Our Public Lands 101 Training Goes North!

A couple of weeks ago I went on a mission North. I traversed through Seattle’s hip neighborhoods, drove north to Bellingham and crossed the U.S. border into Vancouver, British Columbia to deliver ten Public Lands 101 trainings to Conservation Alliance member companies and their awesome employees.
With our Public Lands 101 training we seek to provide our members and their employees with a digestible overview of our public lands system. The idea is simple: if we know more about the system, perhaps we will feel empowered to stand up to protect iconic landscapes within it as well as bedrock laws that hold it together.
Broken into three parts, the training describes the four largest federal agencies tasked with managing our wild places, dissects various designations protecting them, and covers a handful of bedrock laws that guide our managers and permit designations. Using real place examples, we explain things like: how the National Park Service differs from the Bureau of Land Management, how Wilderness and National Monuments are managed differently, and why the Antiquities Act is such a critically important tool in our conservation toolbox.

Interested to learn more about this training? Email me at kirsten@conservationalliance.com.

Click here to download our Conservation 101 booklet, too!

Brooks Running, REI Co-op, Nikwax, Grayl, Therm-a-rest, MSR, Superfeet, Arc’Teryx, Nuun, and Filson were on the tour list. Combined, these ten brands have been Conservation Alliance members for a over 80 years! It was an honor to visit their headquarters, meet the employees driving the brands, and deliver a presentation and lead discussion about our Public Lands System. Tom O’Keefe, American Whitewater’s PNW Director, joined many of the Seattle trainings to provide close-to-home examples of special public lands he and AW have worked to protect thanks to Conservation Alliance funding.
These brands rallied their employees to this training and hosted lunch and learns, happy hours, afternoon work breaks, and breakfasts. Arc’teryx even incorporated this training into its sales meeting itinerary! Each training was as unique as the brand hosting it, but the enthusiasm for our wild places and the interest to know more about them, was consistently impressive. I returned home to Bend feeling grateful for the dedication of our members and inspired by their commitment to protecting our wild places!
See below for some highlights:

American Whitewater (Tom), The Conservation Alliance (Kirsten), and REI (Marc)!

As a founding member of The Conservation Alliance and a pillar in our industry, I was eager to check out where the magic happens at REI Headquarters. From product design, to forecasting and merchandising, to a room full of engaged employees learning about our public lands, I saw firsthand where ideas are born and adventures begin.


Each Public Lands 101 training ended with a way for employees to take action for a local wild places. For years the Conservation Alliance has worked with American Whitewater and others to seek protections for incredible wild rivers and ancient forests in the Olympic Peninsula.


Filson has been a brand built on craftsmanship and heritage since before the United States Forest Service was created! Whoa! We’ve been grateful for their awesome membership for the more than a decade! After checking out the giant needles, vintage machines, and real people that construct Filson’s beautiful leather and canvas bags in their hip Seattle establishment, I led a great group of employees through our training.


Running break on North Vancouver’s Baden Powell Trail.


Located in North Vancouver, just miles from where the brand began 29 years ago, the Arc’Teryx headquarters is just as clean and beautiful as the products designed within its walls. I was delighted to deliver a “Lunch & Learn” lesson to headquarters employees as well as lead a similar discussion with the brand’s North American sales team.


From tiny steel cogs that make our MSR WhisperLite stoves work, to giant foam cubes that get sliced and compressed into our favorite Therm-a-Rests, at Cascade Designs I got to see U.S. Manufacturing in action!


At the Nuun headquarters I was met with bright walls and bright faces and listening ears from their field team calling in all over the country. We ate bagels, maintained our balanced electrolytes while sipping Nuun, and chatted about our shared wild places.