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Ballard Locks Fish Ladder Renovations Concept The Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery at the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks in Seattle has not been renovated in over 40 years, despite being the site of approximately 2 million visitors per year. Seeing the great potential of one of the Locks' most popular educational attractions, PLA member Discover Your Northwest (DYNW) decided to team up with the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in order to raise the capital funds needed to renovate the structure. Below is our interview with DYNW Executive Director Jim Adams about this project. What prompted the Fish Ladder renovations project? Adams: ...
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The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of new members to our Board of Directors. These three new Directors bring decades of leadership in conservation, business and partnerships to PLA as it continues to Connect, Strengthen and Represent the nonprofit partners of America's public lands. Joining the Board of Directors: Richard Page is the Chair of the Board for Washington's National Park Fund and has also served on the Henry M. Jackson Board and the Leadership Tomorrow Board.  Rebecca Wang has been leading global employee engagement programs for the past 19 years at Cisco Systems, HP and NVIDIA Foundation, while also ...
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Wulfert Bayous, Sanibel Island, Florida “Land, water and vegetation are just that dependent on one another. Without these three primary elements in natural balance, we can have neither fish nor game, wild flowers nor trees, labor nor capital, nor sustaining habitat for humans.” - Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling, a Pulitzer prize-winning political cartoonist, often focused on the theme of conservation and wildlife preservation in his work. In addition to his artistic endeavors, "Ding" headed the U.S. Biological Survey, a predecessor of the Fish and Wildlife Service, initiated the Federal Duck Stamp Program, and pioneered ...
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Photo by Brandy Dyess/Mojave Desert Land Trust A champion of conservation, the Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) protects over 24.5 million acres of land within the entire California portion of the eastern Mojave and Colorado deserts. In fact, MDLT has donated more tracts of land to the national park system nationwide than any other non-profit since 2006. PLA had the opportunity to interview MDLT's Executive Director, Geary Hund, who has worked as a conservation professional for more than 40 years, beginning as a ranger and then as an ecologist with California State Parks. What does “conservation” mean to MDLT, and why is it so important? ...
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Photo credit: Tim Ervin Engaging Communities Through Education and Recreation Summer is in full swing, and there is no better time to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens as their signature lotuses and water lilies are in magnificent bloom. One of the gardens' supporting partners is PLA member Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (FoKAG). Founded in 2001 by a small but mighty team of 10 volunteers, FoKAG has now grown to utilize more than 900 volunteers and bolster its impact on the park as well as the surrounding community through stewardship, engagement and educational programs. One of the ways FoKAG engages those who live near the ...
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Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association works to educate students about the wildlife and natural landscapes of their communities. Continued Learning to Strengthen Partnerships Established in 1970 to help the U.S. Forest Service provide interpretive education about the surrounding environments, the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) is one of the longest serving nonprofit agency partners. Today, in addition to their work with USFS, they have grown to partner with the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management at the following sites: Inyo National Forest Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Tahoe National Forest ...
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2020 Convention and Trade Show March 1 - 5, 2020 Arlington, Virginia The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is looking for enriching, enlightening and innovative session ideas for its 2020 Convention and Trade Show. We are seeking high-quality speakers and facilitators who can challenge participants to think about leveraging partnerships in new ways and help strengthen the skills essential to collaborate effectively for the benefit of public lands and their users. Proposals are due July 3, 2020. Submit your Proposal Submissions should cover topics relevant to public lands nonprofits and their agency partners, including but not limited ...
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SILVER SPRING – The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) releases the following statement from President and CEO Dan Puskar: “Today PLA joins with many conservation leaders on Capitol Hill to ask Congress to invest in the infrastructure of America’s national parks and public lands. “America's parks, refuges, and conservation lands represent the best of our natural, historical and cultural heritage, providing all citizens with access to recreation, education and inspiration. Yet land managers have not been given sufficient funds over decades to maintain the infrastructure critical to experiencing these public lands - from visitor centers and historic buildings to ...
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Glacier National Park (GNP) Education Specialist, Laura Law, and teachers reflecting on how science and culture are inter-twined (at Two Medicine Lake). In 2013, the Glacier National Park Fund and the Glacier Association merged into the Glacier National Park Conservancy (GNPC) in order to better serve the Park by providing support for preservation, education and research through philanthropy and outreach. One component of their educational support is to help Glacier National Park staff provide high quality, professional development opportunities for teachers about park resources. The Park's education staff works with researchers and community partners ...
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Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) is a paid internship program for youth of color that focuses on experience in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM) careers, particularly in the park service and conservation fields. Since 1993, Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has raised more than $68 million to fund historic preservation, wildlife management, environmental education and more in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). This partnership has flourished over the years, building up a list of accomplishments such as the reconstruction of the historic Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower, the reintroduction ...
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SILVER SPRING – The Office of the Inspector General at the Department of the Interior conducted an evaluation to determine whether the National Park Service accepted and used donations from philanthropic partners in compliance with policies, regulations, and laws. The OIG issued its report today. Dan Puskar, executive director of the Public Lands Alliance, released the following statement in response: “America’s national parks benefit enormously from a network of nonprofit partners dedicated to furthering the mission of the National Park Service (NPS) and enhancing the experiences of park visitors. These organizations continue a legacy of private citizens ...
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SILVER SPRING - Today, the President signed S.47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act , which passed Congress with incredible bipartisan support. Dan Puskar, executive director of the Public Lands Alliance (PLA) released the following statement: "Today we are reminded once again that all Americans cherish our public lands and are welcome to participate actively in them. "The Public Lands Alliance applauds Senate and House leadership for their bold and conscientious initiative that brought so many together at one table. The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act is a bipartisan achievement and ...
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View the 2019 Awards Bulletin FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DENVER, CO --The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) has announced the recipients of its 2019 Partnership Awards that celebrate the best in public lands partnerships. These awards honor individuals, organizations, publications, products, programs and services that embody leading edge achievements in the preservation of public lands and the enrichment of visitors. More than 275 people attended the awards ceremony during the PLA Convention and Trade Show in Denver, CO. Impact Photographics sponsored the awards program and ceremony. A total of 22 awards were presented to individuals and organizations. In addition, ...
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SILVER SPRING - The Senate passed S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act , with tremendous bipartisan support. Dan Puskar, executive director of the Public Lands Alliance (PLA) released the following statement: "Congress is on the verge of a monumental enhancement to America's public lands. PLA applauds the Senate's passage of S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, and encourages the House of Representatives to take it up swiftly. "The bill authorizes many important provisions important to the nonprofit partners of public lands. These include: Permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund; Every Kid Outdoors Act; ...
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Corps member helps local youth plant native wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park. Since 1931, Rocky Mountain Conservancy has provided education and interpretation to visitors of Rocky Mountain National Park as a nonprofit partner. Since then, they have expanded their education programs through their Field Institute and Conservation programs and have identified a variety of ways to engage youth and young adults. This year, the Conservancy is leading programs that engage young people from ages four to twenty-five to learn about the park and become lifelong stewards. Through elementary school programs, fellowship programs and a Corps program, ...
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SILVER SPRING, MD – The nonprofit partners of America's national parks, refuges, forests, and conservation areas are facing immense challenges as the government shutdown continues. More than $1.6 million of revenue from retail sales and visitor programs have been lost through January 4, and will not be recovered, according to a PLA survey of nonprofit partners. Additionally, more than 200 employees of these organizations have been laid off, furloughed, or compelled to accept leave without pay through January 11, creating unwarranted financial hardships for them and their families. PLA believes these devastating numbers will continue to rise. As the ...
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SILVER SPRING, MD -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is deeply concerned by the federal government shutdown and its impact on America's public lands, their visitors, and their partners. Below is a statement from Dan Puskar, executive director of PLA: "America's public lands are now vulnerable due to the inaction of our nation's political leaders. As a new Congress begins, PLA calls on our elected leaders to find common ground quickly and fully reopen our parks, refuges, forests, conservation areas, and monuments through the end of FY 2019. "Many public lands have remained open without the proper personnel to manage them. This has ...
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California State Parks Acting Sector Superintendent Brett Silver points to the damaged duff layer at the base of a redwood tree in the Grove of Titans. Increased foot traffic has caused the ferns to die and has exposed the roots of the tree. Photo Credit: Max Forster. In Jebediah Smith Redwoods State Park in northern California stands some of the world’s largest and oldest redwood trees. The majestic Grove of Titans was discovered by researchers in the 1990s and was relatively hidden from the public for several years. Recently, however, the location of these redwoods has been popularized online and through social media and hundreds of visitors per ...
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Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge; Photo Credit: Beverly Sinclair. You will hear the rumble of snow geese before you see them. At the first light of dawn, they cover the water of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and there they rest as a blanket of snow. As the sun rises, they begin to stir. You hear a low, roaring thunder and you look out. The water is moving, the birds are flapping their wings and then, they ascend above you in thousands. Their screaming calls fill the sky and block your view of the lingering stars. The geese fly overheard en masse and a moment later they are gone; a snow patch ...
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Fissure 8 of the Kīlauea Volcano effusing voluminous lava on the Island of Hawai’i. Photo taken June 22, 2018. Photo Credit: USGS. On April 30, 2018, Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō , the main vent of an eruption on the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano, emptied and collapsed. In early May, an eruption commenced on the Lower East Rift Zone and then a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook the Island of Hawai‘i. Explosive events at the summit of Kīlauea began a few days afterward and the majority of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) closed. Ash plumes, some ascending up to 30,000 ft. deposited ash at the summit and in communities downwind. Most destructively, a series ...
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