The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Guest Speaker Aron Ralston

Please join us for this summer's Outdoor Retailer Conservation Alliance breakfast! We are pleased to welcome Aaron Ralston as our guest speaker this year!

Aron Ralston is an adventurer who inadvertently gained fame when he hiked into a remote area of Utah's canyon country, and accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand. After six days of entrapment alone, he amputated his arm with a cheap multi-tool knife and hiked to a miraculous rescue.

Aron's account of his experience, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was adapted into 127 Hours, a motion picture starring James Franco. With new prosthetic arms that he designed, Aron finished solo winter ascents of Colorado's 59 Fourteeners, skied from the summit of Denali, and led a raft trip through the Grand Canyon. Aron is a strong advocate for wilderness protection, donating his time to organizations working to protect the landscapes that he knows well.

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast is free and open to the public, so bring a friend! Arrive tired, leave inspired!

When: 7am to 8:50am

Where: The Marriot, Salons F-I

Outdoor Retailer: Be Inspired, Take Action & Sweet Gear!


It's that time again! Outdoor Retailer is less than one week away, so make sure to mark your calendars for The Conservation Alliance events and promotions!

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast – Day 2

Conservation Alliance Breakfast: Arrive Tried, Leave Inspired.  Join us for The Conservation Alliance Breakfast and hear from guest speaker Aron Ralston, an adventurer who inadvertently gained fame when he hiked into a remote area of Utah's canyon country, and accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand.  We know 7 AM is early… But we can think of no better way to start off your day! 

When: 7a.m to 8:50a.m., Friday, Aug. 3

Where: The Marriot, Salons F-I

More details here…

Get yourself INKED for The Conservation Alliance & Show Your Support

Expect "Tattoo Parlors" to pop up in member company booths throughout the show, including: CamelBak (#15027), Eagle Creek Travel Gear (#24016), KEEN (#32183), and Osprey ( #5010).

You can also get your Tattoo at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast.

More details here…

The Wasatch Wobble – Day 3

Montrail Wasatch Wobble: Why wouldn't you kick off Day 3 of the show with a trail run? Montrail is proud to sponsor the Wasatch Wobble, a 5k trail run on Saturday morning.  Dress up in a KEEP IT WILD costume for a chance to win the costume contest! Stop by the Montrail booth #26001 on Thursday or Friday to register, get details and receive your runner goodie bag! $10, with all proceeds benefiting the Conservation Alliance.

When: Saturday August 4, Buses Depart from the Marriot at 6AM, Run Starts at: 6:45AM

More details here…

Throughout the Show……………….

Looking for the perfect swag to take away from this summer's Outdoor Retailer? Well, we've got a fabulous lineup of awesome gear, and you'll support the Alliance to boot! Click here for details…





Grab your boots and get ready to dance the happy hour away with Vasque & The Infamous Stringdusters – Thursday 5pm, Booth 12001

Join in Vasque's trail festivities at Summer OR and celebrate the debut of the new, less-is-more trail runner, the Pendulum, and the updated lighter, faster and more breathable Breeze 2.0 GTX boot. Kicking off Day 1 of the show in style, Vasque is bringing the party to their booth with the Infamous Stringdusters, cold beers in a reusable boot cup and prize giveaways.

Conjure up memories of campfire jam sessions after long days on the trail, as the Infamous Stringdusters bring the sweet authentic sounds of Charlottesville, VA to the Outdoor Retailer Show. In addition to the band, meet Vasque ultra-runner, Duncan Callahan, who will be on hand to share his favorite aspects of the Pendulum and discuss his most recent trip to Japan to race in the Ultra Trail du Mt. Fuji.

The revelry kicks off at 5pm on Thursday, when the music festival darlings, the Infamous Stringdusters, begin their rare acoustic show and the beer starts flowing.

"We are thrilled to bring the award winning, foot stomping sounds and fun experience of the Infamous Stringdusters to the show floor," says Chris Miller, Director of Sales, Vasque. "We'll have great music, friends, giveaways and refreshments–the only thing missing is a campfire!"

To top it all off, a $5 donation to the Conservation Alliance gets you a refillable Boot Cup to use throughout the show and the chance to win multiple prizes such as: a pair of Breeze 2.0's, a trail running package that includes the Pendulums, a 30-minute training session with Callahan and an UltrAspire Hydration System, or a pair of tickets to The Festy Experience put on by The Infamous Stringdusters in Virginia. Just check the bottom of your beer cup to see if you are a winner!

Grab your boots and get ready to dance the happy hour away at booth 12001!

"Silver Sky", the band's first studio album on High Country Recordings record label, showcases their progressive tunes and deep talent. To check out their latest album visit their site:

The Conservation Alliance Announces Tattoo Design Contest Winners

Designs from CamelBak, SmartWool, and Osprey featured in ‘Tattoo Parlors' at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market


The Conservation Alliance Outreach Committee selected three winning designs from among the 15 submitted during the Conservation Alliance Temporary Tattoo Design Contest.  Todd Bischoff, global graphic designer for SmartWool, John Duran, industrial design manager for CamelBak, and Tim Calkins, graphic artist for Osprey Packs were selected as the winners of the design contest.  These three designs will be "inked" on Conservation Alliance member company employees at Outdoor Retailer Summer Show in Salt Lake City, August 2-5, 2012. 

A new feature at ORSM, attendees can expect "Tattoo Parlors" to pop up in member company booths throughout the show, including: CamelBak (#15027), Eagle Creek Travel Gear (#24016), KEEN (#32183), and Osprey ( #5010). 

Supporters can also pick up their Tattoos during The Conservation Alliance Breakfast (featuring Aron Ralston on Friday, August 3 from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at the Marriot Downtown).

"We want employees of our member companies to show their pride in being a part of The Conservation Alliance," said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance executive director. "What better way than to rock one of these great tattoo designs during the trade show?"

Tattoo Parlors

Eagle Creek: 24016 – All day, every day of the show

CamelBak: 15027 – Day 1, August 2nd, 4-6pm

KEEN: 32183 – Day 2, August 3rd, All Day

Osprey: 5010 – All day, every day of the show

 Be sure to visit one of the parlors and show your support for the Conservation Alliance and its members. For more details on this and other Conservation Alliance events at OR Summer Market, click here!

Bennet Introduces Bill to Preserve Hermosa Creek Watershed

      Photo: Jeff Widen

Bill Would Protect More Than 100,000 Acres in San Juan National Forest, Designate 38,000 acres of new Wilderness

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today introduced a bill to protect more than 100,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek Watershed, an area in the San Juan National Forest north of Durango. The bill would establish a long-term management plan for the land based on recommendations from the Hermosa Creek River Protection Workgroup, which includes local water officials, conservationists, sportsmen, mountain bikers, off-road-vehicle users, outfitters, property owners, grazing permit holders and other interested citizens.

"The Hermosa Creek Watershed represents some of the best Colorado has to offer.  It deserves to be protected for our outdoor recreation economy, and for future generations of Coloradans and Americans to enjoy," Bennet said. "This bill originated from a local effort that took into account the varied interests of the community. Their collaborative approach set the tone early for a public process that led to a strong bill."

The bill, which is cosponsored by Senator Mark Udall, would designate roughly 108,000 acres of San Juan National Forest land as the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Area.  Much of the land would remain open to all historic uses of the forest under the bill, including mountain biking, motorized recreation, selective timber harvesting and grazing.

In accordance with the consensus recommendations of the Hermosa Creek Workgroup, roughly 38,000 acres of the watershed would be set aside as wilderness, to be managed in accordance with The Wilderness Act of 1964.  No roads or mineral development are permitted in wilderness areas; while hunting, fishing, horseback riding and non-mechanized recreation are allowed.  The Wilderness Act also contains several provisions to provide for active land management in wilderness areas as necessary to control wildfires, insect infestations and disease outbreaks.  Finally, per request of the Durango City Council, the bill would protect Animas Mountain and Perins Peak near Durango from future federal mineral leasing.

Supporters of the bill include the La Plata County Commission, the San Juan County Commission, the International Mountain Biking Association, and the Durango Herald editorial board among others.

"We commend you for respecting the hard work of the Hermosa Creek Workgroup. We support the legislation, and stand ready to help in whatever way to see it enacted into law," said the La Plata County Commissioners.

"The residents of Durango support Senator Bennet's legislation to protect Hermosa Creek in a way that respects the variety of interests in our community. We especially appreciate the inclusion in this bill of a provision the City of Durango formally requested to put our cherished local icons Animas Mountain and Perins Peak off limits to oil and gas development," said Durango City Council Member Christina Rinderle.

Last year, Bennet wrote an op-ed in the Durango Herald, outlining his plans to seek feedback from interested Coloradans to build on the framework the workgroup set for the bill.

 For more information on the bill and Hermosa Creek, visit Bennet's website at


Take Action Tuesday: Urge the Obama Administration to Protect the Epic Migration Columbia-Snake River Salmon

Thousands of ocean miles.  Over 900 miles inland.  To nearly 7,000 feet in elevation. The migration of the salmon and steelhead of the Columbia and Snake River Basin is truly one-of-a-kind.

The bad news: at 1% of their historic abundance, wild salmon remain on life support. 

The good news: the spawning habitat for these fish is the largest and wildest habitat left in the continental United States and the highest salmon spawning area on earth.

All across the country – from the Penobscot River in Maine to the Elwha and White Salmon Rivers in Washington State – we've seen that when people work together, rivers can be restored, jobs created and new economic opportunities realized. We can do the same on the Columbia and Snake Rivers for salmon and communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Businesses, conservation groups, the State of Oregon, and the Nez Perce Tribe have been in court pushing for a legal and scientifically sound plan to restore Columbia-Snake River salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. This advocacy has been vital for protecting fish, jobs, and rivers. Today, these same groups stand ready to move beyond the years of litigation and work toward a new dialogue among stakeholders that considers all options for restoring salmon and protecting communities.


Take Action on behalf of Save Our Wild Salmon by urging the Obama Administration to protect the epic migration of Columbia-Snake River Salmon.  Click here to sign on to a letter in support of restoring Salmon and enter to win an Omni-Freeze ICE Short Sleeve Shirt from Columbia


Outstanding Partnerships: REIs commitment to the American River Conservancy goes above and beyond the traditional grantor – grantee relationship.

For more than 20 years, the American River Conservancy (ARC) has been working to permanently protect rivers and wildlands in the central Sierra Nevada foothills. REI has consistently provided support for the American River Conservancy's conservation, stewardship, and education programs.

In addition to funding several years' worth of stewardship and education projects, REI's commitment to the organization has gone above and beyond the traditional grantor – grantee relationship.

The staff at the REI retail store in Folsom, CA does a terrific job of keeping the REI community & membership engaged and involved in all that the American River Conservancy has to offer their community. Whether it's sharing upcoming events and programs thought various media outlets, sponsoring stewardship and restoration events, including National Trails Day, or providing much-needed in-kind support (equipment, materials, and staff support), REI continues to be a leader in philanthropic support of conservation in the central Sierra Nevada foothills.

An example of the multi-faceted partnership between ARC and REI is REI's support of the South Fork American River Trail Project. REI provided a grant to support trail property acquisition and development while also sponsoring a local National Trails Day event in partnership with the BLM, American River Conservancy and the National Hiking Society. This local event brings over 100 volunteers annually to complete trail maintenance and restoration work along the South Fork American River near Coloma, CA.

American River Conservancy is a grassroots organization.  Their partnership with REI allows them to educate and inspire their local community and bring awareness to the benefits of protecting lands and rivers for future generations to enjoy.  Without REI's ongoing support, ARC will not be able to provide the number of education and outdoor recreation programs, or continue the habitat restoration, trail building and maintenance projects necessary to preserve our wild spaces.

Take Action Tuesday: Become A Role Model


The North Face has challenged people across the country to get outside, and take someone with them.  Launching on The North Face Facebook page and, Role Models is an online pledge where people commit to taking someone outdoors this summer, helping to start a global movement of outdoor exploration. 

"If you've never had anyone show you how to tie a safe figure eight knot for climbing, set up a tent, or even understand how much water you need for an overnighter, getting outside for the first time can be daunting," said Ann Krcik director of Outdoor Exploration for The North Face.  "Our goal with Role Models is to empower all of those outdoor enthusiasts to share their passion and their knowledge to create a new generation of explorers.  Think about who taught you an appreciation for the outdoors, then pay it forward."

By taking the Role Models pledge and sharing photos, you'll be entered to win The North Face gear that will help you get outdoors more often. The North Face will also be donating $1 per pledge (up to $10,000) to the Children & Nature Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting Nature Deficit Disorder.

"We teach our kids manners, to be kind to others – always leading by example. We have a responsibility to be Role Models for them in the outdoors as well, because if they don't learn a passion for exploration or an appreciation for the world's wild places from us, who will they learn it from?" said Kit DesLauriers, world-renowned skier and mother of two.

DesLauriers and other The North Face athletes have pledged to be Role Models this summer and are part of the Role Models Clinic Tour,  traveling to The North Face and REI stores across the country through the fall to give tips and advice on how to get outside as a family.

For more information and to pledge to be a Role Model, visit or


Seattle Backyard Collective

With Mt. Rainier standing impressively in the background, volunteers from Brooks Sports, Nikwax, Filson, Patagonia, Teva, Outdoor Research, Cascade Designs and Stanley, a brand of PMI arrived at the Seward Park Amphitheater on a beautiful morning in Seattle.


Seward Park is an urban gem with over 300 acres of forest, including 120 acres of old growth, providing habitat to a variety of species including a resident bald eagle who swooped by us as if on cue during our morning welcome.

Our project partner, Forterra is working in cooperation with Green Seattle Partnership with a shared goal of restoring and maintaining 2,500 acres of forested parklands by 2025–the largest urban forest restoration project in the nation.

Katie Cava, Outreach Associate at Forterra, discussed the importance of keeping the forest healthy explaining that many of Seattle's trees are nearing the end of their natural lives.  At the same time, invasive plants are choking out the seedlings that would replace today's forest. English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry have been identified as particular threats with their aggressive growth. Our 90+ volunteers were put to work focused on the removal of these invasive species.


Pulaskis and shovels were soon swinging and digging, with cheerful smiles and plentiful sunshine. 


 The Volunteer Fair featured our project partners from Forterra as well as the Green Seattle Partnership, Nature Consortium, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Washington Trails Alliance and Conservation Northwest.


Though every Backyard Collective provides its own variety of delight, it was especially noticeable that our Seattle volunteers were a rock star bunch! Thanks to all for an outstanding day!

For additional photos from this event, please visit our Facebook page at this link.  


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