In just two weeks, we’ll be gathering in Lander to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wyoming Outdoor Council. Whether you’re making plans to join us both days (Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23) or simply stopping in for a workshop or two, we’re excited to see you there!

As we get closer to the date of the celebration, here are five features we’re feeling particularly delighted to share more information about:

Award-winning artist Bethann Merkle


1. The opportunity to be “Drawn to the Outdoors” through a two-part workshop series.

We’re thrilled to feature Bethann Merkle, an award-winning artist who uses her work to communicate important messages about conservation, in our Citizen Advocacy Summit. Not only does Bethann create “quirky-yet-elegant” illustrations to improve scientific literacy and encourage advocacy, but she’s also passionate about helping even the most novice of artists unlock their inner illustrator. During her two workshop sessions on Saturday (“Drawn to the Outdoors Part I: Field Journal and Observational Sketching Basics” from 10 a.m.–12 p.m., and “Drawn to the Outdoors Part II: Field Journaling on Red Butte” from 1–4 p.m.), you’ll receive a professional-quality, field-ready sketching kit, learn how to use it, then put your new skills directly to work on location as you venture out onto Lander’s iconic Red Butte. Space is limited; register today!



2. You can join in and help create a community mural.

During Friday night’s concert in City Park, local artist Virginia Moore will be creating a stunning mural… and she’ll need everyone’s help to complete it! The mural, representing the Outdoor Council’s values and depicting our work over the past 50 years, will be facilitated by Virginia, making it easy for all ages to participate. Paint and brushes will be provided! Come and be part of creating a special piece of history in our community.


3. The live and silent auctions offer the chance to win incredible, one-of-a-kind items and experiences.

Ranging from a full-day fishing adventure with Sweetwater Fishing Expeditions, to stunning original artwork (including pieces by Laney Hicks, Fred Kingwell and Virginia Moore), to a curated collection of western-themed books (written by 12 Wyoming authors, including Jeffrey Lockwood, Robert Kelly and Mary Beth Baptiste) our auctions offer items for every taste. Some of the most unique items up for bid include:


A hand-carved canoe paddle by Lander artist Tim Hudson; a one-week stay at a luxury Granite Ridge home in Jackson Hole’s Teton Village; and a four-night stay for four people at the HF Bar Ranch, a guest ranch where a slow pace is the norm and adventures in horseback riding, fly fishing, and hiking await.


4. We will be presenting a conservation award to Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia

Patagonia has been one of the most vocal for-profit companies in the preservation of public lands, and we’re honored to be able to present Chouinard with this award for his work. The ceremony, which will feature two additional conservation award presentations, will take place during the harvest dinner (a locally sourced spread prepared by Lander’s Cowfish restaurant) on Saturday, September 23. We’d love for you to join us in applauding Chouinard’s efforts to help protect the public lands we love. Reserve your tickets now for the award ceremony, the dinner, and the keynote address!





5. Friday night will mark the final performance of the Jalan Crossland Band.

Jalan Crossland of the Jalan Crossland Band

One of Wyoming’s most beloved home-grown bands will be taking the stage one last time on Friday, September 22, in Lander’s City Park. Settle in with your favorite chairs or blankets for a night of rollicking tunes, and be part of a crowd the band will surely never forget.








The five features above are just a curated selection taken from a full schedule of fantastic experiences we cannot wait to share with you during this weekend-long celebration in Lander. We invite you to join us in celebrating 50 years of keeping the best parts of Wyoming wild and wonderful, just as they were made to be, and learning how we can best ensure this critical work will continue for years to come.

Tickets for our 50th Anniversary Celebration and Citizen Advocacy Summit are on sale now at https://woc50th.splashthat.com, and workshop spaces are filling up fast! Sign up today to reserve your spot.

For a complete list of the weekend’s events, visit https://wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/about/50-years/.



Community Engagement Director