Salt Lake City BYC

The Salt Lake City Backyard Collective- A Great Success!!!


The sun was shining and temperatures reached the mid 90's on June 23rd at the Salt Lake City Backyard Collective. But the heat didn't slow down the energetic group of 60+ volunteers who spent an afternoon working hard to fix up the trails and general landscape of Grandeur Peak Open Space. Employees from 3point5,, Black Diamond, Gregory, Hotwax Media, Patagonia, Petzl, and Treasure Mountain Inn were able to install 22 water bars, 10 check dams, and 2 fences. They were also able to clean up the area of invasive plants and filled 14 bags full of myrtle spurge.


The Conservation Alliance partnered with the Save Our Canyons and Salt Lake City Climbers Alliance to organize the service project. After a half day of trail maintenance the volunteers celebrated their hard work with food and drink at Black Diamond's annual fundraising party for The Salt Lake City Climbers Alliance. 



Columbia Sportswear Teams Up With TerraCycle to Support The Conservation Alliance




Columbia Sportswear, Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member, just signed up to participate in this innovative program thanks to help from Staples®, and will be sending depleted writing instruments to TerraCycle® for recycling or upcycling. Not only does this allow Columbia to divert waste from the landfill, but for every used writing instrument we recycle, Sanford® Brands will donate $0.02 towards The Conservation Alliance

Read more here. 

Ban on Grand Canyon Uranium Mining One Step Closer


The federal government on Monday extended for six months a moratorium on new uranium mining claims in a million-acre buffer zone around the Grand Canyon as it awaits the conclusions of a study of potential environmental harm to the region. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the extended prohibition, and added that Interior's preferred alternative in a new Environmental Impact Study is to ban all new uranium mining leases for the next 20 years. A final decision on the plan is due on December 20. 

The Conservation Alliance funded the Grand Canyon Trust's efforts to win a 20-year ban on new mining leases.

Click here for the full story from the New York Times.


Gareth Martins, Kate Ketschek Elected to Three-Year Terms

Bend, Ore., June 16, 2011 – The Conservation Alliance membership elected Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing at Osprey Packs, and Kate Ketschek, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for NEMO Equipment to new three-year terms on the Alliance board of directors.

Martins was re-elected after serving a full term during which he has chaired the Alliance's Outreach Committee, and been active in advocacy efforts. Ketschek is new to the board, and fills the seat vacated when Black Diamond's Adam Chamberlain completed his board term.

"This election brings us both continuity and fresh blood," said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. "Gareth has made huge contributions over the past three years, and we're excited to have his passion and expertise for another three years. Kate brings us new energy and marketing depth, and adds to the board's East Coast contingent."

Five nominees ran for the two board seats in what was another tight election. The Conservation Alliance board and staff thank everyone who ran.

"We are fortunate to have such strong interest in board service," said Sterling. "We only wish we had seats for everyone who is interested in serving."

The new three-year board terms begin immediately after the August 3rd board meeting.

There should be some places that you just do not mine.

Eastern Mountain Sports President, Will Manzer, talks about the fragility of the Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon Uranium Mining PSA from James Q Martin Media on Vimeo.

It sounds insane, but it’s absolutely true. A two-year ban on destructive uranium mining in the Grand Canyon is set to expire on July 21, with no additional protection measures in sight. This is a big problem because according to the Grand Canyon Trust, “Thousands of new mining claims are threatening the Grand Canyon’s watersheds, fragile seeps and springs, Havasupai sacred sites, critical wildlife habitat, and the tourism-based economies of northern Arizona.”

Read More Here on the EMS blog.

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt Challenges Obama to Lead on Conservation

Bruce Babbitt, former Interior Secretary and Governor of Arizona, delivered a pointed speech to the National Press Club yesterday in which he said the current US Congress "has embarked on the most radical course in our history." He continued: "The Congress, led by the House of Representatives, has declared war on our land, water and natural resources. And it is time for those of us who support our conservation tradition to raise our voices on behalf of the American people."

Babbitt then went on to call on President Obama to step up his conservation leadership. "President Obama and the Executive Branch are the best, and likely only, hope for meaningful progress on this critical issue. So I am here today to call on the President to lead us in standing up to the radical agenda of the House of Representatives, and to replace their draconian agenda with a bold conservation vision."

There is growing discontent and disillusionment within the conservation community over Obama's lack of leadership on conservation issues. It is unusual for a former Cabinet Secretary to criticize a successor of the same party. Babbitt did make it clear that his remarks were meant to be forward looking, and to encourage Obama to sieze the opportunity to lead by using such tools as the Antiquities Act to designate new National Monuments.

Click here to read the full text of Babbitt's speech.

Alliance Adds Voice to Effort to Protect Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining


The Conservation Alliance was included on an ad that ran this week in the New York Times, asking the Obama Administration to impose a 20-year moratorium on uranium mining on one million acres of public land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. The Alliance funded the Grand Canyon Trust in 2010 to lead the campaign to win the moratorium. The Alliance was joined on the ad by representatives from Patagonia, Eastern Mountain Sports, Black Diamond Equipment, and Outdoor Industry Association.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar imposed a two-year moratorium on mining the area in June 2009. That prohibition expires later this month. Interior is expected to announce future plans for mining the area any day now.

Tennessee Senators Introduce Wilderness Legislation


Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker introduced legislation yesterday to protect 20,000 acres of public land in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest.The Conservation Alliance has twice supported the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition's Tennessee Wild Campaign, which is organizing local support for the protections. The legislation faces challenges in a gridlocked Congress, but it is encouraging to see a conservatino measure introduced by two Republican senators.

Click here for the full story.

KEEN Invites Portlanders to Join the Recess Revolution


A little rain didn't stop 783 people from coming to KEEN Footwear's "Recess Revolution" kick-off event in downtown Portland's Director Park on Thursday, May 26! In addition to taking the Recess Pledge to stop work for 15 minutes each day and get out and play, people of all ages also played tetherball and spun a wheel for cool KEEN swag…and generally had a great time playing hooky from work!

  VIDEO: Mayor Sam Adams play tetherball against Commissioner Randy Leonard

 To view and download pictures from this fun event, please click here.

Salazar, Obama Give Up on Wild Lands Policy


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that BLM will not designate any Wild Lands under the new Wild Land Policy he announced in December, and which many in the outdoor industry fought hard to defend. Congress voted to deny any funding to implement the policy in April as part of the 2011 budget deal, and the Obama Administration acquiesced. In his statement today, Salazar essentially gives up on the Wild Land Policy. This is a major disappointment on many obvious levels, not least of which is the amount of energy we – our member companies, OIA, and The Conservation Alliance – put in to defending an Obama Administration policy that the administration then abandoned. More important, the millions of acres of lands that qualify for Wild Land designation are once again threatened without an obvious and timely path to protection.

If there is any good news here it is that we can now get back to talking about Wilderness designations on the local level without having to fight over a nationwide policy that had turned into a galvanizing force for anti-conservation voices in Congress. Most of our grantees are working on local, place-based campaigns to protect specific public lands as Wilderness. The Conservation Alliance got involved in defending the Wild Land Policy largely because it offered to provide interim protection for millions of acres of lands that we’d ultimately like to see designated as Wilderness, a higher form of protection. The projects we have funded remain viable, and our grantees are working hard to move them through Congress. To be clear, Wilderness bills will be very hard to pass in this Congress, but at least now we can get back to talking about the merits of those bills, without also having to talk about the Wild Land Policy.

Ultimately, it appears the Obama Administration decided that defending the Wild Land Policy in the face of rising gas prices (even though the policy itself would have no impact on gas prices) and angry members of Congress just wasn’t worth it. Disappointing, yes. But now we just focus on those campaigns that have broad local support.

Update: The following statement is from William H. Meadows, President of The Wilderness Society:

“We are deeply disappointed in Secretary Salazar’s decision today to undermine his Wild Lands policy. This policy helped provide the guidance needed by the Bureau of Land Management to properly manage lands as required by the Federal Land policy and Management Act of 1976. Today’s memorandum ignores the BLM’s obligation to protect wilderness values and effectively lets stand former Secretary Gale Norton’s deeply flawed decision to prohibit the BLM from properly managing those public lands that harbor wilderness values. Without strong and decisive action from the Department of Interior, wilderness will not be given the protection it is due, putting millions of acres of public lands at risk. It’s important to keep in mind that these lands belong to all Americans.  This apparent capitulation to opponents of wilderness protection is deeply disturbing – we hope the Secretary will reassert his previous leadership in recognizing the Interior Department’s responsibly to protect our most sensitive landscapes for future generations.”

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