Save the Date! The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Kevin Fedarko & Pete McBride

The Grand Canyon by Pete McBride

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast
Friday, January 26, 2018
7:00-9:00 AM
The Hyatt, Centennial Ballroom, 650 15th Street, Denver, CO

BETWEEN RIVER AND RIM: Hiking the Grand Canyon

A presentation by writer Kevin Fedarko and photographer/filmmaker Pete McBride

In an effort to share the Grand Canyon’s uncharted glory and shed light on the myriad threats it faces, writer Kevin Fedarko and photographer/filmmaker Pete McBride set off on an audacious and demanding adventure this year: to transect the length of the canyon on foot. This trek is not the pair’s first adventure together, but it may be the toughest.

An award-winning photographer, writer, and filmmaker, Pete has traveled to over 70 countries for a number of publications and companies, including National Geographic Society, Outside magazine, Patagonia, and The Nature Conservancy. A passionate conservationist, Pete has been named a “Freshwater Hero” by National Geographic. Kevin left his post as a top editor at Outside magazine for the dusty abyss of the Grand Canyon. Kevin is the author of The Emerald Mile and his work has been featured in National Geographic Adventure, Esquire, and Time, among other publications. The Conservation Alliance Breakfast is open to the public, so bring a friend.

Arrive Tired, Leave Inspired. 

Kevin Fedarko and Pete McBride

2017 Outstanding Partnership Awards

The Conservation Alliance 2017 Outstanding Partnership Awards recognize three member companies who go above and beyond in their support of and relationship building with Conservation Alliance grantees. Each year, awards are granted to member companies with the purpose of rewarding and encouraging direct engagement between member companies and grantees in efforts to move forward Conservation Alliance funded projects. The 2017 awards were given to Kahtoola, Kelty, and Zappos.

Kahtoola played a huge role in helping Grand Canyon Wildlands Council with their Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument Campaign. Founder and owner Danny Giovale stepped up in every imaginable form, from op-eds, DC calls and fly-ins, presenting the proposal to local business leaders, and exploring and filming, to being title sponsor of the inaugural RumbleX event. Kahtoola is a powerhouse of support.

Kelty has helped amplify the Conservation Colorado message by hosting lunch-and-learn events with their staff, helping recruit volunteers, and signing a letter of support for the Continental Divide Campaign. Kelty helped Conservation Colorado reach their goals of outreach and engagement by sharing content on social media and recruiting supporters.

Zappos helped Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Friends of Gold Butte move the Gold Butte National Monument Campaign forward. Zappos is a large employer in Las Vega and worked in collaboration with KEEN to make the Gold Butte campaign more welcoming to other Nevada based businesses – showcasing the economic benefit of protected public land on local economies.

A special thanks to Conservation Alliance member Kiitella for donating the awards.

Six New Members Join the Leading Edge Program

Nasisse_Conservstion Alliance (8 of 19)

We’re pleased to welcome six new members to our Leading Edge program.  This program provides individuals with an opportunity to make a significant contribution to support The Conservation Alliance’s efforts to protect wild places throughout North America for their recreation and habitat values.  Members of The Leading Edge have committed to contributing $5,000 to The Conservation Alliance annually for a minimum of three years. Most are either founders of The Conservation Alliance, or have served on the organization’s board of directors. The initial Leading Edgers are: Yvon Chouinard; Steve and Nona Barker; Sally McCoy; Peter Metcalf; Adam Forest; Rory Fuerst; Matt Hyde; Steve Meineke; Steve Rendle; Kirk Richardson; and Casey Sheahan.

Our new 2017 Leading Edge members include:

  • Bill Kulczycki
  • Rose Marcario
  • Michael Pfotenhauer and Diane Wren
  • Todd Spaletto
  • Jerry Stritzke
  • Beaver and Pam Theodosakis

The Leading Edge is now open to anyone who is interested in supporting The Conservation Alliance. Donors may direct their contributions to either the organization’s grant fund (to directly support conservation projects), or to the discretionary fund (to help cover The Conservation Alliance’s lean operating expenses).  Please contact John Sterling (john at to learn more.

Save the Date! The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Wildlife Photojournalist Joe Riis

Pronghorn by Joe Riis

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast
Thursday, July 27, 2017
7:00-9:00 AM
The Marriott, Salons F-I, Salt Lake City

MIGRATIONS: Photographing Animal Migrations, the Heartbeat of Yellowstone

A Presentation by wildlife photojournalist Joe Riis

Joe Riis is a wildlife biologist turned photojournalist and filmmaker. He is a National Geographic Society Fellow and Photography Fellow at the Wyoming Migration Initiative. His photography book Yellowstone Migrations to be released in Fall 2017, illustrates Joe’s decade-long project to document the animal migrations of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. “I want people to think about the animal’s needs,” Riis says. “They need somewhere to live, the freedom to move as seasons change and as the climate changes.” Joe was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2015 for his work in Yellowstone, and has photographed wildlife stories around the world for National Geographic Magazine ranging from the rare Gobi Bear to Tepui Toads. As the outdoor industry focuses more energy on preserving our public lands, Joe’s work shows us what is happening on those lands when people are not watching. The Conservation Alliance Breakfast is open to the public, so please bring a friend.

Arrive tired, leave inspired!

2016 Outstanding Partnership Awards

atagonia award 2

Photo:  A resupply to Dave and Amy Freeman’s “A Year in the Wilderness” led by representatives from Patagonia Chicago and St. Paul.

We’re pleased to announce Ibex Outdoor Clothing, Patagonia, and KEEN as the winners of the Outstanding Partnership Award for 2016. The award recognizes member companies that go above and beyond in building relationships with Conservation Alliance grantees.

All Conservation Alliance grantees from the past three funding cycles were invited to nominate member companies for recognition. Each nomination described how the company engaged in a meaningful partnership to help the organization succeed in its conservation work.

The Trust for Public Land nominated Ibex Outdoor Clothing for a partnership that has spanned many years and includes board service, event hosting, in-kind donations, and public and outspoken support of full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“Over the past two years, Ibex Outdoor Clothing has been an outstanding partner and friend to The Trust for Public Land,” says Michael Giammusso, Director of Institutional Giving, The Trust for Public Land. “Our relationship with Ibex began in Vermont, and has developed into an invaluable connection.”

Portland, Oregon-based KEEN was nominated by Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) for an unprecedented organizational commitment.

“It would be difficult to imagine a company making a stronger commitment to conservation than Keen has over the last year,” said Dan Morse, Conservation Director, ONDA. “Above and beyond the company’s ingrained conservation ethic and ongoing support for organizations like ONDA, this year KEEN upped the ante for conservation across the country with its Live Monumental campaign. For the ONDA and the Owyhee Coalition this effort brought critical attention and support to the campaign to permanently protect the Owyhee Canyonlands.”

Patagonia was nominated by two grantees, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and Raincoast Conservation Foundation, for its financial support and awareness raising efforts to garner public support to protect these special places.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support from Patagonia that is helping us reach and inspire hundreds of thousands of people to protect the Boundary Waters and has the attention of national leaders who can take action this year to protect this great canoe country wilderness,” said Samantha Chadwick of the Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness.

“Patagonia gets behind ideas that matter and makes change happen,” said Ross Dixon of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. “We hold up this collaboration as an outstanding example of what is possible when the business community lends not only resources, but their skills, their people and their passion to protect wild places for habitat and the recreational values that we all share.”

The Outstanding Partnership Award is an annual initiative. Previous winners of the award include: Outdoor Gear Exchange, prAna, Mountain Equipment Co-op, The Forest Group, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Filson, Black Diamond, Juniper Ridge, and Footzone of Bend.

The Bend Backyard Collective; Building trail in our own backyard!


October 2nd was a fine autumn day in Bend, OR and the date of the annual Bend Backyard Collective.

Employees from local member companies, Cascade Financial Strategies, Hydro Flask, Cairn, Footzone of Bend, Quickfeat and Ruff Wear worked with Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) to build the last mile of the new Catch & Release mountain bike trail, connecting Tyler’s Traverse with the Century Drive Welcome Center Trails, which when open at the end of October, will eliminate the need to ride on the road to connect these popular trail segments. While member company, Picky Bars, was unable to join us in person, they did keep us fueled on the trail. #lifepoints

We were thrilled to have representatives from local grantee organizations Oregon Natural Desert Association, Oregon Wild, and Central Oregon LandWatch give updates on their projects, and to connect with our local member companies.

Photos: Victor Ortado (cameraman extraordinaire) Thanks for capturing the day Victor!

ONDA Solidifies Critical Local Support for Sutton Mountain

Oregon Natural Desert Association is one step closer to permanent protection in the John Day Basin.

Photo: JDavis

Conservation Alliance grantee, Oregon Natural Desert Association, has cleared an important hurdle and move one step closer to securing protection for a proposal wilderness area in the John Day Basin with the endorsement of two local governments.  When successful, this wilderness proposal will protect roughly 58,000 acres of public land known for spectacular scenery and prime wildlife habitat.

The Wheeler County Court and the Mitchell City Council have both voted unanimously to support a wilderness designation for Sutton Mountain, which neighbors the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in the John Day River Basin.

In casting their supporting votes, local officials cited the economic benefits of the proposal, which also includes transferring a 1,959-acre Bureau of Land Management-owned parcel to Wheeler County. Mitchell, considered the gateway city to Sutton Mountain, endorsed the proposal last week in a 6-0 vote. The Wheeler County Court followed suit this week. With the two key endorsements, wilderness advocates and local stakeholders are optimistic that the proposal will earn the support of the Oregon congressional delegation.

The proposed land transfer, an area near Mitchell known as the Golden Triangle, was at one time private land that is currently administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The parcel contains a historic homestead and was in the past used for agricultural purposes.

“This proposal really is in the best interests of local residents,” Wheeler County Judge Chris Perry said. “It will create economic opportunities through tourism and visitation to the new wilderness. The majority of area residents I’ve heard from are in favor of this plan, and they agree that it will breathe new life into a tired horse.”

“People come to Mitchell already to see the wonder of the Painted Hills,” said Mitchell City Councilor Kerrie Shortt, referring to Travel Oregon’s inclusion of the Painted Hills in its Seven Wonders of Oregon campaign. “But we believe they’ll stay longer when they realize Sutton Mountain is also worth a visit.”

With its see-for-miles vistas, deep canyons and fascinating geology, Sutton Mountain is a gem of the John Day River Basin worth knowing, said Brent Fenty, ONDA’s executive director. It also features prime habitat for elk, mule deer and raptors, as well as plants found nowhere else in the world.

“We’re proud to be part of a collaborative proposal that would respond to the needs of Wheeler County residents and protect one of the most important areas of Oregon’s high desert,” Fenty said.

ONDA will continue working with Wheeler County, the City of Mitchell and other stakeholders to pursue legislation for the proposal.

Learn more about ONDA’s conservation initiative ( and the area’s unique characteristics ( on ONDA’s website.

A Tour of the White Clouds

WhiteClouds_Castle Divide

I am a conservationist and I am a mountain biker. I believe in the protection of public land for recreation and habitat, and for the beautiful silence witnessed in these wild places. I believe in the collaboration between diverse stakeholders to make sure these wild places are protected for generations to come.

The first week in July, I was honored to join representatives from International Mountain Bicycling AssociationOutdoor AllianceWestern Spirit CyclingBig Woods Bicycle Coalition, and Club Ride Apparel for two amazing days of mountain biking in the White Cloud Mountains, an area, which if designated by President Obama, will be permanently protected as the Boulder-White Clouds National Monument.

The region is one of the last, largest under-protected roadless landscapes in the lower 48 states and supports all types of recreational opportunities. The Boulder-White Clouds offer world-class backcountry experiences including (more…)

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