Our Vision

Click above for PDF version of strategic plan


Click above for recording of APPL Strategic Plan Presentation Webinar

We work for the day when America’s public lands are understood and appreciated, preserved and conserved, and enjoyed by all. The most direct way to realize this vision is to ensure that public lands have strong nonprofit partners with the capacity to galvanize private support, catalyze change and take strategic risks. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Association is to build and elevate effective nonprofit organizations and exceptional public-nonprofit partnerships for the benefit of public lands and their users. 

Our Guiding Principles and Values

We embrace these principles to guide our work:

  • Public lands – by which we mean all of America’s natural, cultural and historical public lands and sites – are essential to our health and soul as a nation.
  • Public-nonprofit partnerships are indispensable to the stewardship of our nation’s public lands.
  • Our member organizations and constituents provide value and impact to public lands that needs to be recognized and shared.

We model these values and encourage them within all public lands partnerships:

  • Trust among partners
  • Leadership that is open and inclusive
  • Diversity that reflects the face of America
  • Integrity and transparency in all actions
  • Creativity and fun in approaching this important work

Roles and Core Strategies

1.     National Leadership

The Association of Partners for Public Lands is the convener and thought leader for nonprofit public lands partners.

The Association will convene member organizations, agency partners and stakeholders so that it may infuse and lead this community with cutting-edge practices and big ideas. The Association will monitor and respond to acute issues, crises and emerging trends that impact the health and wellbeing of the public lands community.  

2.     The Voice of Nonprofit Public Lands Partners

The Association is the national voice and representative of the nonprofit partners of public lands.

The Association will develop a dynamic policy platform that responds to member organization needs, benefits public lands and invites strategic partnerships and collaboration. The Association will lead the activation of member organizations and stakeholders to advocate for and advance policy and funding initiatives that strengthen the protection and enjoyment of public lands and the partnerships their future depends upon. 

3.     Partnership Education and Training  

The Association is the leader in growing successful and effective partnerships between and among nonprofit organizations and public lands agencies.

The Association will focus its educational and training programs to offer a suite of services to build the capacity of public-nonprofit partnerships. The Association will identify and promote best practices that reflect the expectations of member organizations and the larger community.

4.     A Connected Community

The Association is the network for nonprofit public lands partners and public land management agencies to establish meaningful, intentional communities.

The Association will develop and implement a constellation of opportunities for its members and stakeholders to establish cohorts and share expertise. The Association will proactively monitor and respond to the issues and needs that arise from the interactions of these communities, and thereby energize and strengthen our important network.

5.     Our Cumulative Impact

The Association is the primary source for critical information and analysis on the diverse and ever changing landscape of nonprofit public lands partners.

The Association will develop a process for the ongoing accumulation of data regarding the scale and impact of the public lands partner community. Analysis and distribution of this data will be used to assist and educate both member organizations and the nonprofit community, influence policy makers, attract supporters and inform the Association in the development and implementation of its other Core Strategies.  

6.     Effective Management and Governance

The Association serves as a model for best practices in partnership and as a vibrant example of an agile, adaptive and forward-looking nonprofit organization. 

The Association will maintain strong leadership across the organization - at both the governance and staff levels - to ensure its ability to effectively fulfill its mission. The Association will grow and adapt to implement the external strategies outlined above and to seek new funding to support them. 

Use of the Strategic Plan
The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors each year on progress made and lessons learned in each of the Core Strategies. The Board of Directors will review the plan annually to mark progress and to consider adaptations as warranted by changing conditions. This will occur at the June meeting in conjunction the development of the coming fiscal year budget.

Each year Association staff will develop a three-year implementation plan to coincide with the annual budget. This will reflect capacity needs, significant goals and major program adjustments.