A surfer, a wilderness school and a Latina community organizer are among the 33 finalists for the 2015 SHIFT Awards, which will be announced at the 2015 SHIFT Festival in Jackson Hole October 7.
The SHIFT Awards recognize individuals, initiatives or organizations that make innovative, impactful and replicable contributions to conservation through human-powered outdoor recreation.
“Over the past nine months, our researchers identified more than 150 individuals or initiatives from around North America that leveraged outdoor rec for conservation gains,” said SHIFT Director Christian Beckwith. “The 33 individuals, organizations and programs that emerged from the evaluation process as our finalists not only leverage outdoor recreation for conservation gains, they also engage the next generation of stewards in the protection of our natural resources…In short, they align with SHIFT’s goals perfectly.”
Representatives of the winning initiatives have been invited to participate in the SHIFT Summit, a two-and-a-half day conference that explores issues at the heart of the outdoor recreation and conservation partnership.
Top initiatives will win the SHIFT Award in one of this year’s five categories: Non-Profit Leadership, Public Land Management Innovation, Business Leadership, Adventure Athlete, and Youth Leadership.
The five initiatives that receive the highest overall scores qualify for the SHIFT Forward Award, a $10,000 prize made possible by the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), a branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They will present their work on Wednesday, October 7, at the start of the SHIFT Summit.
The $10,000 award will be decided by the audience at the Summit’s close on Friday, October 9.
A complete overview of the SHIFT Awards evaluation process and the finalists is available online.
Held each October in the spectacular valley of Jackson Hole, SHIFT is an annual festival that explores the intersection of conservation and outdoor recreation with food, film, workshops and outdoor adventure. The 2015 SHIFT Festival runs October 7-10 and features Yvon Chouinard, Angel Collinson, Mark Bittman and more than two dozen other speakers.