TCA Member Companies and Grantees Advocate for Land and Water Conservation in D.C.

By Rebecca Gillis, The Conservation Alliance
Photos Courtesy of: Ben MacAskill

From May 13th to May 15th, 2024, The Conservation Alliance welcomed eighteen member companies and grantees to Washington, D.C., for our annual Fly-In. The importance of our Fly-In is two-fold: to amplify the impactful business voices in support of key policies in D.C.; and, to foster community, relationships, and educational opportunities that benefit our members. Whether it’s their first time in the nation’s capital or they are seasoned veterans on the Hill, we aim for all members to leave feeling more connected to our mission and to each other and to gain a deeper understanding of our crucial role as business voices in national conservation policy.

After a welcome reception for members and grantees on Monday night, the real action began on Tuesday morning with a preparation session featuring key leaders in public lands and waters conservation from the Hill and the Administration. These guests helped our members understand the key conservation and recreation priorities for the remainder of the 118th Congress and President Biden’s first term. A recurring theme was the urgency to achieve significant conservation wins before the fall, when Congress and the Administration’s first term will start winding down in the face of a busy election season. Many speakers emphasized the importance of finding bipartisan opportunities to advance campaign efforts in today’s fractured Congress. Fortunately, The Conservation Alliance is actively building relationships across the aisle to maximize the likelihood of success this year and beyond.

Our group also received briefings from each of our grantee partners—subject matter experts on the place-based campaigns TCA is focusing on—and the specific policy asks we would be lobbying for during the Fly-In. Special thanks to representatives from CalWild, Wild Salmon Center, and Idaho Conservation League.

With a thorough understanding of the talking points and crucial policy goals, our four lobby teams set out for meetings with relevant congressional and administrative officials. Across two lobby days, they represented TCA’s priorities to offices from across the nation, sparking essential conversations about national monuments, freeing the Snake River, solidifying protections for 28 million acres in Alaska, and addressing other priorities like the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Public Lands Rule.

In total, our teams had over 40 meetings, including discussions with high-level administration leaders at the White House, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Forest Service. TCA and our members will use the intelligence gathered during these meetings to continue refining our strategies and collaborating with leaders to meet our policy goals before the end of the congressional and presidential terms.

In addition to our meetings on Capitol Hill and at the White House, we also hosted a special screening of our Mobilizing for Monuments Road Trip Film during the trip. Joined by guests from the Biden Administration, congressional offices, and other conservation organizations, the group got to watch the film on the big screen and hear from a panel of Mobilizing for Monuments coalition leaders about what it was like to make the film, and how it will be leveraged to continue advocating for existing and future national monument campaigns. The film and discussion provided excellent inspiration for the importance of our meetings during the fly-in.

TCA staff would like to thank all of our members and grantees who joined us in Washington, D.C. It has become increasingly clear how strongly the business voice resonates with national decision-makers, and we at TCA believe it is our responsibility to leverage this outsized influence for our members’ shared conservation priorities. We will continue to build on the momentum created during the Fly-In to pursue additional campaign victories in the coming months.