The Conservation Alliance


Conservation Alliance Blog

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2014 Events

July 22, 2014 by Serena Bishop

Headed to Outdoor Retailer in August?  Support The Conservation Alliance and get great deals on gear from our member companies at the show. Download a copy of the event schedule here.


Protection of 320 Acres along the Siskiyou Fork of the Smith River

July 22, 2014 by Smith River Alliance
On July 18th, the Smith River Alliance and the Six Rivers National Forest secured permanent protection of 320 acres along the Siskiyou Fork of the Smith River for public recreation access and habitat protection. The Siskiyou Fork is a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Smith, located about 10 miles upstream of the town of Gasquet, California. The project protects spawning and rearing habitat for salmon, steelhead, and Coastal cutthroat trout, which are Forest Service Sensitive Species. The project also provides new public access within the Smith River National Recreation Area. The project is part of an eight-year campaign to add 5,300 acres to the Smith River National Recreation Area, known as the Hurdygurdy Project. With the completion of this phase, the total number of acres secured is 3,705. Hurdygurdy Creek is a significant spawning and rearing tributary for salmon and steelhead and it’s one of the most productive... Read More

Write to President Obama

July 21, 2014 by Tuleyome

Oregon Nickel Mine Proposal Runs into Stiff Opposition

July 16, 2014 by Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center

The Klamath-Siskiyou region in northwest California and southwest Oregon is home to the largest concentration of Wild and Scenic Rivers in the U.S., outside of Alaska. The rivers and streams of this unique landscape are its circulatory system - pumping the lifeblood that is water - to all edges of the region. Headwater streams to two of the region's most iconic Wild and Scenic Rivers - the North Fork Smith and Illinois - are at risk of being turned into an industrial wasteland where open-pit mines, haul roads and smelters mar the landscape.

Jefferson Public Radio recently profiled the mining threats to the pristine waterways in the Kalmiopsis wildlands.  KS Wild is working with a coalition of conservation groups to protect more than 60,000 acres of wildlands on the outskirts of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness from mineral exploration. The Conservation Alliance has played a big part in this campaign and has been extremely helpful in supporting KS Wild's grassroots organizing efforts. Just last month we delivered more than 6,000 signatures to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's office in Portland, asking him to introduce legislation to protect the headwaters of the North Fork Smith and Illinois Rivers. If you haven't yet signed on, please consider doing so today

This photo is courtesey of Nathaniel Wilson from the Northwest Rafting Company. The photo was taken on the North Fork of the Smith River. One of its headwaters is Baldface Creek, which has one of the more pressing mining threats. 

Wild Olympics Campaign featured on "This American Land"

July 09, 2014 by Serena Bishop


The Wild Olympics Campaign and the local effort to safeguard clean water and old growth forests are highlighted in a new episode of "This American Land", a national TV program on PBS. The segment features interviews with a number of Olympic Peninsula community members working to permanently protect ancient forests and salmon streams on Olympic National Forest as wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers.  

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) have introduced legislation to permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of ancient and mature forests on Olympic National Forest as wilderness, and 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and major tributaries as Wild and Scenic. The bill is aimed at permanently safeguarding critical salmon habitat, outdoor recreation and sources of clean drinking water for local communities. Backed by over 450 sportsmen organizations, local elected officials, business owners, conservation & outdoor recreation groups, and members of the faith community, the measure was crafted with considerable local stakeholder involvement over several years.

Thomas O'Keefe, the Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director at American Whitewater, helped roll out the Wild Olympics Campaign in 2010. Our members have supported Tom and AW's effort with two grants in the last four years.

Watch and share the Wild Olympics segment on the American Whitewater Facebook page before it airs on PBS in August.

25th Anniversary Celebration: August 7, 6-10 PM

July 08, 2014 by Serena Bishop


Live Music, Dinner + Drinks

The Conservation Alliance turns 25 this year, and we are celebrating by throwing a party for our friends in the Outdoor Industry.  Yes, that's you! Please join us for live music by The Infamous Stringdusters, and dinner and drinks from Caffe Molise on Thursday, August 7, from 6-10 p.m. at The Lot (115 S. West Temple), directly across the street from the main entrance to the Salt Palace.

The first 500 people to the event will get a 25th anniversary trucker hat, produced and donated by Patagonia, and a stainless steel Klean Kanteen pint glass with our 25th anniversary logo.

Pick up your invitation at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast on Thursday morning, August 7. 

Wilderness Haiku Slam! 

Poetry? At a party?  Heck yeah! We challenge you to participate in the festivities by submitting a crowd-pleasing 5-7-5 about Wilderness. A panel of carefully-selected haiku experts will choose the top three submissions and the audience will choose a winner. Merrell will contribute $1,000 to the Conservation Alliance grantee of the winner's choice.

Get your haiku on!

California's public lands are economic engine for our state

July 07, 2014 by Tuleyome
 Guest commentary: California's public lands are economic engine for our state By Kevin Cleary, guest commentary © 2014 Bay Area News Group Posted:   07/05/2014 California's public lands hold a very important place in my life. I have spent many days riding my bike, hiking and celebrating special occasions with family and friends in places like Muir Woods and Tahoe National Forest. Built into these naturally beautiful areas are invaluable memories created over my lifetime. From Mt. Shasta to Death Valley and from the coastline of the Pacific Ocean to the redwood forests, these special places are part of every Californian's way of life, contribute to our economy, and make our state a great place to live and raise a family. That is why the protection of public lands is personally important to me, both as a businessman and as a husband, son and father. While California is widely recognized... Read More

Lake Berryessa deserves protection

July 03, 2014 by Tuleyome
 Lake Berryessa deserves protection By Andrew Fulks Yes, Lake Berryessa should be protected. Many people are not aware of the ecological importance of Lake Berryessa and why the lake is worth protecting as part of a National Conservation Area or national monument.A study prepared by the Nature Conservancy shows that Napa County, including the Lake Berryessa area, is a biodiversity hot spot within California. To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must be threatened, meaning it must have 30 percent or less of its original natural vegetation, and it must also have at least 1,500 endemic plants found nowhere else on the planet. In other words, Lake Berryessa is part of a landscape which is irreplaceable.In addition, the lake lies between the U.C. Quail Ridge Natural Reserve to the south, Cedar Roughs Wilderness to the west, Knoxville BLM lands to the north, and the BLM Berryessa Peak unit to the... Read More

Oregon Governor Kitzhaber Lauds Benefits of New Conservation Designation on Oregon State Forest

July 02, 2014 by Serena Bishop

This post is courtesy of Emily Nuchols from the Wild Salmon Center, a 2014 grant recipient.  Wild Salmon Center's mission is to help promote the conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon ecosystems across the Pacific Rim.

On June 2, Governor Kitzhaber visited Tillamook State Forest to highlight the new High Value Areas that are part of long-range plans for Oregon's state-owned forests. 

"Conservation areas are a critical component of healthy, well-managed public forests," said Governor Kitzhaber in a press release. "They support our great coastal salmon runs and produce diverse wildlife and plant habitat. They provide clean water, carbon storage, and recreation values that are hard to replace elsewhere. I'm inspired and encouraged to see the Department, the Board of Forestry, and stakeholders working hard to sustainably manage and conserve these important areas for Oregonians."

The conservation areas cover approximately 140,000 acres across Oregon's 800,000 acres of state-owned forests, with over 100,000 acres are in the Tillamook & Clatsop State Forests of northwest Oregon, which sit at the western edge of the Portland Metro Area. 

Conservation areas include some areas crucial to wild salmon and steelhead, as well as imperiled species like the marbled murrelet and red tree voles. These lands also provide clean drinking water for over 400,000 Oregonians along with diverse recreation opportunities to coastal and Portland metro residents alike.

Thanks to support from The Conservation Alliance and other partners, the Wild Salmon Center and Sierra Club have spearheaded a diverse local coalition to protect the Oregon North Coast and create these new Conservation Areas.

Still, despite the Governor's leadership, the future of these lands is in doubt. Sawmill owners and some county commissioners have proposed that the lands be harvested as though they were private industrial timber lands

Thank the Governor for his support for conservation on Oregon's State Forests, and ask him to ensure durable and visible efforts to restore and protect these public lands.    

Photo Credit:  Governor John Kitzhaber 

Common Ground

June 24, 2014 by Serena Bishop

Common Ground from RED REEL on Vimeo.

Several ranching and farming communities living against the stunning landscape of the Rocky Mountain Front on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide in Montana have been faced with a difficult decision. Over 400,000 acres of public land in their backyard is currently unprotected and faces the threat of development. Common Ground is a short documentary that examines what happens when a community is faced with the idea of proposing more wilderness area while protecting heritage, tradition and their way of life.

Common Ground highlights the inspiring work of one of our grantees, the Montana Wilderness Association. After making its debut at the 2014 Mountain Film Festival, Common Ground is now available for everyone to enjoy. 

Over the past 8 years, The Conservation Alliance and its outdoor industry member companies have contributed over $260,000 to Montana Wilderness Association's efforts to permanently protect the Rocky Mountain Front through a combination of designated wilderness, backcountry recreation areas and Conservation Management Areas.

After years of collaboration between ranchers, sportsmen, conservationists, outfitters, hikers and mountain bikers, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act represents a plan to keep the Front the way it is today; preserving a way of life that has gone on for generations and protecting it for generations to come.

Thank you to all of our member company sponsors who helped make this film possible; CLIF Bar, Horny Toad Clothing and Osprey Packs.

This film was directed and produced by Alexandria Bombach of RED REEL