Conservation Leadership Institute

Help Build a Better Future

Congratulations to everyone who attended the Fall 2023 Conservation Leadership Institute! If you are interested in joining next year’s CLI or becoming a speaker, shoot an email to kelsey@jhalliance.org.


What is CLI?

The Conservation Leadership Institute (CLI) is a rigorous, eight-week, leadership development program offered at no charge by the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. Graduates of CLI have the skills and knowledge to effectively organize, advocate, and hold local decision-makers accountable for building a better future. CLI starts with the basics of organizing and progresses each week as participants learn and practice new skills to become grassroots leaders in our community. The course includes a range of topics that participants will explore through group discussion, guest speakers, panel presentations, group projects, readings and real-world applications.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the know-how—as well as the encouragement and support—to effectively:

CLI participants toss hats into the air to celebrate graduation from the program.

  • Communicate your position to others, including elected representatives;
  • Identify, recruit, and lead a grassroots team;
  • Develop a campaign plan to achieve a specific goal;
  • Empower others to engage in the civic process;
  • Incorporate JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion) principles into your work;
  • Use storytelling to inspire action;
  • Connect advocacy in Jackson Hole to larger movements such as the fight for climate justice;
  • Approach governmental and policy making processes with confidence;
  • Identify and execute the best strategies and tactics to reach your goal.

Workshop Schedule

CLI is usually a fall class held Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm over the course of 8 weeks. The schedule for the 14th round of CLI is below. Next year’s CLI is TBA.

    Workshop #1
    Sept 12
    • Topic: Telling your Story
    • Skill: Public narrative
    • Guest Speaker: Luther Propst : Conservation in the New West
    Workshop #2
    Sept 19th
    • Topic: Intro to Campaign Planning
    • Skill: Issues, goals, and levers
    • Guest Speaker: Clare Stump: Shelter JH: The Housing Crisis in Jackson Hole
    Workshop #3
    September 26th
    • Topic: Making your voice heard amongst politicians
    • Skill: Lobbying
    • Guest Speaker: Len Necefer: Native Outdoors, Tribal Sovereignty
    Workshop #4
    October 3rd
    • Topic: Local Government 101
    • Skill: Understanding government in Teton County
    • Guest Speaker: Hailey Morton Levinson (Town Mayor)
    Workshop #5
    Oct 10th
    • Topic: Communications
    • Skill: How to effectively communicate a message to people who may not understand
    • Guest Speaker:  Vanessa Chavarriaga Posada
    Workshop #6
    Oct 17th
    • Topic: Building Power with Community
    • Skill: Strategy and Tactics for Healthy Rivers
    • Guest Speaker: Joe Smith with the Snake River Fund
    Workshop #7
    October 24th
    • Topic: Grassroots Organizing and Getting on a board
    • Skill: How to be a leader in the community
    • Guest Speaker: Kaya Patten-Fusselman(Board member and Alliance Staff)
    Workshop #8
    October 31st
    • Topic: What's Next? A lifetime of Civic Engagement
    • Skill: Present group projects and moving forward
    • Guest Speaker: CLI past Grads

Finally, CLI features a hands-on project to practice leadership and make a difference in Jackson Hole. For this round of CLI, participants will have the opportunity to design and engage with real campaigns around issues such as land conservation, water quality, transportation, renewable energy, Affordable Housing and more.

This project is a great way to get real-life practice with recruiting, leadership, and communication skills. It requires a few meetings with your team, on your own time, outside of class. Please contact us for more information.

What do graduates of the first thirteen rounds of CLI have to say about the program?

Over the past decade, almost 200 community members have graduated from the CLI program and gone on to make a real difference in Jackson Hole and beyond.

To understand our local political process, and to understand the importance we have in this political process, is empowering, inspiring, and enjoyable.

— Abbie Bilotta

From the first week to the last, I was able to network with like-minded individuals in a fun and engaging setting. Every one in the class was unique, and inspirational in their own way. For once, I felt connected to community members with a common vision.

— Trevor Bloom

It is an incredible opportunity to gain such a focused understanding of how to become an advocate.

— Aaron Hamby

CLI reconnected me to my passion for conservation. During the eight weeks of CLI, I found a confidence and excitement in my inner being I thought died a long time ago.

— Suzanne Knighton

What the Alliance is doing for our collective future is revolutionary. From personal experience, I know that while many youth may have a vested interest in creating beneficial changes for the future, often times we do not know where and how to plugin. The Alliance has now set up the foundation for us, providing the tools, assets, and network needed to be the change.

— Ali Dunford

The course is great for people just starting out in the conservation community because it introduces them to the local issues and the skills needed to run a successful campaign. For those with more experience, it builds on the skills they have while introducing new ideas and techniques to make them more effective in their work.

— Tanya Anderson

The moment I walked into the first class I felt empowered and capable to implement change in Jackson Hole, and that is a feeling I would like everyone in this area to share.

— Peggie dePasquale

This course is an amazing opportunity for people to gain great skills and meet amazing people in the community that are interested in shaping a great future too.

— Noelle Guernsey

I have been to many leadership-type seminars before and this one was by far the most practical and applicable.

— Christy Lewis

Phone: (307) 733-9417
685 S. Cache St. PO Box 2728
Jackson, Wyoming 83001