Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF) has been recently honored with generous support for its mission and programs from several outdoors recreation-oriented business partners and sponsors, including REI Co-op, Canyon Coolers, and Orvis Phoenix. In each case, AWF is evolving layered and meaningful relationships with business partners that build upon the federation model philosophy: “united we can achieve more than we can independently.”
REI Co-op has awarded a grant to AWF’s Get Outdoors Arizona (GO AZ) Program – a coalition of nearly 70 businesses across Arizona who recognize the important linkage between strong conservation policies and vibrant economic opportunities. The grant will support growing coalition membership, educating members on current issues affecting Arizona’s public lands, empowering members to participate in the advocacy process effectively, and facilitating networking opportunities that strategically bring stakeholders together.
Founder and CEO of Canyon Coolers, Jason Costello, is a great example of a business owner engaged in protecting wild lands and wild waters – especially those of the Grand Canyon – that provide outdoor recreation opportunities critical to his business. Together with AWF staff members, Costello visited Washington D.C. on an advocacy mission in support of creating a National Monument to protect the Grand Canyon from mining.
In an op-ed to the Arizona Daily Sun on May 7, Costello writes: “Millions of people from Arizona and around the world visit northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon every year. In 2021 alone, tourism related to the Grand Canyon National Park brought in $710 million and 4.5 million visitors to our state. Our brand, like many local businesses, is literally built around the beauty and uniqueness of this area.” In addition to supporting Arizona Wildlife Federation’s advocacy efforts, Canyon Coolers has become an annual business sponsor of the organization.
Orvis Phoenix presented the Arizona Wildlife Federation with the proceeds from its May Giveback Days, welcome funding that will support programs as diverse as outdoors education for women, gardening for wildlife, a volunteer corps that regularly removes old fencing from
remote areas on the landscape, and the advocacy ventures at the heart of AWF’s mission to conserve wildlife, public lands, and our access to them. Orvis’ National Flyfishing Podcast Host Tom Rosenbauer recently teamed up with AWF’s Podcast Host Michael Cravens for a lively discussion of flyfishing and conservation to engage the sporting community: Arizona Wildlife Federation Podcast #39.
As Arizona’s oldest conservation organization celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Arizona Wildlife Federation is well-versed in convening diverse stakeholders to protect wildlife and wild places. “AWF brings people together based on our common values around the importance of public lands, wildlife, and outdoor recreation”, explains AWF Executive Director Scott Garlid. “We’re balanced and pragmatic in our advocacy, and we’re constantly expanding our reach to all individuals through our programs. It’s an honor and a privilege to receive the trust and support of these business partners who share those values and see the importance of our work.”