Skip to content

Conservation Lands Foundation

Board of Trustees Resolution

May 5, 2022
Washington, DC

John Wallin began his career in public lands conservation more than 25 years ago by founding the Nevada Wilderness Project in the Patagonia distribution warehouse in Reno, NV. With support from Patagonia and his unwavering optimism, he built a grassroots organization that changed the map of Nevada over a decade – adding more than 2 million acres of Wilderness between 2000-2010.

John then decamped from Nevada to Durango, Colorado in 2011 to join Brian O’Donnell and the Conservation Lands Foundation team. Based on his instincts for grassroots organizing and capacity building and his understanding of the power of local organizations and “Friends Groups,” he has helped grow the Conservation Lands Foundation into the pre-eminent public lands conservation organization it is today.

In his work with the Conservation Lands Foundation, he led our efforts to persuade President Obama’s Administration to designate new National Monuments using the Antiquities Act. In the case of Bears Ears National Monument, he advocated for putting Tribes first – for their sake, for the sake of the country, and for the sake of improved conservation.

John’s work, with many other organizations, helped fortify the Bears Ears against the onslaught of the Trump Administration and set the stage for President Biden’s restoration proclamation.

Over the past 11 years, John has applied his first-hand know-how related to capacity building to help our Friends Grassroots Network organizations germinate, take root, grow, and prosper.

He has focused on catalyzing conservation through authentic local voices while helping the Conservation Lands Foundation emerge as an NGO leader in diversity, equity and inclusion.

In addition to capacity building and empowerment, he has participated in building and advancing conservation campaigns like the Reconstruction Era Monument in South Carolina with Dick Moe, Bruce Babbitt, and Brian O’Donnell. This is just one example of movements that showed the Obama Administration the value of and power of conservation and education – which led to many more monuments.

In his 11 years with the Conservation Lands Foundation, he has demonstrated extraordinary range; he has played different instruments with great skill in each of the orchestras that build the Bears Ears, Cascade Siskiyou, Basin & Range, and Gold Butte monuments, and others. 

In some cases he led; in some instances he supported, in some cases he counseled. Whatever role needed to be filled, John filled that role. He has catalyzed various conservation campaigns currently in progress, ranging from Avi Kwa Ame to the Owyhee Canyonlands.

With his passion, vision and creativity, John has been a bright star in the constellation of advocates who have built the Conservation Lands Foundation into the organization it is today.

 We celebrate his time with the Conservation Lands Foundation, thank him for a job well done, and wish him well with all his future endeavors.

Therefore, be it resolved by the Board of Trustees of the Conservation Lands Foundation:

That John’s contribution to public lands conservation, the National Conservation Lands, the Conservation Lands Foundation, and the Friends Grassroots Network be recognized and celebrated at the Friends Grassroots Network Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as appropriate to the occasion and to the people and organizations with whom John has worked.