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Favorites on Friday: Downeast Lakes Land Trust Celebrates!

Photo: Mark Berry

In 2011, The Conservation Alliance funded Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s West Grand Lake Community Forest Campaign to permanently protect 21,700 acres as a community forest.

On Tuesday, December 18th, the acquisition of a conservation easement on this land was announced. This easement includes 17 miles of shoreline on West Grand, Big, and Lower Oxbrook lakes, along with frontage on Big Musquash Stream and conserves 1/4 mile on the west side of Grand Lake Stream above Big Falls. This is a major milestone in the West Grand Lake Community Forest Project.

“Grand Lake Stream has a rich heritage as a destination for outdoor recreation,” said Mark Berry, Executive Director of Downeast Lakes Land Trust. “By permanently conserving these lands, and guaranteeing they will always be open to the public for recreation, we’re protecting that heritage and a way of life for future generations.”

Click here to read more.

{worthWILD} ALLEGANY

{worthWILD} ALLEGANY from Conservation Alliance on Vimeo.

The Conservation Alliance has released {worthWILD} ALLEGANY, the third video in the {worthWILD} series. The film tells the story of Adirondack Mountain Club's successful campaign to protect New York's Allegany State Park from oil drilling, and related habitat destruction, landscape alteration, and ground and surface water contamination.

Unwilling to accept energy development in a popular state park, Adirondack Mountain Club organized and then amplified the voices of people who love Allegany State Park.This short film illustrates how these collective voices came together to convince the State of New York to designate 85 percent of the 65,000-acre park as Park Preservation Area.

Click here to watch the film.

Breaking News: Oil, gas development banned in B.C’s Sacred Headwaters

Photo: Brian Huntington

The British Columbia government has confirmed a ban on oil and gas development in the Sacred Headwaters region of northwestern B.C; a huge success for Conservation Alliance grantee Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition.

"There are no words to even describe how we're feeling about this right now," Shannon McPhail, the executive director of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, said after hearing the annoucement.

"This has been a long road of 10 years of working on this and I think it has been a huge victory."

The moratorium will prevent Shell Canada from doing exploratory drilling in the area, which is home to the headwaters of three salmon-bearing rivers: the Skeena, Nass and Stikine.

Read more here.

Everest Textile: The Triple Bottom Line

Everest Textile Eco-Industrial Park

Conservation Alliance member and textile manufacturer, Everest Textile Co., LTD, have devoted themselves to “Co-creating Triple-Bottom-Line.”

They believe that caring about and helping others; and protecting our wild places is good for business. Everest is a global innovation-sustainability solution provider of textiles to the outdoor industry and they take the responsibility of corporate citizenship very seriously; working diligently to make their business a model of sustainability.

Everest’s focus on sustainability started with reducing energy consumption (an economic aspect) and reducing their carbon footprint (an environmental aspect), but has since extended further to include social justice and integrity (a social aspect). Everest aims to achieve “Triple-Bottom-Line” from these three sustainable perspectives: Economy, Environment and Society.

Everest is a market leader and has been rewarded for these efforts – receiving a number of awards from the Taiwanese government including the Taiwan Green Benchmarking Award, the Green Factory Award (including the certification and recognition of green buildings and cleaner production), and receiving final confirmation for the Everest Textile Eco-Industrial Park as the Sight-seeing Factory.

To learn more about Everest Textile Co. and their commitment to a sustainable future, click here to check out their Sustainability Report.

Everest Natural Education Farm

Everest Show Room

Roger Yeh (left), President of Everest, received the Green Factory Award from Ministry Economics Affairs of Taiwan

 

Favorites on Friday: A love of the GREAT outdoors inspires CLIF Bar’s commitment to Protect the Places We Play.

      
At CLIF Bar, a spirit of adventure and love for the outdoors inspires a commitment to Protect the Places We Play; climate change is the biggest threat to these places.
 
CLIF Bar challenges themselves, their partners and their consumers to be a part of the efforts needed to restore our planet for future generations.
 
CLIF Bar & Company is a Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member; contributing at least $100,000 annually to The Conservation Alliance. We are grateful to CLIF Bar for going above-and-beyond their required membership dues to further our efforts to protect North America's wild places.

Favorites on Friday: A Free Flowing River

Photo: Ben Knight

On October 26, 2011, at 12pm in the afternoon, the Condit Dam came down. The White Salmon River, in Washington State, was free to flow for the first time in 100 years.

On November 11, 2012, just over one year later, the first organized float down the White Salmon River took place. The water was clear, salmon swam by, wildlife was abundant.

“You think back a year ago to when the blast happened, when all that sediment was let loose. Just a year later, the salmon are spawning in the lower river. It’s incredible how resilient the river and the salmon are. It’s a new river, and it’s still evolving so much.” Said Amy Kober of American Rivers.

In 1993, The Conservation Alliance funded American Whitewater for its campaign to implement a plan to improve recreational access to the nation's whitewater rivers and streams. A major component of that effort was to restore the White Salmon River in Washington State by removing the Condit Dam.

Nearly 20 years later, this project succeeded with the breaching of the dam, and restoration of the magnificent White Salmon River.

Learn more about The Joyous First Descent of a Newly Dam-Free River over at Adventure Journal.

The Story to Save the Gaviota Coast Forever

 
 

In just over two generations, 280 of the 300 miles of southern California's once unspoiled coastline have been lost to development, FOREVER. Only 20 miles of coastline remain undeveloped and unprotected — for every generation that follows us.

 

Twenty men, for twenty years, for twenty miles… This is the story of the Surfrider Foundation, Santa Barbara Chapter's epic struggle to preserve the Gaviota Coast – southern California's last remaining stretch of unspoiled, rural coastline. For twenty years, twenty men have withstood a slew of deep-pocket developers, major corporations, and elected officials in their effort to protect the Gaviota Coast's incredible biodiversity and unparalleled scenic beauty.

"The Twenty" is an inspiring story of ordinary people, fueled by their passion and their love, who stand together against improbable odds to defend one of California's last great places.

To learn more about how to get involved and protect the Gaviota Coast, visit Surfrider and The Twenty.

Conservation is never easy, but it is worth the effort.

A note from John Sterling, Executive Director.

Photo: William Thompson

At a meeting earlier this year, The Conservation Alliance board and staff learned from a pollster that roughly 75 percent of voters in the Intermountain West support stronger protections for public lands and open space. In the wake of the 2012 elections, it is tempting to assume that the results reflect that public support for conservation. Time will tell.

The Conservation Alliance Staff and Board spent three days in Boulder, CO earlier this month, at our annual Board Retreat developing our Annual Operating Plan for 2013. Among other things, we discussed what the election means for our conservation efforts, and the work of our grantees.

In general, we see a lot of encouraging signs. Second-term presidents tend to start thinking about their legacy, and most designate new National Monuments to leave their mark on the land. We have supported several campaigns to designate National Monuments, and have every reason to believe that President Obama will lead on this front before he leaves office (he has already designated three small monuments).

Obama's Interior Department is also poised to finalize a historic management plan for the Western Arctic that will protect up to 11 million acres. Congress will likely remain a dysfunctional mess. But the Senate – with a larger pro-conservation majority – is in a better position to move public lands legislation.

Notably, Sen. Jon Tester from Montana narrowly won re-election while touting his proposal to protect 750,000 acres of Wilderness in the state.

The House will remain challenging, but the election (and redistricting) created several new opportunities for land protection, particularly in California.

Conservation is never easy, but it's worth the effort. The projects we fund promise to permanently save many of our last wild places. As we drafted our 2013 Annual Operating Plan – a mundane task – we kept those places in mind.

We wrap up 2012 with optimism that our efforts are broadly supported, and that our decision makers will honor the will of the people who elected them.

Onward!

Take Action Tuesday: Wild Olympics

Wild Olympics for Our Future from Wild Olympics on Vimeo.

The Conservation Alliance has twice funded American Whitewater’s Wild Olympics Campaign, to designate two dozen Wild and Scenic rivers representing more than 450 river miles, new wilderness areas that protect key watersheds, and additions to Olympic National Park that enhance watershed protection.

The Wild Olympics Campaign has broad, local support for new Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers; protecting the last wild places on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Make your voice heard in the fight to protect these special places by clicking here to sign a letter to Congressman Dicks, Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell in support of the Wild Olympics Campaign.

Favorites on Friday: The Sacred Headwaters

Sacred Headwaters from Paul Colangelo on Vimeo.

The Conservation Alliance has funded the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition's Sacred Headwaters Campaign to secure permanent protection for one million acres of the Sacred Headwaters, a pristine wilderness area surrounding BC's Skeena, Nass, and Stikine Rivers. 

Located in remote northern British Columbia, the Sacred Headwaters is the shared birthplace of three of the province's greatest salmon rivers — the Stikine, Skeena and Nass. It supports an extraordinary population of large mammals, and it is the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation. Numerous mining developments are proposed for the Sacred Headwaters, including a coal bed methane development spanning nearly one million acres and an open-pit gold and copper mine on Todagin Mountain, home to Stone's sheep.

Learn about the Sacred Headwaters by watching the video above, with National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis and photographs by Paul Colangelo.

To learn more and support this campaign, please visit www.skeenawatershed.com.

Special thanks to Patagonia for making this video possible. 

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