News

Member Companies Raise More Than More Than $35,000 For The Conservation Alliance

Just a few weeks ago at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show, our member companies raised more than $35,000 for the Conservation Alliance through some great gear promotions! All of these funds will go directly to protecting the wild places (like the Flathead Valley above) we all love.

A huge thank you to the participating member companies: Arc'teryx, Black Diamond, Briggs & Riley, Brooks, Camelbak, Canada Goose, Chaco, Columbia, Dansko, Eagle Creek, Grabber, Horny Toad, Jetboil, Keen, Kelty, Mountain Khakis, Osprey, Ruff Wear, Stanley, STM, Timex and The North Face. Please support them!

If you'd like to get involved in an event for the Winter Show, please email Serena Bishop: serena@conservationalliance.com

 

 

Conservation Stories: Trees Worth Fighting for by Columbia Sportswear

 

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 were inspired by a post written over on the Columbia blog entitled Trees Worth Fighting For.

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How do you define what you love? How do you place a value on it? Would you say that loving something makes it worth fighting for? For a group of dedicated outdoor lovers, fighting for the environment is exactly how they express their love for it. In their words Tree Fight “is an initiative to inform the public of the plight of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s Whitebark pines, and to search for solutions to prevent their extinction.” Why fight for the Whitebark? In the words of Nancy Bockino, Grand Teton National Park ecologist, “Whitebark pines are one of the most ecologically important tree species living in the western United States…and can live more than a thousand years.”

Threatened by mountain pine beetles, whose habitat is spreading to higher elevations due to warming alpine temperatures, the Whitebark of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) are under attack. The 2-million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is heralded as the last remaining intact temperate ecosystem on earth. It includes Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone Park, the National Elk Refuge, six national forests, and portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. It’s thought that half this country’s Whitebark pines live in the GYE.

Tree Fight is taking a unique approach to fighting the invasive pine beetle. “From mid June to late July, we hiked to several distinct areas in the Bridger Teton National Forest where Whitebark pine survive. In each of these plots, we applied pheromone packets to several acres of Whitebark. These packets, which transmit a message to mountain pine beetles that the nearest trees are already occupied, are stapled individually to trees at chest height.” Basically, they’re going around marking the trees as already infested, in order to help save them. Pretty ingenious, wouldn’t you say?

You can read more about Tree Fight’s efforts, and the Whitebark pines of the GYE, as well donate to the cause, at www.treefight.org.

Protect Our Winters: Stop Climate Change

 

Summer is still in full swing, but this video gave us a flurry of excitement for winter… And a kick in the pants to protect our winters. Being a part of the outdoor industry, we have a responsibility to protect our wild places — and that includes protecting them from climate change. For those of us who celebrate with each dump of snow in the mountains, we know it's up to us to make sure we keep that snow falling (and sticking)…

From the Protect Our Winters (POW) video:

"There is just too much at stake for us all not to be doing something. Climate change effects everyone who lives and works in our mountain communities. Climate change is serious business to those of us who depend upon it for our jobs and our livelihoods. We all have a lot at stake, and a powerful voice. We're 16 million strong and together we can protect our winters."

Support POW and take action to protect our winters! Want to do more? Contact your local elected official, and take action to stop climate change and protect the places, and seasons, you love.

Thanks to The North Face for tipping us off on this video!

Conservation Stories: Timberland Earthkeeping in Poland

 

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 Timberland, who makes sure that their conservation efforts aren't just local, but international as well, as shown from a service day earlier this summer.

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On June 8, 54 Earthkeepers in Poland from Timberland and Marketing Investment Group headed out to the forest, the garden and the mountainside to wish Mother Nature a happy belated Earth Day. By breaking up into 6 groups and serving at a number of different service sites, the Earthkeepers in Poland were able to fix up trails, restore infrastructure and fences, clear out illegal dumping sites, protect a bridge and help with flood cleanup. All of this dedicated work took place at the nursery-garden Falsztyn, Homole Gully/Pieniny Mountains, White Water Preserve, Black Water Preserve and the Jaworki Forest.

At the Homole Gully/Pieniny Mountains service site, 5,400 liters of rubbish, pipe, bathtub pieces, and linoleum were collected, sorted and prepared for recycling. And at the White Water Preserve, 480 liters of rubbish was removed from the green landscape.

In total, the Timberland Poland team members completed 500 hours of service. We applaud the Earthkeepers in Poland for their hard work in celebration of our shared planet.

To see more photos, check out Timberland's blog post

 

Osprey Packs and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Keep It Wild

A couple of weeks ago, we dedicated an entire day to keeping it wild. Our member companies and grantees responded in full force, taking action to restore free-flowing rivers and big whitewater, protect millions of acres of wilderness and other special places that we all go to get wild and explore.

And now it's time to keep that action going. We can't just protect our wild lands for one day — we have to protect them every day. So, every week, we'll bring you news and an action from our grantees. And we urge you to take a minute out of your day to protect some of America's most special wild places. And take a moment every day to explore your own backyard — and protect it!

Take Action to keep Utah wild!

From SUWA’s blog:

Every summer the manufacturers and retailers of outdoor equipment converge on Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market – an event that this year drew an estimated 20,000 people. SUWA partnered with the Conservation Alliance to participate in the Keep It Wild day which paired environmental groups with outdoor gear manufacturers to take action to protect our natural resources.  SUWA was generously hosted by Osprey Packs, and in their booth at the show we collected over 300 postcards written by folks who were asking the Obama administration protect wild Utah. Participants also posed for photos with “Flat Ken,” a likeness of Interior Department Secretary Salazar who has the power to protect over 6 million acres of redrock land now vulnerable to oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle abuse. The day was topped off with a party hosted By KEEN Footwear, celebrating a day of conservation advocacy at the show.

Take Action to keep Utah wild!

 

Conservation Stories: Montrail Supports Conservation With Costumes

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. Since we're still reeling from last week's Outdoor Retailer, this week's feature gets a special OR theme: a synopsis of Montrail's Wasatch Wobble, complete with costume photos.

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Montrail hosted the 15th annual Wasatch Wobble 5k at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City last week. OR attendees signed up by making a $10 donation to the Conservation Alliance, and then showed up early Thursday morning decked out in Superhero costume and ready for some fun. Course challenges included a push-up station at mile 1 (minimum of 5 for women, 10 for men) and a contest to see who can carry the largest rock across the finish line. There were also 4 kittens stuck in trees throughout the course, and runners had a chance to be heros and save the kittens. Thanks for playing everyone! We had a blast. Here’s some photos, we’ll get more up as soon as we can.

 

For more photos check out the Montrail blog

Conservation Announces New Pinnacle Membership Level

The Conservation Alliance announced a new level of membership that will recognize companies that contribute at least $100,000 annually to the organization. During the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last week, the Alliance announced that Eastern Mountain Sports, KEEN, Inc., Patagonia, REI, and The North Face have committed to be the first five members of this new "Pinnacle" membership level. Pictured above are Casey Sheahan (Patagonia), Sally Jewell (REI), Steve Rendle (The North Face), James Curleigh (KEEN), and Will Manzer (Eastern Mountain Sports) as they received a standing ovation from the audience at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast.

"Our goal is to increase the amount of funding we can contribute to conservation efforts throughout North America," said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. "We have terrific opportunities right now to save our last wild places, and these five members are showing the leadership we need to safeguard wild lands and rivers for the long term."

The Alliance is encouraging other members to increase their commitment to the organization, and expects to announce additional above-and-beyond contributions at the January Outdoor Retailer show.

"We recognize that our industry must do more to save our special wilderness areas and wild rivers," said Lisa Pike Sheehy, Director of Environmental Programs at Patagonia, and a member of The Conservation Alliance board. "The Alliance directs 100 percent of our members' dues into the hard-working hands of the best conservation organizations in North America, and measures ROI in terms of acres of land and miles of rivers protected, dams stopped or removed, and climbing areas acquired. It's a clean model, and we're proud to participate at the $100,000 level."

The Conservation Alliance will disburse $900,000 this year, and expects to surpass the $1 million mark for the first time in 2011.

Outdoor Retailer Wrap-Up: Another Success!

 

Last week at Outdoor Retailer was full of stories of conservation challenges and successes, people taking action to save wild places, good times and furry animal hats… With hundreds of postcards signed to protect our wild playground and thousands of dollars raised to support the Conservation Alliance and our grantees, last week's show was a huge success!

As members of the outdoor community, we sometimes get caught up in the madness of OR — the meetings, the packed schedule of events and the sheer craziness of four days inside the Salt Palace, but at the end of the day, we're all here to get people outside. And part of that is making sure that we protect the special places that we love for ourselves and future generations. 

And in order to protect our playground, we dedicated one whole day of OR to a Keep It Wild day of action. Hundreds of people took action to support conservation causes and at the end of the day we celebrated conservation victories of the last year… And those on the horizon!

Big thanks to our member companies that took part, Black Diamond, Eagle Creek, Horny Toad, Kelty, Osprey Packs, Patagonia and the North Face, as well as all the conservation groups that came out and inspired OR attendees to take action: Save Our Canyons, Alaska Wilderness League, Nevada Wilderness Project, American Whitewater, American Rivers, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Save Our Wild Salmon and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Thanks again to all of our member companies for your awesome support and to the grantees making it happen on the ground. We couldn't do it without you! See you at Winter OR!

If you want to rock your own awesome animal hat, check out Yabbles Hats!

Expanded Conservation Alliance Board Gets Wild

The Conservation Alliance board of directors — normally a serious, staid bunch — is channeling some inner wildness as the organization strives to help protect ever more wild places. The Alliance board met in Salt Lake City last week, and welcomed new directors Linda Tom (KEEN), Topher Gaylord (Mountain Hardwear), and Ted Manning (Eastern Mountain Sports). Mysteriously, as the meeting proceeded the board started sprouting unusual facial hair and other markings. By the end of the meeting, the group was howling, snorting, and gnashing teeth in a collective frenzy of desire to save North America's last wild places. Expect great things from this pack!

Rogue River to Run Freely for 157 Miles

 

Restoring free-flowing rivers is no small task, but sometimes, we get the chance to celebrate victories. There's certainly reason to celebrate in Oregon where the Western Environmental Law Center, representing Rogue Flyfishers, Rogue Riverkeeper, and Waterwatch of Oregon, has been working extensively to ensure the removal of Gold Ray Dam on the Rogue River. 

$5 million of federal stimulus money was granted in 2009 to remove the dam, but the project was put on hold when adjacent landowners sued twice to seek to prevent removal.  WELC intervened in both proceedings, and after a hearing in federal court in Medford, the judge lifted a temporary restraining order and allowed the demolition to proceed.  

That means removal of Gold Ray Dam is well on its way, ensuring that the Rogue River will flow freely for 157 miles. The removal of Gold Ray, whose hydrofacilities have been out of use since 1972, is a win for both the environment and recreationists. In fact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ranks removing the Gold Ray dam as among its highest priorities for restoring wild coho salmon in Oregon, because of impediments to upstream migration of wild salmon to spawning grounds above the dam and the warm slackwater reservoir, home to invasive fish species, that the dam created.

Now those salmon can swim freely and the rest of us can enjoy 157 miles of unobstructed Rogue! 

Want to check out a live-camera showing construction of the temporary coffer dam being built to divert the river so that the dam can be removed, and the river restored? Click here

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