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Conservation Stories: Nau’s 2010 Grant For Change Grantee

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. This week we're taking a look at what Nau is up to with the recent announcement of their choice for this year's Grant for Change.

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It is a difficult word to define, let alone execute with change-making results. It requires intent, insight, attention to detail. It asks for deeper thought around functionality, necessity, purpose and accessibility. Design has the power to change the way we interact with the world.

With this year’s Grant for Change we asked you to share your designs, but first, we negotiated the criteria. We asked for designs that instigate positive change. We asked for designs that address the world’s greatest challenges, and challenge assumptions about the way even the most basic things are done. We asked for design that is replicable, creative, compelling and effective.

After six weeks of open nominations, 124 nominees, an exciting voting period, support from hundreds of communities, interviews with our ten finalists, and much deliberation, we are excited to announce our second annual $10,000 Grant for Change Grantees:

Congratulations to Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney and their project Truck Farm.

Grandpa’s old pickup truck, turned mobile garden, has turned heads from Northern Massachusetts to Washington DC, and with it comes a humorous and edgy spin to the conversation around food.

It has inspired the creation of over 60 (and counting) food gardens in new and unusual places. Its course has been recorded with pictures and sound, culminating in a documentary film that is now rolling its way into the film festival circuit.

On the ground, the truck itself instigates awareness, offering a tangible, and remarkably simple, example of design as a tool for positive change; when the farm moves, it reminds us that we do not need a static plot of land to grow our own food.

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To read more about Grant for Change and watch a video on Truck Farm, head on over to the Nau blog

 

Want Offshore Drilling to Do Something Good? Support Full Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

 

Where exactly does big oil money go? In some cases, it's destined for positive causes, like with the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The idea behind this fund was simple: take some of the wealth from offshore drilling and reinvest it in conservation and recreation. Seems like a simple and smart idea doesn't it? Created in 1965, the idea was for Congress to reinvest up to $900 million in the LWCF per year. If you think of the billions of dollars that the oil industry is responsible for every year, that's a small percentage.

Despite being chronically underfunded, the LWCF is still the most effective funding mechanism available to Congress to expand and improve opportunities for human-powered outdoor pursuits, including snowshoing, Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing and backcountry snowboarding, that CA grantee Winter Wildlands works so hard to support and protect. Now you might be busy being all-consumed by the summer months, but enjoying these seasonal activities requires year-round action, and if you spend anytime outdoors you know that some of the best winter spots are also the best summer spots (take the headwaters of the Yellowstone River pictured above, a place that's benefited from the LWCF).

In fact, the LWCF not only helps enhance National Parks, Forests, National Trails and Wild and Scenic Rivers, but also helps establish close-to-home open space, parks and recreation facilities in every U.S. state.  All together, more than 40,000 projects have been successfully completed through the fund, providing new and improved outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans.

So what can you do? Take action and tell your Senators and Representatives to support the LWCF, and put some of those offshore drilling profits to good use. Just click here

In the midst of the BP oil spill it's important to remember that we all need to work together to find ways to move forward, and supporting the LWCF is one of them.

Conservation Stories: Keen and Elements Tour Celebrating Nature’s Playgrounds

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. This week we're taking a look at what Keen's currently up to.

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Stop #2 on the Playgrounds Re-imagined Tour took the Elements Crew and Baby (the red fire truck that runs off vegetable oil) to Jackson Hole and Driggs, otherwise known as Wydaho. Playgrounds Re-imagined celebrates natures playgrounds in order to inspire others to get out and use them, and to take an active role in protecting them for future generations. The tour is visiting 10 cities across the western US. Learn more at www.elementstour.com.

 

To kick of the weekend, Baby made her third annual visit to the Tetons Science Schools outside of Jackson Hole, WY.

In support of the Snake River Fund’s Proposition 8, KEEN Retailer Rendezvous River Sports and The Elements Tour took part in an awareness campaign at the Wilson Bridge put-in to celebrate river usage and conservation.

To check out more photos, hop on over to the Keen blog.

 

Keep it Wild! Take Action at Summer Outdoor Retailer!

To get wild in the outdoors, we all know, we've got to take action to keep it wild! So at this summer's Outdoor Retailer, we're dedicating one entire day to just that.
 
Keep It Wild Day!
 
Pick up your action passport at the Conservation Alliance breakfast on Wednesday, August 4th and then make sure to stop by eight member company booths (see below) to take action on behalf of a Conservation Alliance grantee. And if you need more inspiration to take action, you'll have your Keep It Wild passport stamped and be entered to win a fabulous prize package at the end of the day.
 
We'll pick the winners from the Keep It Wild Day of Action at the wild Keen finale party from 4:30 to 6p.m. Make sure to swing by to celebrate all the hard work of our grantees and boogie to the sweet beats of the Outdoor Industry All-Star Band!

Grantee Weekly Grind: Washington Climbers Coalition One Step Closer to Protecting Lower Index Town Wall

The Washington Climbers Coalition is one step closer to protecting what is arguably the state's best climbing crag. Proposed granite quarrying last year threatened the Lower Town Wall rallying climbers from all over the country to save it. The Conservation Alliance supported this acquisition with a $15,000 grant in April, 2010.

From the Access Fund:

In the spring of 2009, the Access Fund loaned the WCC $15,000 [now paid off] to secure an 18-month option agreement to protect the Lower Index Town Wall and surrounding crags from a quarrying operation. The option agreement protected the area while the WCC worked to raise the $300,000 needed to purchase and steward the 20-acre tract of land.

Over the last year and a half, climbers from all over the nation worked together to raise the funds to purchase the Lower Index Town Wall—fundraising through bouldering competitions, slideshows, and major donor requests. “The community response has been incredible,” says Jonah Harrison of the WCC. “The challenge with Index was not, as we had originally thought, getting people together to work and donate to the cause. It was how to channel all the talent, enthusiasm, and funds people offered.” We are happy to report that WCC has nearly reached its fundraising goal and is well positioned to purchase the property before the December 31, 2010 deadline.

Help protect this climbing crag for future generations by donating here!

Conservation Stories: Patagonia Stepping It Up In The Gulf

 

 The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in.

 

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Companies across the country are taking action in response to the devastating oil. The gulf may not be in your backyard, but this spill is going to have widespread affects, and it's going to take a widespread, communal effort to move forward in a positive direction. Patagonia stepped up to the plate this week in aiding in that effort, announcing that it would send up to 10 employees per week to Louisiana to work on spill restoration.

From Patagonia:

Hole in the Ocean
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig sank in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, 2010, it opened what one songwriter called a “Hole in the Ocean,” and led to what is today the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. From that deepwater hole some 52 miles off the Louisiana coast flows an estimated 25,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil a day. Tapped by BP to help meet the needs of a nation addicted to oil, the oil has found its way into the water column, up to the water’s surface, onto the beach and even into the air. Despite efforts to stop the sub-sea gusher and contain, burn or disperse the oil, it has defied us. Marine life is poisoned, local economies ruined and the Gulf indelibly smeared with a black tar brush.

Today, more than two months after that hole in the ocean was inadvertently opened, the oil still flows, leaving many people disempowered and feeling helpless. But there are things we can do, not only to deal with the crisis at hand but more important, to make sure this disaster never, never happens again.

At Patagonia, this is how we are taking action.

Emergency Funding
We have given $100,000 to environmental organizations with whom we have longstanding relationships who are working directly in the coastal areas and communities affected by the disaster: Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Skytruth, Southwings, Gulf Restoration Network, Save Our Gulf: Gulf Waterkeepers and the Gulf Coast Fund.

Increased Employee Match
We have increased our employee match program at a 2-1 rate to further assist those nonprofit environmental groups. If a Patagonia employee gives $100, Patagonia will give $200.

Employee Volunteers
In mid-July, we started sending up to 10 employees per week to Louisiana to work with a longtime environmental partner, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. The group is creating an Oil Spill Crisis Map, and our employees are helping to gather information, stories and photographs in communities where oil has reached the shoreline and impacted wildlife. All of this information is being uploaded into the map – a living document that speaks to the environmental and health effects of the spill. It will serve as an open source of information that shows NGOs, governmental agencies, state and local wildlife agencies and the general public where help is needed most. Patagonia employees are being paid their regular salaries and have all expenses paid while they are in the Gulf region.

Read more…

Douglas Brinkley: The Best of the New Generation of American Historians

 

Called "the best of the new generation of American historians", Douglas Brinkley is an award-winning author, professor of history at Rice University and a renowned historian. He is also the Alliance's featured guest speaker at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast at the August 2010 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
 
Brinkley's most recent book, Wilderness Warrior, details Theodore Roosevelt’s contributions to conservation in America. Brinkley is working on a new book about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And during his presentation, Brinkley will trace the arc of American conservation history from Roosevelt to the current effort to protect the Arctic Refuge.
 
“We are so lucky to have Douglas Brinkley as our guest speaker,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “He has written the definitive history of Roosevelt’s contributions to conservation, and in the process, has explained that conservation is a core piece of America’s DNA.”
 
Brinkley is among the most renowned historians in the US. He has published books about Rosa Parks, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kerouac, and Hurricane Katrina. He was the primary historian for When the Levees Broke, Spike Lee’s documentary about Katrina. And has been invited to the White House to discuss history with the President Obama in a wide-ranging conversation on everything from foreign policy to conservation.

If you're heading to Summer OR, make sure to mark your calendars for this presentation. You won't be disappointed!
 
The breakfast, which is open to the public, is Wednesday, August 4, 7:00-8:50 AM at The Marriott in Salt Lake City.

Grantee Weekly Grind: Photos Tell the Story of Snake River Salmon

iLCP photographer Neil Osborne at Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho. © Emily Nuchols 

From Save Our Wild Salmon: 

Sometimes you've got to get on the ground. Get dirty, muddy and immerse yourself in a story…

That's exactly what International League of Conservation Photographers' photographer Neil Osborne did to tell the story of Snake River salmon. Tripods in the Mud (TIM) is an initiative of the iLCP that helps partner professional photographers like Neil with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue.

Snake River salmon swim more than 900 miles inland and climb almost 7,000 feet to reach their spawning grounds — the highest salmon spawning habitat on the planet , and the largest and wildest habitat left in the continental United States. These one of a kind salmon travel farther and higher than any other salmon on Earth.

So how do you make people care? And get them to act? Give them beautiful and provocative images to tell the story.

Save Our Wild Salmon and the International League of Conservation Photographers have joined forces to tell the story of the Snake River's one of a kind salmon and the place they call home.
 

Conservation Stories: In the Shadow of Glen Canyon Dam

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in.

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One of Osprey Packs's athletes Timmy O'Neill is active in Rios Libres, a team of adventurers, photographers, writers, filmmakers and scientists working to keep Patagonia wild. Here's an excerpt from their latest post:

6,170 miles. This is the distance between Flagstaff, Arizona and Puerto Bertrand, Chile — the town closest to the source of the Rio Baker. This creates a formidable gap (the equivalent of driving from Boston to San Diego and back) between where many of us live and the rivers we are fighting to protect. Why then, are five folks from Flagstaff and two from Colorado so damned concerned about a river and a watershed that are so far from home?

The simple answer is this: we believe rivers should flow freely — from source to sea — as nature intended. But, there’s more. We are also motivated by the missteps made in our very own backyard. We live in the shadow of Glen Canyon dam —  aka “America’s most regretted environmental mistake” and we constantly grapple with ‘what could have been’ if this place had not been lost. This dam stands as a beacon, reminding us of a past heartbreak and calling us to action in order to prevent others.

 Read the rest over on the Osprey blog.

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