Outcomes of Our Work

Since its inception in 2013, SHIFT has evolved into a convening space for natural allies to address issues of common concern related to conservation. Topics we’ve explored include the outdoor recreation / conservation partnership (2015); the relationship between outdoor recreation and public lands (2016); the business case for public lands (2017); and the connection between public lands and public health (2018).

Significant outcomes to date include the following.


  • Outside Magazine cover article Ask Your Doctor if Nature is Right for You highlights The 2018 SHIFT Festival and its role in advancing the Nature Rx movement
  • 2018 State Offices of Outdoor Rec workshop recap included on the Confluence of States site
  • 2018 SHIFT Festival receives STOKE Certification for its sustainability efforts. Second year of certification
  • Center for Jackson Hole awards second annual $10,000 SHIFTx Fellowship Fund grant to ELP alumnus for environmental education program for Native American adults
  • Website created to disseminate SHIFT 2018 recommendations and insights related to the health benefits of outdoor recreation


  • SHIFT’s third annual State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop provides outdoor recreation leadership positions a roadmap with which to advance and promote the health benefits of time outside
  • “Nature Rx” think tank recap identifies opportunities for mainstreaming “Nature Rx” as an integral element of national healthcare delivery systems. Think tank marked the first time that insurance executives, physicians, outdoor recreation leaders, land managers and conservation advocates met as a group to discuss opportunities for collaboration
  • Inaugural $10,000 SHIFTx Fellowship Fund grant awarded to ELP alumni for hunting conservation mentorship program
  • The “Public Lands, Public Health Exhibition Trail” report highlights attributes of a successful public lands/public health trail model at both the municipal and federal land levels, and identifies opportunities to expand public lands/public health trail collaborations into replicable models for communities nationwide
  • Second annual SHIFT for the Planet represents ongoing collaboration with 1% for the Planet, Silicon Couloir, and The George B. Storer Foundation
  • Researchers Meeting report captures insights and recommendations for nex researchers committed to advancing nature as a social determinant of health
  • Land Managers’ Meeting report provides highlights and recommendations for federal and municipal land managers to incorporate best practices related to public health outcomes into their work and planning
  • A Funders’ Track, led by New Network Leader founder Jane Wei-Skillern, introduced funders from around the country to the principles critical to collaborative success
  • Fifth year of SHIFT Awards, which represent research on more than 1,000 initiatives to date
  • Fifth annual People’s Banquet, a celebration of the local food system, held
  • Third year of Emerging Leaders Program


  • SHIFT Principles updated to recognize the importance of urban areas, DEI
  • Playbook for State Offices of Outdoor Recreation developed to help states create conservation-minded outdoor recreation leadership positions around the country
  • Outdoor Business Alliances guide develops a template for outdoor business alliances that can provide industry support for public lands
  • The second annual State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop continues to advance the proliferation of state offices. Participants from 2017’s workshop credited it with taking “a year and a half” off the process of launching the North Carolina office
  • The Business Alliance Workshop developed a national template for the creation of outdoor business alliances
  • SHIFT for the Planet created a bridge between funders and non-profits at the cutting edge of outdoor rec and conservation, and allowed funders to discuss ways to align and amplify their work
  • The SHIFT Awards Official Selections provided a showcase for the most innovative, impactful and replicable work in the country currently leveraging outdoor rec for conservation gains
  • Collaborative relationships established between SHIFT and 1% for the Planet, Blue Sky Funders Forum, George B Storer Foundation, Quimby Family Foundation, Silicon Couloir and Yale University’s Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative
  • The playbook We Stand for Public Lands, distributed to all participants, represented a unique partnership between the consumptive and human-powered outdoor recreation communities
  • The Nov. 1 “Bears Ears” program, which explored the importance of Bears Ears National Monument from the perspective of the tribal leaders who created it, was livestreamed via Patagonia’s Facebook page (<1M followers) and viewed by more than 13,000 people, not including those who saw it via shares by 30 other organizations
  • More than three dozen sponsors—including Adidas, Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Wildlife Federation—helped underwrite the 2017 program
  • Energy industry veteran John Northington outlined how outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists can borrow from the energy industry’s wildly successful lobbying playbook with his address, “Wielding Power: Lessons from Oil and Gas for the Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Coalition
  • The 2017 SHIFT Festival became the first STOKE Certified sustainable event in the country
  • Fourth annual People’s Banquet, a celebration of the local food system, held. Lucas St. Clair, founder of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is keynote speaker
  • Second annual ELP
  • In February, Winter Emerging Leaders Program held to refine objectives, programming for ELP


  • In 2016, Colorado Parks and Wildlife adopted what they referred to as the “The SHIFT Principles,” adding a key component that acknowledged the role private lands play in full-landscape solutions
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife creates the SHIFT-inspired Executive Summit Coalition to help address increased pressures on their public lands.
  • Political Influence: Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper opened The 2016 SHIFT Summit. They were joined by Governor John Herbert (UT) and Governor Mike Bullock (MT), who sent letters in support of offices of outdoor rec, which were read by their delegates to SHIFT.
  • First annual workshop on State Offices of Outdoor Recreation attracted participants from 12 states who learned how to create a “playbook” for the creation of similar offices in their state.
  • During his opening statements at SHIFT, Governor Mead announced the creation of an outdoor recreation task force to create a state office of outdoor recreation in Wyoming.
  • A Broader Coalition of Stakeholders: Efforts to unite the coalition of stakeholders working on behalf of conservation and public lands gains momentum with the inclusion of hunting and angling organizations and influencers Trout Unlimited, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, First Lite, and Steven Rinella
  • SHIFT Award Nominees: For the third year in a row, research was conducted of more than 300 public land management, conservation advocacy, and outdoor recreation initiatives that made innovative, impactful, and replicable contributions to conservation through outdoor recreation. The top 25% of the initiatives as evaluated by SHIFT researchers became our SHIFT Award Nominees and were invited to the SHIFT Summit and showcased in our Marketplace. The top 10% became the finalists for our Awards. All were in attendance.
  • The Outdoor Blogger Summit (OBS), the first conference for outdoor digital journalism, was again held in conjunction with SHIFT, Oct. 13-15. More than 100 bloggers attended.
  • Third annual People’s Banquet, a celebration of the local food system, held. Steven Rinella is keynote speaker
  • First Emerging Leaders Program held


  • The Principles for the Advancement of Outdoor Recreation and Conservation developed to guide recreation and conservation decisions in North America. Principles build upon discussions that occurred during the 2014 SHIFT Roundtable on Land Conservation, Wilderness Advocacy & Human-Powered Outdoor Recreation
  • THE SHIFT PLEDGE developed as distillation of The Principles for the Advancement of Outdoor Recreation and Conservation, aka “The SHIFT Principles“
  • The Center for Jackson Hole, a 501c3, established to execute SHIFT, offer tax-deductibility to supporters and fulfill TTB-mandated evolution toward independence
  • SHIFT Festival narrows its focus to the intersection of conservation and outdoor recreation, with a stated goal of leveraging outdoor recreation for conservation gains
  • The 2015 festival, which took place Oct. 7-10, hosted more than 300 conservation, land-management and recreation leaders from around the country
  • The 2015 Festival raised more than $125,000 from foundations, corporations, and individuals, including national-level sponsors such as REI, The Wilderness Society, The Sierra Club, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center
  • Keynote speakers include Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, National Geographic writer David Quammen and photographer Charlie Hamilton James
  • Public panel discussion on The Public Land Transfer Movement help galvanize industry response
  • Public panel discussion on the development of State Offices of Outdoor Recreation feature all three current state office directors
  • Protect Our Winters and The North Face athletes Angel Collinson and Lucas Debari gave two presentations on skiing and climate change to local high schools
  • First Outdoor Blogger Summit (OBS), a conference for outdoor digital journalism, held in conjunction with SHIFT. A joint collaboration of SHIFT and Brands for Blogs, OBS was developed to teach bloggers how to optimize their work while plugging them into outdoor rec/conservation issues raised at SHIFT. The two events shared programming and facilities.
  • Second annual People’s Banquet, a celebration of the local food system, held.


  • First full SHIFT. SHIFT Summit creates forum on best practices among North American GEMS (Gateways to Environments of Major Significance)
  • The SHIFT Roundtable on Land Conservation, Wilderness Advocacy & Human-Powered Outdoor Recreation, which sought to develop stronger partnerships between natural allies for the benefit of conservation, identified the reduction of division among such allies as a key to successful conservation efforts. Becomes catalyst for The Principles for the Advancement of Outdoor Recreation and Conservation
  • First People’s Banquet, a celebration of the local food system, held. Dr. Marion Nestle is keynote speaker
  • SHIFT Awards inaugurated


  • The 2013 Festival, limited and localized by design, established SHIFT’s focus on the intersection of conservation with Nature (the natural environment), Culture (the built environment) and Adventure (outdoor recreation). It also identified food as a dynamic, provocative programming vehicle that could give the festival its signature. Roughly 1,000 patron engagements were recorded at the 2013 event, which established the framework for the festival’s full launch the following year.

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