News

Favorites on Friday: Earthworks Shares Great News!

This just in from Earthworks!

We are thrilled to announce that the Interior Department has approved mineral withdrawals for the Wild and Scenic Chetco and Illinois Rivers in southwest Oregon.  

On Thursday, July 24, the Interior Department signed the 5-year mineral withdrawal  for the Wild and Scenic Chetco River, providing interim protection for almost the entire length of the river from mining or claim-staking while Congress considers legislation (Oregon Treasures Act) that would provide permanent protection.  Last month, the Interior approved a 20-year extension of the mineral withdrawal on the Illinois River, just three days before the previous withdrawal was set to expire.  

With their crystal clear waters, big salmon, and wild backcountry, the Wild and Scenic Chetco and Illinois Rivers are great American treasures.  Thank you for your support for these important issues.

Photo: Chetco River, Ann Vileisis

Connecting Paths at the Seattle Backyard Collective

In Seattle, we recently welcomed over 60 volunteers from 11 member companies to West Duwamish Park for a day affectionately dubbed  as "restoration bootcamp". The goal before us was to build trails including turnpike and switchback sections, as well as remove invasive blackberry with project leadership from Forterrathe Nature Consortium and Green Seattle Partnership

The West Duwamish Greenbelt is the largest greenbelt in Seattle, providing habitat to fox, red-legged frogs, hawks, and bald eagles. It is also serves an important role in providing urban residents with opportunities for recreation in nature, in their backyard.

Volunteer teams were oriented to their tools and set out for a day of demanding tasks. Before long, the park echoed with sounds of collective action. Rocks were being loaded into wheelbarrows, pick axes were swinging, and bark was being removed from logs in preparation for turnpike construction.

 

Once again we were impressed by the cross-organizational camaraderie in Seattle, always a highlight of our Backyard Collective Season. With teams from FilsonCascade DesignsNikwaxThe North FaceBrooks SportsMoving ComfortStanleyOutdoor Research and Teva, we also welcomed volunteers from D.A. Davidson & Co as well as David Egan & Associates out for the day.

  

Progress was quickly visible with the collective strength and spirit of our volunteers. After a few hours of focused effort we accomplished all that we set out to achieve, constructing 230 feet of new trail as well as removing 1,475 square feet of invasive blackberry.

Our lunch celebration included sandwiches from Bahn Mi as well as food for thought from American WhitewaterPuget Soundkeeper AllianceWashington Wild and Forterra, the participating non-profits, represented during our Volunteer Fair. 

  

Many thanks to Forterra and to all of of our member company planners & participants for a stellar day of stewardship in the Emerald City.

Our next Backyard Collective is planned for August 21st in Portland, Oregon. Stay tuned, it's going to be a BIG one!

Take Action Tuesday: You Did It. SkiLink Halted

This just in from Save Our Canyons!

You've done it!

SkiLink seems to be done for the foreseeable future as many members of the Utah Delegation have indicated the Wasatch Summit planning effort needs to play out, looking holistically at our Wasatch Mountains.

You've contacted your officials, put up yard signs, been increasingly persistent, informed engaged and on message. While SkiLink is gone, for now, many other issues are lurking in the Wasatch.

For more follow clikc here to read an article from the Salt Lake Tribune.

We would encourage you all to take a moment and send a note of gratitude to your elected leaders in Washington DC.

Contact your Senator here

Contact your US Representative here.

Thank you all for your vigilance and support! It has been incredibly heartening to see the community energize around this issue. We hope that we can continue the momentum to work proactively to protect this one of a kind place.

Favorites on Friday: Appalachian Trail Conservancy Reports Success

Photo: Beauty Spot Blad

In 2008, we funded the overall Rocky Fork acquisition through Appalachian Trail Conservancy, with the goal to acquire and protect the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork tract in eastern Tennessee.  The 10,000-acre purchase has been completed, and 2000 acres transferred State of Tennessee to become a new state park  

To learn more, click here

Favorites on Friday: Trust for Public Land Reports Success

Photo: Crocker Mountain, Marcy Monkman

On June 7, 2013, The Trust for Public Land conserved the Crocker Mountain property in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.  The land is now owned by the State of Maine and protected by a conservation easement ensuring that it will never be developed and will always be open to public recreational access. This is a significant accomplishment for The Trust for Public Land's White Mountains to Moosehead Lake initiative; providing permanent protection for Crocker Mountain; a 12,046-acre property including three of Maine's highest mountains. 

The conservation purchase will allow for additional recreational development in the Sugarloaf Region, an area that is busy in the winter ski season, but needs additional trails and outdoor experiences to promote tourism related job growth in the non-snow season.  

This acquisition is part of a large vision for the region, which includes 67,900 acres of woods, waters, and mountains in Maine and New Hampshire's "Great White Moose", one of the Northeast's largest natural landscapes.

To learn more, click here

Serena Rocks at Mountain Bike Nationals

 

Proving that we at The Conservation Alliance like to work hard and play harder, our own Serena Gordon placed second in the Pro Women's category at the 2013 Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals in Sun Valley, Idaho last weekend. She finished the 41-mile course really darned fast. A lot of work and training goes into reaching the podium at a race like this, and Serena did it while holding down a full-time job. Hats off, Serena!

Restoration & Cooperation in Oregon

On a recent Tuesday, we welcomed Ruff WearStanley PMIHydro Flask and FootZone Bend who brought along sponsored athletes and friends Stephanie Howe (The North Face, Clif Bar), Jeff Browning (Patagonia) and Max King (Montrail) for a day of restoration on Whychus Creek. 

Since 1996, the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council (UDWC) has been working to protect and restore the 2000 miles of rivers and streams that flow through Central Oregon. Our Backyard Collective volunteers worked together improve instream habitat on the Whychus through the planting of 350 native plants including Spiraea, Alder, Cottonwood and Idaho Fescue. Volunteers also removed a patch of knapweed from the project area.

"I loved how engaged and inquisitive all of the business member volunteers were, " said Kolleen Yake, Education Director at UDWC, "Many of the volunteers asked me thoughtful questions about the long-term restoration plan for the health of Whychus Creek. It was inspiring to engage in meaningful stewardship work while sharing conservation dialogue with one another."

  

Our event also included representatives from Oregon Natural Desert Association and Deschutes Land Trust who briefed attendees on current initiatives and opportunities for environmental action at the local level.

 

 

This year we were thrilled to include members of the Hydro Flask team for our volunteer action. They donated awesome flasks for all of our attendees engraved with the brand new Backyard Collective logo-thanks again! 

 

 

We're also grateful for Ruff Wear quick release leashes and a variety of Clif Bars donated for the enjoyment of all of our volunteers.

As you know, it takes a village of awesome companies to create Backyard Collective success. Perhaps that is why we're still smiling about our day spent on the Whychus with Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. Thanks again to all who participated. For more photos, please visit our Facebook album here.

Many thanks to our event photographer and Director of Product at Ruffwear Geoff Raynak, for sharing his artistic eye. 

Take Action Tuesday: GO America Week in Washington DC

Photo: Blair Witte, John Sterling, and Gareth Martins on Capitol Hill   

The Conservation Alliance led a delegation to Washington, DC last week, to participate in the annual Great Outdoors America Week (GO Week). The event is designed to convene a broad group of stakeholders to demonstrate widespread support for protected public lands. Representing the outdoor business community, the Alliance delegation joined groups from the conservation, hunter/angler, youth, and military communities. 

The Alliance group included Gareth Martins (Osprey Packs), Blair Witte (The North Face), and Alliance Executive Director John Sterling. The team met with nine Congressional offices in two days, voicing business support for legislation that would protect wild lands and rivers throughout the US. 

Martins and Sterling also participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled "Conservation and the Outdoor Economy", which included representatives from Outdoor Industry Association, Vail Mountain Resorts, and Western Spirit Cycling Adventures. The panel provided insights into the many ways that protected lands benefits outdoor business and outdoor recreation.  

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