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Washington Wilderness: Our Common Heritage

Client and Objective
In Washington, some 3 million acres of pristine public land are not protected as Wilderness, and could be logged, mined, grazed, or cut up by off-road vehicle use. The Wild Washington Campaign, made up of 40 conservation and outdoor organizations, wanted to build a diverse support base for protecting these remaining pristine areas. The organizations needed a way to cross the rural/urban divide and reach soccer moms in Seattle as well as rural residents in eastern Washington. These supporters would get involved in the Campaign, if only they knew what was at stake.

Solution:
The Wild Washington Campaign asked Green Fire to partner with them to produce an effective outreach video program that would help them reach these audiences. Green Fire created a program that highlighted the values people on both sides of the state associate with wilderness protection: clean water, open space, a legacy for our children, and spiritual connections. The program features conservative opinion leaders from rural Washington. Green Fire determined that this would have the strongest impact on viewers, and motivate them to lend their support to protecting Washington’s wild areas as Wilderness.

Results:
Since its completion in 1998, more than 4,000 copies of Washington Wilderness are in use across the state. Thousands of public presentations have been made to business leaders, community groups, congressional staff and representatives, and reporters. The video program is helping the Campaign build the diverse support it needs to move ahead with wilderness protection.

John Leary, the Campaign’s director was involved throughout the production process. He says, "One of Green Fire’s most impressive traits is their commitment to the art of grassroots organizing and their understanding of how communication tools must fit a campaign’s goal, strategy, and target audiences. They helped us focus on message and to identify most appropriate spokespersons for our target audience."

"At a recent Rotary presentation the pillars of society were there, leaders in the business and civic community, very conservative audience. I showed the video, and it is ‘bullet proof’ with this crowd. It’s very versatile. It can be used just as easily to talk to Seattle soccer moms, or retired people in Yakima, or a resident in Spokane. And that’s very important." — Jon Owen, Wild Washington Campaign.

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