The Public Lands Alliance Honors Public Lands Heroes in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters

By Public Lands Alliance Staff posted 02-27-2018 06:26 PM


Laurel Rematore with Great Smoky Mountains Assoication, Genevieve Day and

Felicia Boyd with Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation pose with their Public Lands Hero Award.

PALM SPRINGS, CA – On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the Public Lands Alliance (PLA) recognized 11 nonprofit organizations who have stepped up and have swiftly worked with their land management agency partners to help their public lands recover from recent wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. PLA established the Public Lands Hero Award to celebrate individuals and organizations whose actions exceed the high standards to which all public lands partners aspire. The PLA Board of Directors honored the following nonprofit organizations in recognition of their exemplary responses to natural disasters and crises affecting the public lands and communities that they support:

  • Eastern National

  • Friends of the Smokies

  • Friends of Virgin Islands National Park

  • Glacier National Park Conservancy

  • Great Smoky Mountains Association

  • National Park Foundation

  • South Florida National Parks Trust

  • Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods

  • Student Conservation Association

  • Timucuan Parks Foundation

  • Western National Park Association

“America’s public lands have partners who consistently strive to be innovative and make an impact,” said David Poteet, Board President of PLA. “In the face of destructive natural disasters, these nonprofit organizations have gone above and beyond these already high expectations. They are an inspiration to us all.”

From the Chimney Tops 2 Fire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Sprague Fire in Glacier National Park, to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and wildfires in northern California this past fall, nonprofit partners have responded quickly to the needs of their land management agency partners. They have established emergency relief funds, mobilized volunteers, led cleanups, and hosted restoration events.

PLA thanked land management agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, and state and municipal parks that have served as critical resources in firefighting, evacuation, assessment and recovery.

“Moments of crisis remind us of the critical importance and value of strong partnerships between land managers and nonprofit partners,” said PLA Executive Director Dan Puskar. “Hurricanes and wildfires unexpectedly impact many of our public lands, and it is strong partnerships that provide the resiliency needed to bounce back from their destructive impacts.”



About the Public Lands Alliance

The Public Lands Alliance is a network of more than 130 member organizations that serve more than 600 public lands and contribute over $250 million dollars annually to the preservation and visitor enhancement of those lands. PLA members are found in all states and territories and provide operational and interpretive support to nonprofit organizations and their land management agency partners.