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Bend, other mountain towns launch 'Pledge for the Wild'

Seek tourist donations to protect wild places

BEND, Ore. - With travelers around the globe buzzing about sustainable tourism and responsible recreation, Bend and three other 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 Bend, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and South Lake Tahoe, California, have joined forces to empower travelers to help protect the outdoor places where they recreate.

“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.”

 Each city has taken stock of which land managers and nonprofits are working to protect the wild places in their community. From there, Pledge for the Wild cities are creating direct channels for visitors to support those organizations through online donations or text-to-donate.

"Visitors in Bend might be urged to donate to the Deschutes Trail Coalition at various points in their journey, explained Dugan. “That could happen when they’re picking up gear at a bike shop or checking in on social media.”

The text-to-donate number for Bend is 44-321, and guests will text “PLEDGEWILD” to that number to begin the process of donating.

Founding Pledge for the Wild cities will activate the initiative in similar ways, with each selecting a local nonprofit to support. All funds raised will stay local in that participating community. Future Pledge for the Wild initiatives could include social media campaigns, text-to-donate alerts, and signage in shops and visitor centers.

To learn more about Pledge for the Wild, visit www.pledgewild.com.


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