Featured News | September 26, 2014
The SHIFT Festival will be held Oct. 8-12 in Jackson.
Held each October in Jackson Hole, SHIFT is an annual festival that celebrates the intersection of conservation with Nature (the natural environment), Culture (the built environment) and Adventure (outdoor recreation).
Conservation lies at the core of Jackson Hole’s environment, economy and character. Over the past 140 years, the region has been the epicenter of some of North America’s seminal conservation efforts, including the formation of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, the drafting of the Wilderness Act, and the expansion of Grand Teton National Park to its current boundaries.
In 1938, Aldo Leopold defined conservation as “a balanced relationship between man and land.” Sustainability helps us attain and maintain that balance. Today, numerous agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals continue to build upon Jackson Hole’s legacy of balance. At the core of our community’s ongoing efforts lies a simple fact: our economic and cultural vitality are directly connected to the region’s environmental quality.
This phenomenon is not unique to Jackson Hole. Throughout North America, some of our most beautiful and well-known communities—places like Bar Harbor, Moab, Sayulita and Hanalei—enjoy a similar relationship between economy, character and natural capital. We call such communities GEMS: Gateways to Environments of Major Significance. Each of these GEMS shares a fundamental reality: over the long term, they can be no healthier than the environments in which they reside.
These GEMS share another trait: they attract both millions of visitors each year and quality-of-life recruits drawn by the magnificence of the surroundings. When they serve as models of sustainability, they have a unique opportunity to influence the behavior of their guests. By fostering sustainability in North American GEMS, SHIFT seeks to promote them as beacons of possibility—and, by extension, to affect the world they influence.