Blogs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   PLA 2024 Convention and Trade Show Highlights Groundbreaking Innovations in Public Lands Partnerships and Outdoor Recreation     March 2024 – The 2024 Public Lands Alliance (PLA) Convention and Trade Show showcased groundbreaking advancements in public lands management and outdoor recreation during its highly anticipated annual gathering. Hosted in San Francisco, CA, this year's convention brought together nearly 700 industry leaders, public land nonprofits, land management agencies, and business and outdoor enthusiasts to explore new strategies for enhancing the stewardship ...
Meet Emily Tanner, the new Education Program Manager at Public Lands Alliance! With a background deeply rooted in outdoor education and recreation, Emily is an avid hiker, camper, and backpacker. She's spent much of her career as an outdoor educator and guide, shaping her understanding of the intersection between public lands, education, and community engagement. Based in Colorado, Emily, along with her husband and children, continues to explore and enjoy the outdoors. Excited to contribute her expertise, she looks forward to collaborating with the dedicated community at Public Lands Alliance to enhance the collective impact on the preservation and promotion ...
Gaby Rojas has joined the Public Lands Alliance team as the Digital Communications Manager  of our new America’s Wildlife Refuge initiative. Gaby has been involved in communications since she was in elementary school and created a newsletter for her family to know what was going on within the household. Some of her biggest writing influences were Anthony Bourdain, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Louisa May Alcott. She worked as a freelance communications specialist while getting her degree from the University of Central Florida, where she graduated with a degree in Human Communications with a focus on Social Activism and Innovation. Since then, she was worked ...
The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to the Board of Directors.  Joining the Board of Directors Aileen Utterdyke is the President & Chief Executive Officer at Pacific Historic Parks Aileen Utterdyke joined the Arizona Memorial Museum Association in 2007 as a member of the all-volunteer board of directors. During this time, her focus was to help build a stronger organization and help with the growth and stability of Arizona Memorial Museum Association. She began her career in Public Accounting where she spent 25 years building her specialization in Not For Profit tax and accounting. ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) has announced the recipients of its 2023 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 the visitor experience. The 2023 award winners were announced on Wednesday, April 27 in a   virtual celebration . The awards program is sponsored by Impact Photographics. A total of 18 awards were presented to individuals, organizations and companies in six categories: Public ...
The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Board of Directors and a staff member.  Joining the Board of Directors: Jeff Gabriel is the executive director of the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA). He joined the PLA Board of Directors in July 2022 and has served on the PLA Government Relations Committee since 2018. Gabriel worked previously as the executive director of Kansas STARBASE. Before Kansas STARBASE, he worked for the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) as the vice president of member services. Prior to ARA, Gabriel was the director of environmental services for the National Pork ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WASHINGTON, DC -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) announced today that the 2nd annual fundraiser to support America's national wildlife refuges, Walk for the Wild, will take place this fall, and will include in-person and virtual nature walks during National Wildlife Refuge Week on October 8-15, 2022. For this year's Walk for the Wild, PLA has joined forces with 32 nonprofit wildlife refuge friends organizations to get people active in nature and to increase support for 56 diverse national wildlife refuges. "For this year's Walk for the Wild, our participating friends group partners are dedicated to conserving incredible biodiversity, ...
As part of PLA 2021, our virtual convention and trade show, we featured some of the ways our members virtually adapted their education, fundraising and conservation initiatives to continue reaching their communities and supporting public lands during the pandemic. Black Hills Parks & Forests Association Black Hills Parks & Forests Association partnered with author and illustrator Pat Schultz to record a video of her reading her new children's book "Baxter Saves the Day" about a very special bat that used to live at Jewel Cave National Monument. The Association then was able to share out this video through their social media channels. ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) has announced the recipients of its 2022 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 the visitor experience. The 2022 award winners were announced on Wednesday, April 20 in a virtual celebration . The awards program is sponsored by Impact Photographics. A total of 17 awards were presented to individuals, organizations and companies in six categories: Public Lands ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WASHINGTON, DC -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) congratulates Charles "Chuck" Sams on his confirmation as the 19th Director of the National Park Service. Below is a statement by PLA President and CEO Dan Puskar: "Chuck Sams is the leader that the National Park Service needs right now. America's national parks face incredible challenges from climate change to historic visitation. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave park facilities and programs closed to the public. PLA is confident that Director Sams will bring fresh perspective and insights to the NPS. "PLA and our community's nonprofit park partners enthusiastically welcome ...
The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new member to our Board of Directors.  Joining the Board of Directors: Arvind Manocha has served as president and CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts since January 2013. From major pop acts to children’s shows to opera and more, Manocha directs Wolf Trap’s year-round performing arts programming – among the most wide-ranging and diverse in the music business. Additionally, he oversees the full scope of the Foundation’s educational activities, including its nationally recognized arts education programs, which are implemented at 18 affiliate sites and in 30 states ...
View the 2019 Awards Bulletin --> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) has announced the recipients of its 2021 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 the visitor experience. The 2021 award winners were announced on Monday, May 24 in a virtual celebration . The awards program is sponsored by Impact Photographics. While awards are typically given in six categories, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PLA ...
The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of new members to our Board of Directors.  Joining the Board of Directors: Heidi Doyle is the Executive Director of the Sierra State Parks Foundation at Lake Tahoe, California. Heidi brings over 30 years of experience with California State Parks. In addition, she has worked for the National Park Service, US Forest Service and Ventura County Parks providing valuable perspectives to PLA. Heidi currently is on the board of the California League of Park Associations and is an elected official with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. She has lived on four continents bringing a ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WASHINGTON, DC -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) congratulates Deb Haaland on her confirmation as the 54nd Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Below is a statement by PLA President and CEO Dan Puskar: "The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is excited that today Deb Haaland of New Mexico begins her stewardship of many of our nation's most important natural wonders, cultural landmarks and historic places managed by the Department of the Interior. "PLA had the pleasure of working with Secretary Haaland in her role as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources and admired her leadership on many critical issues, including ...
MEDIA ADVISORY WASHINGTON, DC – This Wednesday, February 10 , Senator Mark R. Warner of Virginia will address the implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) at PLA 2021 . The GAOA, championed by Senator Warner, will invest more than $9 billion in national park and public land deferred maintenance over five years and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bipartisan bill includes Sen. Warner’s Restore Our Parks Act. Sen. Warner will be joined in a conversation about the GAOA with PLA President and CEO Dan Puskar and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts President and CEO Arvind Manocha. PLA 2021 is the first-ever ...
The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) releases the following statement from President and CEO Dan Puskar: "The Great American Outdoors Act will do more to ensure the preservation, vibrancy, and accessibility of America's public lands than any legislation in recent memory, investing more than $18 billion in the next decade. The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is grateful to the inspired leadership displayed by Senate and House champions to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and tackle the deferred maintenance challenges in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and conservation lands. "This legislation could not have come at a more vital time. ...
SILVER SPRING – The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) releases the following statement from President and CEO Dan Puskar: "The Public Lands Alliance supports the Great American Outdoors Act for its commitment to a simple promise: our national parks and public lands will be there for the American people when they are needed most. The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the American people's desire to experience the great outdoors in their neighborhoods and municipalities, but also in the grand, inspiring wide open spaces like Grand Canyon and Yosemite. And citizens should be able to expect safe facilities, trails and roads when they go to these parks and public lands, ...
The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) releases the following statement from President and CEO Dan Puskar: "All Americans have the right to explore, discover and enjoy their public lands. Public parks, forests, wildlife refuges, lakes and other lands are owned by and for the people. And all people should feel welcomed within them when they arrive as a birder, a jogger, or a protester exercising their right to speak truth to power and to assemble peaceably. "Spurred by the events of recent weeks, the Public Lands Alliance (PLA) voiced our concerns about the treatment of protesters in Lafayette Park with Congress and the Secretary of the Interior . PLA also held ...
As land management agencies and public lands partners begin to navigate what it will take to reopen our nation's most treasured landscapes in the time of COVID-19, safety measures for staff and visitors are top of mind.  PLA is proud of the work that our Corporate Partners have done to meet the needs of public lands during this difficult time, pivoting their production and developing new lines of products, many for the first time in their company history. "My Mask Protects You, Your Mask Protects Me" With a recommendation from the CDC to "wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain," ...
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Day 2020 was recognized with great enthusiasm and innovative shifts to virtual celebrations! Check out how some of our members observed the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22: Shop Public Lands --> Earth Day Youth Art Contest ( Black Hills Parks and Forests Association ) Hoping to get kids involved in Earth Day activities at home, Black Hills Parks and Forests Association invited children from grades K-12 to paint, draw , or design a poster describing what Earth Day means to them and why it is important.  The overall winning piece will be made into a postcard and, great news, art can be submitted until ...