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FILSON ADDS TO CONSERVATION ALLIANCE LEGACY FUND

Filson, a leading outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts, has committed $25,000 to The Conservation Alliance Legacy Fund, which the company will raise through proceeds from its annual "Seconds Sale," held at the company's Seattle distribution center.  With Filson's gift, The Conservation Alliance has raised nearly $2.7 million in contributions and commitments.  That total includes $800,000 raised after the campaign was announced at the January Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

 "We have seen the outstanding results of The Conservation Alliance's work to protect and preserve natural wildlife habitats in every corner of our country and are indebted to them for their relentless commitment," said Filson CEO Bill Kulczycki. "Given that Filson's over 100-year heritage is rooted in the outdoors, we see it as one of our primary responsibilities to also serve as stewards for a healthy environment."

The Conservation Alliance Legacy Fund is an endowment that, once fully funded, will provide a permanent source of operational funding for the organization. The Alliance launched the campaign in January with $1.9 million in initial commitments from The North Face, REI, Merrell, Dansko, Patagonia, CamelBak, and former board president Menno van Wyk.

Since January, additional commitments have come in from Eastern Mountain Sports ($500,000), Tom and Sonya Campion ($100,000), Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. ($50,000), Waypoint Outdoor ($10,000), The Forest Group ($5,000), Kirk Richardson ($5,000), and the Gracie Charitable Foundation ($25,500).

"We are honored to have Filson's support for the Legacy Fund," said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. "Conservation first took root in the U.S. because hunters and anglers recognized that healthy habitat meant healthy fish and game populations. With this gift, Filson is carrying on that tradition of protecting wild lands and rivers where fish and wildlife thrive."

The Conservation Alliance will continue to meet with member companies to solicit contributions to the Legacy Fund. At the same time, the Alliance encourages individuals in the outdoor industry to make gifts.

"With roughly $800,000 to go toward reaching our goal, we plan to pull out all the stops," said Sterling. "The Conservation Alliance is a community of companies and individuals, and we want everyone to play a role in ensuring our future."

CONSERVATION ALLIANCE LEGACY FUND CONTINUES TO GROW

Since launching the Legacy Fund Campaign in January, The Conservation Alliance has raised nearly $2.7 million in contributions and commitments. That total includes $800,000 raised after the campaign was announced at the January Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

The Conservation Alliance Legacy fund is an endowment that, once fully funded, will provide a permanent source of operational funding for the organization. The Alliance launched the campaign in January with $1.9 million in initial commitments from The North Face, REI, Merrell, Dansko, Patagonia, CamelBak, and former board president Menno van Wyk.

Since January, commitments have come in from Eastern Mountain Sports ($500,000), Tom and Sonya Campion ($100,000), Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. ($50,000), Filson ($25,000), Waypoint Outdoor ($10,000), The Forest Group ($5,000), Kirk Richardson ($5,000), Dave Knutson ($2,000), the Gracie Charitable Foundation ($25,500), and an anonymous donor ($25,000).

"With these recent commitments, we are on track to meet our $3.5-million goal by August 2009, our 20th Anniversary," said Executive Director John Sterling. "Our members have risen to a steep challenge because they want The Conservation Alliance to be a permanent force in the outdoor industry."

The Conservation Alliance was founded in 1989 as an all-volunteer organization with no operational expenses. Since adding staff in 2004, Alliance membership has more than doubled, and annual contributions to conservation projects has increased from $360,000 to $900,000.

"We've proven that with a modest investment in operations, we can make a much greater contribution to the conservation of our wild lands and rivers," said Sterling. "With the Legacy Fund, we will ensure that our members' annual dues always go into our grant fund."

The Conservation Alliance will continue to meet with member companies to solicit contributions to the Legacy Fund. At the same time, the Alliance encourages individuals in the outdoor industry to make gifts.

"With roughly $800,000 to go toward reaching our goal, we plan to pull out all the stops," said Sterling. "The Conservation Alliance is a community of companies and individuals, and we want everyone to play a role in ensuring our future."

CONSERVATION ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS

The Conservation Alliance membership elected Adam Chamberlain, Director of Marketing for Black Diamond Equipment, and Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing for Osprey Packs to serve on the Alliance board of directors.

Both Martins and Chamberlain bring a deep commitment to conservation to their new board roles. Martins has guided Osprey's regular participation in conservation efforts, and has played a key role in integrating sustainability into the company's culture and ethic.

"I am thrilled to have been chosen to serve alongside the outstanding individuals that make up the Conservation Alliance board," said Martins. "I am eager to learn and work on behalf of the incredible organizations the Alliance funds."

Chamberlain, prior to his roles at Patagonia and now at Black Diamond, spent several months surveying Nevada's public lands for potential new wilderness areas. This effort contributed to the permanent protection of the Black Rock Desert in 2001.

"Fire. The Wheel. Tang. The Conservation Alliance. Through innovative leadership that marshals the best conservation instincts of the outdoor industry, the Alliance has built tremendous momentum and a track record of partnership in the safeguarding of wild places," said Chamberlain. " I am stoked to have the opportunity to add my energy and enthusiasm to the Board's efforts."

"We are excited to have such great additions to the Alliance board," said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance executive director. "Gareth and Adam bring great passion and experience that will help guide our efforts to protect our last wild places."

A record eight people ran for the two open board seats.

"It's an honor to have such strong interest in board service," said Sterling. "It shows that conservation is an important priority for our industry."

Chamberlain and Martins will fill the seats vacated by outgoing directors Dave Knutson (Chaco) and Gary Smith (Timberland).

"Dave and Gary made enormous contributions to The Conservation Alliance during a time of spectacular growth and evolution," said Sterling. "Adam and Gareth have big shoes to fill!"

Chamberlain and Martins' two-year terms begin in August.

CONSERVATION ALLIANCE LEGACY FUND GETS BOOST FROM BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT, LTD.

Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. has committed $50,000 to The Conservation Alliance Legacy Fund. With the climbing manufacturer's gift, The Conservation Alliance has raised more than $2.6 million in contributions and commitments. That total includes $700,000 raised after the campaign was announced at the January Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

The Conservation Alliance Legacy fund is an endowment that, once fully funded, will provide a permanent source of operational funding for the organization. The Alliance launched the campaign in January with $1.9 million in initial commitments from The North Face, REI, Merrell, Dansko, Patagonia, CamelBak, and former board president Menno van Wyk.

 "Since its founding in 1989 The Conservation Alliance has proven to be an ever more important source of critical funding for local groups that are fighting for the future of the natural systems that are so integral to our humanity," said Peter Metcalf, co-founder and CEO of Black Diamond. "Black Diamond was founded, in part, for very similar reasons. It is a true pleasure for the employee owners of Black Diamond to be able to make this $50,000 pledge to the Legacy Fund."

Since January, additional commitments have come in from Eastern Mountain Sports ($500,000), Tom and Sonya Campion ($100,000), Waypoint Outdoor ($10,000), The Forest Group ($5,000) and the Gracie Charitable Foundation ($25,500).

"With these recent commitments, we are on track to meet our $3.5-million goal by August 2009, our 20th Anniversary," said Executive Director John Sterling. "Our members have risen to a steep challenge because they want The Conservation Alliance to be a permanent force in the outdoor industry."

The Conservation Alliance was founded in 1989 as an all-volunteer organization with no operational expenses. Since adding staff in 2004, Alliance membership has more than doubled, and annual contributions to conservation projects has increased from $360,000 to $900,000.

"We've proven that with a modest investment in operations, we can make a much greater contribution to the conservation of our wild lands and rivers," said Sterling. "With the Legacy Fund, we will ensure that our members' annual dues always go into our grant fund."

The Conservation Alliance will continue to meet with member companies to solicit contributions to the Legacy Fund. At the same time, the Alliance encourages individuals in the outdoor industry to make gifts.

"With roughly $900,000 to go toward reaching our goal, we plan to pull out all the stops," said Sterling. "The Conservation Alliance is a community of companies and individuals, and we want everyone to play a role in ensuring our future."

CONSERVATION ALLIANCE WORKS WITH MSN TO PROMOTE MEMBER COMPANIES

The Conservation Alliance launched a new initiative this week, with MSN, to draw attention to Alliance member companies for their collective effort to protect wild lands and waterways throughout North America.

MSN Green (http://green.msn.com/) now features a full page about The Conservation Alliance. The page provides links to each manufacturer and retailer in the membership, and encourages readers to support those companies.

"We are always working to raise awareness of the significant commitment our member companies have made to saving special wild places," said Krissy Moehl, Program Associate at The Conservation Alliance, who orchestrated the project. "We're thrilled that MSN recognizes that our collective effort is meaningful."

To view The Conservation Alliance page on MSN Green, please click http://green.msn.com/Shopping/shop.aspx?sid=406.

CONSERVATION ALLIANCE TO LAUNCH ONLINE CONSERVATION COMMUNITY AND SOCAIL NETWORKING SITE

The Conservation Alliance will launch a new initiative called ConservationNEXT, which is designed to give individuals in the outdoor industry the opportunity to engage with Conservation Alliance grantees, and provide a place to connect with each other on-line. The ConservationNEXT site will officially go live on August 8, 2008 at the Outdoor Retailer show. Conservationnext.com will be the focal point of the Alliance’s effort to encourage individual involvement in conservation efforts. Conservation NEXT was inspired by a challenge posed by writer Terry Tempest Williams, who spoke at a Conservation Alliance event in 2007. She asked all members of the crowd to consider, “What are you doing to continue the legacy of conservation?” A group of five committed people answered Williams’ call to action, and founded ConservationNext, dedicated to creating the next generation of environmental stewards.  “ConservationNEXT will let us build a community of people within the outdoor industry who want to become more actively involved in the work of The Conservation Alliance and our grantees,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “This is a beautiful example of how a small group of passionate advocates can widen the concern of their hearts in the name of all that is wild,” said Williams after hearing about the response to her challenge. “The next generation of leaders is now ConservationNEXT. They inspire me and I know they will inspire others. I cannot wait to see how they will take their concerns and put them into creative actions on behalf of America's wildlands.” “I remember wanting to but not knowing how to get more involved in conservation, and The Conservation Alliance,” recalled Brook Shinsky, ConservationNEXT board member and Visual Merchandising Coordinator at The North Face. “ConservationNEXT lets everyone contribute and participate.” People who join the online community – NEXTers – will create personal profiles highlighting their conservation commitments. The site will also feature profiles of Conservation Alliance grantees, which will provide updates and action alerts designed to keep the community more engaged in their work. A blog hosted by leaders in the conservation movement will add daily news and opinion to the content mix.  “Social networking offers a new channel of communication, a platform for activism, and it provides a virtual meeting space,” said Teva Global Promotions Manager and ConservationNEXT board member Liz Ferrin.  “It’s the new word of mouth – you can hear from 100 friends at once about what’s inspiring them, and what’s new and notable in their communities. Conservation NEXT will be a direct and continuous line of communication between outdoor industry professionals, focused around conservation.” To officially launch the site, ConservationNEXT will host a Booth Crawl at the OR show on Saturday, August 9. Roving happy hour revelers will meet at Osprey at 4 PM to pick up mugs and t-shirts, and share a conservation resolution. They will move to CamelBak and Patagonia at 4:30 PM, to Teva at 5 PM, and roll into The North Face at 5:30 PM. Each booth will host a different Conservation Alliance grantee, which will ask participants to take action at the booth to help their cause.  “The potential for ConservationNEXT to involve a significant number of people both on-line and in-the-field in conservation projects is great,” said ConservationNEXT board member Berne Broudy, Green Editor at Backpacker Magazine. “Between the boundless energy of this board, and the nature of viral marketing, the impacts of this initiative could be bigger than any of us foresee.”  Additional ConservationNEXT founding board members include: Deanna Kavanaugh-Jones from The Forest Group, and Krissy Moehl from The Conservation Alliance. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated core of volunteers bringing ConservationNEXT to life,” said Sterling. “We’re excited to watch the community grow, and bring more voices to bear on the important conservation issues we face.” For more information, please visit conservationnext.com, or contact Krissy Moehl, krissy@conservationalliance.com, (541) 389-2424.  About the Conservation Alliance:The Conservation Alliance is an organization of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas. Membership in the Alliance is open to companies representing all aspects of the outdoor industry, including manufacturers, retailers, publishers, mills and sales representatives. The result is a diverse group of businesses whose livelihood depends on protecting our natural environment. Since its inception in 1989, the Alliance has contributed more than $6.5 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 39 million acres of wildlands; 26 dams have either been stopped or removed; and the group helped preserve access to more than 16,000 miles of waterways and several climbing areas.  

For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com

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