Steadfast Stewardship: Protecting the Outdoors for the Benefit of All

protecting the outdoors
Ryan SmithAMC’s president, John Judge, speaks to AMC’s mission of providing outdoor leadership and stewardship for the benefit of all.

While the recent election season was often contentious and at times divisive, the outdoors remains something that unites us and that people of all beliefs and backgrounds can enjoy. It is AMC’s mission to help everyone connect to the inspiring, soothing, and energizing qualities of the outdoors.

There has never been a greater need for AMC’s leadership. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to promoting the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of our region, we have a history of working with elected leaders, regardless of party affiliation, to solve problems. We are unique in having more than 90,000 members and many thousands of volunteers who care deeply about the outdoors and can speak passionately and knowledgeably about the places they love.

Our public lands belong to all of us, and we all need to work to protect these places and to reduce barriers that may keep some from enjoying them.

Regardless of which party is in power, we will continue to advocate for appropriate energy-project siting and funding to protect critical lands. We will continue our on-the-ground scientific research and stewardship to help ensure the integrity of our natural and recreational resources as we strive for a brighter, more sustainable, and healthier future.

With the focus on national politics, it is easy to overlook what is happening at the state and community levels. When voters are given a chance to vote directly on funding for land conservation, they support it by large margins. Our colleagues at The Trust for Public Land report that voters passed 68 of 86 conservation-related ballot initiatives in states across the country in November, approving a total of $6.3 billion to benefit parks, land conservation, and restoration. Clearly, voters will continue to innovate to meet conservation needs, with or without a federal mandate.

We remain focused, as we have been for more than 140 years, on helping people appreciate and engage with the outdoors, which is where real commitment to conservation begins. We are grateful to you for your active participation in the outdoors, for your consideration of generously supporting our work, and for your willingness to connect others to our important mission. In this new year, we will continue to provide the unwavering leadership needed to protect the outdoors for the benefit of all.

As you will read later in this issue, AMC has entered an exciting phase in its history with the purchase of a new headquarters in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood. In the coming months, we will be investing in making this building a 21st century work and program space, but more resources are needed to build a real “outdoor hub” that supports our important work in conservation and education and serves a greater constituency in Boston. If you are interested in supporting us on this journey, please contact Gabriela Navarro at


  • Learn about AMC’s Vision 2020 and our commitment to connecting people and the outdoors.
  • Find out how AMC is providing leadership on land conservation, energy, and trails, and how you can get involved by visiting our conservation page.
  • Watch a video—and share it with your friends—on our steadfast commitment to the outdoors.


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John D. Judge, President

AMC Outdoors, the magazine of the Appalachian Mountain Club, inspires readers to get outside and get engaged. Learn more.