Ambassador Profile: Mary Maliff, Director at The Forest Group

rafting organ

Conservation Alliance Ambassadors are 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 Mary Maliff, Director at The Forest Group in Lotus, CA. She has been an active volunteer for The Conservation Alliance since 2010.

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

Since I started my job, The Forest Group and The Conservation Alliance have and continue to partner closely. Between the Conservation Alliance’s mission and the wonderful team, it is easy to want to pitch in and help in any way possible. It is a very rewarding feeling to be a part of the good work being done. Not to mention, this is also a lot of fun and there is a great community surrounding the Conservation Alliance.

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

I would love to see every business who prides themselves as a company in the outdoor industry a member of the Conservation Alliance. Can you even begin to imagine the impact that could have on our wild spaces to have that much support and resources put towards the conservation community every year?  Also, seeing firsthand the impact the Conservation Alliance has already had in our Washington D.C. trips, it would be great to see the Conservation Alliance playing a larger political role and voice on behalf of the outdoor industry.

What areas of conservation are you most passionate about? 

I have to echo what a few of my fellow ambassadors have called out already regarding this question; preservation and access are extremely important to me. We need to protect our wilderness for ourselves and future generations, but also need the ability for everyone to interact with and gain from the benefits nature offers.  As a former raft guide and outdoor educator I have witnessed many times over how quickly a person can bond with a space and how even the shortest adventure can alter a life for the better.

Favorite outdoor activity?

While climbing has recently taken up more of my time and energy, absolutely nothing beats floating down the river with good friends and good dogs.

Favorite Wilderness or national park?

I have yet to find a place that rivals Yosemite for its pure natural awe and beauty.

Words of motivation to get others inspired:

Get educated and get involved.  Be it on a local level or larger, you absolutely  have the ability to make a positive impact.

Save the Date: The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Kevin Fedarko

Photo: John Blaustein


The Conservation Alliance Breakfast
Friday, January 8, 7-9 AM
The Marriott, Salons F-I, Salt Lake City

The Emerald Mile: Grand Canyon, Adventure, and Threats to Our National Parks

A Presentation by Author Kevin Fedarko

Kevin Fedarko is author of New York Times bestseller, The Emerald Mile, which recounts the story of the record-setting speed run through Grand Canyon in a small wooden dory during the largest flood to sweep the Colorado River in generations. Fedarko’s presentation will cover geology, hydrology, the history of American exploration, and the art of rowing extreme whitewater deep inside the Grand Canyon. With a nod to the centennial of the National Park Service, Fedarko will also talk about threats to our National Parks, and what we can do to renew our commitment to the crown jewels of the American landscape. Fedarko’s writing has appeared in Outside, Esquire, the New York Times, and other publications. The Emerald Mile, won a National Outdoor Book Award and the Reading the West Award.

Arrive tired, leave inspired!

80 Volunteers Join The Conservation Alliance in Lyons, CO

Boulder BYC21

Nine outdoor industry member companies and six non-profit organizations joined us in Lyons, Colorado for our fifth Backyard Collective event of the year. Backyard Collectives bring together member company employees and local non-profits for a day of environmental action.  80 volunteers donated their time to help repair flood damage impacted the corridor trail in Lyons.  The trail is a main thoroughfare for pedestrians & cyclists to safely travel along the busy entrance to town.

Employees from Backpackers PantryOsprey PacksLa SportivaNite IzeVerdeMerrellSea to SummitKelty, OIABoulder Mountain Bike AllianceIMBAAccess FundColorado Mountain ClubConservation Colorado and 1% for the Planet participated in the event.

Thank you to all of our members and non-profit partners for doing good work to preserve and protect the open space in your community.

Portland Backyard Collective

Over 250 people from Columbia Sportswear, Merrell, Yakima Racks, NauIcebreaker, KEEN, The North Face, Trail Butter, Notogroup and Hi Tec joined us for the Portland Backyard Collective event earlier this month. Together we: cleared 6.5 miles of trail in Forest Park; cleaned up Audrey McCall Beach; and moved yards of mulch, hauled branches, and supervised the falling of a tree in the Hoyt Arboretum.

Western Rivers Conservancy, Oregon Wild, 1% for the Planet, Wild Salmon Center and Human Access Project joined the volunteers for a take-action tabling event after lunch. Thanks for coming out everyone!







Success! American River Conservancy Completes 10,115 Acre Granite Chief Property Acquisition

Granite Chief / American River Headwaters, CA  Photo Credit:  American River Conservancy

On Wednesday, August 5thAmerican River Conservancy (ARC) closed escrow on, thus permanently protecting, 9,955 acres of land known as the American River Headwaters/Granite Chief Property.  These acquired lands adjoin another 160 acres acquired by ARC in 2013, and completes the purchase of section numbers 1, 29, 35 and 36 on this mapThis acquisition has protected and preserved the largest private inholding on the Sierra Nevada Crest south of Donner Summit.

This forested landscape is at the headwaters of the North and Middle Forks of the American River. The property is immediately west of North Lake Tahoe, CA, the Olympic Valley/Squaw Valley Ski Area and the Pacific Crest Trail.

The $50,000 Conservation Alliance grant awarded to ARC in 2014 was instrumental in initiating a massive fundraising campaign, enabling ARC and its partners to raise the $14.5 million required for this conservation project including $11,000,000 for the purchase price and transaction expense; $1.15 million for a stewardship endowment and $2.35 million for restoration.  This restoration work includes the decommissioning of approximately 20 miles of logging roads, and the repair of streams and wet meadows on 3,055 acres. ARC expects to begin the physical restoration work in June, 2016.  Once the restoration work is complete, they expect to add more than 3,000 of the newly acquired acres to the Granite Chief Wilderness.

The Conservation Alliance is deeply proud to have played a role in this project. Protecting 10,000 acres in such a short amount of time, in one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world, is a great accomplishment.

Seattle Backyard Collective

Photo Credit:  Rick Meade, Nikwax

Last week, 97 volunteers from Seattle-based member companies spent a total of 291 volunteers hours removing 11,000 square feet of invasive plants and spreading 4,000 square feet of mulch at Genessee Park, WA. Participating members included Eddie Bauer, REI, Brooks, Filson, Perpetual Motion NW, Stanley , and Nikwax.

Thank you, Forterra, for organizing another successful day of stewardship!

Photo Credit: Rick Meade, Nikwax











Success! Anthony’s Nose Acquisition Protects 18 Acres

Lake George, NY   Photo:  John Macionis

Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) just completed the acquisition of 18 acres at the base of Anthony’s Nose, an iconic peninsula at the north end of Lake George, NY. This acquisition provides public access to the 2,200 ft summit of Record Hill and is adjacent to a 189 acre parcel acquired by LGLC in 2000.

The Conservation Alliance awarded LGLC with one grant for $35,000. We are proud to fund this important project, well done Lake George Land Conservancy!


Ambassador Profile: Kate Larramendy, Design and Sustainability Director at Toad&Co

east cape baja

Conservation Alliance Ambassadors are 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 Kate Larramendy, Design & Sustainability Director at Toad&Co in Santa Barbara, CA. She has been an active volunteer for The Conservation Alliance since Toad&Co (formerly Horny Toad) joined in 2005. 

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

The work of the Conservation Alliance is profoundly important to the health of the outdoor industry. Selfishly, that is how I’ve supported myself my entire adult life. The viability and future of wild and even, not-so-wild places means we will continue to have these places outdoors to go. We need to protect the places we love and provide the hope and possibility that people coming after us will also be able to experience them. As an ambassador I am learning to be a more effective activist and can bring it back to the office to get others fired up.

What local conservation projects are you involved in?

About 15 years ago a group of locals caught wind of backroom dealings to approve a major development in the hills that are the backdrop to Ventura. We were appalled by what this would mean for traffic, sprawl and loss of open space and habitat. This was my first hands-on experience helping to start a grass-roots movement. From there it got political and after defeating a ballot measure we were able to shift the focus to conservation efforts by forming a land trust. I learned a lot about fundraising – sadly, so much of conservation comes down to money. The upside is I know how to produce a concert.

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

I think the political arena is where much of the future of conservation lies and I’m impressed by how powerfully The Conservation Alliance has moved into that area. I have been lucky to join a couple of the lobbying trips to Washington, D.C. What a fascinating, convoluted and bizarre world. But it is the reality for getting anything done. I’m clear that you don’t go there to change the system, you go to learn to work the system. Continuing to leverage the growth and health the outdoor industry has on the national economy is the future. It comes down to numbers. Money talks. Well, we can keep working those numbers.

What areas of conservation are you most passionate about?

I live on the ocean so clean water, through the entire system, from the source to the sea is very important to me. Habitat preservation for all creatures, even humans, is critical. Alaska fascinates me. The idea of it is fantasy because I haven’t actually spent any real time there. I love knowing such an utterly vast, expansive and for the most part, still pristine, place exists. I take great comfort in the idea of it and will join and support any efforts to keep it that way. I will be there soon.

End Quote: 

We protect the places we love. It all starts there. There is tremendous power in that simple principle. The Conservation Alliance is an effective and growing network of people doing just that.

Introducing Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument,  Photo Credit: Ivan Sohrakoff

Today, President Obama protected 330,780 acres in Northern California by designating Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

The Conservation Alliance awarded Tuleyome with two grants in 2012 and 2014, totaling $55,000, for their effort to protect Berryessa Snow Mountain. In addition to financial support, our members stepped up in other ways to advocate for the designation of this monument. In July 2014, Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar, wrote this op-ed about the importance of protecting California’s public lands, including Berryessa Snow Mountain. In December 2014, 14 Conservation Alliance member companies based in California signed this letter addressed to President Obama asking him to designate Berryessa Snow-Mountain National Monument.  In April 2015, Sacramento news station CBC13 highlighted the biologically diverse landscape in a feature about the unique partnership between member company Juniper Ridge and Tuleyome.

This 330,780 acre monument is less than 100 miles from Sacramento and the Bay Area, and covers portions of Lake, Napa, Mendocino, Solano and Yolo counties. Recreation opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, paddling down the wild and scenic Cache Creek, hunting and horse-back riding. This region provides critical habitat for California’s second-largest population of wintering bald eagles, and wild Tule elk.

A bill to protect Berryessa Snow Mountain was introduced into Congress in February 2015.  Like most monuments designated by President Obama, he took action when Congress failed to act. We applaud President Obama for using his authority under the Antiquities Act to create Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

Victories like this are worth celebrating!  We hope you will share the exciting news with your audience by sharing our Facebook and Twitter posts.

  • Archives
    • 2018
    • 2017
    • 2016
    • 2015
    • 2014
    • 2013
    • 2012
    • 2011
    • 2010
    • 2009
    • 2008
    • 2007
    • 2006