Third Annual SHIFT Makes Business Case for Public Lands

Publish date:

Three-day festival unites leaders and influencers to advance protection of public lands



The Center for Jackson Hole announces its third annual SHIFT Festival will take place November 1-3 in the birthplace of the world’s first national park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Tickets go on sale today at

SHIFT is a completely unique gathering that galvanizes stakeholders from the outdoor recreation, cultural relevancy, conservation and land-management communities around a common passion: protecting America’s public lands. The 2017 SHIFT Festival’s theme is “The Business Case for Public Lands.”

“The current political landscape requires powerful strategies to protect our public lands,” said Christian Beckwith, the executive director of SHIFT. “Outdoor recreation and public lands enjoy bi-partisan support because they provide economic benefits to urban and rural America alike.

“That’s an argument the conservation community hasn’t made often enough—and one we will make strongly at this year’s SHIFT.”

The 2017 SHIFT Festival will highlight the value of investments in outdoor recreation and the conservation of public lands with case studies from around the country—real-life examples that underscore the following:

• According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs each year.

• The American Planning Association and The Trust for Public Lands have found that parks, trails, and open spaces enhance property values, attract knowledge workers, generate health care cost savings, and support opportunities for economic development.

• Headwaters Economics’ research indicates that “rural counties in the West with more federal lands or protected federal lands perform better on average than their peers with less federal lands or protected federal lands in key economic measures.”

“The business case for public lands has never been more important to make,” said Beckwith. “This year’s SHIFT will give us the tools with which to make it.”

The 2017 SHIFT Festival will feature three major topics focused on the business case for land protection, each with a core question for discussion:

- Closing the Nature Gap: How does access to public lands in urban areas support economic prosperity, healthy citizens and the next generation of stewards?

- Community Futures: How do we use investments in outdoor recreation and conservation of public lands to create vibrant, resilient communities?

- The Economic Case: How do we use the economic power of outdoor recreation and public lands to influence federal, state and local decisions?

Highlights of this year’s SHIFT include:

- A showcase of Bears Ears National Monument with Jonah Yellowman, Eric Descheenie and Cynthia Wilson, the tribal leaders who helped create it, and of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with its founder, Lucas St. Clair

- The Emerging Leaders Program, which trains a diverse group of outdoor recreationists and conservation advocates to help lead the conversations at SHIFT

- SHIFT for the Planet, a collaboration with 1% for the Planet, Silicon Couloir, George B. Storer Foundation and The Blue Sky Funders Forum, that features a pre-vetted selection of the most innovative, impactful and replicable work in the country

- The second annual State Office of Outdoor Recreation Workshop, designed to accelerate the creation of state offices of outdoor recreation around the country

- A new workshop on outdoor business alliances, in which participants collaborate with existing business alliance representatives to develop similar alliances in their home states

- A film program about race, inclusion and outdoor recreation hosted by Girltrek Founder Morgan Dixon and film-making conservationist James Q Martin

“We’ve taken everything we’ve learned the past few years and put it into this year’s SHIFT,” said Beckwith. “If ever there was a time to join the SHIFT movement, it’s now.”

For more information, tickets, travel and accommodation details, and a complete 2017 SHIFT Festival schedule, please visit


SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) is an annual festival that explores issues at the intersection of conservation, outdoor recreation and cultural relevancy. It is a project of The Center for Jackson Hole, whose mission is to strengthen the coalition of interests devoted to our public lands. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


The Conservation Alliance Makes Grants to Defend Public Lands

BEND, Ore. (May 9, 2017) – The Conservation Alliance made two emergency grants to support organizations working to defend public lands. The grants, totaling $35,000, come from the new Public Lands Defense Fund, created by the organization to preserve and defend the integrity of more


GU Energy Labs Contributes Additional $20,000 to Public Lands Defense Fund

Fund at The Conservation Alliance Supports Efforts to Defend Public Lands BERKELEY, CALIF. - October 17, 2017) Following a $25,000 donation in lieu of attending the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, GU Energy Labs has contributed an additional $20,000 to The Conservation more

Ruffwear Contributes $50,000 to Public Lands Defense Fund

Bend, Oregon - August 9, 2017  Ruffwear has contributed $50,000 to The Conservation Alliance to support the organization’s efforts to protect and defend public lands in the United States. The Conservation Alliance will direct the funds into its new Public Lands Defense Fund, more

Conservation Alliance Members Voice Support - Public Lands Protections

A group of four Conservation Alliance members traveled to Washington DC to talk to members of the US Senate about the importance of a proposal to protect more than 2 million acres of public land and nearly 1000 miles of rivers.Representatives from KEEN, Cloudveil, Outdoor more

Conservation Alliance Shows Support For Public Lands Protection

Bend, Ore. - A group of four Conservation Alliance members traveled to Washington DC to talk to members of the Congress about the importance of a proposal to protect more than 2 million acres of public land and more than 1000 miles of rivers.Representatives from The North Face, more

onX Donation Provides Access to Private Land, Unlocking Acres of Public Land

MISSOULA, Mont. (Dec. 18, 2019) – onXmaps, Inc., the industry leader in outdoor mapping technology, announced today a partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide public access to the Elkhorn Ranch. Through onX’s donation, recreational access to 2,830 acres more

Outdoor Brands Invest in Public Lands Defense

Bend, Ore., May 18 2020 – Outdoor brands Velocio, Patagonia, and The North Face are supporting The Conservation Alliance’s effort to preserve and defend the integrity of our public lands system in 2020. Thanks to the support of these companies, The Conservation Alliance has more

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 12.21.15 PM

The Conservation Alliance Grants $110,000 to Defend Public Lands

Grants will help preserve and defend the integrity of America’s public lands system. BEND, Ore. (June 27, 2017) - The Conservation Alliance awarded nine emergency grants to organizations working to defend public lands. The grants, totaling $110,000, come from the organization’s more

Third Annual Patroller Education Conference Great Success

NSP's national Patroller Education Conference (PEC) was held at Copper Mountain, Colo., from April 12-14, and was attended by over 200 patrollers. The conference is designed to sharpen existing skills, learn new skills, and build bonds that last lifetimes. Each of the NSP more