SHIFT for the Planet, SHIFT Award Winners Announced

Over the course of the last year, SHIFT researchers identified more than 300 individuals or initiatives from around North America that leveraged outdoor rec for conservation gains. Further evaluations were then made of more than 130 initiatives in six categories for The 2017 SHIFT Awards: Non-Profit Leadership, Business Leadership, Public Land-Management Innovation, Technology, Youth Engagement and Adventure Athlete.

Representatives of the top 25% of the initiatives were invited to participate at this year’s SHIFT. The top 10% of the initiatives in each category (or the three highest-ranking initiatives, whichever is higher) comprised the finalists for the 2017 Awards.

Additionally, eight SHIFT Award finalists, most of whom who were also 1% for the Planet nonprofit partners, were invited to present their work at SHIFT for the Planet. The work was evaluated by both the audience and a jury comprised of participants of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program, who decided the recipients of two $2,500 prizes—a Jury’s Choice and People’s Choice Award—which went to the initiatives deemed to be most Impactful, Innovative and Replicable.

On Thursday, November 2 in Jackson, WY, at the 2017 SHIFT Festival, the winners of this year’s SHIFT Awards, as well as the Jury’s and People’s Choice Awards for SHIFT for the Planet, were announced. 

A description of the criteria used to select the SHIFT Award winners may be found here.

SHIFT for the Planet Award Winners were as follows:

Jury’s Choice Award: Hispanic Access Foundation’s Latino Conservation Week

Latino Conservation Week (LCW) is an opportunity for Latinos and all who want to join in to demonstrate their passion for getting outdoors and serving as stewards of our nation’s public lands. For organizations, churches, parks, government agencies and others, LCW is an opportunity to create events and activities designed to engage Latinos and provide access to stewardship opportunities.

Since 2014, close to 20,000 people have participated in 180 events (including volunteer cleanups, educational events, roundtable discussions, film screenings, fishing, mountain biking and whale watching) in 17 states from Massachusetts to California, visiting public lands and waterways—most for the first time. The event engages churches and other community groups to build new partnerships with land and water agencies, which in turn helps participants demonstrate their passion for public lands.

People’s Choice Award: Utah Diné Bikéyah

Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB) is a Native American-led nonprofit working toward “healing of people and the earth by supporting indigenous communities in protecting their culturally significant ancestral lands.” UDB established itself in 2011 as a first-of-its-kind Native American organization focused on safeguarding cultural resources and protecting the ecological integrity of ancestral public lands in southeastern Utah. UDB has a ten-person, all-Native Board of Directors (Navajo and Ute), holds a Memorandum of Agreement with the Navajo Nation and Bureau of Land Management, and aims to establish itself as a leader among conservation organizations. UDB’s biggest achievement included designation for the 1,351,849 acre Bears Ears Region as a National Monument in 2016.

2017 SHIFT Award Winners were as follows:

Technology: Powderhook

Powderhook acts as a localized message board, connecting users with a community of hunters and anglers who provide local expertise. Since its launch in September, Powderhook has engaged 120,000 total users and facilitated nearly 20,000 outdoors-related interactions.

Public Land Management Innovation: Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Executive Summit Coalition

In 2016, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) convened the Coalition, a group of leaders representing 40+ organizations from across the outdoor industry spectrum. The objective of the group, which included representatives from recreation, industry, land trust, conservation, sportsmen/women, and land management organizations and agencies (federal, state and local), was to share perspectives on how to best balance outdoor recreation and sustainable management of wildlife in Colorado.

Youth Engagement: WILDCOAST  

WILDCOAST’s Youth Engagement Programs utilize Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in San Diego County to drive engagement with and education about coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. Students from underserved, park-poor and indigenous communities are engaged in MPA conservation efforts through hands-on, learner-based field activities that include kayaking, surfing, swimming and boating.

Non-Profit Leadership: Elliotsville Plantation

Elliotsville Plantation was recognized for their creation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.  Lucas St. Clair, President of the Elliotsville Plantation, Inc., led a twelve-year effort to establish the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. St. Clair opened up 40,000 acres of Elliotsville Plantation to hunting and snowmobiling in 2013, endearing himself to local residents. St. Clair’s effort sought to redefine the relationship between access, rural economics and outdoor recreation. His work came to fruition in 2016 with the successful establishment of the Monument.

Business Leadership: Patagonia’s This is Bears Ears campaign

Patagonia created a multi-level effort to defend Bears Ears & the Antiquities Act, using multimedia platforms, engagement mechanisms, advertising campaigns and letter-writing efforts to tell Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke why Bears Ears National Monument is of environmental, economical and cultural significance. The campaign has led to:

  • More than 33M social media impressions
  • More than 42k tweets, comments, calls to the Department of the Interior, Secretary Zinke, and President Trump
  • More than 50 call hours logged
  • More than 2,500 stories run online, in print, on TV and radio

Adventure Athlete: Miho Aida 

In 2010, Miho produced an award-winning short film called “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins: Gwich’in Women Speak.” This film was created to amplify the Gwich’in women’s voice in the mainstream environmental campaign to protect the Arctic from oil development. In 2014, Miho embarked on a film tour by bicycle, from Seattle to San Francisco, called “1,000 Miles for 1,000 Allies”. Rooted in a spirit of “If She Can Do It, You Can Too,” the tour was designed to show the world that one woman, one bicycle and one film can make a difference in this movement.


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