Let’s say you spend a day in South Lake Tahoe. You enjoy a morning of mountain biking on the Corral Trail, followed by a swim at Nevada Beach. Your cost for this day of recreation bliss? Free.
Okay, there’s gas involved, and maybe a day-use parking fee. But for the most part, you get access to stunning, well-marked trails without ever getting a chance to help support the maintenance and preservation of those awesome areas.
WHAT’S PLEDGE FOR THE WILD?
There’s a trend in the travel world where visitors are looking for ways to give back to special places they love. Visiting a cool wilderness area is one thing, but actively investing in making sure it’s there for generations to come? That’s next-level awesome.
That’s what Pledge for the Wild is all about. It’s sustainable tourism at its best, starting with five U.S. mountain towns making it easier for tourists to open their hearts and digital wallets in support of wild places.
Participating cities have taken stock of which land managers and nonprofits are working to protect the wild places in their community. From there, Pledge for the Wild towns are creating direct channels for visitors to support those organizations through online donations or text-to-donate.
WHY DO WE NEED THIS?
It’s no secret that funding for the Forest Service has been slashed to bits in recent years. That leaves a lot fewer resources devoted to things like trail maintenance. Sadly, there’s no such thing as a trail fairy who magically trims brush and removes fallen logs from your hiking path, and the aforementioned parking fees don’t quite cut it. That’s why nonprofit groups have jumped in to help tackle these tasks, and now you can support them with Pledge for the Wild.
WHO GETS THE MONEY IN TAHOE?
In Tahoe, we are the nonprofit receiving the funds. We will use the funds generated to support our efforts to drive innovation into everything happening in Tahoe, from new trails to lake clarity to new ways to restore our forest through our Environmental Venture Trust.
HOW DO I TRY IT OUT?
To use the text-to-donate feature, just text 44-321 and use the code WILD4TAHOE. From there, you can walk through the easy-peasy system to donate using your credit card or ApplePay.
WHAT OTHER TOWNS ARE INVOLVED?
The program launched June 2019 with five Western mountain towns that tend to attract an outdoorsy sort of traveler.
Tourism agencies in Bend, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Flagstaff, Arizona; and South Lake Tahoe, California & Nevada, are the founding cities for Pledge for the Wild, though more may join in the future.
ER, HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE?
It’s totally up to you! Even donations as small as a dollar can make a difference. One option is to add up all the time you spent recreating outdoors in Tahoe, then donate a buck for each hour. Not only is it a simple system to use, it’s a great way to look back over all the fun things you’ve done on your Tahoe vacation.
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?
To discover more about Pledge for the Wild, visit www.pledgewild.com.