August 25, 2022

Ten Public Lands guides had the opportunity to explore the ecological and culturally significant landscape through outdoor activities, volunteering, conservation projects and engaging with members of the local Indigenous community.

Inspiring our explorers to adventure and connect with nature is a driving force behind our Public Lands stores. The philosophy is equally important to our knowledgeable guides.

In that spirit, we sent a group of Public Lands guides (our name for the employees who bring our concept to life) on the adventure of a lifetime to Bears Ears National Monument in Utah for a journey that was equal parts educational and awe-inspiring.

As part of Public Lands’ mission to celebrate and protect public lands for all, Public Lands became a member of 1% for the Planet and donates 1% of all sales to the Public Lands Fund. The Public Lands Fund is a program of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and supports organizations that are protecting public lands and increasing access & equity in the outdoors. One of those organizations is the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF), which provides resources and funding to grassroots conservation organizations protecting, restoring and increasing National Conservation Lands across the US. These spaces are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and include national monuments, such as Bears Ears.

“Visiting Bears Ears with Conservation Lands Foundation was an experience of a lifetime that deepened my understanding and passion for equity and inclusion in the outdoors, as well as conservation of our public lands,” said Public Lands Cranberry Community Outreach Lead Catlyn Brooke.

As part of this partnership with CLF, 10 Public Lands guides, selected through peer nominations and a panel review of anonymous written submissions, were invited to attend a trip to Bears Ears hosted by CLF and their local grassroots nonprofit partners who are protecting the area and advocating for local Indigenous communities. Throughout the trip, they explored this ecological and culturally significant landscape through activities like hiking, volunteering with members of the local Indigenous community, river rafting, and learning about and engaging with Indigenous cultures and conservation projects.

“The emotional impact of the experience opened my eyes to certain injustices and showed me the need for outreach and donations,” said Karla Miller, Public Lands Lead UI Designer.

The experience also resulted in a deep understanding of the need to protect the unique cultures and places that make up our public lands.

“Having the opportunity to experience Bears Ears, I now understand the importance and urgency of protecting these sacred troves of culture and wildlife,” said Public Lands Merchandise Planner, Dana Palumbo.

Throughout their journey, our guides captured images that show the natural beauty and cultural importance of Bears Ears. Check out the slideshow below and then head off on an adventure of your own!