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Celebrate + Protect John Day Wilderness April 5 in PDX

Join the Conservation Alliance, Filson and the Oregon Natural Desert Association to learn more about wilderness along the John Day River, and how we can protect this prized jewel of the Oregon high desert.

When: 7p.m. on April 5

Where: Filson Portland, 526 NW 13th Ave in the Pearl District

RSVP: devon@onda.org

Hope to see you all there!

 

 

Ventura Volunteers Kick Off 2010 Backyard Collectives!

In one afternoon, more than 100 volunteers at last Friday's Backyard Collective in Ventura removed nearly 4 tons of trash from Ventura River and beach — resulting in a dumpster full of waste that would have otherwise polluted the waters of hte Ventura River and the Pacific Ocean.

From Santa Barbara's KEYT Television:

You may notice the mouth of the Ventura River near the Ocean looking cleaner than usual. That's because local companies; Patagonia, Deckers outdoor and Horny Toad gave their workers Friday afternoon off in return for cleaning up the river bottom.

The trio joined forces with the Santa Barbara Channel Keepers and the Conservation Alliance and the City of Ventura to clean up the Ventura Lagoon from the beach to the Main Street bridge.

"Conservation Next" funded the event named the "Santa Barbara Ventura Backyard Cooperative". Their goal is to bring corporations and volunteers together at a grass roots level.

Check out the KEYT TV video for more from the event!

"On behalf of the community of residents, tourists, surfers and beach goers the City of Ventura staff would like to extend our thanks to the participants, the company contacts who organized their staff… To have CEO's from these three companies on-site getting dirty sends a terrific message we hope, and our staff stands ready for future collaborative efforts," said Peter Brown, the Community Services Manager at the City of Ventura.

More Backyard Collectives coming to your neck of the woods this spring and summer. Keep up the great work!

 

Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard Talks Dam Removal, Saving Nature + Ourselves

Over the weekend,Conservation Alliance co-founder and Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard, appeared on an American Express commercial for their members project with Takepart.com.

"We're part of nature, and as we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves," Yvon said in the video.

The dam that's featured is the Matilija Dam, an outdated monstrosity that sits 18 miles upstream from Patagonia HQ on a tributary of the Ventura River. With its crumbling concrete and silt filled reservoir, Matilija Dam no longer serves any beneficial purpose. Its removal would allow native Southern Steelhead trout to once again use the river to spawn, and give local beaches a much needed boost in sediments (more sand) from the steep canyons of Matilija Creek.

If successful, it would be largest dam ever removed in the United States. Yvon is clear in the video that he is a "dam buster" and said: "When you take out a dam, that's a real victory. A concrete victory so to speak."

All proceeds that Yvon receives from the commercial will be divided between five of environmental groups of his choice: Concervacion Patagonica, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Freedom to Roam Coalition, Native Fish Society and Conservation Alliance grantee Save our Wild Salmon!

Keep up the great work Yvon and Patagonia!

ConservationNEXT Brings Backyard Collectives to Ventura!

 

Next Friday, March 19, volunteers from local outdoor recreation businesses in Ventura, Calif. will get their hands dirty in an effort to clean-up the Ventura River and Surfers Point Beach. This event will kick off the 2010 Backyard Collective season!

Organized by ConservationNEXT (a program of The Conservation Alliance) with help from the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Deckers, Horny Toad and Patagonia (all Conservation Alliance members), the Backyard Collective is a roving volunteer event that brings together outdoor industry employees and Conservation Alliance grantees for a day of hands on environmental stewardship.

The CEO’s of each of the three participating companies will kick the day off before getting down to work cleaning up the beach and the river. Volunteers will be rewarded for their hard work with an after party including refreshments, music by Todd Hannigan, and food catered by Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company.

The Backyard Collectives are a great way to bring outdoor industry companies together to help with an environmental service project in their own backyard. And these types of events can make a huge difference,” said Deanna Lloyd – ConservationNEXT board member and employee at The Forest Group. “This group of volunteers will be making a significant contribution to the overall maintenance and beauty of this area.”

The event will also feature a volunteer fair at which Conservation Alliance grantees and local environmental organizations will share information on their current conservation initiatives.

The Conservation Alliance launched ConservationNEXT in August, 2008 to connect individuals in the outdoor industry with the work of organizations that receive financial support from the Alliance. ConservationNEXT provides people with opportunities to take online action in support of conservation. The Backyard Collective moves that action to the field, and helps people get their hands dirty in their own communities.

Stay tuned to learn about Backyard Collectives coming to your neck of the woods!

 

 

Grantees – check out this opportunity! Wild & Scenic Film Festival

In the spirit of Conservation Alliance's Backyard Collectives, comes another great idea for community outreach…The Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival. The annual event each January kicks-off the national tour to over 90 cities nationwide. 80% of these venues are hosted by environmental organizations who receive a grant from Patagonia to help pay for the turn-key, festival kit. The festival was started by fellow Conservation Alliance grantee, The South Yuba River Citizens League. SYRCL is now sharing their success with other grassroots groups in forming a network of host partners connected by a common goal of using film to inspire local activism! Learn more about hosting a tour venue, grant guidelines and how to apply @ http://wseff.org/grant.  Take a virtual tour of one festival venue hosted by the Access Fund at Clif Bar headquarters in Berkeley, CA.

Thanks to Susie Sutphin, Tour Manager, for this content.

Krissy Wins a Stormy One!

The Conservation Alliance's Program Associate Krissy Moehl placed first among women, and fifth overall in the Mt. Mitchell 40-miler over the weekend. Unusual snowy weather in North Carolina made the course challenging. Way to go Krissy!

Full story here.

Bill to Protect 22,000 Acres of Wilderness in Washington State Clears House Committee

Washington State is one step closer to protecting a chunk of the Cascades this week.

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act cleared the Natural Resources committee in the U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday.

If passed, the bill will protect 22,000 acres of wilderness adjoining the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and will add 10 miles of the Pratt River and 30 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the National Wild and Scenic River System.

From the Snoqualmie Valley Record:

“Protection of these spectacular rivers has so many benefits for nearby communities,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater. “With the proximity of the Pratt and Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie rivers to the major urban center of Seattle, residents of the region have unparalleled access to an abundance of recreational opportunities provided by these world-class rivers. As someone who has explored hundreds of river miles across the country and around the world, I can confidently say that we have some of the most spectacular river resources of any place in the world.

Next steps: The bill, which has strong bipartisan support, will be brought before the House and Senate for votes. When the bill passes through there, it will go on to the President to be signed in.

We'll let you know what happens!

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