Third Annual SHIFT Makes Business Case for Public Lands

August 23, 2017

Three-day festival unites leaders and influencers to advance protection of public lands

Jackson, WY (August 23, 2017) — The Center for Jackson Hole announces its third annual SHIFT Festival will take place November 1-3 in the birthplace of the world’s first national park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Tickets go on sale today at www.shiftjh.org.

SHIFT is a completely unique gathering that galvanizes stakeholders from the outdoor recreation, cultural relevancy, conservation and land-management communities around a common passion: protecting America’s public lands. The 2017 SHIFT Festival’s theme isThe Business Case for Public Lands.”

“The current political landscape requires powerful strategies to protect our public lands,” said Christian Beckwith, the executive director of SHIFT. “Outdoor recreation and public lands enjoy bi-partisan support because they provide economic benefits to urban and rural America alike.

“That’s an argument the conservation community hasn’t made often enough—and one we will make strongly at this year’s SHIFT.”

The 2017 SHIFT Festival will highlight the value of investments in outdoor recreation and the conservation of public lands with case studies from around the country—real-life examples that underscore the following:

  • According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs each year.
  • The American Planning Association and The Trust for Public Lands have found that parks, trails, and open spaces enhance property values, attract knowledge workers, generate health care cost savings, and support opportunities for economic development.
  • Headwaters Economics’ research indicates that “rural counties in the West with more federal lands or protected federal lands perform better on average than their peers with less federal lands or protected federal lands in key economic measures.”

“The business case for public lands has never been more important to make,” said Beckwith. “This year’s SHIFT will give us the tools with which to make it.”

The 2017 SHIFT Festival will feature three major topics focused on the business case for land protection, each with a core question for discussion:

  • Closing the Nature Gap: How does access to public lands in urban areas support economic prosperity, healthy citizens and the next generation of stewards?
  • Community Futures: How do we use investments in outdoor recreation and conservation of public lands to create vibrant, resilient communities?
  • The Economic Case: How do we use the economic power of outdoor recreation and public lands to influence federal, state and local decisions?

Highlights of this year’s SHIFT include:

  • A showcase of Bears Ears National Monument with Jonah Yellowman, Eric Descheenie and Cynthia Wilson, the tribal leaders who helped create it, and of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with its founder, Lucas St. Clair
  • The Emerging Leaders Program, which trains a diverse group of outdoor recreationists and conservation advocates to help lead the conversations at SHIFT
  • SHIFT for the Planet, a collaboration with 1% for the Planet, Silicon Couloir, George B. Storer Foundation and The Blue Sky Funders Forum, that features a pre-vetted selection of the most innovative, impactful and replicable work in the country
  • The second annual State Office of Outdoor Recreation Workshop, designed to accelerate the creation of state offices of outdoor recreation around the country
  • A new workshop on outdoor business alliances, in which participants collaborate with existing business alliance representatives to develop similar alliances in their home states
  • A film program about race, inclusion and outdoor recreation hosted by Girltrek Founder Morgan Dixon and film-making conservationist James Q Martin

“We’ve taken everything we’ve learned the past few years and put it into this year’s SHIFT,” said Beckwith. “If ever there was a time to join the SHIFT movement, it’s now.”

For more information, tickets, travel and accommodation details, and a complete 2017 SHIFT Festival schedule, please visit http://shiftjh.org/.

SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) is an annual festival that explores issues at the intersection of conservation, outdoor recreation and cultural relevancy. It is a project of The Center for Jackson Hole, whose mission is to strengthen the coalition of interests devoted to our public lands. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.