In the last decade, Outdoor Alliance has helped people who recreate outside under their own power become a unified and powerful political force — one that has protected 40 million acres of land and secured $5.1 billion in funding for public lands and waters. Through its work, more than 100,000 people have organized and advocated for better land, water, and climate protection, management, and funding. 

Earlier this month Outdoor Alliance released its 10-year anniversary report and anniversary video, which looks back at the last decade of “conservation powered by outdoor recreation.” It explores not just some of the biggest wins of the last decade, but how those were achieved — and it sets the stage for what this powerful and passionate political force can accomplish in the next decade. 

"As a longtime partner, REI has witnessed Outdoor Alliance's exceptional ability to navigate the complex landscape of outdoor advocacy,” says Taldi Harrison, director of community and government affairs for REI. “Their work, from passing major land protections to securing funding for the outdoors, has benefited the millions of Americans, including REI members, who get outside each year.” 

Outdoor Alliance’s biggest achievement has been helping the outdoor recreation community speak with a single voice to garner greater power to advocate for the outdoors in Washington, D.C. 

A decade ago, political advocacy efforts were primarily carried out by sport. Hikers advocated around issues related to hiking, climbers around issues related to climbing, paddlers for paddling, cyclists for cycling, etc. Outdoor Alliance was formed to represent the political interests of 10 distinct member groups representing all different types of outdoor recreation. In 10 years, it has held more than 1000 meetings with legislators and helped recreationists submit more than 626,000 letters and signatures in support of conservation- and recreation-focused legislation. 

"Outdoor Alliance's impact in the world of outdoor policy and advocacy cannot be overstated,” says Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia. “Their team's collective expertise has shaped legislation to protect public lands and waters and ensure equitable access to outdoor spaces.” 

The efforts of Outdoor Alliance and its constituent groups have resulted in land managers recognizing that outdoor recreation is one of the primary ways Americans come to know their public lands and develop a stewardship ethic. In response, its work has helped catalyze a shift in land-management agencies protecting more places for their recreation values — rather than for extraction or environmental reasons alone.

For instance, the Outdoor Alliance campaign to protect public lands from transfer or sale put the idea of “public lands” on the map for a generation and has led to tens of thousands of new advocates better understanding outdoor advocacy and public-land policy. It has also helped secure a wide range of historic bipartisan legislative wins around conservation and recreation. 

"In the realm of outdoor advocacy, Outdoor Alliance consistently stands out for their unparalleled acumen and effectiveness,” points out Gabe Vasquez, U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd district, and who previously served on the organization’s board. “Their team's ability to bring outdoor recreation voices to policymakers and advocate for successful bipartisan conservation policy has earned them tremendous respect from lawmakers and the wider outdoor recreation community.” 

Adam Cramer, CEO of Outdoor Alliance, emphasizes how outdoor recreation has grown into one of the most powerful forces advocating for conservation. 

“From our roots as a scrappy collective of whitewater paddlers, mountain bikers, hikers, climbers and backcountry skiers, we have developed a powerful voice and presence in D.C.,” Cramer says. “We’ve visited the White House, testified in front of Congress, had hundreds and hundreds of meetings on the Hill to advocate for conservation, met with leadership at the Forest Service, Park Service, and BLM, and motivated many more outdoor enthusiasts to get in the advocacy game. 

“Our collective voices – motivated by a connection to the places we recreate – have made a true difference in protecting land, passing great policies and expanding sustainable access to the outdoors over the last 10 years,” he adds. “We’re incredibly excited about what we can achieve working together in the next 10 years.”

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About Outdoor Alliance

Outdoor Alliance is the only organization in the U.S. that unites the voices of outdoor enthusiasts to conserve public lands. A non-profit coalition comprised of 10 national advocacy organizations, Outdoor Alliance’s members include American Whitewater, the American Canoe Association, Access Fund, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Mountaineers, the American Alpine Club, the Mazamas, the Colorado Mountain Club, and the Surfrider Foundation. By working with its member coalitions and helping mobilize the involvement of individuals to protect public lands and waters, OA helps ensure public lands are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience. Outdoor Alliance — conservation powered by outdoor recreation.