Songscape: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

October 14-18, 2017

Song Release: January 1, 2018

Listen on Spotify! Purchase on Bandcamp!

Read in Southwest: The Magazine!

Our latest Songscape features indie rock artist, Conner Youngblood, at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. The refuge, one of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's 500+ national wildlife refuges, is a bird paradise just outside of Salt Lake City.


Youngblood stayed at the refuge October 14-18, working to create a new song inspired by his experiences and the beauty of the landscape. We've shot a music video, recorded the song, and will share it with the world on January 1, 2018! We hope to generate new audiences for public lands through Songscapes, to ensure that people value public lands and keep them public forever. These are OUR lands.

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Conner Youngblood

From growing up in Dallas, wrestling at Yale, and eventually moving to Nashville, music has always been a big part of Conner’s life. Influenced early on by artists like Elliott Smith, Gorillaz and Sufjan Stevens, Conner’s music focuses on the beauty in intricate instrumentation, simplicity in song structure, and mostly introspective lyrics.

Sustain is delighted to work with Conner- we first came across his music through a music video of him skateboarding alongside Badlands National Park. Clearly this was someone who cared about public lands! And his music drew us right in. A perfect combination for a Songscape artist. His passion for the outdoors and his talents created a stunning Bear River-inspired song that hooks people in, and gets people excited about public lands.

Conner Youngblood regularly tours across the world. Tickets and schedule through:


Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Bear River MBR is one of the over 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System - a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. The Refuge and other wetlands associated with the Great Salt Lake provide critical habitat for migrating birds, over 250 species moving through this area annually by the millions to rest and feed.  As part of the Bear River Bay, the Refuge is designated as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site, a globally important shorebird area.

Today, Bear River MBR contains nearly 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, uplands, and alkali mudflats. The Refuge is an excellent place to observe wildlife along a 12-mile auto tour route, as well as enjoying hunting, fishing and wildlife photography. Learn more at


The Songscape Project

Conner was immersed in all that Bear River MBR has to offer- birding, air boating, fishing, and more. Guided by the refuge's excellent staff, he learned about the refuge's ecology and history. Youngblood turned those experiences into fodder for a new song, inspired by the refuge. Holler Films shot a music video, Youngblood recorded the song, and we released the song for the New Year. We're super excited to have Southwest: The Magazine covering the story in their January 2018 issue. That's 6.3 million readers that will hear about this Songscape!

Sales of the song help support Sustain, Youngblood, and the Friends of Bear River MBR. Songscape partners are working hard to get the word out about the beauty and value of the refuge. Public lands are under attack, especially in Utah, and Songscapes craft emotional connections between listeners and lands. Getting people to care about and value Bear River MBR, will help ensure it's public land forever, as it was meant to be.

Purchase & Support!

Like a flood you come and go
You’re south of Idaho

Where your river starts to flow
Unsure I’ll ever know

Flood come and go
I’m just north of New Mexico

Some things I’ll never know ((Through the reeds and the rush
Am I asking too much?))

Our Partners

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Bear River MBR is under the jurisdiction of the USFWS Mountain-Prairie Region, which covers 8 states and a few of our nation's greatest rivers, like the Colorado and Missouri, and greatest landscapes. In fact, the regions contain some of the largest intact and connected ecosystems left in the Lower 48! In order to make sure the landscapes support wildlife, the Region engages in collaborative conservation projects with local communities, nonprofits, tribes, and ranchers. Sustain is honored to be counted among these partners.

Our Sponsors

Great Salt Lake Audubon, the oldest conservation organization in Utah, awarded Sustain their highest grant to support Songscape: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge! GSLA is dedicated to protecting and enhancing habitat for wild birds, animals and plants, and to maintaining healthy and diverse environments for wildlife and people throughout Utah. We're very grateful for their generous support. Visit them at:

KÜHL has generously donated two Spyfire jackets to help us raise money for this Songscape! We raised $450 through our Crowdfunder and awarded two jackets to donors.

At KÜHL®, the passion remains to get outdoors and have fun. KÜHL® is what it means to be comfortable and relaxed in the challenging environment of life and sport. KÜHL® means creating the best environment for you and knowing the importance of following your own beliefs and desires. For KÜHL®, this dedication to original thinking translates into excellence in design and exceptional construction.

Press & Articles

Southwest: The Magazine's Cover Story: Wild Idea

Utah Public Radio: A Dynamic Duo

Audubon Magazine: Check Out Conner Youngblood's...

Audubon Society: If the Marshes and Mudflats...

Partners in the Sage: Partnership Uses Music...

Our Blog Article Covering the Release: HERE

Sustain's Songscape Kickoff and Visit Blog Post: HERE

Our Blog Announcement: HERE

Music Video Release Press Release for Download

Project Announcement Press Release for Download


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MTV TRL Morning Bop Top 5

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