Outcomes from the 2015 SHIFT Festival


As a result of his participation at SHIFT, The Access Fund’s Travis Herbert connected with Latino Outdoors and CityKids Wilderness Project to launch a diversity component of The Access Fund’s ROCK Project.

From media partnerships to educational developments to evolution and export of the “SHIFT vision,” participation in SHIFT in 2015 helped advance numerous attendees’ work. Here are a few examples of outcomes generated at the last SHIFT:

  • Paul Larmer, Executive Director of High Country News, met fellow attendee Glenn Nelson, Publisher of The Trail Posse, and the two entities subsequently partnered to become the first major media outlet to commit to regularly covering race, diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. The mission includes identifying and developing other writers of color for outdoors commentary and features. Several subjects and guest writers already featured in HCN and Trail Posse were met or interacted with at SHIFT.
  • The Outdoor Access Working Group held a satellite meeting at which a Forest Service employee brought to the group’s attention a pilot program that would enable electronic permitting. Participants quickly organized a resource advisory group to support the effort.
  • Michelle Piñon, who attended as a youth delegate with Natural Leaders Network, spent time interacting with Latino Outdoors, and has now started a hugely popular Latino Outdoors program in Seattle.
  • The Marine Ventures Foundation shot this video in support of our public lands on location at SHIFT (password: granitecanyon). Based on the success of the project, they plan a more robust video campaign at SHIFT in October 2016.
  • Steve Hemkens, Vice President of Orvis, attended the “Cool Skiing Hot Planet” Happy Hour discussion, got inspired, and developed a summer component for Protect Our Winters Riders’ Alliance within the fly fishing community.
  • Independent journalist Frederick Reimers scored a feature profile of Luis Benitez, Colorado’s Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation, and other state directors of outdoor recreation for Outside Magazine.
  • The Access Fund’s Travis Herbert writes, “Thanks to Christian [Beckwith, SHIFT’s Director], I have worked with Latino Outdoors with the goal of increasing access to climbing for the Latino community via climbing gyms. Five Latino Outdoors staff attended the Access Fund Rock Project Tour event in Las Angeles and participated in a round table discussion about local issues facing the climbing community. The Access Fund has subsequently connected to regional Latino Outdoors contacts in Boulder, Seattle and Washington, DC, for future collaboration. Also, via Christian, I am connected with Randy Luskey, founder of Washington, DC’s, CityKids Wilderness Project to develop an opportunity for CityKids to participate in our upcoming ROCK Project tour event in the DC area this November.”
  • An encounter at SHIFT resulted in an invitation for Kenji Hartouian to speak at the first Winter Recreation Summit in Mammoth Lakes, CA.
  • After meeting Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado outdoor recreation industry office, Colorado State University’s Ethan Billingsley writes that, “[We] brought [Benitez] to campus to present to about 120 students, faculty, and staff. This presentation helped initiate a new student club to focus on tourism.
  • Inspired by “the SHIFT vision”—the identification of common interests among the recreation and conservation communities in support of the national public lands experience—the Leadership Team of The Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative returned from SHIFT to begin work with the United States Forest Service’s “Framework for Sustainable Recreation” to craft a methodology to build Sustainable Recreation programs on local forests in California’s Sierra Nevada that can deliver the SHIFT vision to public lands management using the USFS Management Plan update process, their new 2012 Planning Rule, and the “Early Adopter” status of local forests.

These are the type of outcomes that excite us, and that we want to learn more about.

Did your attendance at SHIFT result in outcomes that helped advance your work? If so, we want to hear about it—it’s exactly the sort of result we aim to inspire.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please fill out this short survey. We’ll use the results to help program the 2016 SHIFT Festival October 13-15 in Jackson Hole.

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