The Public Lands Alliance is looking for enriching, enlightening and innovative session ideas for PLA 2022, our convention and trade show in St. Louis, Missouri, March 6 – 10, 2022. We are seeking high-quality speakers and facilitators who can challenge participants to think about leveraging partnerships in new ways and to help strengthen the skills essential to collaborate effectively for the benefit of public lands and their users.  

Submissions should fall under the umbrella of three major themes, covering topics relevant to public lands nonprofits and their agency partners: 

  • Equity and Environmental Justice -- Ensuring public lands are welcoming, inclusive and accessible for all can only be achieved when the people and communities that have been expelled or excluded from them are listened to and engaged.  
  • Responsible Stewardship -- There is an urgent need for responsible stewardship of America’s public lands. Climate change is forcing adaptation. Increased visitation – often from people who have no history of experiencing public lands and caring for them – is placing burdens on resources.  
  • Building Resiliency -- Our community has had to adapt to new realities caused by the pandemic, and many continue to struggle with this. The challenges ahead are numerous but fundamentally lead to a question: how does our community regroup and strategically build back to be sustainable in the future?  

Submissions should either directly or tangentially touch on the above themes. Generally accepted topics from past conventions (e.g., partnerships, retail, fundraising, governance, education, advocacy, etc.) are all still relevant within the construct of these themes. Show us the relevance of a topic to one of the themes. Wow us with your submission.


  • October 29, 2021 — Proposal submission deadline (incomplete forms will not be considered)
  • Week of December 6, 2021 — Proposal status notification (i.e., whether proposal is: 1) accepted, or 2) still under consideration)
  • February 21, 2022 — Presentation materials and session handouts due to PLA Education and Training Manager Chuck Benjamin (

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the large number of accepted proposals, we are unable to cover any presenter expenses or offer honoraria. Accepted presenters are expected to pay published convention registration fees if they wish to participate in the convention beyond their presentation(s).

Session proposals should:

  1. Include presenters that, if appropriate to the subject, can directly share varied partnership perspectives on the topic. Proposals that include a collaboration of presenters from nonprofits, agencies and other relevant partner groups will receive stronger consideration.  
  2. Encourage energetic, interactive learning and include learner outcomes or takeaways—in essence, ways for participants to effect change in their roles as public lands partners. 
  3. Be designed to develop professional knowledge, skills, and understanding -- any proposal that may be construed as a sales pitch or is commercially oriented will not be considered.  
  4. Be designed practically with regard to audiovisual and technical requirements -- PLA will do its best to meet audiovisual and technical requests but cannot guarantee that all requests by accepted presenters will be met, particularly Internet. (Specific AV or technical requirements will be requested upon acceptance.) 
  5. Have the presenters or presenting team fully listed. Proposals with “Presenters TBD” or “Presenters will be listed upon acceptance,” will not be considered until the slate of presenters is complete. Should the proposal be accepted, repeated changes in the presenting team may nullify the acceptance.  

Convention participants include:

Public Lands Nonprofit Organizations / Partners: 

  • Leadership executives
  • Program staff
  • Board members

Land Management Agency Leadership and Staff:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Other federal, state and local land management agencies

Experienced public lands professionals as well as associated consultants are welcome to submit proposals. We are looking for proposals in a 75-minute time frame. All formats should include at least 10 minutes for Q&A as part of the presentation.

Submitters are encouraged to incorporate audience engagement or interactivity into the proposal. Although the traditional “listen and learn” presentation method (i.e., solely PowerPoint) is familiar to many, we’re looking for varied adult-learning formats that might include but are not limited to:  

  • Workshops: Hands-on activities that enable the participant to grasp relevant knowledge that can be utilized following the convention.  
  • Educational Games: Game-based learning that helps facilitate the transfer and retention of relevant knowledge by embedding fun, interactive games into the session.  
  • Case Studies/Peer Learning: Examples of actual organizational programs, experiences, processes, partnerships, etc., that are discussed as an illustration of the session topic.  
  • Panel Discussions: Expert panels engage in a facilitated discussion, addressing pre-determined questions and topics as well as questions submitted by participants.  

Please be as specific as possible with regard to your content and presentation format. To discuss a potential idea for a special format before submitting, please contact Public Lands Alliance Education and Training Manager Chuck Benjamin at

Due to the large number of proposals received and limited number of session slots, we will not be able to accept every proposal. 

Submissions will be reviewed by the program committee and the PLA staff for relevance (to themes and audiences), energy, interactivity, ability to inspire action and overall quality. Greater preference will also be given to proposals offering perspectives from partners involved in the topic, process or concept being submitted. If accepted, PLA will work with you to finalize the session details for the purpose of convention marketing.

Note: Proposals will be reviewed as they come in, thus more concerted consideration will be given to those submitted early. We may ask some presenters with similar proposal topics to work together on a new combined session proposal.

Please direct your questions to PLA Education and Training Manager Chuck Benjamin at  

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.