Advocacy Updates: Happy National Forest Week and Latino Conservation Week!

It’s been a bit quiet around here.

This season, the OAP team has been taking our efforts off our feeds, focused on investing our energy into the movements, relationships, and initiatives that matter most to us.

We’ve been getting the word out about preventing wildfires with the Recreate Responsibly Coalition, scheming on monumental campaigns with Public Lands Solutions, gearing up for Hike United in August, cranking on sustainability projects, and we’ve teamed up with climate scientists to drop a new education series on drought. 

Advocacy is about more than just social media graphics. A bit ironic from us, we know, but it’s the truth. We’ll still be making Instagrammable infographics about public lands policy for the foreseeable future, but the magic of graphics is just one tool in the box of tactics we can all use to make an impact on the issues we love. 

We’re proud of the community that’s shown up to learn, get empowered, and take action––and we’re stoked to take what we’ve built together and sharpen the rest of our advocacy toolbox to create a more impactful + effective movement. 

So what’s next as we continue to pursue an outdoor culture that scrolls less and does more? We learn and listen more, we give and support more, and we go IRL to invest in each other more. 

Here are a few places to start and other outdoorsy stuff you oughta know about:

  • It’s National Forest Week! (July 12-18) Our friends at National Forest Foundation have virtual events, a photo contest, and tools to help anyone organize a self-guided clean up day!

  • Next Monday, Latino Conservation Week kicks off. (July 17-25) No matter where you live, check out their events page for information about group hikes, nature education, advocacy trainings, community building opportunities and more.

  • Outdoor Alliance is hosting a panel about the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. initiative (a national outdoor equity fund that builds on two programs developed in NM and CA) on July 20th. Register here!

  • Brown Girls Climb needs your support to help bring their vision of a more equitable, inclusive, reimaged marketplace to life. Give to their fundraiser here.

  • Hike United 2021 is just two weeks away! Learn more about the movement and get signed up to join or host a hike here

  • ICYMI: The Outdoors 4 All and Transit-to-Trails Acts got passed through the House via the INVEST Act last week. Here’s a great thread from Sierra Club about it. Stay tuned for upcoming outreach opportunities!

  • We are stoked about a new podcast, The Trail Ahead, hosted by Faith E. Briggs and Addie Thompson, that digs into “uncomfortable and essential conversations at the intersection of environment, race, history and culture.”

Phew, that’s it for this week. Stay tuned as we continue dropping our new drought series with climate scientists from Utah State University through the upcoming weeks!

Recreate Responsibly: Wildfire Edition

It’s the start of a big weekend for the outdoors. We just read that Zion National Park is expecting more than 85,000 visitors this weekend–whoa. As you settle in for a road trip to your favorite campsite, get educated on your responsibility to prevent wildfires.

The @recreate.responsibly coalition partnered with the National Interagency Fire Center to launch our Wildfire edition of the #RecreateResponsibly guidelines. Read ‘em, learn ‘em, share ‘em, and put these principles to practice outdoors:

🔥 Know Before You Go: Know how to prevent wildfires by properly using outdoor equipment, learning campfire safety, and checking for fire restrictions and closures.

🔥 Practice Physical Distancing: Give people space—it’s critical to not crowd firefighting efforts. Wildfires are no-drone-zones.

🔥 Plan Ahead: Know what fire restrictions are in place at your destination, and check if campfires, barbecues, and flammables are allowed.

🔥 Play it Safe: From fireworks to camp stoves, understand the potentially explosive nature of your toys and tools and that some of these may be restricted in your location.

🔥 Explore Locally: Impacts from wildfire can change your travel plans. Have a back-up plan, like close-to-home gems that you have yet to explore.

🔥 Leave No Trace: Keep your campfire small, ensure that it’s out completely and cold to the touch prior to leaving or going to sleep.

🔥 Build an Inclusive Outdoors: Everyone experiences the outdoors differently, and we can work together to keep our communities safe.

Head to http://recreateresponsibly.org to learn more about how you can #RecreateResponsibly this weekend, all summer, and through every season outdoors.

AANHPI Heritage Month, but Make it Outdoorsy

This May, we’re celebrating Asian American and Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and we want to use this opportunity to highlight the issues, work, and joy within the community in hopes to educate and move towards a more loving and welcoming future. 

The AANHPI community has been targeted and attacked in a string of violent, hate crimes across many cities, and the outdoors are no exception. The community has experienced racism like many communities of color in America and have endured years and years of internal and intergenerational trauma. Finally, they’re being seen and heard, and taking up space for themselves. 

Dive in below to get started with articles, films, books, podcasts, social media and more spotlighting Asian outdoorists and how we can be better community allies. Resources curated by Vivian Wang: 

AANHPI HISTORY AND CULTURE ARTICLES:

BOOKS TO READ:

WATCH + LISTEN: 

ORGS TO KNOW:

Just like our Black History Month article, these resources are a mere starting point for learning and unlearning the past, present, and future of the AANHPI community in the outdoors and beyond. If you’ve got a AANHPI History Month resource we’re missing, send it to us and we’ll add it to the growing list!

Black History Month for Outdoorists

We often hear “the outdoors are for all” – but did you know the National Park Service was segregated until 1945? Our community has been learning and unlearning so much about what we were taught (or weren’t at all), and Black History Month provides an opportunity to deepen our historical understandings, reshape narratives, and move forward towards more equitable futures. 

This February, we’re celebrating Black History Month by learning about Black outdoor historical figures and today’s generation of Black outdoorists bringing revolution, advocacy, art and joy into nature. 

Dive in below to get started with articles, films, books, podcasts, social media and more: 

Folks to stay tuned to all month:

  • Laura Edmonson’s Instagram story highlights are always a gift to learn from, and her Black History Month lessons are no exception. Start with this post, then buckle up and dive into her resources on history, the nuance of language, AAVE and more.
  • Outdoor Afro is highlighting Black historical figures in the outdoors, historic places for recreation, and recent achievements by Black individuals related to the outdoors. Here’s the first post in their series to get you started––and be sure to check out their new Empower by Nature collection with Parks Project.
  • James Edward Mills, aka Joy Trip Project, is doing a month-long project he’s calling the #JoyTripBlackHistoryProject2021. From names you might recognize like Dred Scott to Black historical figures you may not know (yet) like poet Phillis Wheatley Peters.
  • Chelsea Murphy aka She Colors Nature is hosting a research and journaling prompt series celebrating Black women where she invites participants to take a prompt, do their own Googling, then spend time privately reflecting. Get started with Day One here.
  • Noami Grevemberg has an ongoing BHM highlight sharing her experiences as a Black immigrant, historical lessons, spotlights on Black futures and more. 
  • Follow the #BlackOutdoorJoy hashtag on Instagram, created by nature photographer Gina Danza.

BLACK HISTORY AND FUTURES IN THE OUTDOOR COMMUNITY ARTICLES:

BOOKS + STUDIES TO READ:

EDUCATION EVENTS:

  • “Join us for an uncomfortable conversation about the N word” is a virtual event hosted by Pocket Media, Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Media for Inclusion on February 16th. The panel includes Teresa Baker, Alison Mariella Désir, Carolyn Finney, Ph.D., Devin Dabney and Dhani Jones. Get registered here.
  • Slim Pickins Outfitters is hosting a virtual panel discussion on February 17th, in collaboration with the Outbound Collective, Wondercamp and HOKA ONE ONE. This event will be moderated by Latria Graham and include ASL interpretation. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SlimPickins Outfitters (@spoutfitter)

 

  • The California Recreate Responsibly Coalition Chapter has produced a timely webinar series for February: “Building an Inclusive Outdoors: Honoring Black History Month.” The series features two separate webinars:  
    – Tuesday, February 9: The More you Snow: Stories of American History in Snow Sports
    – Tuesday, February 23: From Untold to Bold: Highlighting Black Stories in the Outdoors
    Register here for these two events!
  • If you happen to live in PA, check out these Black History Month bike, jog, garden and Zumba events (both in-person and virtual) hosted by Venture Outdoors in collaboration with Black-led organizations in historically significant Black spaces.

WATCH + LISTEN: 

ORGS TO KNOW:

ADDITIONAL ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES:

These resources from around our community are a mere starting point for learning about the past, present and future of the Black community in the outdoors. If you’ve got a Black History Month resource we’re missing, send it to us and we’ll add it to the growing list!

As we celebrate, learn, and unlearn this month, let’s remember that Black history and futures aren’t just a moment in time on our calendars––justice and anti-racism are a lens through which we should constantly be viewing and shaping our advocacy work and lives. Onward, together.

To Our AAPI Community

Hey everyone, it’s Vivian here as part of the OAP team. Lately, you may have heard the news of the violent hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts. As I learned more about them, I couldn’t help but think ‘why’ – why are these people doing this? why are they targeting elders? why are these stories not in mainstream media? – just why. 

In these last couple of years, I’ve struggled with my identity as an Asian American woman and where I belonged. I feel like an “in-between”,  juggling growing up in a western society while being taught with eastern values. Trying to be “Asian enough” for my community, but also “white enough” for the white community. I’ve had my fair share of falling victim to racist remarks and microaggressions like always being seen as foreign, being called “chink” or “open your eyes”, the classic “where are you from” question, folks not taking my struggles seriously because they believe in the model minority myth, assuming my cultural identity, mocking my language, being fetishized, and the list goes on.

Like many communities of color, Asian American history has been largely erased in America. With stereotypes and the model minority myth, Asians have been silenced and forgotten among media and even in anti-racism and DEI talks. Our struggles have taken a backseat. As @steveyeun recently said, “Sometimes I wonder if the Asian American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you.”

I feel like there’s always this battle among communities of color of who have struggled “the most” or “the worst”. The model minority myth was created to falsely paint a picture that an ethnic group can “overcome” racism and further create a divide among people of color. As 2020 has shown us, what we need to do is listen, learn, unlearn, speak up, and stand together with our BIPOC brothers and sisters against systems of oppression and supremacy that America is. 

So on behalf of the OAP team, we hear you, we see you, and we stand in solidarity with the AAPI community 💛

Advocacy Updates: Today is a New Beginning

Outdoorists, today is a new beginning.

The last OAP newsletter was intended to hit your inbox two weeks ago, on January 6th––and every day since then, we’ve opened up the draft, stared at it, attempted to focus, and ended up in a fury of doomscrolling instead. Today, as our country prepares to officially inaugurate our next President today, we’re committing to hitting send and moving towards good changes ahead. 

As the first weeks of 2021 have shown us, we are not out of the woods––we are still deep in it––but the transition of power today is a major fork in the trail, pointing us towards a brighter tomorrow. It’s going to take all of us, and everything we’ve got within, to get through this time and to move forward. We can do this, together.

Amidst the chaotic news cycles of the last few weeks (and months? and entire last year?), a lot has happened in the outdoor and environmental spaces––and as we step into a new era for outdoor advocacy, we want you to feel informed, empowered and ready to take action.

Outdoorsy news you oughta know right now––this week is a doozy, lace up your boots:

Phew, that’s a lot–and a wrap for this week. Stay safe out there, and take extra care of yourself + the community around you. Don’t let this moment pass without taking a pause to reflect on how hard you’ve worked the last four years, and how much more work we have ahead. We’re proud of you.

Got the beta on an outdoor advocacy issue, event, or rad content we ought to know about? Give us the scoop: team@outdooradvocacy.com – we want to hear from you and amplify your nooks of advocacy + the outdoors!


Every other week, we give you a download on the latest outdoor advocacy and community happenings – sign up for the e-mail newsletter or subscribe below and never miss another Advocacy Update when it drops!

Balloons

Advocacy Updates: It’s Our ONE YEAR Outdoor Advocacy Anniversary!

Feliz cumpleaños, to us!

Can you believe it’s been one year–tomorrow–since we officially launched Outdoor Advocacy Project? We sparked this community 364 days ago, and jettisoned into a whirlwind of advocacy and creativity.

Remember the way we felt the day of Climate Rally 2020 in January? We joined hands to march through the streets of Denver, demanding that the outdoor industry be held accountable to the intersections of climate and social justice. I remember our booming collective voice, the power of all our bodies coming together, the energy of a community sharing a rallying cry.

Who knew that sense of advocacy togetherness would become such forbidden fruit? So much changed, so quickly for our budding organization and the world around us–but like the desert in drought, we adapted. We slowed down, transitioning into survival mode, and buckled up for a rough ride.

Even through the darkness of this last year, we’ve accomplished much you oughta be proud of, including: 

  • We built a community with over 12,000 outdoor advocates within 24 hours of launching––now we’re at 23K!
     
  • Co-organized the Climate Rally 2020, marching from Outdoor Retailer to the Denver Capitol with 500 activists.
     
  • Led social media strategy during the nationwide launch of the #RecreateResponsibly coalition, which has generated over 3.2 billion impressions.
     
  • Generated over 35,000 signatures to stop oil and gas leasing in Moab –– and it worked!
     
  • Strategized social for the 2020 #VoteTheOutdoors campaign with Outdoor Industry Association.
     
  • Committed our name to policy-related sign on letters that support the issues we identified as crucial the organization, including:
    • Letter to Senate and House NR Committees on JEDI Recreation Priorities (Our first official action as an organization!)
    • Coalition letter to reject the nomination of William Perry Pendley for Director of the Bureau of Land Management
    • Business Statement on Need to Protect the Arctic Refuge
    • Letter to Sec. Bernhardt to reinstate protections for LGBTQ employees
    • Sign on letter in support of the SOAR Act 
       
  • Hired our first staffer (we love you, Vivian)!

It’s been a hard, dark year–and we’re grateful for every ounce of energy you’ve lent to this outdoor advocacy movement while navigating your own life’s rollercoaster. Thank you for being part of this community. Here’s to another, bigger, better year ahead.

That’s a wrap for this week. Go write a letter to protect the Arctic today. Then get out there (safely and Recreate Responsibly), and tag us as you do good on your outdoorsy adventures: #outdooradvocacy!

Got the beta on an outdoor advocacy issue, event, or rad content we ought to know about? Give us the scoop: team@outdooradvocacy.com – we want to hear from you and amplify your nooks of advocacy + the outdoors!


Every other week, we give you a download on the latest outdoor advocacy and community happenings – sign up for the e-mail newsletter or subscribe below and never miss another Advocacy Update when it drops!

Hiking boots

Advocacy Updates: Outdoorists, It’s Been A Doozy

Hola, outdoor advocates.

It’s been one h*ck of a year –– and it’s hard to believe our one-year anniversary is coming up on December 10th. So much has happened (or, often, not happened) in the last 365 days. Remember when we organized a 500+ person climate rally in Denver? It feels like so long ago that we gathered in person to march and raise our voices together.

But that’s the thing about time: it flies. Through a pandemic, social injustices, civil uprising, and the most important election of our lifetime–time has flown. So while we take a collective sigh of relief that this calendar year is ending, we must ask: what’s coming next?

We’re using the rest of 2020 to gear up and develop strategic planning to support the work ahead – we’re looking forward to becoming more proactive, creative and joyous in this work. This work we do is hard, but it’s beautiful too. We hope you find time this holiday season to reflect on all the work you’ve done, take a deep breath, and get energized for what’s to come.

Next week, our bi-weekly newsletter officially re-launches. Until then, here are some outdoorsy things you ought to know:

That’s a wrap for this week. Get out there (safely and Recreate Responsibly), and tag us as you do good on your outdoorsy adventures: #outdooradvocacy!

Got the beta on an outdoor advocacy issue, event, or rad content we ought to know about? Give us the scoop: team@outdooradvocacy.com – we want to hear from you and amplify your nooks of advocacy + the outdoors!


Every other week, we give you a download on the latest outdoor advocacy and community happenings – sign up for the e-mail newsletter or subscribe below and never miss another Advocacy Update when it drops!

We’re Hiring: Social Media Internship

Our tiny team of outdoor advocates is hiring a social media intern to help support our consulting and client work, as well as Outdoor Advocacy Project’s own social media platforms. We’re seeking a social media savvy advocate who is interested in the intersections of the outdoor, environmental, and communications spaces.

Social Media Intern Job Responsibilities:

  • Scheduling of content on various social media accounts using Hootsuite.
  • Support the team brainstorm campaign and project ideas.
  • Analytics tracking and reporting.
  • Monitor and engage social media comments and community.
  • Support newsletter and email development using MailChimp.
  • Graphic design support using Canva.
  • Track and manage projects.
  • Help us get outdoorists stoked on learning and taking action.

Social Media Intern Qualifications / Skills:

  • You are: detail-oriented, quick-witted, fluent in gifs, excited to nerd out on political issues. 
  • Proficient in social media platforms including but not limited to:
    • Instagram
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
  • Experienced with these platforms:
    • Hootsuite* (highest priority)
    • Canva
    • MailChimp
  • Interested in outdoor advocacy, environmentalism, politics, community-based marketing.

Compensation: $15/hour, approximately 5-10 hours per week. Please let us know if you are interested in receiving university credit for this internship. 

Apply by sending your resume, LinkedIn profile (optional), and a brief introduction to why you want to work with Outdoor Advocacy Project, your experience with Hootsuite, Canva and/or MailChimp, and what areas of outdoor advocacy you’re most fired up about to team@outdooradvocacy.com. Applications accepted through August 3rd. 

Note: Most of our team is located in Salt Lake City, UT, and while we’d love to have a local intern who can join us for iced coffee and afternoon hikes (once such activities are sanctioned again), finding the right candidate is our priority. Remote applicants welcome!

Advocacy Updates: Meet the Great American Outdoors Act

We have good news, outdoor advocates!

Outdoorists–and the world at large–could really use some good news right about now. You’ve likely heard the ruckus around Trump’s tweet about finally fully funding LWCF (despite his budget proposal that cuts funding by 97%). We’re giving this shady behavior a pass, because while these actions are clearly driven by the upcoming elections, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to fund our public lands and parks.

Here’s the deal: with the sudden push for Land and Water Conservation Fund full funding, another public lands bill swooped into the mix: the Restore Our Parks Act (ROPA). This bill is all about addressing the $20 billion in deferred maintenance for our national parks–but NPS parks aren’t the only public lands with a backlog, so advocacy groups rallied to get funding for National Forests, BLM, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Indian Education included too. And we succeeded!

This leads us to the Great American Outdoors Act–the new package including both permanent funding for LWCF and funding for ROPA. There is strong bipartisan support for the Great American Outdoors Act, but we need to keep the pressure on our senators to support and push it across the finish line.

What can you do? Get educated and take action via our friends at Outdoor Alliance.

Other outdoorsy things you ought to know:

That’s a wrap for this week. Get out there this week, and tag us as you do good on your outdoorsy adventures: #outdooradvocacy!

Got the beta on an outdoor advocacy issue, event, or rad content we ought to know about? Give us the scoop: team@outdooradvocacy.com – we want to hear from you and amplify your nooks of advocacy + the outdoors!


Every other week, we give you a download on the latest outdoor advocacy and community happenings – sign up for the e-mail newsletter or subscribe below and never miss another Advocacy Update when it drops!