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South Lake Tahoe Unites With Western Mountain Towns to Launch Pledge for the Wild

Written by Charlie Pankey

Program has tourism partners defining a shared set of common values, language, and tools to support and fund responsible tourism in outdoor places

(SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev.) – With travelers around the globe buzzing about sustainable tourism and responsible recreation, five U.S. mountain towns are taking the conversation to the next level and making it easier for tourists to open their hearts and wallets in support of wild places.

Tourism agencies in South Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada; Bend, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and Flagstaff, Arizona have joined forces to empower travelers to help protect the outdoor places where they recreate. Each city has taken stock of which land managers and nonprofits are working to protect wild spaces in their communities.

  1. Bend, Oregon – The mountain town that has it all. A warm, inviting mountain getaway with a cosmopolitan appeal with an in town surfable wave the Deschutes River
  2. Bozeman, Montana -Bozeman is called “the most livable place” for good reason. Known for its world-renowned fly fishing, dramatic mountains for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, hunting, and backcountry exploring on any given day you can deeply experience the wild places in and around Bozeman
  3. Flagstaff, Arizona – Flagstaff is located in the high country mountains of northern Arizona, Flagstaff’s four seasons are enviable by many. Summer temperatures average in the low 80s with sapphire blue skies and crisp mountain air, while winter adventures await in Arizona’s officially designated Winter Wonderland with an average 108″ of snow fall in downtown.
  4. South Lake Tahoe, California – Welcome to Tahoe South, where you’ll find Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine Lake in North America; deep and wide, bluer than blue and surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains
  5. Steamboat Springs, Colorado – Steamboat Springs is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, off the beaten path but still within reach. If you can do it in the summer in Colorado, you can do it in Steamboat
Paulina Lake in Central Oregon

Carol Chaplin, CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, pointed out that destination marketing organizations are in a unique position to help visitors enrich their vacation experiences with stewardship. “Pledge for the Wild will provide opportunities to give back, whether they’re checking into a hotel, renting gear at a bike shop, or sitting down at a brewery,” she said. “The idea is to catch them when they’re out enjoying local amenities and to get them thinking about ways to support the great outdoors they’ve experienced on their vacation.”

Alpine Falls Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe selected the Tahoe Fund’s new Environmental Venture Trust to support. Like a traditional venture capital fund, it will provide seed funding for a variety of innovative early-stage environmental projects to help solve environmental challenges facing Lake Tahoe. Their first investment is a UV Light Pilot Project that is analyzing the use of UV light to treat aquatic invasive weeds in Lake Tahoe.

For more information on the project click here.

Agencies recommend outdoor enthusiasts consider donating $1/hour of recreation. For instance, a three-hour hike, mountain bike ride or skiing adventure would result in a $3 investment. Donations can be made directly through a cellular device by texting WILD4TAHOE to 44-321 as well as online

“The Tahoe Fund is thrilled to partner with Pledge Wild to make it easy for people who are enjoying Tahoe to help take care of it,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “Texting WILD4TAHOE will help us introduce innovative solutions to the challenges facing Tahoe’s wild spaces through our Environmental Venture Trust.”

All funds raised will stay local in that participating community. Future initiatives may entail social media campaigns, text-to-donate alerts, and signage in shops and visitor centers.

“Participating cities are not only committing to helping visitors do no harm when recreating, we’re providing ways for them to actively protect those wild places,” explained Visit Bend President and CEO Kevney Dugan. “Initiatives will range from breweries offering reusable coasters with Pledge for the Wild messaging, to multiple touchpoints prompting visitors to donate and support local conservation groups.”

To learn more about Pledge for the Wild, visit

About the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Designated the “America’s Best Lake” by USA TODAY readers, Tahoe South combines the distinctive appeal of two worlds: spectacular natural beauty and a modern tourism destination with an array of outdoor recreation, entertainment, nightlife and gaming. Tahoe’s timeless splendor and an emerging economic diversity toward health and wellness, green business practices and sustainability continue to define its inimitable personality. For information about lodging, recreation and family packages at Tahoe South, call 1-800-288-2463 or log onto

About the author

Charlie Pankey

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