PLA 2024 Convention and Trade Show Highlights Groundbreaking Innovations in Public Lands Partnerships and Outdoor Recreation

By Katie Cavanaugh-Smith posted 03-29-2024 11:00 AM



PLA 2024 Convention and Trade Show Highlights Groundbreaking Innovations in Public Lands Partnerships and Outdoor Recreation 


March 2024 – The 2024 Public Lands Alliance (PLA) Convention and Trade Show showcased groundbreaking advancements in public lands management and outdoor recreation during its highly anticipated annual gathering. Hosted in San Francisco, CA, this year's convention brought together nearly 700 industry leaders, public land nonprofits, land management agencies, and business and outdoor enthusiasts to explore new strategies for enhancing the stewardship and accessibility of public lands. 


America’s public lands are stronger because of local, community based nonprofit partners who contribute to their conservation and visitor experience” said Dan Puskar, President and CEO. “PLA was honored to convene the leadership of nearly 100 such organizations from across the nation to ensure that support continues to grow.”  


AllTrails, the San Francisco-based outdoor and trail platform, unveiled its new Public Lands Program at PLA 2024. The program helps enhance trail safety and sustainability by empowering public lands managers and non-profit organizations to share time-sensitive updates directly with AllTrails' global community of over 60 million trail-goers. For more information about AllTrails' Public Lands Program and its initiatives, visit 


The PLA 2024 Convention and Trade Show featured a diverse array of activities and educational sessions aimed at advancing the collective understanding and management of public lands. Highlights included: 


  • More than 40 educational sessions encompassing expert-led discussions, case studies, round tables, and agency partnership forums, providing attendees with valuable insights and best practices in public lands partnerships. 
  • A lively meet and greet with Rosie the Riveter Jeanne Gibson during an engaging opening reception and the storytelling from Rosie the Riveter Marian Sousa and Rosie Wrangler Tammy Brumley during a field trip to the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. 
  • Immersive field trips showcasing partnerships in action at nearby public land sites such as Presidio Tunnel Tops, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Alcatraz Island and Fort Point National Historic Site, offering firsthand experiences of successful conservation and recreation initiatives. 
  • A dynamic trade show featuring 120 companies offering products and services tailored to support the educational, philanthropic, and operational needs of public land partners, highlighting the latest offerings in educational, theme-related and functional products and services that benefit public lands. 
  • An exclusive screening of the award-winning documentary “Out There: A National Parks Story” and discussion with filmmaker Brendan Hall.  


Throughout the convention, esteemed speakers delivered thought-provoking presentations on key PLA educational themes and landmark ideas regarding public lands. Featured speakers included Rue Mapp of Outdoor Afro, representatives from the Presidio Activator Council, Dr. Paul Espinas of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Pitt Grewe of AllTrails, Craig Kenkel of Point Reyes National Seashore, Johanna van Wavere of the Colorado National Monument Association, and Armando Quintero of California Department of Parks and Recreation, among others. 


PLA is grateful to the many companies, nonprofits, and agencies whose unwavering commitment to public land through sponsorship and support ensures this event is possible, with significant thanks to PLA 2024’s Premier Sponsor, Wild Tribute. 


“I met so many people who I look up to professionally, and I walked away from the sessions with a laundry list of new ideas,” remarked Kristin Cross, Officer Manager of Jefferson National Parks Association. “Overall, I left the convention feeling excited, energized, and optimistic both personally and professionally. I absolutely love the work that we do, and I am so incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to attend this year's convention.” 


The next Public Lands Alliance Convention and Trade Show will be held Sunday, February 2nd through Thursday, February 6th, 2025 at the Westgate Las Vegas.  


About the Public Lands Alliance (PLA): 

The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) protects America's public lands by supporting and empowering the local, nonprofit partner organizations dedicated to their conservation. Its members are nonprofit organizations that have a formal partnership with a land management agency to support parks, forests, wildlife refuges, conservation areas, and other public lands sites. 


PLA members serve more than 675 public lands sites nationwide in cooperation with their land management agency partners, and they raise $250 million annually to support those lands.