Vision Statement

The majestic Grand Teton mountain range and fresh water Jackson Lake will be our backdrop for the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s 2011 Fall Retreat, September 25th – 28 th in Wyoming. The gathering will take place at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the last remaining large, mostly intact, temperate ecosystems on the planet. The region is currently confronting many of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, and we hope to use this Retreat to highlight their expression on the western landscape and in its rural communities, while tying the local stories to their global context and to similar struggles and problem-solving worldwide.

We hope that the agenda and the informal conversations it inspires will provide a space to ask frank, hard questions about how we can continue to improve our individual and collective ways of doing business and what it will really take to see positive social and environmental change in 2011 and beyond.

Creating Grand Teton National Park involved decades of controversy over many of the issues facing the current environmental movement. Ranchers, foresters, developers, small and large business owners, conservationists, and government officials had to negotiate challenging agreements on everything from the scope of federal authority to the appropriate role of the market, balancing individual interests against the collective vitality of the region. Ultimately it took three acts of Congress before the park was established in 1929, and it wasn’t until 1950 that the park gained all of the lands it currently encompasses.

The Greater Yellowstone region continues to wrestle with major questions about energy development and transmission, wilderness and forest management, wildlife corridors, fresh water stewardship, sprawl, climate change adaptation, and sustaining working landscapes and a thriving western culture, among others. We hope that the western land and water we will explore during this retreat will catalyze new thinking about how grantmakers might work across boundaries of interest and expertise toward solutions that honor history while building a shared vision for a sustainable future, no matter which particular geography captures their hearts and motivates their work.