RootsRated Conservation, Advocacy, & Organizations Directory

Enjoying our wild places in the Colorado mountains.
Enjoying our wild places in the Colorado mountains. Jake Wheeler
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One of our primary goals at RootsRated is to ensure the same outdoor experiences that you discover today, will still be there tomorrow. We’re all about getting people outdoors, but in the end, the outdoors is only as good as the people and organizations who seek to preserve it. Whether you’re spending a day at the crag, bumping along a dirt road to your next campsite, or watching the sunset over a ridge, it’s sometimes important to remember that none of this would be possible without years of conservation, stewardship, and preservation. By no means an exhaustive list, here are some organizations that we’re proud to call partners and that we know are all about preserving and protecting our country’s wild places.

Asheville, NC

Wild South

Wild South is the leader in public lands conservation and stewardship in the Southeast. We inspire people to enjoy, value and protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South.

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance

The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a group of independent outdoor retailers organized to serve the needs of its member operating over 100 independent specialty outdoor stores throughout North America. Grassroots is dedicated to creating benefits to its members through sharing information, fostering communication, promoting best business practices and protecting our natural environment, locally and globally.

Burlington, VT

1% For The Planet 

1% for the Planet is a global network of businesses that donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental nonprofit organizations. More than 1,000 businesses giving back to a network of approved nonprofits addressing critical environmental issues. Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, former owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet helps people buy better products and protect the planet we play on. To date, our network has given more than $130 million back to the planet. To learn more go to:

Boston, MA

Appalachian Mountain Club

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. With chapters from Maine to Washington, D.C., guidebooks and maps, and unique lodges and huts, AMC helps people get outdoors on their own, with family and friends, and through activities close to home and beyond. Visit

Boulder, CO

Leave No Trace

The member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. Through relevant and targeted education, research, and outreach, the Center ensures the long-term health of our natural world.

Outdoor Industry Association 

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) was founded in 1989 by a group of 14 visionary outdoor industry leaders who realized that “outdoor” could be much more than a passing consumer trend. Today, OIA is the leading trade association and voice of the outdoor recreation industry, serving more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers.

Chattanooga, TN

Lula Lake Land Trust

Lula Lake Land Trust’s mission is to preserve the natural and historic landscapes around Rock Creek and Bear Creek, for conservation, education, and low-impact recreation. The “core property” is home to the stunning scenery around Lula Lake and Lula Falls, a favorite place for families to visit on their open weekends (see for the schedule of Open Days). The Trust recently completed the Cloudland Connector Trail system, a nearly 60-mile network of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback trails that are open to the public daily.

Tennessee River Gorge Trust

The Tennessee River Gorge Trust is a land conservation organization located in Chattanooga, TN. Since 1981, the Trust has protected more than 17,000 of the 27,000 acres of land in the Tennessee River Gorge and is currently involved in numerous scientific research projects. Trust staff and volunteers are also working with community partners to connect area neighbors to the Gorge for recreation and education opportunities. For more information, visit

Golden, CO

Big City Mountaineers

Big City Mountaineers transforms the lives of under-served urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions that instill critical life skills. We partner with community-based youth organizations and caring adult volunteers who act as mentors in the field to help young people realize their potential. Our curriculum improves integrity, self- esteem, responsibility, decision-making abilities and communication skills in close to 1,000 youth annually.

RootsRated Stories:

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Missoula, MT

National Forest Foundation

The National Forest Foundation promotes the enhancement and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF improves forest health and Americans’ outdoor experiences. The NFF’s programs inform millions of Americans about the importance of these treasured landscapes. Each year, the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects and disease, improves recreational opportunities, and enables communities to steward their National Forests and Grasslands. Learn more

RootsRated Stories: 

5 Best Campsites in the Francis Marion National Forest

Washington, DC

American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. – See more at:

Conservation Alliance

The Conservation Alliance seeks to protect threatened wild places through out North America for their habitat and recreation values. As a group of outdoor industry companies, we recognize our responsibility to help protect the wild lands and waterways on which our customers recreate and wildlife thrives.

Silver Springs, MD

American Hiking Society

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national organization that preserves and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and promotes the hiking experience.  As the national voice for hikers, American Hiking Society recognizes that foot trails and hiking are essential to connect people with nature, conserve open space, provide biological corridors for diverse plants and wildlife, and for the health of Americans and our natural environment.  We represent millions of hikers who are committed to beautiful places to hike and believe that the preservation of hiking trails and their environments is important and a worthwhile legacy to leave future generations.


Washington Trails Alliance 

As the nation’s largest state-based hiking nonprofit organization, Washington Trails Association is the voice for hikers in Washington state. We protect hiking trails and wildlands, take volunteers out to maintain trails, and promote hiking as a healthy, fun way to explore the outdoors.

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