All the gear in the world wouldn’t be worth much if we didn’t have wild places to use it. That’s why protecting wilderness and promoting access to the outdoors is a foundational part of the mission at Public Lands. Recreation and conservation go hand in hand, so every purchase from Public Lands helps protect our country’s wild lands.
How does it work? Public Lands sets aside 1% of every sale for the Public Lands Fund, which supports conservation efforts. One beneficiary is The Conservation Alliance, a business-funded nonprofit that makes critical grants to conservation programs nationwide. The Public Lands Fund is a Pinnacle member of the Conservation Alliance, contributing $100,000 annually.
“It is great to see a major retailer build conservation, public lands education, and advocacy into the bedrock of their stores,” says Conor McElyea, Senior Director of Membership and Partnerships at The Conservation Alliance.
The Conservation Alliance has more than three decades of experience—and success—in helping to protect wild places. It invests funds carefully in vetted projects based on their biological diversity, success history, political viability, and benefits to people and wildlife. It also increases outdoor recreation opportunities and helps provide climate change solutions. Conservation Alliance funding and corporate advocacy has helped protect 81 million acres of wildlands, conserve 3,579 river miles, stop or remove 37 dams, designate five marine reserves, and purchase 21 climbing areas.
It’s the collective nature of the organization that is its greatest strength, says Conor. “The Conservation Alliance brings the power of its member businesses, their thousands of employees, and billions of dollars in economic impact to bear for the protection of wild places,” he says. “The Public Lands Fund has been an incredible partner from Day One thinking creatively about ways they could support our work, the work of our grantees, and the U.S. public lands system as a whole, and that commitment and enthusiasm has continued on since.”
In 2023 alone, the Conservation Alliance has awarded $2.2 million in grant distributed across more than 50 grassroots conservation organizations throughout North America.