The Bureau of Land Management and Sierra Club Mission Outdoors ask veterans, active duty military, and their families to tell us what the public lands mean to them.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Sierra Club share a commitment to enhancing the conservation of our nation’s public lands and resources.  Our organizations further share a commitment to providing our country’s veterans, active-duty military, and military families with opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beautiful public lands that they have sacrificed to defend.  

The “What my public lands mean to me” contest provides veteran and active military communities with an opportunity to share their experiences on those public lands. 

Have the public lands provided you with relaxation, solace, or adventure?  Have the lands offered a place for healing or rehabilitation?  Or have the public lands been a place to enjoy time with family and friends?  Share your story, through text, photo, or video, and encourage others to experience our nation’s great outdoors.

Questions?  Email us at 

View full rules

How to enter

To enter the challenge, you will first need to create an account at or log in with an existing account.

On the challenge homepage, click Accept this challenge to register your interest in participating. This step ensures that you will receive important challenge updates.

Who can submit a story?

Veterans, active duty military, and military families can submit a story.
• We welcome submissions from the children of veterans and active duty military; however, a parent or legal guardian must approve submissions from minors (under 18 years-of-age).
• BLM and Sierra Club employees in the veteran or military community can submit stories, and those stories may be shared on social media. BLM and Sierra Club employees and their family members are not eligible to win the contest or prizes.

The contest description says story and photo-essay contest.  What does that mean?  What should I submit?

We created this contest with individual experiences as well as unique talents and means of expression in mind.  You can “tell” your story through:
• Photographs and art;
• Video;
• Personal essay and other creative writing; or
• A combination of the above.

Are there any requirements or parameters for my photos, art, video or writing?

While we encourage creativity, we have a few do’s and don’ts.

• Submit photos that are jpg or tiff - in high resolution format if possible but in no larger than 5 megabytes.
• Post your video to a YouTube, Vimeo, or other public video site, and then add the web link on the submission form.  Do not upload the actual video. 
• Keep copies of your original work as the submissions will not be returned.
• Submit your own work.You should have the rights to that work.  If you include a photo / video of yourself or your family taken by another person, you must have the permission of the individual to use the photo / video.  You are responsible for securing that permission.

• Include photos or videos of minors without permission. If you include photos or video of minors (individuals under 18 years-of-age), you must be the parent or legal guardian of the minor or have permission from the parent or legal guardian.  You are responsible for securing that permission, and the form is below.
• Submit obscene, illicit, or illegal material.

Do have fun and stay safe as you prepare your public lands story!

Is there anything else that I should know?

Just one more thing...

You must email some completed forms to .  These forms are:


BLM/Sierra Club Panel

BLM/Sierra Club Panel

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity
  • Passion
  • Technical ability
  • Public vote