Rally 2019 Reflections - Columbia Land Trust
This year, Rally, the Land Trust Alliance's annual national conference, was charged with a message of urgency, a call to action around climate change.

Last month, conservationists from around the U.S. gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina for the Land Trust Alliance’s national conference: Rally. A brief, but action-packed weekend, Rally offers an opportunity to connect, learn, and immerse in conservation work through day-long field trips, intensive workshops, happy hours, and talks from inspiring and prolific guest speakers (this year included Vanessa Hauc, senior correspondent for Noticias Telemundo, pictured above). Columbia Land Trust had a few team members attend, including Executive Director Glenn Lamb, Keith Daly (Advancement Director), Keely McIntyre (Grants Manager), and Dez Ramirez (Content Manager). Here are some reflections from their experience at Rally:

“Building new relationships was the theme for my first time at Rally. I don’t know if I’ve been to a conference filled with more passionate people. From land trust staff, to foundations, to individual donors and volunteers. I especially enjoyed meeting land trust staff from Oregon’s south coast where I grew up as a kid. Working in the rural communities they grew up in conserving the lands and rivers they love. Combined, the challenges facing us can feel overwhelming. But seeing the people who make the work possible coming together gave me reason for hope.”

– Keith Daly, Advancement Director

“As someone new to the world of conservation, I benefited from the opportunity to place the work of our organization into the broader context of other land trusts. I was both proud and humbled to be playing a part in this larger movement and inspired by the stories that I heard. As Grants Manager, I benefited from meeting some of our regional funders in person. I returned to Columbia Land Trust with a clarified focus on climate mitigation, ideas for potential corporate partnerships, and fundraising strategies that are informed by current trends in philanthropy.”

– Keely McIntyre, Grants Manager

“This was my first year at Rally, and an exciting one. I, along with five other people, launched the Conservationists of Color affinity group and hosted a happy hour and meet up at Rally. This is a first in the world of land trusts, and based on the demand and desire for this group, the future looks very promising. The Conservationists of Color also lead a racial equity-based workshop that took attendees through some diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. The room was packed. Our goal was to create a narrative that was led by people of color in this sector, and give people some action-driven strategies to take back to their organizations. It was amazing to connect with so many talented, smart, and passionate people at Rally. Looking forward to 2020!”

– Dez Ramirez, Content Manager

“I recharge when I attend our National land trust conference, connecting to the energy of 2,000 conservationists, enjoying accolades for our work, and looking ahead at national trends.

Here are my highlights from this year’s Rally:

Land Trust Alliance President Andrew Bowman set a clear challenge for the years ahead.  
We must: 

Increase the pace of our work tenfold in order to respond to the many threats, especially that of our changing climate

Expand the conservation movement to far more people and communities

Mobilize those people to advocate for natural climate solutions, especially here in the Pacific Northwest 

A theme throughout the conference was the opportunity to significantly advance our work by ensuring that the benefits of conservation are realized across all our human and non-human communities. Our own Dez Ramirez helped to kick-off the first-ever meeting of the Conservationists of Color; she also led a standing room only session on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
While we are among the national leaders in the field, we also learn so much at Rally, about stewardship, land protection, community engagement, fundraising, finance, and perhaps most importantly of all, caring for ourselves so that we can sustain this work for years to come.
Of course, YOU sustain us as well. Thank you so much for your part in this northwest and national movement to care for this wonderful earth.”
– Glenn Lamb, Executive Director

For more coverage of Rally 2019 and the Land Trust Alliance, visit landtrustalliance.org