A group of four Conservation Alliance members traveled to Washington DC to talk to members of Congress about the importance of securing new Wilderness designations in Rocky Mountain National Park and elsewhere in Colorado.

Representatives from Chaco, GoLite, Outdoor Industry Association, and The Conservation Alliance spent two days in meetings with 14 Congressional offices to show support for legislation that would protect 250,000 acres of federal land within the iconic park as Wilderness. The group also voiced support for efforts to protect 20,000 acres along the Arkansas River in central Colorado, and 150,000 acres in the Dominguez Canyon region of western Colorado.

The Conservation Alliance organized the trip in conjunction with the Colorado Environmental Coalition (CEC) ( a recent Conservation Alliance grant recipient.

“When possible, we like to supplement our financial support with on-the-ground advocacy,” said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. “Our member companies recognize the value of protecting wild places for non-motorized use.”

Conservationists in Colorado have been working for more than 30 years to protect Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness. More recent campaigns have grown around protecting Brown’s and Dominguez Canyons.

“Rocky Mountain National Park is an iconic wildland that deserves the highest level of federal protection,” said Sterling.

The Conservation Alliance has 25 member companies based in Colorado, most of which have endorsed protection for these three areas. “Colorado is a mecca for the outdoor industry, and our members there want to leave a lasting legacy in the state,” Sterling said.

Trip participants included Brian Scranton (Chaco), Colin True (GoLite), Amy Roberts (Outdoor Industry Association), and Sterling.


The Conservation Alliance sent checks totaling $400,000 to 17 organizations working to protect wild places throughout North America. The donations marked the Alliance’s final disbursal of funding for 2007, and represent the largest single funding round in the organization’s history. The Alliance has invested $800,000 in conservation projects in 2007, and this round brings total giving to $6 million since the organization’s founding in 1989

By a vote of the group’s 147 member companies, The Conservation Alliance made donations to 17 grassroots conservation organizations as follows:

Organization (Location)     Amount
1. Adirondack Mountain Club (Lake George, NY)   $20,000
2. Alaska Wilderness League (Washington, DC)    $30,000
3. Appalachian Trail Conservancy (Harpers Ferry, WV)  $30,000
4. California Trout (San Francisco, CA)    $15,000
5. Clayoquot Solutions Steering Committee (Vancouver, BC) $20,000
6. Colorado Environmental Coalition (Denver, CO)  $30,000
7. Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (Warren, PA)   $25,000  
8. Friends of the River (Sacramento, CA)   $20,000
9. Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center (Ashland, OR)  $20,000
10. Montana Wilderness Association (Helena, MT)  $30,000
11. Nevada Wilderness Project (Reno, NV)   $20,000
12. Oregon Wild (Portland, OR)    $30,000
13. Save Our Wild Salmon (Seattle, WA)   $30,000
14. Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project (Asheville, NC) $20,000
15. The Wilderness Society of Idaho (Boise, ID)   $15,000
16. Utah Rivers Council (Salt Lake City, UT)   $30,000
17. Western Colorado Congress (Grand Junction, CO)  $15,000
      Total $400,000

“With these grants, outdoor industry companies have made an important investment in their future,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “Protected wild places are good for outdoor business.”

This round of grant recipients reflects the geographic distribution of Conservation Alliance members. Conservation Alliance funds will support efforts to: secure new wilderness designations in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Idaho; protect wild rivers in California, Utah and Oregon; improve off-road vehicle regulations in the Adirondacks; establish a new National Scenic Area in North Carolina; and protect spectacular ancient forests in Canada.

“Our members continue to identify an amazing array of conservation projects,” said Sterling.

This is the final grant disbursement The Conservation Alliance will make in 2007, bringing the year’s total to $800,000. The Alliance also surpassed $6 million in total giving since founding in 1989.

“For nearly 20 years, our member companies have demonstrated their commitment to protecting wild lands and rivers for their recreation and habitat values,” said Sterling. “We will continue to show that commitment.”


1. Adirondack Mountain Club (Lake George, NY): Save the Trails Campaign to limit the expansion of snowmobile and ATV use on hiking trails in the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
2. Alaska Wilderness League (Washington, DC): Protect America’s Arctic Campaign to protect wildlands in America’s Arctic from oil development.
3. Appalachian Trail Conservancy (Harpers Ferry, WV): Rocky Fork Tract Acquisition to purchase a pristine 10,000-acre wildland adjacent to Wilderness and roadless areas in Tennessee.
4. California Trout (San Francisco, CA): Klamath Dam Removal Campaign to restore salmon poplulations by removing four dams on the Klamath River in Northern California.
5. Clayoquot Solutions Steering Committee (Vancouver, BC): Ancient Rainforest Campaign to protect 148,000 acres of rainforest in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia.
6.  Colorado Environmental Coalition (Denver, CO): Colorado Wilderness Campaign to protect wildlands in Rocky Mountain National Park, Brown’s Canyon, and the Lower Gunnison River area.
7. Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (Warren, PA): Pennsylvania Wilderness Campaign to secure Wilderness protection for 55,000 acres in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest.
8. Friends of the River (Sacramento, CA): California Wild Rivers Campaign to protect more than 300 miles of rivers and streams in California.
9. Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center (Ashland, OR): Wild Rogue Campaign to protect 103 miles of river and 58,000 acres of Wilderness in Oregon’s Rogue River watershed.
10. Montana Wilderness Association (Helena, MT): Beaverhead-Deerlodge Wilderness Campaign to permanently protect 570,000 acres of public land in Montana.
11. Nevada Wilderness Project (Reno, NV): Desert National Wildlife Refuge Campaign to secure Wilderness protection for Nevada’s Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
12. Oregon Wild (Portland, OR): Mt. Hood Wilderness Campaign to protect 128,000 acres of wildlands and 81 miles of rivers on Oregon’s Mt. Hood.
13. Save Our Wild Salmon (Seattle, WA): Columbia and Snake Rivers Campaign to restore wild salmon populations in the Columbia Basin by removing four dams on Idaho’s lower Snake River.
14. Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project (Asheville, NC): Grandfather National Scenic Area Campaign to permanently protect 25,000 acres in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest.
15. The Wilderness Society-Idaho (Boise, ID): Owyhee Initiative Campaign to protect 500,000 acres of Wilderness and 300 miles of rivers in Idaho’s Owyhee Canyonlands.
16. Utah Rivers Council (Salt Lake City, UT): Wild and Scenic Rivers Utah Campaign to protect dozens of rivers in Utah under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
17. Western Colorado Congress (Grand Junction, CO): Greater Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Campaign to permanently protect 160,000 acres of public land in west-central Colorado.

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