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Conservation Stories: Vasque Helps Preserve Local Environments While Celebrating Running

photo by Sean Dreilinger

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. Today we're celebrating member company Vasque for working to foster stewardship and community through a series of trail runs called the Vasque Project.

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About PROJECT:

The Vasque PROJECT is our effort, through sponsorship of trail races across the US, to foster trail running competition, community and stewardship. Vasque employs a rigorous selection process in order to partner with the best race series in vibrant running communities. These partners are selected because of their dedication to providing runners with the ultimate race experience and also because of their dedication to giving back to the community and environment. Racers can feel confident that they are going to get a great experience when they participate in a Vasque Project race series. There is something for everybody – the races vary is distance and difficulty – everything from faster 5ks to rigorous ultras over challenging terrain. When you sign up for a Vasque Project race, you can feel confident that the experience will be positive and designed to push your limits and you’ll be supported by an active and dedicated running community.

Charitable Aspect of PROJECT:

The trails means a lot to us at Vasque and what better way for us to say thanks then to give back to places where we run, hike and enjoy life? As part of the Vasque PROJECT, we have partnered in each of our event communities with a marquee organization who is working to preserve the local environment. We are working with our dedicated race series partners to raise funds for these organizations with registration fees and additional donations. The community benefits, the sport of trail running benefits, the environment benefits and we all ultimately win at these races.

More information and race schedule here.

Grantee Weekly Grind: Take Action Now to Save Oregon’s Ocean!

In 2010, the Conservation Alliance awarded Our Ocean a grant to establish a coast-wide network of at least six marine reserves and protected areas in Oregon waters to ensure that this coastal legacy will be here for future generations of Oregonians. Check out this awesome new video about hearing the call of Oregon's ocean

Listen. Respond. Restore.

Our Ocean's proposed marine reserves off the coast of Oregon will revive our ocean, grow larger, more abundant fish, and boost coastal economies.

Attend a meeting now and make a comment! To find a meeting near you, please contact Erin Anderson at erin@OurOregonOcean.org.

Conservation Stories: Clif Bar Promotes Bikes to Fight Climate Change

Photo by Bernat Casero 

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. Today we're celebrating member company Clif Bar for their efforts in the 2 Mile Challenge, an interactive campaign to lower CO2 emissions through bicycle advocacy. 

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New this year, CLIF BAR is encouraging riders to find strength and inspiration in numbers by joining one of three 2 Mile Challenge teams. Each team represents a non-profit organization that fights climate change or promotes bicycling advocacy. The three non-profits will each receive a $25,000 grant from CLIF BAR.

 

As a bonus incentive, the team that acquires the most points by October 31 will earn an additional $25,000 grant from CLIF BAR for its non-profit organization. Points will be awarded for: 1) registering for a team and linking personal Facebook accounts to the 2 Mile Challenge site, 2) issuing bike-riding challenges for yourself and friends, 3) logging trips completed on the 2 Mile Challenge site, and 4) logging trips for consecutive weeks.

Riders can sign up for the following teams to support their corresponding non-profit organizations here:

– Gold Team: Alliance for Biking and Walking

– Red Team: Trips for Kids

– Blue Team: Alliance for Climate Education

“This year we’re offering people the chance to do twice the good on every single ride,” said Lauren Hatfield, lifestyle experience manager at Clif Bar & Company. “By joining a 2 Mile Challenge team and trading their cars for bikes on short trips, riders can reduce harmful carbon emissions in their own communities and help non-profits educate and serve larger communities across the country.”

2 Mile Challenge reps will be present in CLIF BAR booths at film festivals, concerts and other outdoor and environment-focused events across the country this summer encouraging people to join the ride.Those who join can stay in touch and challenge others to ride through Facebook postings and team Twitter accounts.

To further engage bike riding and educate on climate change, CLIF has created 2 Mile Challenge partnerships with various print and online media, including GOOD, Daily Mile and others. 2 Mile Challenge messages will appear on their websites, Facebook pages and blogs, in their subscriber email campaigns and in some print issues throughout the summer.

 

Keep Jumbo Wild! Help Protect Grizzly Bear Habitat in B.C.

Jumbo Pass 

Jumbo Glacier Club, the proposed recreational city and year-round ski resort, would severely impact grizzly and other wildlife that live in the Jumbo Valley by fragmenting a crucial piece of one of North America's most important wildlife corridors. By blocking access to the Purcell Conservancy, this development could lead to reduced populations of at-risk grizzlies.

As year-round ski resorts suffer due to warming temperatures, proponents of the Jumbo Glacier Club see a profitable opportunity in Jumbo Valley's high-elevation glacier. However, development of the area could speed glacial melting, disrupting river flows in the Columbia Basin. 

Citizens of nearby Kootenay have been protesting development for twenty years. In addition to wildlife and environmental concerns, citizens have argued that in our increasingly developed world, the pristine state of Jumbo Valley is a rarity worth protecting.

The B.C. government will make a decision regarding Jumbo Glacier Club soon. Take a minute and use your voice! Send a letter to support wild Jumbo here.

Proposed Hermosa Creek Wilderness Area Near Durango Makes Key Progress

 

Good things happening in the world of recreation and wilderness preservation near Durango, Colorado. Last week, U.S. Rep. John Salazar announced his intentions of pursuing legislation to create a Hermosa Creek Wilderness Area.

From the Durango Telegraph:

Late in 2007, the San Juan Public Lands Center released a draft forest plan to the public. As part of any forest plan revision, roadless areas must be considered as potential wilderness areas, and the local Forest Service recommended a large piece of the Hermosa Roadless Area as wilderness. However, the original plan prompted an outcry from the mountain bike community. As originally proposed, the wilderness designation would have closed a large section of the Colorado Trail to bikes and would have completely closed the South Fork, Salt Creek, Corral Draw and Clear Creek trails to cyclists. Nearly three years and dozens of stakeholder meetings later, the Forest Service and John Salazar are pursuing a new configuration.

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Alliance grantee Wilderness Support Center has been working on the issue and it's great to see that conservation and recreation are finally coming together to draft a plan that benefits all parties involved.

"Now I am not opposed to drilling or production of gas, we all know that the San Juan Basin in this county is an important natural resource," Salazar said. "But as with all things there needs to be a balance between protection of our environment and production of the resources. These areas contain land important to sportsmen, bikers, ranchers, and wildlife, and the watershed for Durango. They deserve protection."

Conservation Stories: Patagonia Tells Stories From 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. Today we're highlighting member company Patagonia, who late this summer committed to sending employees down to the Gulf Coast to help with oil spill relief efforts. Employees have been telling their stories on Patagonia's blog The Cleanest Line, and this is an excerpt from the final post in the series

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Where Oil and Seafood Mix

– Dulac, Louisiana

It was the height of hurricane season in southern Louisiana when we landed in mid-August, the five-year anniversary of Katrina a couple weeks away. Headed for Dulac – a low-lying bayou town about an hour and a half southwest of New Orleans – we were told we’d be evacuated if the weather acted up.

Our job was to go door-to-door surveying Dulac’s 2,500 or so residents about the health, financial and cultural impacts of the BP oil spill. The nearest oil had reportedly made its way into a marsh a dozen or so miles away.

Oil and commercial shrimping are the area’s biggest employers and have coexisted peaceably for many years. This was reinforced by a billboard we passed on our way down from New Orleans advertising the 75th annual Shrimp & Petroleum Festival over in Morgan City. Sweet Gulf oil and sweet Gulf shrimp. In southern Louisiana, people depend on both. Moratoriums on either meet with equal enthusiasm.

We stayed at the Dulac Community Center, a Methodist-run facility with a bunkhouse and kitchen. Working in teams of two, sometimes three, we hit neighborhoods from 9:30-noon and again from 3-5, knocking on the doors of homes along Shrimpers Row, Avet Street, Coonies Court and others. Dulac is hot and humid in mid-August. Trash litters the streets and waterways. The metallic colors of boat and construction yards, pipelines and processing plants contrast with the vibrant green and blue of the bayou. Un-spayed and un-neutered dogs and cats are legion in Dulac. They lie listlessly in the heat or bark (the dogs, anyway) at strangers from yards and balconies. One aggressive stray delivered a skin-breaking bite to the leg of a member of our group. He had to drive 30 minutes to Houma for medical attention.

Many homes in Dulac and neighboring communities sit high on stilts to keep them safe from hurricane flood waters. People used federal “Road Home” money to have their houses and trailers raised. Other buildings less fortunate lay abandoned or in ruin. A flotilla of broken boats litter the banks of Grand Caillou Canal.

During our three-and-a-half-day canvas, my teammate and I spoke with 30 or so people: a beautician, oil-field worker, boat fueler, deckhand, retired social worker, retired teacher, disabled shrimper, bookkeeper, truck driver, and unemployed among them. One day, three of eight we interviewed shared the surname Billiot. We met a lot of Boudreauxs and Verdins, too.

Few people we spoke with reported having smelled oil or dispersant, or said they’d suffered health problems they would attribute to the spill. But it was hard to know. Much of Dulac is an industrial zone, stained with oil and scented with exhaust.

The economic effects of the oil spill were clearer. Everyone was acquainted with or related to a commercial shrimper who’d been forced to sit out the May season because their fishing grounds had been closed. Many idled fishermen received BP relief money, but some said the checks were sporadic or had quit coming. Some had signed up with “Vessels of Opportunity,” a BP program that paid them to put out boom and skim for oil rather than spread their butterfly nets and fish for shrimp.

Read the full post here.

Washington State Gives Condit Dam Removal Green Light

 

via American Whitewater:

Yesterday, the Washington Department of Ecology issued the water quality permit needed to remove Condit Dam on the White Salmon River. The permit is a major milestone and is the final step before issuance of a dam removal order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is expected later this year.

In partnership with several organizations including the locally-based Friends of the White Salmon River, American Whitewater has advocated for the removal of Condit Dam for more than a decade. Removing the dam will restore several miles of whitewater and reconnect the White Salmon River which is already considered one of the nation's top whitewater resources. A significant percentage of American Whitewater members reside in the Columbia River Gorge and paddlers from around the globe know this area as a world-class destination.

Tom O'Keefe of American Whitewater said: "We believe that removal of Condit Dam will have a positive benefit on fishery resources, recreational opportunities, and cultural resources of the White Salmon River and we are thrilled with today's issuance by the State Department of Ecology that was essential to moving this process forward."

Photo via

Grantee Weekly Grind: Take Action! Protect the Nahanni Headwaters From Mining Threats

 

In 2009, the Conservation Alliance awarded the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society a grant to expand the Nahanni National Park Preserve by a stunning seven million acres. To finish the job of protecting the entire Nahanni watershed, it is critically important to protect the headwaters in Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve…

The South Nahanni Watershed and Nahanni karstlands cover almost 40,000 sq kms of spectacular Boreal wilderness in the Mackenzie Mountains of Canada's Northwest Territories.  The South Nahanni River, running through the heart of this wilderness, stands among the world's greatest natural wonders as it plunges over Virginia Falls, a waterfall twice as high as Niagara, and carves a passage through the earth almost as deep as the Grand Canyon.

The Nahanni lies within the Boreal forest — a global forest that wraps the northern hemisphere, and within the Yellowstone to Yukon region — the mountain region stretching from Wyoming to the Yukon. In 2009, the Dehcho First Nations and the federal government announced the six-fold expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve, protecting three quarters of the Nahanni watershed forever. The final step needed to secure the entire watershed is to establish the proposed Naatsi'ihch'oh National Park Reserve upstream, to protect the Nahanni headwaters.

Soon, decisions will be made on a boundary for the proposed Nááts'ihch'oh National Park in the headwaters of the Nahanni watershed. Unfortunately, pressure is building to leave important areas of Nááts'ihch'oh unprotected to allow for future mining development.

Take Action! Your voice matters!

Conservation Stories: Black Diamond Honored with Conservation Award and Raises Funding for Utah Avalanche Center

 

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. Today we're celebrating member company Black Diamond Equipment Inc. for being recognized by the Summit Land Conservancy for its conservation efforts.

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Among the many other causes that Black Diamond Equipment Inc. supports, the company has been working hard to help the Utah Avalanche Center, most recently by raising $50,000 for the Center by hosting the 17th Annual Friends of UAC Fundraiser.

“Each of these events is representative of the Black Diamond ethos,” explains Peter Metcalf, Black Diamond CEO. “Preserving land for sustainable recreational use is at the heart of BD’s commitment to our community. The UAC event is a pleasure to host as it provides valuable funding for the Avalanche Center in a fun atmosphere bringing together friends to share experiences and stoke for the coming season.” 

That ethos has also earned them the first annual Conservation and Sustainability Award from the Summit Land Conservancy.

The Summit Land Conservancy works in partnership with landowners to permanently preserve agricultural, recreational, scenic, wetland and animal habitat in Summit County, Utah. The award was given to Peter Metcalf and Black Diamond for demonstrating exceptional leadership and innovation while helping to improve the environment and quality of life in Summit County. 

A big congrats goes out to Black Diamond all their continued great conservation work!

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