Public Lands Organizations Guide 2023

There are dozens of outdoor recreation, wildlife, and land conservation organizations and public lands agencies that protect, enhance, and help manage Inland Northwest public lands. They work to protect and maintain trails and other recreation destinations, wildlife, and natural resources. Find one or more that strike a chord with you and support them and our public lands!


Mountain Bike Trail Organizations

These organizations build and maintain Inland Northwest mountain bike trails with volunteers, and they advocate for mountain biking access on public lands. Help them clear some trails and dig some dirt or make a donation.

Evergreen East (Spokane, Wash.)

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance – Central Chapter (Central Wash.)

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance – Methow Chapter (Methow Valley, Wash.)

Kootenay Columbia Trail Society (Rossland, B.C.)

Lake City Trail Alliance (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)

Moscow Area Mountain Bike Association (Moscow, Idaho)

Pend Oreille Pedalers (Sandpoint, Idaho)

Hiking/Backcountry Trail Groups

Hiking and backcountry trail organizations help remove downed trees and maintain trails near major towns and in backcountry areas for hikers, equestrians, trail runners, and mountain bikers with a mostly volunteer work force. They are also often involved in the creation of new hiking trails. Lend a hand and give back to our trails!

Backcountry Horsemen Inland Empire Chapter (Spokane, Wash.)

Idaho Trails Association (North Idaho)

Methow Trails (Winthrop, Wash.)

Pacific Northwest Trail Association (Northeast WA / North Idaho / Western Montana)

Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation (Missoula, Mont.)

Wallowa Mountains Hells Canyon Trails Association (Wallowa County, Ore.)

Washington Trails Association (Spokane, Wash.)

Biking / Walking Path & Rail Trail Groups

These organizations look after our region’s incredible, long paved pathways, gravel trails and rail trails and help raise funds for improvements, maintenance, and expansions.

Ferry County Rail Trail Partners (Malo, Wash.)

Friends of the Centennial Trail (Spokane, Wash.)

Friends of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes (Wallace, Idaho)

North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)

Palouse to Cascades Trail Coalition (Spokane, Wash.)

Outdoor Clubs

These clubs don’t just climb, hike, and ride on our public lands and trails; they give back to the places where they play with hours of volunteering. Some of them provide invaluable outdoor education experiences as well.

Bower Climbing Coalition (Spokane, Wash.)

Inland Northwest Hikers

Northwest Whitewater Association (Spokane, Wash.)

Spokane Bicycle Club (Spokane, Wash.)

Spokane Mountaineers (Spokane, Wash.)

Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club (Spokane, Wash.)

SheJumps Eastern Washington & North Idaho

College/University Outdoor Programs

Eastern Washington University’s EPIC Adventures (Cheney, Wash.)

Gonzaga University’s Outdoor Pursuits (Spokane, Wash.)

North Idaho College Outdoor Pursuits (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)

University of Idaho Outdoor Program (Moscow, Idaho)

Whitworth University’s Whitworth Outdoors (Spokane, Wash.)


Land Trusts

These non-profit organizations help private landowners protect their rural farms and forests from future development with conservation easements. Some land trusts also raise funds to help purchase private land for wildlife, recreation access, and open space that they either manage themselves or transfer to public lands agencies. Support your local land trust!

Chewelah Valley Land Trust (Chewelah, Wash.)

Dishman Hills Conservancy (Spokane Valley, Wash.)

Inland Northwest Land Conservancy (Spokane, Wash.)

Kaniksu Land Trust (Sandpoint, Idaho)

Palouse Land Trust (Moscow, Idaho)

Parks/Natural Area Advocacy

Our city, county, and regional parks and natural areas don’t always have the funding needed to take care of all of the trail and park maintenance and programs. These organizations help fill that gap by raising funds and providing volunteer labor. Some even advocate on behalf of the parks, access, and wildlife.

Spokane Parks Foundation (Spokane, Wash.)

Friends of the Bluff (Spokane, Wash.)

Friends of the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge (Colville, Wash.)

Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley (Spokane, Wash.)

Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail (Sandpoint, Idaho)

Friends of Tubbs Hill (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)

Friends of Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge (Cheney, Wash.)

Riverside State Park Foundation (Spokane, Wash.)

Photo Courtesy INLC

Wildlife/Wildlands/River & Lake Conservation Groups

These non-profit organizations turn donations and volunteer time from people like you into advocacy and education for our region’s amazing public lands, wildlife, lakes and rivers. Find ones that advocate for your favorite places or critters and support them.

Spokane Audubon Society (Spokane, Wash.)

Mission: Advocate for birds and their habitats in the Inland Northwest and connect people with nature.

Conservation Northwest (staff across Washington)

Mission: Connect the big landscapes, restore iconic wildlife, and protect our natural heritage for future generations, from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies.

Friends of the Clearwater (Moscow, Idaho)

Mission: Protect the public wildlands and rivers in the Clearwater Basin of North Central Idaho through grassroots organizing, education, advocacy, and litigation.

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness (Sandpoint, Idaho)

Mission: To make sure the rugged Scotchman Peaks roadless lands along the Idaho-Montana border are kept wild forever. 

Greater Hells Canyon Council (La Grande, Ore.)

Mission: To connect, protect, and restore the wild lands, waters, native species, and habitats of the Greater Hells Canyon Region.

Idaho Conservation League (Sandpoint, Idaho)

Mission: To create pragmatic, enduring solutions that protect and restore Idaho’s air, water, land, and wildlife.

Idaho Rivers United (Boise, Idaho)

Mission: To protect and restore the rivers of Idaho.

Kettle Range Conservation Group (Republic, Wash.)

Mission: To defend wilderness, protect biodiversity, and restore ecosystems of the Columbia River Basin.

Kootenai Environmental Alliance (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)

Mission: To conserve, protect and restore the environment of the Idaho Panhandle and the Coeur d’Alene basin.

Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment (Lapwai, Idaho)

Mission: To facilitate and organize tribal youth and adults in activities for the protection, enhancement, and promotion of mother earth and the Nimiipuu culture.

Okanogan Highlands Alliance (Tonasket, Wash.)

Mission: Encourage and support education and public participation in decisions involving our community and environment. 

Rock Creek Alliance (Sandpoint, Idaho)

Mission: To protect the water quality of the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Watershed, and to protect the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area from the proposed Rock Creek Mine.

Save Our Wild Salmon (Spokane, Wash.)

Mission: To protect and restore abundant, self-sustaining fishable populations of salmon and steelhead to the Columbia-Snake River Basin for the benefit of people and ecosystems.

Selkirk Conservation Alliance (Priest River, Idaho)

Mission: Engage the public in southern Selkirk resource and land management issues through cooperation, scientific inquiry, education, and economic diversity.

Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited (Spokane, Wash.)

Mission: To fix rivers and streams, bring people together, and make waters and communities more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Spokane River Forum (Spokane, Wash.)

Mission: To create materials, events and activities that promote regional dialogues for sustaining a healthy river system while meeting the needs of a growing population.

Spokane Riverkeeper (Spokane, Wash.)

Mission: To protect the river’s ecological health, vibrancy, and aesthetic integrity, as well as the healthy connections that communities have to the river now and into the future.

The Lands Council (Spokane, Wash.)

Mission: To preserve and revitalize Inland Northwest forests, water, and wildlife through advocacy, education, effective action, and community engagement.

Washington Native Plant Society (Eastern Washington Chapter)

Mission: To promote the appreciation and conservation of Washington’s native plants and their habitats through study, education, and advocacy.

Hunting & Fishing Wildlife Conservation Groups

These conservation organizations, largely made up of hunters and anglers, have an active presence in the Inland Northwest. All help with fish and wildlife habitat conservation projects on the ground and advocate on behalf of public lands, wildlife, and responsible hunting and fishing policy.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (state chapters and active local members throughout the Inland NW)

Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club (Spokane, Wash.)

Inland NW Wildlife Council (Spokane, Wash.)

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (nation-wide with local fundraisers and habitat projects)

Spokane Fly Fishers (Spokane, Wash.)

Photo Courtesy Derrick Knowles

So, Whose Land Is It?

It can be super confusing to answer that question when you’re out there trying to explore your public lands. Fortunately, there are a few good websites and apps to help navigate this question:

Editor’s note: To be a part of the 2024 Out There Outdoors Public Lands issue, contact us at

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