and more.

I live and recreate in the Issaquah Alps year-round. It's amazing to have this special, multi-jurisdictional wild land in such an urban setting. I treasure all the efforts other Mountaineers, like local Harvey Manning, did to advocate for putting these lands aside.
- Danielle Graham, 8-year member

We are able to enjoy our favorite outdoor activities because of those who stewarded and advocated on behalf of the natural world before us. Conservation is most effective when we take collective action. Advocacy 101, a donor-funded eLearning course for outdoor enthusiasts, is the most recent development in a rich conservation history at The Mountaineers.

Turning individual responsibility into collective action

Conservation is baked into Mountaineers courses, books, and activities. ELearning courses like Low Impact Recreation and Public Lands 101 have primed individuals to grapple with their role and responsibilities. Each of us does our best to reduce our impact on the natural world through personal choices. 

It is also our responsibility to ensure that our love for these places turns into collective action. Elected and appointed officials are entrusted with many of the most impactful decisions about how we steward our lands, waters, and climate. They rely on engaged community members to guide that decision-making. 

In Spring 2022, during a virtual town hall event, Mountaineers members gathered to discuss how we can continue to accomplish our mission to protect the natural world and the outdoor experience. A priority emerged with strong support: members wanted more robust training that empowers recreationists to be effective advocates. Advocacy encompasses a broad range of activities – including education, organizing, and lobbying – used to influence public policy. 

With the power of philanthropy, advocacy training for outdoor enthusiasts has become a reality. Our Advocacy 101 eLearning course launched in January 2024 to equip those who love the outdoors to be more effective advocates on its behalf. 

I took Advocacy 101 to learn how to better address conservation concerns to agencies that are making the rules and regulations that affect our wilderness areas. Advocacy is important if we want to protect our wilderness areas and ensure continued and responsible access to those areas.

- Michael Chesboro, 1-year member

Advocacy 101 made possible by donors

As an eLearning course, Advocacy 101 can be completed online at your own pace. In addition to earning a new badge for your Mountaineers profile, course graduates are better equipped to respond to action alerts and participate in other important avenues for public feedback. 

Participants learn how to:

  • Engage with lawmakers and land managers via letters and phone calls, social media, attending events, writing a Letter to the Editor, and participating in a lobby day.
  • Submit feedback and comments on land planning efforts.
  • Take action on upcoming and ongoing issues.

These are not just tasks we should be doing, they are an expression of who we are and what we value. And the nice thing is that [this course] gives you a skill set that goes beyond advocating for the natural world. It applies to other issues I care about.

- Lisa Lewis, new member

2024-01-29 13 44 18.pngScreenshot from Advocacy 101 eLearning Course.

Advocacy 101, along with our entire Conservation & Advocacy Program, is made possible by philanthropy. The values, experiences, and wisdom of 16,000 Mountaineers are important at every level, from operations at local parks to national climate policy. Donations sustain and grow this important work.

Protect the Places You Love with The Mountaineers

If you would like to support our conservation and advocacy efforts, you can:

The Mountaineers® is a 501(c)(3) organization supported through earned revenue and elevated through charitable contributions. Our staff work to support our seven branches (Bellingham, Everett, Foothills, Kitsap, Olympia, Seattle, and Tacoma), three lodges (Baker, Meany, and Stevens), and our Kitsap Forest Theater. Tax ID: 27-3009280. 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.