Michael LaLonde, President of Deschutes Brewery, Joins The Conservation Alliance Board


The Conservation Alliance board elected Michael LaLonde, President and CEO of Deschutes Brewery to serve on the board of directors. LaLonde joins the board as we seek to recruit more members from the craft brewing sector.

LaLonde joined Deschutes Brewery in 2005 as CFO. Prior to Deschutes, he worked for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, AZ for 12 years. He has volunteered his time with the Red Cross, Bend Chamber of Commerce, The Boys and Girls Club, the Deschutes River Conservancy, and Oregon State University-Cascades.

“As a craft brewery from Oregon, our company culture is deeply connected to the great outdoors. My fellow brewery co-owners and I ski, snowboard, bike, run, surf, boat, hunt, fish, you name it,” said LaLonde. “I am energized by the difference we can make by banding together with other Conservation Alliance members to put ‘boots on the ground’ to help protect our wild places. The need for action is more urgent than ever right now.”

LaLonde fills the seat vacated by outgoing board member Chelsea Hadlock of Ibex Outdoor Clothing. The Conservation Alliance membership will elect a second new board member in June to fill a seat vacated by Scott Whipps of Toad & Co., who reaches his term limits in July.

We look forward to working with Michael as we draw the connection between trail and tavern.

Cairn, The Gear Fix, and The Conservation Alliance Partner to Do Good with Retired Gear


Press Release

Cairn, best known for curating subscription boxes that help outdoor enthusiasts discover innovative products, announced their Gear Up, Give Back™ program, set to launch in Spring 2018. In partnership with The Gear Fix, an outdoor equipment repair and consignment shop, the program makes it easy for Cairn Subscribers, or anyone with gear to spare, to donate their retired items to benefit the preservation of wild places through The Conservation Alliance.

“The inspiration for this program came from a dilemma that both the Cairn Team and our Subscribers have shared,” said Cairn Co-Founder, Rob Little. “We get a thrill from discovering innovative new gear, which means we end up retiring some of our equipment simply because we’ve moved on to something that works better for us. We’re excited to team up with another Bend, Oregon based company, The Gear Fix, to keep retired gear out of landfills, help others get outdoors, and raise funds for a cause we believe in.”

The Gear Up, Give Back program will officially launch this spring with the inclusion of a Gear Up, Give Back Kit in every Monthly Cairn Collection. The kit will include a large polybag mailer and shipping label, which subscribers will simply fill with gear they no longer use and place it in the mail. The Gear Fix will make any necessary repairs to the items received and place them for sale in their shop. The net proceeds of each sale will be matched by Cairn and The Gear Fix and donated to The Conservation Alliance. “Our in-house repair shop can fix just about anything, so don’t throw it out or let it sit around in your garage. Send it in and let us do some good with it,” encouraged Josh Sims, owner of The Gear Fix.

The Conservation Alliance, also based in Bend, engages outdoor businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. “This is a creative way to engage the outdoor community in paying it forward, both by contributing to the conservation of the wild places that they enjoy and by giving gear a second life with another outdoor enthusiast. We’re thrilled to be a part of it,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance.

Cairn’s goal is to have Gear Up, Give Back become a permanent fixture in their business. “Our community of Subscribers are passionate about the outdoors and supporting others getting out there,” said Little. “We’re excited to see the impact that we can have together.”

Anyone with gear to spare can participate in the Gear Up, Give Back program by requesting a kit at


2017 Year in Review


We had an eventful 2017, contributing more funding than ever to conservation organizations. We responded to the shifting political landscape by hiring Kirsten Blackburn as our new Advocacy Program Manager. Kirsten hit the ground running building a program to educate our members about public lands, and to engage them on efforts to protect and defend those landscapes. We also launched the Public Lands Defense Fund, a new grant program designed to help organizations defend the integrity of our public lands system. And we worked more closely than ever with our outdoor industry members and peers to protect North America’s last wild places. Following is a summary of our grantees successes:

  1. Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Expansion – Since 2013, we made a total of three grants to Soda Mountain Wilderness Council to double the size of the 66,000-acre Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. In January 2017, President Obama added 48,000 acres to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. 42,000 acres of the monument expansion are in Southwest Oregon, and 5,000 are in California. The original 66,000-acre national monument declared in 2000 by President Bill Clinton was explicitly designated to protect the area for its biological diversity.  The expanded Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, now 114,000 acres, protects habitat for Jenny Creek’s freshwater snail populations, rough skinned newts, kangaroo rats, pygmy nut hatches and northern spotted owls.
  1. Kalmiopsis Rivers Mineral Withdrawal – We made a total of three grants since 2013 to Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center to protect Rough and Ready, Baldface and Hunter Creeks from mining, and to obtain Wild and Scenic River designations and expand the Kalmiopsis Wilderness to include their watersheds. In January 2017, the Bureau of Land Management executed a 20-year mineral withdrawal for 101,021 acres in Southwest Oregon, protecting the area from any new mining activity. The area includes Rough and Ready Creek, Baldface Creek, Hunter Creek, the North Fork Pistol River and the North Fork of the Smith River. As a result, 107 river miles are now protected from the adverse impacts of new mines for 20 years while Congress considers legislation to make this action permanent.
  1. California Coastal National Monument Expansion – Since 2013 we made a total of four grants to Conservation Lands Foundation to convince President Obama to designate new national monuments in California and Oregon. In January, 2017, Obama expanded the California Coastal National Monument to include six new areas: Trinidad Head; Waluplh-Lighthouse Ranch; Lost Coast Headlands; Cotoni-Coast Dairies; Piedras Blancas; and Orange County Rocks. Members of California’s Congressional delegation led a legislative effort to expand this monument, which enjoys widespread support throughout California. Congress failed to act, leading to President Obama’s proclamation. The original monument, designated by President Bill Clinton in 2000, preserved more than 20,000 offshore islands and rocks. The expanded monument provides on-shore public access while protecting important coastal resources for current and future generations to enjoy.
  1. Denny Cove – With support from The Land Trust of Tennessee and The Conservation Fund, a group of partners led by Access Fund and Southeastern Climbers Coalition purchased Denny Cove from a private timber owner. The 685-acre Denny Cove tract is now part of South Cumberland State Park. Transferring ownership was the final step in a multi-partner, six-year effort to secure permanent protection for this climbing area 30 minutes outside Chattanooga.
  1. Yellow Dog River Community Forest – Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve acquired 688 acres of forest along the Yellow Dog River in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The new Yellow Dog River Community Forest permanently protects public access to the Yellow Dog River, and preserves wetlands and forest for non-motorized recreation. In addition to river frontage and waterfalls, visitors can find upland mixed forests, old growth hemlock stands, granite rock outcrops, and rare plant and animal species.
  1. Elliott State Forest – We awarded Wild Salmon Center a Public Lands Defense Fund grant to build grassroots support for the Elliott State Forest. On May 9, 2017, the Oregon Public Lands Board unanimously voted to cancel the sale of the 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest to a timber company. Almost half of trees in the Elliott State Forest are more than 100 years old and have never been logged.  This popular destination for hunters and anglers remains publicly owned, and the multi-year process to determine how the forest will be managed is underway.
  1. Squire Tract, Black River Cypress Swamp Acquisition – A 150-acre old-growth cypress swamp along North Carolina’s Black River is now protected thanks to The Nature Conservancy of North Carolina. The entire acquisition, called the Squire Tract, permanently protects 410 acres for conservation and recreation. Some of the cypress trees along the Black River are more than 1700 years old. With the addition of the Squire Tract, the Black River Preserve is now more than 3,200 acres.
  1. Boardman Dam Removal – We funded Conservation Resource Alliance’s Boardman River Dams Project to remove three dams and restore 15 river miles resulting in a free flowing and reborn Boardman River.  CRA reports that they have successfully removed Boardman Dam, the second of the three dams slated for removal. CRA now turns its attention to removing Sabin Dam, the last of the three dams on the river.

Outdoor Industry Leaders Reflect on Opening the Arctic Refuge to Oil Drilling

A caribou calf is calling its mother. Tens of thousands of calfs migrate with the herd immediately after they are born.  Photo:  Florian Schulz

Photo: Florian Schulz

The outdoor industry has a personal connection to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is not just another landscape, but one that leaders in our industry know well. We asked a few outdoor industry leaders who know the Arctic Refuge first-hand to tell us how it makes them feel to know that one of the most vibrant wild landscapes on the planet will soon be opened to oil drilling.

“By voting to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Congress is attacking America’s public lands. Having firsthand knowledge of this magnificent place only strengthens my resolve to defend the Refuge from this administration and the oil companies that want to exploit it.”

-Ron Hunter, Patagonia Activism Manager and frequent visitor to the Arctic Refuge.

“We are talking about the wildest place on the planet where I have seen polar bears, wolverines and herds of thousands of caribou with my own eyes. Every trip to the coastal plain, I am blown away by this incredible spectacle as I imagine how America was before Europeans arrived on the continent. A place where Caribou migrate in the hundreds of thousands to give birth in the place the Gwich’in Athabascan Americans call the “sacred place where life begins.” I am struck that still today in our urbanized world I can, for the price of a plane ticket and some camping gear, visit this iconic place and be a witness to this all. I am reminded that it belongs to me and you, and to all Americans. It is our legacy handed down to us from our ancestors to be protected and given to our children. For generations we as Americans have restrained our instincts to exploit this special place. So it breaks my heart to hear our leaders are moving forward with selling our incredible refuge to the oil industry. Are we so poor a nation that we have to sell off our grandchildren’s legacy to pay for tax cuts? Are we so rich a nation and people that we can afford to carelessly despoil the most pristine wilderness in North America? Did we learn nothing from our great grandfathers after the near extinction of the buffalo or the genocide of Native American peoples? Or did we learn all too well? This is a defining moment for our nation.”

-Steve Barker, Founder of Eagle Creek Travel Gear

“The Arctic Refuge is truly the last wild area in the United States. A far-sighted legacy would be leaving this area as it is for the people and wildlife who depend on the Arctic landscape. Future generations should have the opportunity to visit a truly unique and remarkable landscape. There are many more commercially-viable areas for energy development and we should be focused on transitioning to renewable forms of energy anyway. It’s a truly short-sighted and extremely disappointing decision.”

-Amy Roberts, Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association

“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is North America’s and perhaps the planets last remaining major, pristine, wildlife rich ecosystem. It’s a place of incredible beauty and soul searching majesty and home to more major wildlife herds and bird species that migrate through the continent than any other place in our country. To think our Congress just stealthily slipped into the tax bill a provision striping all protections from this ecosystem of unimaginable richness that all Americans have rallied to support over its 60 years of existence, is not only personally devastating but challenges the fundamental premise that elected representation exists to represent the interest of their constituents vs a small number of corporate interests. “

-Peter Metcalf, Conservation Alliance Board Member and Co-Founder of Black Diamond Equipment

Outdoor Brands Commit to Raising Money for The Conservation Alliance Grant Fund on Giving Tuesday


Photo:  Uncage the Soul Productions

With help from brands in the Outdoor Industry, The Conservation Alliance will launch a fundraising campaign on Giving Tuesday to help protect and defend wild lands and waters across North America. The Conservation Alliance plans to use the funds raised on Giving Tuesday to permanently protect threatened wild places in 2018.

For the first time, The Conservation Alliance has created a consumer-facing campaign for Giving Tuesday, called “You Give. We Protect.” On November 28, Conservation Alliance member companies will share the campaign through their social media channels and invite their customers to join the outdoor industry’s collective effort to add new protected areas to the map by making a donation to The Conservation Alliance.  One hundred percent of the funds raised through this campaign will go directly into The Conservation Alliance grant fund.

In 2017, The Conservation Alliance awarded $1.75-million in grants to 50 conservation organizations working to protect and defend wild places. The group hopes to increase that amount in 2018.

These companies will ask consumers to join the collective effort to protect wild places.

In addition to sharing the “You Give, We Protect” campaign, the following Conservation Alliance member companies will raise funds for The Conservation Alliance through creative cause marketing campaigns on Giving Tuesday:

  • Arc’teryx will support The Conservation Alliance through its ecommerce channel and dealer network on Giving Tuesday. Arc’teryx will use Promoboxx to encourage dealers and retail stores to help raise money for The Conservation Alliance and the protection of wild places.
  • Moosejaw will donate 10-percent of sales generated from its “Almost Gift Card” promotion running on Giving Tuesday to The Conservation Alliance. Customers must use the promotion code (FREEMONEY) for the donation to be applied. For more information, visit
  • GRAYL will donate 25-percent of Giving Tuesday revenue to The Conservation Alliance. GRAYL purifiers make safe, clean water from virtually any freshwater source. Visit for more details.
  • Wilderness Press will promote the Conservation Alliance campaign on their blogs and social media, and offer a coupon code for an additional 5-percent off products to anyone who donates to the Conservation Alliance on Giving Tuesday.
  • BoCo Gear will direct a percentage of proceeds on Giving Tuesday to The Conservation Alliance. For more information, visit
  • Uncage the Soul Productions will host an online auction to raise funds for The Conservation Alliance. The item up for auction is an extra large print (60″ x 44″) of Oregon’s beloved Crater Lake. The auction will go live on Tuesday, November 28, at 8:00 a.m. PT on the Uncage the Soul Facebook page. The auction will be open for 12 hours only and will close at 8 PM PT with 100-percent of the winning auction bid going directly to The Conservation Alliance.
  • Stio will donate a portion of online sales on Giving Tuesday to The Conservation Alliance. Visit for details.
  • Promoboxx, a partner of The Conservation Alliance, is a brand-to-retailer marketing platform that enables members to promote and share the Giving Tuesday campaign content with their local retailer networks. In addition to supporting The Conservation Alliance by increasing Giving Tuesday awareness and donations among local consumers, Promoboxx is also making a campaign donation.

“The Conservation Alliance fights every day to protect America’s wild places, which are under threat as never before. Our customers use and love America’s public lands, so GRAYL is joining the fight!” said Travis Merrigan, co-founder of GRAYL. “On Giving Tuesday, we’re proud to donate 25-percent of sales of our water purifiers to The Conservation Alliance, so our public lands stay public for generations to come,” said Merrigan.

“Asking our member companies to raise money for The Conservation Alliance on Giving Tuesday is unprecedented, but so are the attacks on our public lands,” said Josie Norris, communications and grant program manager at The Conservation Alliance. “Behind every Conservation Alliance member company there is a group of passionate employees who value the protection of wild places, and they are eager to help us increase our investment, and impact, in 2018.”

Grantees Deliver Three Conservation Victories

Photo:  Aaron Theisen

In October 2016, The Conservation Alliance invested $820,000 in grassroots conservation organizations. Each grant went to a project working to secure permanent protection for a specific threatened wild place. We direct organizations to use our funding over the course of a 12-month period. At the end of the grant period, we ask each group for a 12-month final report. These reports play a key role in helping us determine the return on our investment.

Conservation Alliance grantees funded in the last 12 months reported three conservation victories, permanently protecting 7,296 acres and one climbing area.

Following is a summary of the progress our grantees have made with our funding.  At the end of this summary are several exciting updates on work we funded in April 2017. We will share final reports on all of our April 2017 grants in April 2018.

Download a PDF of the grantee report summaries here.


Summer 2017 Grant Announcement


The Conservation Alliance is pleased to fund the following organizations to support their efforts to protect wild lands and waterways for their habitat and recreation values. These grants are made possible by more than 210 businesses who care passionately about protecting wild places for future generations. Each of these businesses is a member of The Conservation Alliance, and plays a critical role in determining which organizations receive funding. Thank you to all of our members for protecting wild places across North America.

Learn more about the projects funded in this grant cycle:

Promoboxx Supports The Conservation Alliance Mission Through Partnership


We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Promoboxx, the only brand-to-retailer commerce platform that connects and aligns national brands with independent, specialty retailers to drive local awareness and sales. Through this partnership, The Conservation Alliance will utilize Promoboxx to provide more than 200 member companies with stories about land and water conservation opportunities across North America. Collectively, these companies will raise awareness about the importance of protecting wild places for future generations by sharing these stories with millions of social media followers.

Promoboxx currently works with a variety of outdoor brands who are current members of The Conservation Alliance, including Arc’teryx, KEEN, Salomon, and Superfeet. These national manufacturing brands partner with Promoboxx to connect and align with independent, specialty retailers to increase their local awareness and sales. The platform enables national brands to easily and effectively provide brand-approved content and campaigns to their specialty retailers. Retailers, in turn, promote the brand content across their digital and social channels to drive local awareness and sales. The Conservation Alliance is extending Promoboxx in a brand new model that provides content that their outdoor brand members can then share across their own digital and social channels.

The Conservation Alliance will leverage the Promoboxx platform to connect, align, and distribute their digital content and campaigns to more than 200 member organizations. This partnership will help The Conservation Alliance grow the visibility of their content and mission and strengthen their member community. Through Promoboxx, members can share and promote grant announcements, actionable campaigns, and celebrate conservation victories across their digital networks. By using Promoboxx, the member outreach process is streamlined and brands can publish content from The Conservation Alliance easily through a single platform.

All Conservation Alliance members are invited to access and share Conservation Alliance content using Promoboxx.  Click here to sign up.

“We were looking for an easy way to provide social media content to our member companies,” said Josie Norris, Program Manager at The Conservation Alliance. “Two Conservation Alliance board members introduced me to Promoboxx after having great success with the platform. Sharing conservation stories and actionable campaigns using Promoboxx will undoubtedly support our advocacy efforts and help us recruit new companies to join The Conservation Alliance, both of which will help add new protected areas to the map in the coming years.”

“Promoboxx is thrilled to partner with The Conservation Alliance,” said Ben Carcio, CEO and Co-Founder at Promoboxx. “The outdoor industry is one that Promoboxx works closely with, and we are so impressed by the work that The Conservation Alliance has done to defend and protect lands and wildlife across America. The Conservation Alliance’s mission of protecting and restoring America’s wild places is one that we appreciate, and we look forward to supporting The Conservation Alliance as they continue to do great work that matters.”

To view how Promoboxx connects and aligns brands with their local retailers to increase local awareness and sales, check out the lookbook recognizing the top digital campaigns of the year or visit

About Promoboxx

Promoboxx is the only brand-to-retailer commerce platform that connects and aligns national brands with independent, speciality retailers to drive local awareness and sales. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Promoboxx partners with leading brands in the outdoor, footwear, auto, appliance, flooring, animal nutrition, and hearing aid industries. Within the outdoor industry, Promoboxx works with Smartwool, Arc’teryx, Patagonia, Keen, Salomon, Wigwam, Osprey Packs, and more. Additional information is available at

Ruffwear Contributes $50,000 to Public Lands Defense Fund


Ruffwear has contributed $50,000 to The Conservation Alliance to support the organization’s efforts to protect and defend public lands in the United States. The Conservation Alliance will direct the funds into its new Public Lands Defense Fund, created by the organization to preserve and defend the integrity of our public lands system.

The Bend, Oregon-based manufacturer of performance dog gear is a long-time member of The Conservation Alliance, and is committed to preserving open lands and waterways, providing important habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for humans and canines.

The Conservation Alliance established the Public Lands Defense Fund (PLDF) in January 2017 to safeguard the integrity of our public lands in the face of dramatic proposals at the federal and state levels that would undermine those lands.

“We are grateful to Ruffwear for demonstrating such leadership in our shared effort to protect and defend public lands,” said John Sterling, executive director of The Conservation Alliance. “These lands are the backbone of outdoor recreation in America.”

The Conservation Alliance makes grants from the PLDF to support conservation organizations working to defend public lands. President Trump recently ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 26 national monuments designated since 1996 to determine whether they should be reduced in size, or rescinded entirely. The PLDF has already funded nine organizations to defend national monuments in Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. The fund has also supported efforts to prevent the transfer of public lands to private ownership in Oregon, and to oppose legislation that would undermine bedrock environmental laws.

“We believe in serving our community and protecting wild places,” said Ruffwear President Will Blount. “Many of the moments we cherish most with our dogs take place on our public lands. The Conservation Alliance is doing critical work to safeguard public lands and waterways, and this donation is our contribution to that effort to ensure that future generations of pups and people will be able to experience America’s natural treasures.”

The Conservation Alliance will contribute at least $255,000 from the PLDF in 2017. All companies and individuals are welcome to contribute to the fund. The PLDF supplements the organization’s regular funding program, which, since 1989, has supported efforts to secure new protections for wild places throughout North America. In 2017, The Conservation Alliance will make grants totaling $1.6 million from that regular grant program.


Grantees Deliver Nine Conservation Victories


In April 2016, The Conservation Alliance invested $820,000 in grassroots conservation organizations. Each grant went to a project working to secure permanent protection for a specific threatened wild place.  We direct organizations to use our funding over the course of a 12-month period. At the end of the grant period, we ask each group for a final report. These reports play a key role in helping us determine the return on our investment.

Conservation Alliance grantees funded in the last 12 months reported nine conservation victories, permanently protecting 3,700,615 acres, 107 river miles and one climbing area.

On April 1, we received 24 final reports. Following is a summary of the progress our grantees have made with our funding. At the end of the summary are several exciting updates on work we funded in October 2016. We will share final reports on all of our October 2016 grants in October 2017.

Download the complete report summary here.

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