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Ambassador Profile: Chelsea Pawlek, Supply Chain Manager at Ibex Outdoor Clothing, Inc.

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Conservation Alliance Ambassadors are the next generation of key influencers and leaders in the outdoor industry, and they serve as a conduit for spreading the word about Conservation Alliance programs and grantee activities within their respective companies.  They volunteer their time, going above and beyond the duties of their full-time jobs at member companies.  Our ambassadors are passionate outdoor enthusiasts, and exceptional people. 

Today, we’d like you to meet Chelsea Pawlek, Supply Chain Manager at Ibex Outdoor Clothing, located in Vermont. She has been an active volunteer for The Conservation Alliance over the past two years, serving on our Advocacy Committee, and participating in our annual trip to Washington, DC.  She will begin serving a three-year term on The Conservation Alliance Board in August. 

What made you want to be an Ambassador for The Conservation Alliance? 

The Conservation Alliance is a lot like Ibex: an organization that looks for change and can activate it quickly. I wanted to engage the Alliance to push myself to be a better activist and my company to be a more involved member. The Alliance staff is so welcoming, they made it easy to participate and add value.

Where would you like to see The Alliance 25 years from now? 

I would love to see The Alliance even more active in conservation lobbying efforts in Washington, DC. The Alliance has made great efforts in the past two years to include Ambassadors in their spring lobbying trip, creating a growing group of better informed activists. I would love to see this continue to develop and create an even more powerful lobbying effort to protect our wild places.

What areas of conservation are you most passionate about? 

Keeping our rivers and waterways free flowing and clean inspires me to work hard for conservation. Our New England landscape is defined by our many streams, rivers, and lakes. As the climate changes, we need to create large shifts in how we treat our water resources to ensure we cannot only paddle in fifty years, but can drink that water as well.

Favorite outdoor activity?

A day without getting outside is a sad day, so I do many outdoor activities. If I have to pick one, it’s getting friends outside on the water. We own a small fleet of water crafts and I love introducing people to kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. A long day on the water followed by a BBQ at home is my idea of a perfect day. Having my dog join me paddling is an added bonus.

Most eye opening experience for the need of conservation. 

My parents took me canoeing down the CT River when I was growing up. At the time, the local sewage plant emptied a portion of their runoff directly into a brook connected to the river. Dead fish would be floating in a murky sea of chemicals and trash. As a child this shocked me and instilled for life the need for protection. The brook now runs clean and Ibex participates in an annual cleanup of that same river called Source to Sea.

Words of motivation to get others inspired.

The Conservation Alliance will engage you as much as you engage them. Get out there and get involved! If you’re interested in lobbying, go to DC this spring – go! The Conservation Alliance staff is amazing and the more people who help out the more success we will have.

America’s Most Important Conservation Program Expires in Fewer than 100 Days


In 2012, Western Rivers Conservancy secured LWCF funding to acquire 16,114 acres along the John Day River in Eastern Oregon. Photo: Gary Braasch

 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund, signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon Johnson, will expire in fewer than 100 days unless Congress reauthorizes the landmark legislation. Congress created the LWCF to provide funding to acquire special wild lands and waters, and cultural resources, and to support recreation infrastructure nationwide. It is the federal government’s most tangible commitment to supporting outdoor recreation, and it does not depend on tax dollars.

The LWCF is funded using a small portion – up to $900 million annually – of the royalty payments energy companies pay to drill for offshore oil and gas. In what now seems a prescient move, the authors of the legislation set up a creative system whereby the depletion of one resource pays for the protection of another. That creative solution is now at risk.

Congress originally authorized the LWCF for 50 years, and that initial period is coming to an end. Since 1965, Congress has appropriated $16.8 billion for the LWCF. Those dollars have permanently protected nearly five million acres of public lands including some of America’s most treasured assets such as Grand Canyon National Park, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the White Mountain National Forest, and Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first federal refuge.

The Conservation Alliance regularly funds organizations that tap into the LWCF to acquire special wildlands. Between 2007-2013, we made 13 grants totaling $400,000 to organizations that used our support to secure more than $99 million in LWCF funds. Because of the LWCF, our grants were multiplied 247 times!

If we value this kind of federal support for outdoor recreation and the lands on which it depends, our members of Congress must act soon to reauthorize the LWCF. Fortunately there are two bills in the Senate and one in the House that would do just that:

  • 338: Introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), this bill would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
  • 890: Introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), this bill not only would permanently reauthorize LWCF, but provide for full, dedicated and permanent funding of the program as well.  This would stop LWCF’s funding from being siphoned off each year in the appropriations process for other, unknown and unaccountable purposes.  In the 50-year history of LWCF, over $18 billion intended for LWCF has been lost to the General Treasury this way.
  • R. 1814: Introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), this bill is a companion to S. 338 on the Senate side and would likewise permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The LWCF is a rare program with strong bipartisan support. We encourage you to join the nationwide effort to urge Congress to permanently reauthorize the LWCF. (http://lwcfcoalition.org/take-action.html) Please take action now. There’s not much time left!

Scott Whipps, Peter Metcalf, and Chelsea Pawlek Elected to The Conservation Alliance Board

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We are pleased to announce the results of The Conservation Alliance Board Elections. We had three positions up for election (or re-election), and five outstanding candidates running to fill these seats. By a vote of our membership, Scott Whipps was elected to a second term, and Chelsea Pawlek and Peter Metcalf were chosen as new directors.

Scott Whipps is Clif Bar and Company’s Director of Sports Retail for North America. He has served on The Conservation Alliance board for the past three years and is our current board chair.

Peter Metcalf is Founder and CEO of Black Diamond Equipment. He is a long-time participant in Conservation Alliance activities and a leading voice for conservation in the outdoor industry.

Chelsea Pawlek is Supply Chain Manager at Ibex Outdoor Clothing. She has been an active volunteer for The Conservation Alliance over the past two years, serving on our Advocacy Committee, and participating in our annual trip to Washington, DC.

We are honored to add Chelsea and Peter to our board, and to retain Scott as our board chair. In other board news, we reported last month that we also have new board representatives from founding members The North Face and Kelty. Ann Krcik succeeds Aaron Carpenter in filling The North Face’s permanent board seat, and Eric Greene takes over for Geoff O’Keeffe in the Kelty seat. We look forward to integrating four new board members into our organization!

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