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Interior Department Restores Wilderness Rules

December 24, 2010 by John Sterling

 

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced yesterday that the Obama Administration will reverse a Bush-era policy and make millions of acres of pristine BLM lands eligible for Wilderness designation. The order directs the BLM to identify and maintain an updated inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics. This is important because, though only Congress can designate Wilderness, the order directs the BLM to plan for potential future Wilderness designations by ensuring that certain lands maintain Wilderness qualities until Congress can act. The order overturns a Bush-era policy that stripped the BLM of its authority to administratively protect wild places that meet the definition of Wilderness.

Click here for the full story from the Associated Press.

Click here for an Interior Department Q&A about the new policy.

Conservation Alliance Well Represented at Cyclocross National Championships

December 21, 2010 by John Sterling

The 2010 Cyclocross National Championships were held in our hometown of Bend, Oregon last week. Several Conservation Alliance member companies -- Yakima, Pearl Izumi, Clif Bar -- were on hand as sponsors. It was a wild scene with more than 10,000 spectators cheering on the riders who cranked their way through a course sloppy with mud, snow and spongy grass.

Conservation Alliance Program Associate Serena Bishop Gordon (pictured above) kicked butt in both the Women's Masters 30-35 race (placing 8th overall) and in the Women's Elite race (placing 27th overall). Michael Carroll, who works for the Wilderness Support Center, a Conservation Alliance grantee, also completed the Men's Masters 35-39 race.

Meanwhile, Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling was on hand to cheer on both Serena and Michael, and to expose his two children (pictured below) to the wonders of cyclocross fans.

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 12/20/10 6:28 PM

December 20, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
As the last unsettled low elevation valley in southern Canada, the Flathead River Valley  is a sanctuary for species that are rare or at-risk elsewhere in North America. Located in the south-eastern corner of British Columbia, adjacent to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the Flathead is still home to all the animal species found in the area at the time of European contact. Despite its relatively untouched state and the mining and oil and gas development ban announced by the B.C. government in February 2010, this area – and the species found here – are still urgently in need of permanent protection. The ban is not legislated and could be overturned by a future provincial government. Logging, grizzly trophy hunting, increased road access, and quarrying still threaten the Flathead and its remarkable wildlife. A national park in the south eastern one-third of the Flathead, next to Waterton-Glacier, the piece closest to... Read More

Condit Dam Removal Means Restoration Of White Salmon River is Set

December 20, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Exciting news on the free-flowing river front. The prospect of removing Condit Dam on the White Salmon River moved closer to reality last week when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioning formally ordered the removal of the dam.

The decision means that dam removal is now official for October 2011.

"We conclude, based on the record of this case, that the benefits of dam removal to anadromous fish, wildlife, and whitewater recreation outweigh the costs associated with the loss of Condit dam and Northwestern Lake," project surrender order Commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stated.

Many partners have been working on this project, and with the reality of dam removal around the corner, excitement is mounting. "The rivers of the Columbia River Gorge represent some of the nation's most outstanding whitewater resources, and at the heart of the Gorge the White Salmon River is known worldwide for its scenic beauty and high quality whitewater", noted Thomas O'Keefe, American Whitewater's Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director.

"Condit Dam was originally constructed a century ago for hydropower and at the time met a local community need. Now we recognize other values of the river and while the dam itself is big, the hydropower project is relatively small especially in light of its major environmental impacts--its time has passed."

At 125 feet, the dam will be one of the largest dams ever removed. You can read more about the anticipated dam removal on the American Whitewater site. A big congrats to everyone that was involved on this project; we love celebrating free-flowing rivers!

Conservation Stories: The North Face Canada Runs Holiday Facebook Campaign to Support David Suzuki Foundation

December 16, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Today we're highlighting The North Face Canada, who launched a Facebook campaign Wednesday December 15, 2010 to support David Suzuki Foundation, which works toward environmental conservation through education, advocacy and policy work.

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From The North Face blog

If you don’t already “like” The North Face on Facebook, now’s the time to do so for a great cause! Between now and December 31st, The North Face Canada will be donating $1 for each new user that “likes” our Facebook page to the David Suzuki Foundation, which works toward environmental conservation through education, advocacy and policy work. The donation, up to $20,000, will be announced on December 31st.

Visit our Facebook page to participate and to find daily tips on how to be environmentally friendly this holiday season. 

 “As the world’s leading outdoor apparel and equipment brand, The North Face continuously strives to implement more sustainable business practices and reduce our carbon footprint,” states Corey Stecker, Marketing Manager of The North Face Canada. “We are excited to work with the David Suzuki Foundation to show Canada just how easy it is to be eco-friendly this holiday season.”

 “We are grateful to The North Face for this support and we applaud Canadians who are making environmentally friendly choices during the holiday season,” said Dr. Faisal Moola, Director of Science the David Suzuki Foundation. “It is a time to share your deepest values and remember what matters most – family, friends and our precious planet.”

Grantee Weekly Grind: Update on Hydro-Fracking in New York

December 14, 2010 by Serena Bishop

fracking photo
Daniel Foster via flickr

In September, we wrote about how Conservation Alliance grantee Adirondack Mountain Club is working to protect Allegheny State Park from proposed hydro-fracking mining.

Yesterday, New York Gov. David Paterson signed an executive order halting the controversial natural gas drilling process until July 1, 2011, but it's only sort of good news.

via Treehugger:

Governor Paterson ordered a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, that will last until July. But it's only on certain kinds of drilling—horizontal wells as opposed to vertical wells... So while a moratorium is better than nothing at all, it's certainly no guarantee of a well-protected environment.

Read the rest of the story...

Alliance Members Urge Senate to Consider a Package of Public Lands Bills

December 09, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Today we're thanking all of the companies that recently signed our letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging him to make time to consider a package of public lands bills during the lame duck session of Congress.

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Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling hand-delivered the letter, signed by over 35 member companies, to key Senate offices last week while he was in DC.

From John:

"It is still hard to tell whether the bills will come up, but there was certainly a lot of discussion in each office we visited about the possibility. Given the many issues Congress wants to tackle before Christmas, a lands package faces a steep uphill battle with a very tight timeline. But there are some powerful and motivated members of Congress pushing hard for it. I will keep you all posted as the effort progresses. Regardless, thank you for helping us make a strong case for these important conservation measures."

Leaders of the House Natural Resources Committee are currently discussing a list of possible bills they would like to see included in a more massive public lands, wildlife and waterways bill.

From The PEW Environment Group:

"On the list are a committee-passed proposal to turn the Devil's Staircase in Oregon into federally protected wilderness where logging and road development would be banned, and a House-passed bill to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington state and extend the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and Pratt River's wild and scenic river protections.

More controversial bills include the "America's Red Rocks Wilderness Act," a bill that would designate more than 9 million acres as protected wilderness in Utah -- including Desolation Canyon, the Grand Staircase-Escalante area and Glen Canyon -- but has yet to be passed by the committee and lacks support from the Utah delegation."

More here

Don't Drill, Baby! Obama Admin Should Designate the Arctic as a National Monument

December 07, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

In 2010, the Conservation Alliance awarded Alaska Wilderness League a grant to encourage President Obama to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a National Monument. Yesterday, was the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's 50th anniversary. Take action HERE to urge President Obama to designate the Arctic as a National Monument.

via The LA Times on November 24, 2010:

Right about now in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, dozens of pregnant female polar bears are preparing to give birth in dens they dug into the snowdrifts last month, unaware that the fate of their home, and possibly their species, hinges on the price of gasoline. The Obama administration can and should change that.

Big Oil and its congressional allies have been mounting attempts to open the refuge to oil and gas development since the 1970s. There is no immediate danger that they'll succeed. Although the GOP electoral landslide this month ended Democratic control of the House and produced an incoming class of congressional freshman who are ardently pro-drilling, the Senate is still controlled by Democrats who oppose opening the refuge. More important, gas prices have been stable for more than a year. But should they spike — which is likely to happen if the economy significantly improves — the false perception that we could drill our way out of the problem would increase public support for opening the refuge, pressuring centrist Democrats to change their stance.

This is why half the members of the Senate (all of them Democrats except Independent Sen. Joe Liebermanletter of Connecticut) sent a letter to President Obama last week urging him to grant the "strongest possible" federal protection to the refuge, thus ending the perennial battles over drilling. Several environmental groups have joined in, urging Obama to designate the land as a national monument, which would prohibit most forms of development.

Read the rest of the story... And Take Action HERE!

Photo via

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 11/29/10 7:58 PM

November 29, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
More than 350 people braved a frosty Vancouver night November 23 to attend an inspiring Flathead River Valley event at Science World. The evening featured National Geographic writer and adventurer Doug Chadwick, botanist Dr. Richard Hebda, photographer Andy Wright, Sierra Club BC's Sarah Cox and other guests.   Speakers conveyed the global ecological importance of the Flathead and the urgent need to protect it permanently: as a National Park in the south eastern one-third of the Flathead Valley and a Wildlife Management Area in the rest of the valley and adjoining habitat.  "You've done an amazing job on our behalf," wrote one attendee in an email to Sierra Club BC following the event. "Keep up your efforts and leadership.  I know that more of us will join the action as a result of evenings such as this one. I will be spreading the word to family, friends, colleagues etc.  And I have sent... Read More

Love the Outdoors? Give Back this Holiday Season to Protect Wild Places!

November 29, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The Conservation Alliance invites you to join in our efforts to protect North America's last wild places. We all believe in conservation, but don't always know which organizations are doing the most effective work. By supporting The Conservation Alliance, you will invest in an array of the most compelling conservation projects in North America. Our rigorous screening process ensures that our funds go to organizations with the ability to succeed.
 
Love the outdoors? Debating on a good place to put your money this holiday season? Consider making an individual donation to the Alliance. 100% of your donation to the Alliance will go directly into our grant fund to support organizations working to protect special wild lands and waterways throughout North America.  
 
Donate here to protect our wild places!

Conservation Stories: Timberland Plants Virtual Trees for Real Change

November 26, 2010 by Serena Bishop

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're celebrating member company Timberland for the Earthkeepers Virtual Forest, a Facebook application that invites users to plant virtual trees to make a real difference.

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Are you excited about planting trees? We certainly are. So much so that in addition to the real trees we're planting around the world, we've launched a new Timberland Earthkeepers Virtual Forest application on Facebook.  By creating their own individual virtual forests and inviting friends to plant trees in them, members of the Facebook  community are helping to get real trees planted in Haiti. So far, as a result of the Facebook community's adoption of the application, which was launched in October, 1,762 real trees will be planted in Haiti

If you haven't checked it out already, go ahead and do so. By either planting trees in already existing virtual forests or by creating your own forest, you can help Timberland plant an additional 1 million real trees in Haiti.  It's that simple. The more virtual trees and virtual forests, the more real trees we'll plant in Haiti (up to 1 million) - above and beyond the ones we're already planting there. Create a forest and invite your friends to do the same and then plant trees in each other's forests too. Nature will thank you. Haiti will thank you and Timberland will thank you by planting more trees. And while you're there, check out the videos that chronicle our projects in Haiti and share them with your friends. Then, share your ideas with other virtual tree planters from all around the world on the CONVERSATION tab.

We're also working on some updates to the Virtual Forest, so stay tuned for those changes at the beginning of December.

Photo by Zach Stern

Grantee Weekly Grind: Green Light for Condit Dam Removal a Long-Fought Victory for American Whitewater

November 23, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

In 2010, the Conservation Alliance awarded American Whitewater a grant to protect two dozen Wild and Scenic rivers representing more than 450 river miles, new wilderness areas that protect key watersheds, and additions to Olympic National Park that enhance watershed protection. Last month, the Washington State Department of Ecology took the final step toward the removal of Condit Dam by issuing the necessary water quality permit. AW has been working to remove this dam for nearly a decade.

 Via Andy Maser on Dagger.com:

Last month, the Washington Department of Ecology issued the water quality permit needed to remove Condit Dam on the White Salmon River. The permit is a major milestone and is the final step before issuance of a dam removal order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is expected later this year. Once removed, the dam will restore several miles of whitewater and allow the White Salmon’s namesake fish to recover from the brink of extinction.

The Wild & Scenic White Salmon River is one of the Pacific Northwest’s gems—very few other rivers in the country boast 365 days of vertical class V, commercial class III and IV rafting, class I floating, and ideal salmon spawning habitat. Condit dam allows no fish passage, so migrating salmon and steelhead have been cut off from this habitat since the dam was constructed.

American Whitewater has been working with local conservation groups for nearly a decade to make this a reality. AW’s Tom O’Keefe had this to say: “We believe that removal of Condit Dam will have a positive benefit on fishery resources, recreational opportunities, and cultural resources of the White Salmon River and we are thrilled with today's issuance by the State Department of Ecology that was essential to moving this process forward.”

The dam removal itself, which could happen as early as next October, will be as dramatic as they come--a crew will divert the water around the dam site, drill a hole in the bottom of the dam, pack it full of explosives, and blow it up...

 

 More information at AmericanWhitewater.org.

 Photo by Darrell Wyatt

Saving the Wild Rogue - a good call

November 23, 2010 by Oregon Wild
There's not much time left this year to Save the Wild Rogue River. With new faces coming to Congress in January, who knows if public lands protection will be on the agenda.Take action today to protect 58,000 acres of wild forest along southern Oregon's famed Rogue River.We've made it super easy to call and take action. Just follow this link, enter your information, click, and we'll call your phone to patch you through to Senator Ron Wyden's office.Let Senator Wyden know it is important for the Wild Rogue Wilderness to be protected before the year is out!... Read More

Roving Joshua Tree Goes Virtual

November 19, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
The Roving Joshua Tree Returns! And this time it’s in YOUR Living Room (or office, or Facebook page) In the wake of a successful Roving Joshua Tree photo postcard collecting campaign, we’re bringing back the Rovin’ Jtree VIRTUALLY. If you’ll recall, last spring, the CWC’s field staff and volunteers took a 7’ tall Joshua Tree photo to a plethora of events in Southern California to talk with local folks about the importance of conserving our beautiful desert lands and to urge people to get their photo taken with the tree to support desert conservation. From April through September the Joshua Tree went a-roving and hundreds of Southern Californians participated in this unique project. The result? Stacks of photos of people with Joshua Trees were delivered to key decision makers in Congress during the CWC’s lobby trip this fall. Well, the postcards were a hit! Even some members of congress who... Read More

Conservation Stories: Polartec Supports Collegiate Outdoor Programs

November 18, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're celebrating member company Polartec for the Made Possible College Challenge. The winning collegiate outdoor program will receive $10,000 and awesome Polartec gear!

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via the Polartec blog:

At Polartec, we understand the incredible experiences that are possible in the outdoors and many of us consider our own personal involvement with collegiate outdoor clubs to be some of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. Because of that, we have decided that this year we are going to award one college outdoor program with $10,000 to help support their efforts.

During the month of October, we asked college outdoor programs across the nation to submit in writing or on video, their ideas for how they would spend the $10,000. Well, we were completely floored by the level of effort and creativity that we saw in the submissions. Narrowing the finalists was incredibly difficult, but we finally named our final four- The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Middlebury College, Appalachian State University, and the University of Idaho.

We have now put all four schools on our Facebook page in a Final-Four style contest. The school with the most votes as of midnight MST on Nov. 30th will win the grant money and Patagonia R1 Full-Zip Jackets for the entire club. To vote for your favorite, go to our Facebook page and click on the “Made Possible” tab. You can only vote once a day and voting will close on Nov. 30th at midnight.

Good luck to our finalists!

Photo by Frank Kovalchek

Grantee Weekly Grind: Grand Canyon Trust Employee Honored With Conservation Leadership Award

November 16, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

In 2010, the Conservation Alliance awarded the Grand Canyon Trust a grant to protect one million acres around the Grand Canyon from uranium exploration and mining through legislation or by securing a 20-year mineral withdrawal from the Interior Department. Congratulations to Grand Canyon Trust employee Dr. Mary O'Brien for receiving the Wilburforce Foundation Conservation Leadership Award!

 

From the Grand Canyon Trust

The Wilburforce Foundation has honored Grand Canyon Trust employee Dr. Mary O’Brien with its Conservation Leadership Award. A statement issued by the Foundation said: “Dr. O’Brien embodies what we look for in Conservation Leaders: a deep and abiding commitment to protection of functional ecosystems, (even the ones that are more subtle in their beauty like grasslands), adherence to science and democratic processes, and an unwaveringly wonderful sense of humor. She truly takes her work seriously and her self lightly. “

Mary currently works with a coalition of organizations that is proposing alternatives for the forest plans, livestock grazing EISs, and travel/off-road-vehicle plans for the three southern Utah national forests: Dixie, Fishlake, and Manti-La Sal. Her current focus is on changing the sheep and cattle grazing practices, and establishing reference areas on the three forests. Mary has worked as a staff scientist and organizer for the past thirty-five years with toxics and conservation organizations, including Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Environmental Research Foundation, Science and Environmental Health Network, and Hells Canyon Preservation Council. O’Brien taught (1992-1994) as Assistant Professor in the graduate University of Montana Environmental Studies Program...

She is particularly interested in working for the retention and restoration of native grasslands and riparian areas, increasing public and rancher consciousness of and affection for grassland and riparian communities, and learning and conveying the ecological differences between those grasslands and riparian areas that are grazed by livestock and those that have not been grazed by livestock for a number of years.

 

photo by James Marvin Phelps 

Writer Craig Childs To Speak At The Conservation Alliance Breakfast At Winter OR

November 15, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

It's that time again! Mark your calendars for the Conservation Aliance breakfast at Winter Outdoor Retailer. This time, we're welcoming writer Craig Childs who has spend much of this year in Patagonia with Rios Libres working to protect the region's wild, free-flowing rivers. You don't want to miss this!

When: 7-9am - Friday, January 21, 2011

Where: The Marriot, Salt Lake City

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 11/12/10 7:48 PM

November 12, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
Please join us in Vancouver on November 23 for an evening of extraordinary speakers, images and action in support of permanent protection for the Flathead River Valley. This Science World event will feature National Geographic writer and adventurer Doug Chadwick, botanist Dr. Richard Hebda, photographer Andy Wright and other guests.   Flathead photographs by members of the International League of Conservation Photographers will be on display, and a free reception will follow. Get event details. B.C.’s Flathead has long been recognized as the missing piece of the adjacent Waterton-Glacier World Heritage Site. The Flathead, in B.C.’s southeast corner, has some of the world’s purest water and is home to 40 per cent of all plant species found in the province. It houses the full suite of animal species found in the area at the time of European contact -- including 16 carnivore species ranging from marten and badger to grizzly... Read More

Conservation Stories: Columbia Photo Contest Awards Gear and Donates Funds

November 10, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're celebrating member company Columbia for their Facebook photo contest Ice Pics, which gives contestants a chance to win cool gear while supporting three awesome causes.

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Have a great shot of some wintery outdoor fun? Check out Ice Pics, the new photo contest on Columbia Sportswear's Facebook page!
 
Columbia is collecting their fans' "coolest" outdoor pics and giving them a chance to win a $50 gift card - or $100 if they're a Columbia Greater Rewards member! They will award a winner each week between now and January 31st.
 
And here's another cool thing: They're giving $5,000 each month to the following groups in honor of all the cool fans who participate!
 

  • November: Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness - Dedicated to preserving the ecosystem of the boundary waters wilderness area in northern Minnesota.
  • December: Yampah Mountain High School - Offering a nontraditional curriculum in Glenwood Springs, Colorado that emphasizes environmental responsibility.
  • January: Youth Restoration Corps - Recognized as one of the top conservation programs for youth in the country and promotes wilderness stewardship through service projects emphasizing their connection to the outdoors.


So stop by, submit your pics and check out the excellent work these groups are doing!

Photo by Hamed Saber

Grantee Weekly Grind: Go Fly a Kite for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

November 09, 2010 by Serena Bishop

In 2010, the Conservation Alliance awarded the Alaska Wilderness League a grant to encourage President Obama to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) a National Monument . This winter, the ANWR celebrates its 50th year; what better time to give it the gift of permanent protection?

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge celebrates its 50th birthday this winter, and the Alaska Wilderness League is asking Americans to join the celebration.

The refuge, established in 1960 by the Eisenhower administration, is the pristine habitat of caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, musk oxen, Dall sheep, wolves and wolverines. The people of the Gwich'in Nation call it the "Sacred Place Where Life Begins."

With every flux in gas prices, the ANWR is threatened by drilling attempts. Conservation advocates are calling for President Obama to give the refuge permanent protection by declaring it as a National Monument.

The Alaska Wilderness League is inviting all Americans to join their stand for protection by building and flying Arctic Kites on December 6, 2010. These kites symbolize the millions of migrating birds that are born in the ANWR's coastal plains.

Another way to protect American Wilderness here.

Photo by USFWS Headquarters.

Conservation Stories: Horny Toad Works For Clean Creeks and Healthy Steelhead Trout

November 04, 2010 by Serena Bishop
 
The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're celebrating member company Horny Toad for teaming up with the City of Santa Barbara to clean protect water quality and clean up local creeks during Creek Week.
 
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Creek Week is an annual community event that celebrates Santa Barbara’s creeks, allowing Santa Barbara locals to get involved in protecting water quality in our creeks and ocean. Horny Toad teamed up with the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division to remove invasive ivy and plant native plants at the Mission Creek Restoration and Fish Passage Project at the Tallant Road Bridge in Oak Park. The goal was to remove barriers and allow endangered Southern California Steelhead Trout the chance to migrate and spawn in Mission Creek.

These trout have attempted to spawn in the lower end of Mission creek during five of the last seven years, but have been turned away by invasive plant barriers that behave like surly doormen at a swinger’s party. Born in freshwater streams, steelhead generally live in the stream for the first year before moving to the ocean where they spend most of their adult life. Being anadromous, the trout migrate back up freshwater streams and rivers to do their thang.

Our volunteer efforts were focused on getting them into the party at Mission Creek, modifying the barriers in the creek and creating more natural passages for the trout. We joined forces with the Creeks division and had approximately 20 volunteers turn out for the event. Together, Horny Toad and the SB Creeks Division planted over 200 native plants, pulled a lot of ivy and collected trash along the way in our effort to help give the creek new life.

 

Grantee Weekly Grind: Hey Portlanders! Join Save Our Wild Salmon For a Sneak Peak of "The Greatest Migration."

November 02, 2010 by Serena Bishop

In 2010, the Conservation Alliance awarded Save Our Wild Salmon a grant to restore wild salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia and Snake Rivers by removing the lower Snake dams, and implementing a full spill/flow regime through Columbia River dams. Next week, join Save Our Wild Salmon and KEEN Footwear for a special sneak peek of EP Films' The Greatest Migration, a short documentary about the amazing journey of the Snake River's endangered salmon...

Snake River salmon travel more than 900 miles inland and climb almost 7,000 feet to reach their spawning grounds. The Greatest Migration explores this incredible feat, following their journey from the waters of southeast Alaska to the rivers of Idaho's Sawtooth Valley.

"Before we started filming, I had no idea the awesome feats these animals tackle to survive. Making this film was humbling," EP conservation filmmaker Andy Maser said. "I feel so incredibly lucky to be working on this issue. I certainly hope that this opportunity to get up close and personal and document their final journey home will help ensure their return from the Endangered Species List."

Salmon Film Teaser from Epicocity Project on Vimeo.

Join EP Films, Save Our Wild Salmon, and KEEN Footwear to celebrate these amazing fish!

WHAT: The Greatest Migration Sneak Preview - Celebrate Snake River salmon, enjoy FREE beverages and appetizers and gear giveaways from KEEN and more! BYOC - Help reduce waste and remember to bring your own cup! 

WHEN: Wednesday, November 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. 

WHERE: KEEN HQ - 926 NW 13th Avenue, PDX 97209 

WHO: EP Films, a PDX-based production company, Save Our Wild Salmon and Keen Footwear

 More information here.

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 10/29/10 11:26 PM

October 29, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
Momentum is building in the campaign to permanently protect the Flathead River Valley, as the Friends of the Flathead group passes the 10,000 supporter milestone! Sierra Club BC and partner organizations launched the Friends of the Flathead website in in April 2009, with the help of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, former federal Environment Minister David Anderson, and adventure photographer Pat Morrow. You could be the 10,001th Friend! Sign up now to be a Friend of the Flathead. This strong show of support was a big factor in major achievements in the Flathead campaign this year, including a ban on mining and oil and gas development announced in February 2010. However, logging, grizzly trophy hunting, increased road access, and quarrying still threaten B.C.’s Flathead River Valley. B.C.’s Flathead, long recognized as the missing piece of the adjoining Waterton-Glacier World Heritage Site, still needs permanent protection. Send a letter to B.C.... Read More

Update from California Wilderness Coalition at 10/28/10 7:38 PM

October 28, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
Please join CWC as we host our Annual Fundraiser on November 12, from 6 to 9pm at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. We will be honoring the legendary climber, Conrad Anker, with an award for his commitment to the conservation community, and presenting a youth wilderness leadership award to activist Samantha Krause. The event will include an open bar with Lost Coast Brewery, appetizers from Back to Earth Organics, and a silent auction of art, outdoor gear, and trips. This fundraiser event will help us to continue to protect wilderness throughout California. Please visit our website, www.calwild.org, or give us a call at (510)451-1450 for more information.  We hope to see you there!... Read More

Conservation Stories: Vasque Helps Preserve Local Environments While Celebrating Running

October 28, 2010 by Serena Bishop

photo by Sean Dreilinger

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're celebrating member company Vasque for working to foster stewardship and community through a series of trail runs called the Vasque Project.

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About PROJECT:

The Vasque PROJECT is our effort, through sponsorship of trail races across the US, to foster trail running competition, community and stewardship. Vasque employs a rigorous selection process in order to partner with the best race series in vibrant running communities. These partners are selected because of their dedication to providing runners with the ultimate race experience and also because of their dedication to giving back to the community and environment. Racers can feel confident that they are going to get a great experience when they participate in a Vasque Project race series. There is something for everybody – the races vary is distance and difficulty – everything from faster 5ks to rigorous ultras over challenging terrain. When you sign up for a Vasque Project race, you can feel confident that the experience will be positive and designed to push your limits and you’ll be supported by an active and dedicated running community.

Charitable Aspect of PROJECT:

The trails means a lot to us at Vasque and what better way for us to say thanks then to give back to places where we run, hike and enjoy life? As part of the Vasque PROJECT, we have partnered in each of our event communities with a marquee organization who is working to preserve the local environment. We are working with our dedicated race series partners to raise funds for these organizations with registration fees and additional donations. The community benefits, the sport of trail running benefits, the environment benefits and we all ultimately win at these races.

More information and race schedule here.

Update from Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative at 10/28/10 9:59 PM

October 28, 2010 by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative
Site C dam critics rally support at legislatureVancouver Sun - A large crowd gathered in Victoria on Sunday to express concern over the proposed $6.6-billion Site C dam project that would flood hundreds of kilometres of farmland, putting sacred sites, landowners, food security and ecosystems at risk.... Read More

Grantee Weekly Grind: Take Action Now to Save Oregon's Ocean!

October 26, 2010 by Serena Bishop

In 2010, the Conservation Alliance awarded Our Ocean a grant to establish a coast-wide network of at least six marine reserves and protected areas in Oregon waters to ensure that this coastal legacy will be here for future generations of Oregonians. Check out this awesome new video about hearing the call of Oregon's ocean...

Listen. Respond. Restore.

Our Ocean's proposed marine reserves off the coast of Oregon will revive our ocean, grow larger, more abundant fish, and boost coastal economies.

Attend a meeting now and make a comment! To find a meeting near you, please contact Erin Anderson at erin@OurOregonOcean.org.

Conservation Stories: Clif Bar Promotes Bikes to Fight Climate Change

October 21, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Photo by Bernat Casero 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're celebrating member company Clif Bar for their efforts in the 2 Mile Challenge, an interactive campaign to lower CO2 emissions through bicycle advocacy. 

*** 

 

New this year, CLIF BAR is encouraging riders to find strength and inspiration in numbers by joining one of three 2 Mile Challenge teams. Each team represents a non-profit organization that fights climate change or promotes bicycling advocacy. The three non-profits will each receive a $25,000 grant from CLIF BAR.

 

As a bonus incentive, the team that acquires the most points by October 31 will earn an additional $25,000 grant from CLIF BAR for its non-profit organization. Points will be awarded for: 1) registering for a team and linking personal Facebook accounts to the 2 Mile Challenge site, 2) issuing bike-riding challenges for yourself and friends, 3) logging trips completed on the 2 Mile Challenge site, and 4) logging trips for consecutive weeks.

Riders can sign up for the following teams to support their corresponding non-profit organizations here:

- Gold Team: Alliance for Biking and Walking

- Red Team: Trips for Kids

- Blue Team: Alliance for Climate Education

“This year we’re offering people the chance to do twice the good on every single ride,” said Lauren Hatfield, lifestyle experience manager at Clif Bar & Company. “By joining a 2 Mile Challenge team and trading their cars for bikes on short trips, riders can reduce harmful carbon emissions in their own communities and help non-profits educate and serve larger communities across the country.”

2 Mile Challenge reps will be present in CLIF BAR booths at film festivals, concerts and other outdoor and environment-focused events across the country this summer encouraging people to join the ride.Those who join can stay in touch and challenge others to ride through Facebook postings and team Twitter accounts.

To further engage bike riding and educate on climate change, CLIF has created 2 Mile Challenge partnerships with various print and online media, including GOOD, Daily Mile and others. 2 Mile Challenge messages will appear on their websites, Facebook pages and blogs, in their subscriber email campaigns and in some print issues throughout the summer.

 

Keep Jumbo Wild! Help Protect Grizzly Bear Habitat in B.C.

October 19, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Jumbo Pass 

Jumbo Glacier Club, the proposed recreational city and year-round ski resort, would severely impact grizzly and other wildlife that live in the Jumbo Valley by fragmenting a crucial piece of one of North America's most important wildlife corridors. By blocking access to the Purcell Conservancy, this development could lead to reduced populations of at-risk grizzlies.

As year-round ski resorts suffer due to warming temperatures, proponents of the Jumbo Glacier Club see a profitable opportunity in Jumbo Valley's high-elevation glacier. However, development of the area could speed glacial melting, disrupting river flows in the Columbia Basin. 

Citizens of nearby Kootenay have been protesting development for twenty years. In addition to wildlife and environmental concerns, citizens have argued that in our increasingly developed world, the pristine state of Jumbo Valley is a rarity worth protecting.

The B.C. government will make a decision regarding Jumbo Glacier Club soon. Take a minute and use your voice! Send a letter to support wild Jumbo here.

Proposed Hermosa Creek Wilderness Area Near Durango Makes Key Progress

October 15, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Good things happening in the world of recreation and wilderness preservation near Durango, Colorado. Last week, U.S. Rep. John Salazar announced his intentions of pursuing legislation to create a Hermosa Creek Wilderness Area.

From the Durango Telegraph:

Late in 2007, the San Juan Public Lands Center released a draft forest plan to the public. As part of any forest plan revision, roadless areas must be considered as potential wilderness areas, and the local Forest Service recommended a large piece of the Hermosa Roadless Area as wilderness. However, the original plan prompted an outcry from the mountain bike community. As originally proposed, the wilderness designation would have closed a large section of the Colorado Trail to bikes and would have completely closed the South Fork, Salt Creek, Corral Draw and Clear Creek trails to cyclists. Nearly three years and dozens of stakeholder meetings later, the Forest Service and John Salazar are pursuing a new configuration.

***

Alliance grantee Wilderness Support Center has been working on the issue and it's great to see that conservation and recreation are finally coming together to draft a plan that benefits all parties involved.

"Now I am not opposed to drilling or production of gas, we all know that the San Juan Basin in this county is an important natural resource," Salazar said. "But as with all things there needs to be a balance between protection of our environment and production of the resources. These areas contain land important to sportsmen, bikers, ranchers, and wildlife, and the watershed for Durango. They deserve protection."

Update from Oregon Wild at 10/14/10 4:44 PM

October 14, 2010 by Oregon Wild
Don't miss your chance to see the Devil's Staircase in stunning photographs tonight, October 14th at 6:30pm at the EWEB training room in Eugene, OR. Join us for a stunning slideshow presentation by renowed local photographer Tim Giraudier of Headwaters Photographic chronicling a legendary excursion into the heart of the proposed Devil's Staircase Wilderness - the Oregon Coast Range's most rugged and wild area. This slideshow features images few people get to experience in person - from Wasson Lake downstream through the heart of Devil's Staircase, to its namesake waterfall, and to the confluence with the Smith River. Hosted by Oregon Wild and partners Cascadia Wildlands and Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics.... Read More

Conservation Stories: Patagonia Tells Stories From the Gulf

October 14, 2010 by Serena Bishop


 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're highlighting member company Patagonia, who late this summer committed to sending employees down to the Gulf Coast to help with oil spill relief efforts. Employees have been telling their stories on Patagonia's blog The Cleanest Line, and this is an excerpt from the final post in the series

***

Where Oil and Seafood Mix

- Dulac, Louisiana

It was the height of hurricane season in southern Louisiana when we landed in mid-August, the five-year anniversary of Katrina a couple weeks away. Headed for Dulac – a low-lying bayou town about an hour and a half southwest of New Orleans – we were told we’d be evacuated if the weather acted up.

Our job was to go door-to-door surveying Dulac’s 2,500 or so residents about the health, financial and cultural impacts of the BP oil spill. The nearest oil had reportedly made its way into a marsh a dozen or so miles away.

Oil and commercial shrimping are the area’s biggest employers and have coexisted peaceably for many years. This was reinforced by a billboard we passed on our way down from New Orleans advertising the 75th annual Shrimp & Petroleum Festival over in Morgan City. Sweet Gulf oil and sweet Gulf shrimp. In southern Louisiana, people depend on both. Moratoriums on either meet with equal enthusiasm.

We stayed at the Dulac Community Center, a Methodist-run facility with a bunkhouse and kitchen. Working in teams of two, sometimes three, we hit neighborhoods from 9:30-noon and again from 3-5, knocking on the doors of homes along Shrimpers Row, Avet Street, Coonies Court and others. Dulac is hot and humid in mid-August. Trash litters the streets and waterways. The metallic colors of boat and construction yards, pipelines and processing plants contrast with the vibrant green and blue of the bayou. Un-spayed and un-neutered dogs and cats are legion in Dulac. They lie listlessly in the heat or bark (the dogs, anyway) at strangers from yards and balconies. One aggressive stray delivered a skin-breaking bite to the leg of a member of our group. He had to drive 30 minutes to Houma for medical attention.

Many homes in Dulac and neighboring communities sit high on stilts to keep them safe from hurricane flood waters. People used federal “Road Home” money to have their houses and trailers raised. Other buildings less fortunate lay abandoned or in ruin. A flotilla of broken boats litter the banks of Grand Caillou Canal.

During our three-and-a-half-day canvas, my teammate and I spoke with 30 or so people: a beautician, oil-field worker, boat fueler, deckhand, retired social worker, retired teacher, disabled shrimper, bookkeeper, truck driver, and unemployed among them. One day, three of eight we interviewed shared the surname Billiot. We met a lot of Boudreauxs and Verdins, too.

Few people we spoke with reported having smelled oil or dispersant, or said they’d suffered health problems they would attribute to the spill. But it was hard to know. Much of Dulac is an industrial zone, stained with oil and scented with exhaust.

The economic effects of the oil spill were clearer. Everyone was acquainted with or related to a commercial shrimper who’d been forced to sit out the May season because their fishing grounds had been closed. Many idled fishermen received BP relief money, but some said the checks were sporadic or had quit coming. Some had signed up with “Vessels of Opportunity,” a BP program that paid them to put out boom and skim for oil rather than spread their butterfly nets and fish for shrimp.

Read the full post here.

Washington State Gives Condit Dam Removal Green Light

October 13, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

via American Whitewater:

Yesterday, the Washington Department of Ecology issued the water quality permit needed to remove Condit Dam on the White Salmon River. The permit is a major milestone and is the final step before issuance of a dam removal order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is expected later this year.

In partnership with several organizations including the locally-based Friends of the White Salmon River, American Whitewater has advocated for the removal of Condit Dam for more than a decade. Removing the dam will restore several miles of whitewater and reconnect the White Salmon River which is already considered one of the nation's top whitewater resources. A significant percentage of American Whitewater members reside in the Columbia River Gorge and paddlers from around the globe know this area as a world-class destination.

Tom O'Keefe of American Whitewater said: "We believe that removal of Condit Dam will have a positive benefit on fishery resources, recreational opportunities, and cultural resources of the White Salmon River and we are thrilled with today's issuance by the State Department of Ecology that was essential to moving this process forward."

Photo via

Grantee Weekly Grind: Take Action! Protect the Nahanni Headwaters From Mining Threats

October 12, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

In 2009, the Conservation Alliance awarded the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society a grant to expand the Nahanni National Park Preserve by a stunning seven million acres. To finish the job of protecting the entire Nahanni watershed, it is critically important to protect the headwaters in Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve...

The South Nahanni Watershed and Nahanni karstlands cover almost 40,000 sq kms of spectacular Boreal wilderness in the Mackenzie Mountains of Canada's Northwest Territories.  The South Nahanni River, running through the heart of this wilderness, stands among the world's greatest natural wonders as it plunges over Virginia Falls, a waterfall twice as high as Niagara, and carves a passage through the earth almost as deep as the Grand Canyon.

The Nahanni lies within the Boreal forest -- a global forest that wraps the northern hemisphere, and within the Yellowstone to Yukon region -- the mountain region stretching from Wyoming to the Yukon. In 2009, the Dehcho First Nations and the federal government announced the six-fold expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve, protecting three quarters of the Nahanni watershed forever. The final step needed to secure the entire watershed is to establish the proposed Naatsi'ihch'oh National Park Reserve upstream, to protect the Nahanni headwaters.

Soon, decisions will be made on a boundary for the proposed Nááts'ihch'oh National Park in the headwaters of the Nahanni watershed. Unfortunately, pressure is building to leave important areas of Nááts'ihch'oh unprotected to allow for future mining development.

Take Action! Your voice matters!

Conservation Stories: Black Diamond Honored with Conservation Award and Raises Funding for Utah Avalanche Center

October 07, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're celebrating member company Black Diamond Equipment Inc. for being recognized by the Summit Land Conservancy for its conservation efforts.

***

Among the many other causes that Black Diamond Equipment Inc. supports, the company has been working hard to help the Utah Avalanche Center, most recently by raising $50,000 for the Center by hosting the 17th Annual Friends of UAC Fundraiser.

“Each of these events is representative of the Black Diamond ethos,” explains Peter Metcalf, Black Diamond CEO. “Preserving land for sustainable recreational use is at the heart of BD’s commitment to our community. The UAC event is a pleasure to host as it provides valuable funding for the Avalanche Center in a fun atmosphere bringing together friends to share experiences and stoke for the coming season.” 

That ethos has also earned them the first annual Conservation and Sustainability Award from the Summit Land Conservancy.

The Summit Land Conservancy works in partnership with landowners to permanently preserve agricultural, recreational, scenic, wetland and animal habitat in Summit County, Utah. The award was given to Peter Metcalf and Black Diamond for demonstrating exceptional leadership and innovation while helping to improve the environment and quality of life in Summit County. 

A big congrats goes out to Black Diamond all their continued great conservation work!

Support Dolores River Flow Restoration

October 01, 2010 by American Whitewater
Colorado - American Whitewater has recently brought our expertise in river management to bear on mutliple proceses to address river health in the Dolores River basin. Today, we need you to join us in asking the US Bureau of Reclamation to take a leadership role in protecting the recreation and environmental values of the Dolores River. By signing on to our letter, you are demonstrating public support for Federal decisions that protect natural resources and enhance instream flow conditions.Please click here to sign our online Petition!... Read More

Backyard Collectives 2010: BYC Bend Style

September 30, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

A few weeks ago we got to spend sometime in our "sort of" backyard -- Portland -- but this week we got to get our hands dirty for conservation in our actual backyard: Bend! We had forty employees from local member companies participate in trail building, garbage removal, and invasive tree removal in the Bull Springs area of Skyline Forest.

Big thanks to volunteers from Bend based Ruff Wear, Inc and Quick Feat International, as well as to our supporting sponsors: Ruff Wear, Inc., Stanley, a brand of PMI, and Clif Bar.

 

Volunteers got to mingle with representatives with local nonprofits Oregon Natural Desert Association, The Deschutes Land Trust, and 1000 Friends of Oregon, and learn more about the organizations and current projects.

 

Brad Chalfant, Executive Director of The Deschutes Land Trust, also gave a big thanks to all the volunteers:

“The Deschutes Land Trust has been working since 2005 to protect the big private timberlands on the east side of Oregon’s Cascades mountains. It’s been an uphill battle, since most people assume these lands are national forests and not at risk of development. The Conservation Alliance has helped us create a voice for these lands before they get broken up and sold off for development. Together we’ve made real progress and in the last year have seen the creation of Oregon’s first new state forest in 40 years. However, there’s a lot more work to do and the Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective just gave us a great new trail to help educate citizens, legislators and funders to create the momentum to make Skyline Forest a reality and permanently conserve another 66,500 acre of threatened forest.”

 Here's to more of us getting out and helping to take care of the places we love!

Update from Los Padres ForestWatch at 09/29/10 9:10 PM

September 29, 2010 by Los Padres ForestWatch
Carrizo Plain Defencing DayOCTOBER 16 - 17Miles and miles of barbed wire fence remains on the Carrizo Plain National Monument from years of former ranching. These relic fences act as barriers to the movement of pronghorn antelope, inhibiting their escape from predators and contributing to their decline. ForestWatch is collecting a group of volunteers dedicated to taking down a couple miles - can you join us? Email Conservation Coordinator Suzanne Feldman... Read More

Update from Los Padres ForestWatch at 09/29/10 9:12 PM

September 29, 2010 by Los Padres ForestWatch
Wild and Scenic Environmental Film FestivalOCTOBER 22ForestWatch is bringing the third Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival to San Luis Obispo, CA - an eagerly anticipated annual event drawing its audience from all along the Central Coast. The film festival showcases inspirational and exciting films, an environmental fair, raffles, refreshments, and special guests. Purchase tickets at www.LPFW.org... Read More

Update from Los Padres ForestWatch at 09/29/10 9:14 PM

September 29, 2010 by Los Padres ForestWatch
Fraizer Mountain Clean and CampNovember 13 - 14Say goodbye to Daylight Savings Time in the beautiful Los Padres National Forest. ForestWatch is planning an overnight microtrash collection event at Fraizer Mountain. Help remove microtrash, ingestion of which is a leading contributor to the decline of teh California condor! Email Conservation Coordinator Suzanne Feldman... Read More

Update from Los Padres ForestWatch at 09/29/10 9:18 PM

September 29, 2010 by Los Padres ForestWatch
Carrizo Plain Defencing DayOCTOBER 16 - 17Miles and miles of barbed wire fences remain on the Carrizo Plain National Monument from years of former ranching. These relic fences act as barriers to the movement of proghorn antelope, inhibiting their escape from predators and contributing to their decline. ForestWatch is collecting a group of volunteers dedicated to taking down a couple miles - will you join us? Email Conservation Coordinator Suzanne Feldman at Suzanne@LPFW.org... Read More

Arctic Wilderness Review Raises Hopes, Alarms

September 29, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

From the PEW Environment Group via E&E Daily: 

Environmental groups are crowing while Alaska's congressional delegation is condemning the Obama administration's announcement Monday that it will consider proposing new wilderness designations within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Nearly half of ANWR has already been declared wilderness, a designation that carries strict restrictions on human activities to protect high conservation-value lands. The Interior Department now will consider recommending designations on the rest of the area — including land above oil reserves on Alaska's coastal plain.

Interior does not have the power to create any new wilderness areas. That can only be done through an act of Congress. Instead, Interior can recommend Congress consider certain lands for the designation, said Bruce Woods, an Alaska office spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Interior agency conducting the review.

"We're a long way from that," Woods said.

But they are too close for comfort for Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Mark Begich (D), who favor developing the refuge's oil reserves. They took turns ripping the administration's plans this week.

Murkowski called the reviews a "blatant political move by the administration" in an Associated Press interview, and Begich said they were "a colossal waste of limited resources."

"We should use those resources to develop the enormous oil and gas reserves believed to be beneath the coastal plain," Begich said...

But while the lawmakers fume, environmental groups are heralding the move as a step in the right direction.

"We are confident that because the [ANWR] has pre-eminent wilderness values ... this process will lead to a strong wilderness recommendation to the U.S. Congress," said Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.

The group pushed the administration to propose wilderness on the coastal plain, saying it was the heart of the ecosystem ANWR was set up to protect. "The arctic refuge is one of the last true wilderness areas left in the United States," Shogan said. "Some places are just too special to sacrifice to oil and gas development."

Woods said both sides may be getting ahead of themselves...

"Regardless of what we do and what anyone does, only Congress can designate wilderness and only Congress can open it to oil and gas drilling."

The administration's decision to consider suggesting new wilderness does not necessarily mean it intends to do so, Woods said.

Read the rest of the story... 

Grantee Weekly Grind: Arctic Wilderness Review Raises Hopes, Alarms

September 28, 2010 by Serena Bishop
 
From the PEW Environment Group via E&E Daily: 
 

Environmental groups are crowing while Alaska's congressional delegation is condemning the Obama administration's announcement Monday that it will consider proposing new wilderness designations within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Nearly half of ANWR has already been declared wilderness, a designation that carries strict restrictions on human activities to protect high conservation-value lands. The Interior Department now will consider recommending designations on the rest of the area -- including land above oil reserves on Alaska's coastal plain.

Interior does not have the power to create any new wilderness areas. That can only be done through an act of Congress. Instead, Interior can recommend Congress consider certain lands for the designation, said Bruce Woods, an Alaska office spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Interior agency conducting the review.

"We're a long way from that," Woods said.

But they are too close for comfort for Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Mark Begich (D), who favor developing the refuge's oil reserves. They took turns ripping the administration's plans this week.

Murkowski called the reviews a "blatant political move by the administration" in an Associated Press interview, and Begich said they were "a colossal waste of limited resources."

"We should use those resources to develop the enormous oil and gas reserves believed to be beneath the coastal plain," Begich said...

But while the lawmakers fume, environmental groups are heralding the move as a step in the right direction.

"We are confident that because the [ANWR] has pre-eminent wilderness values ... this process will lead to a strong wilderness recommendation to the U.S. Congress," said Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.

The group pushed the administration to propose wilderness on the coastal plain, saying it was the heart of the ecosystem ANWR was set up to protect. "The arctic refuge is one of the last true wilderness areas left in the United States," Shogan said. "Some places are just too special to sacrifice to oil and gas development."

Woods said both sides may be getting ahead of themselves...

"Regardless of what we do and what anyone does, only Congress can designate wilderness and only Congress can open it to oil and gas drilling."

The administration's decision to consider suggesting new wilderness does not necessarily mean it intends to do so, Woods said...

Read the rest of the story... 

Update from Oregon Wild at 09/27/10 7:13 PM

September 27, 2010 by Oregon Wild
This week is National Wilderness Week and we're back in D.C. building support for two key pieces of legislation that are THIS close to passing into law. Erik Fernandez, our Wilderness Coordinator is urging Congress to pass Wilderness protections for the Devil's Staircase. This 30,000-acre area in the Oregon Coast Range is rugged, blanketed in old-growth forests, and hosts one of the most mesmerizing, hard-to-reach waterfalls in Oregon. Erik is also touting the Molalla River and a 20-mile stretch of the waterway that should be designated as Wild & Scenic. Aside from being a recreational haven and a refuge for salmon and steelhead, the Molalla provides clean drinking water to the cities of Canby and Molalla. We're hoping these bills can be wrapped into the larger public lands omnibus legislation and get the seal of approval from Congress before the elections!... Read More

Stand Tall for the Rogue

September 27, 2010 by Oregon Wild
Time is running out for the Wild Rogue River. We can't let this opportunity to protect 58,000 acres of Wilderness along Oregon's iconic whitewater river pass us by.Watch this video and let Congress know to protect the Wild Rogue this year!http://savethewildrogue.org/... Read More

Conservation Stories: REI Encourages Members to Volunteer for National Public Lands Day

September 23, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're featuring a post from REI's blog about getting out and volunteering for this Saturday's National Public Lands Day.

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Our nation’s public lands are the places where most of us go to enjoy the outdoors. Whether we visit our neighborhood green space or a national park, public lands give us a chance to enjoy fresh air wherever we live or travel.

I rely on public lands for all the best places to use my beloved outdoor gear, and you probably do, too. That’s why I’m hoping you and your friends will join one of the events of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sepetember 25.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is our nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the lands that we all enjoy. Not sure what qualifies as “public land?” Public lands include municipal, county, regional, state and national parks as well as US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. Like I said, pretty much everywhere that we go to get outside.

I’m also pleased to point out that REI supports hundreds of local organizations through our grants program and local store partnerships that engage volunteers in restoring and sustaining public lands all year long.

If you’re a member of the REI co-op, you can be proud to be playing a part in helping to take care of these places. However, we’d love it if you would come out and join us in playing an active role in stewarding public lands. Find your local store page and check the classes and events section to see if they’re hosting or promoting an NPLD event in your community.

You can also find events by entering your state or zip code on the National Public Lands Day website. REI’s partnership with VolunteerMatch is yet another way to search for local volunteer stewardship events on public lands in your community. Try it out—it feels great to get involved.

As an added incentive to get out and spend some time on your public lands this weekend, The National Parks will be fee-free on Saturday and Sunday.

Update from Washington Climbers Coalition at 09/22/10 1:10 AM

September 22, 2010 by Washington Climbers Coalition

Photo: Ben Gilkison

The Washington Climbers Coalition had a dedication ceremony and community event to celebrate the recent acqusition of the Lower Town Wall. The community event attracted over 100 people for food and a slide show by Colin Haley. You can read about the dedication of the property here: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/426994_INDEX19.html As for our fund raising, we are only about 40k short of our ultimate goal of 300k.... Read More

Grantee Weekly Grind: Natural Gas Drilling Threatens New York City Water Supply and Beyond...

September 21, 2010 by Serena Bishop

The New York City watershed and Delaware River Basin combined provides water for more than 15,600,000 people. It's the largest unfiltered water source in the world. And the natural gas industry has leased hundreds of thousands of acres within the watershed and the river basin for energy development. That could mean 50,000 gas wells in the combined watershed area. 

As of spring 2010, there has been no drilling, but that could change any day now... Conservation Alliance grantee Adirondack Mountain Club is working to protect Allegheny State Park from proposed hydro-fracking mining by purchasing sub-surface mineral rights by the state, or by designating the area a Park Preserve. But the problem goes deeper than that. The potential drilling threatens the entire region and many others across the country, as exposed by the documentary Gasland...

 Watch the trailer:

"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."

Take Action: Tell your Senators and Representatives to support the FRAC Act...

http://gaslandthemovie.com/take-action/ 

Backyard Collectives 2010: Portland Hosts Largest BYC Yet!

September 16, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Another week, another Backyard Collective... this time right in our own backyard: Portland! More than 235 employees from eight Conservation Alliance member companies -- Columbia Sportswear; KEEN; Nau; Horny Toad/Lizard Lounge; The North Face; REI; Under Solen Media; and Ben Moon Photography -- participated in trail restoration, invasive weed removal, and other projects in Forest Park, Sellwood Park, and along Johnson Creek. In fact, that made the Portland 2010 Backyard Collective the biggest one yet! Columbia loaded three huge busses with 200 employees!

 

 

With over 235 employees showing up, that means we logged over 840 volunteer hours.. you can imagine how much ivy that equals! We also had a lively “environmental fair” that provided several of our grantee conservation organizations the opportunity to share information about their work with everyone that came out.  



Thanks to Forest Park Conservancy and their trail crew for keeping us all in line and hard at work!

Polar Bear Ad: Good, or Just More Greenwashing?

September 15, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Earlier this month, Nissan debuted "Polar Bear," a video advertisement for the new Nissan LEAF — a zero-emission, 100-percent electric vehicle. In this story, a sad polar bear watches its Arctic home melt away and journeys from the icy north through forests, highways and over bridges to the big city and then to the suburbs, where the animal finds someone who is trying to help — the owner of an all-electric Nissan LEAF.

Thanks to the Western Environmental Law Center for tipping us off to this video. What do you think? Is Nissan on the right track here, or is it just more greenwashing?

 

 

Take Action to Celebrate National Wilderness Month!

September 09, 2010 by Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
President Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation last week which recognized September as “National Wilderness Month.”  Invoking the “majesty of our Nation’s wilderness” and a rich legacy of past wilderness legislation, the president rightly recognized that “we must ensure that future generations can experience the tranquility and grandeur of America’s natural places.”  Please send him a message asking him to commemorate National Wilderness Month by giving long-deserved protection to wilderness-quality lands in Utah! The Dirty Devil proposed wilderness is still under threat by policies kept in place from the Bush administration.  Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA. Even as President Obama's proclamation emphasized the need to protect the natural heritage of future generations, over at the Department of Interior, Secretary Ken Salazar has kept in place highly destructive policies initiated by the Bush administration which threaten the pristine natural beauty, quiet and solitude of worthy wilderness-quality lands throughout the West. Here’s what Secretary Salazar... Read More

Conservation Stories: Help Select The Next Conservation Alliance Grantees, Win prAna Prize Pack!

September 09, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Today we're pulling a request from the prAna Facebook page that asks for your help in deciding which groups should get Conservation Alliance grants this year!

***

Nicole Bassett here, prAna Sustainability Director, and I wanted to include you in a really wonderful opportunity.

The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations.

Funding is directed to community-based campaigns to protect threatened wild habitat, preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. As a member of the Conservation Alliance, prAna is asked twice yearly to vote for the organizations that will receive grant money.

This year we thought it would be great to hear from you, our supporters, on who you would like prAna to vote for. Please take a few moments to review the 24 grants nominees and vote for your top 10 groups and campaigns.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts as we support wilderness areas. All participants will be entered into a draw for a prAna prize pack! Click here to take the survey.

DEADLINE: Please complete your survey before Wednesday September 15, 2010 at 12 noon Pacific Standard Time

Grantee Weekly Grind: World's Premiere Photographers Join Forces to Protect British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest

September 07, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Photo courtesy Ian McAllister, iLCP

Conservation Alliance grantee Pacific Wild has teamed up with the iLCP, a group of internationally renowned photographers, to take part in a RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest. Home to white spirit bears, ancient forests, and stunning marine biodiversity, it is one of the planet's most priceless treasures, but overseas oil interests wanting access to western Canada's tar sands, the second largest known oil reserves in the world, have put the region in threat, prompting the action of conservation groups and the iLCP. Please follow along on the iLCP blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

From iLCP's blog:

Just like in many creative industries, the photography business is a competitive one. Why then, would some of the world's premiere photographers converge in the wilds of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest? To save one of the planet's most priceless treasures. Photographers including Paul Nicklen, Florian Schultz, Daniel Beltra, Jack Dykinga, Tom Peschak and Cristina Mittermeier will take part in the iLCP's RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) of the area and tell the story of this incredible place and the people working to save it.


"The Great Bear Rainforest is an environmental treasure, and the international exposure that the iLCP is capable of generating will undoubtedly prove a clarion call for its protection," said Ian McAllister, Conservation Director for B.C. based Pacific Wild and recently nominated Associate of the iLCP. "We have everything to lose and very little to gain by allowing oil tankers on our coast."

 

Overseas oil interests want access to western Canada's tar sands — the second largest known oil reserves in the world — and have proposed the construction of a massive pipeline through the rain forest to get it.

 

Photo courtesy Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP

Home to white spirit bears, ancient forests, and stunning marine biodiversity, iLCP's team of photographers will showcase the immense ecological importance of western Canada's threatened rain forest and marine environment. The images and stories from the expedition members will be shared with international media and partner organizations and will be featured in a traveling exhibition across North America and Europe.

Photo courtesy Ian McAllister, iLCP

Enbridge Inc., the world's largest pipeline construction company (and the same one responsible for Michigan's oil spill) has proposed to open export markets for tar sands oil outside the United States — most notably China.

 

So, how do you go about that? Build a 1,200 km pipeline from Alberta's tar sands and British Columbia's north Pacific coast over more than 1,000 streams and rivers — including some of the world's largest salmon producing watersheds — and introduce super oil tankers (revoking an existing moratorium on large ships) to transport oil through the pristine waters of the Great Bear Rainforest.

"We support this effort to document the lands and seas of our traditional territory," states Ernie Hill Jr., Sn'axeed, Gitga'at Hereditary Eagle Chief. The indigenous First Nations who call this area home unanimously oppose this project. "Enbridge's pipeline and oil tanker proposal will destroy our way of life and we must do everything possible to show what we stand to lose."

 

Learn more about the Great Bear Rainforest RAVE.

 

Update from Pacific Wild at 09/06/10 5:21 PM

September 06, 2010 by Pacific Wild
Pacific Wild partners with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) to showcase the Great Bear Rainforest. R.A.V.E - Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition - launches in the wake of Enbridge proposal to ship crude oil through the Great Bear Rainforest. Over a two week period, a team of  top-level photojournalists chosen by the ILCP will document the Great Bear Rainforest in photos, video, audio, and words with a special focus on the marine world. iLCP and Pacific Wild will use the collected media to generate outreach initiatives and to flood major media organizations with stories of BC’s intent to lift the moratorium on tanker traffic. QUICK LINKS DISPATCHES FROM THE RAVE PRESS RELEASE ILCP PHOTOGRAPHERS RAVE PARTNERS... Read More

Pipe Up Against Enbridge!

September 06, 2010 by Pacific Wild
Learn more about Enbridge's plan to build a pipeline from Alberta's tar sands to the Great Bear Rainforest, bringing bulk crude oil tankers to B.C.'s coast for the first time.  www.pacificwild.org Take Action-pipeupagainstenbridge.org, www.pacificwild.org ... Read More

Backyard Collectives 2010: Bringing Companies and Causes Together in Denver

September 03, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

It's always important for Conservation Alliance to maintain the connections between our member companies and grantees, and what's one of the best ways to do that? Bringing them all together for a day of volunteering where they can "get their hands dirty" for conservation! Which is why last week, we brought Colorado-area member companies and grantees together and descended upon Roxborough State Park for this year's fifth Backyard Collective!


 

We had 75+ volunteers from member companies Osprey Packs, Sierra Designs, Kelty, Wenzel, Teko Socks, Backpackers Pantry, Leisure Trends Group, Great Plains Mountain Stuff, Serac Adventure Films, Burts Bees, IMBA, and Keen Footwear, as well as CA grantees Colorado Environmental Coalition, Colorado Mountain Club, Access Fund, and Colorado 14ers, who all got to take part in pulling invasive plant species, cleaning up Sundance Ranch and working on trail maintenance. All helped by libations from New Belgium of course.

 

A big thanks to the Denver Backyard Collective sponsors: Osprey, Sierra Designs/Kelty/Wenzel, Teko Socks, Leisure Trends, and Backpackers Pantry. Also a huge thank you to Roxborough State Park and Colorado State Parks, their great staff and wonderful volunteers.

 

Now we're amping up for the next Backyard Collectives, to be held Friday September 10, 2010 in Portland, OR -- check back soon for pictures and reports from that one as well!

Conservation Stories: Nemo Equipment Asks for Your Support on Land and Water Conservation Fund

September 02, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

 

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. A little over a month ago we encouraged you to take action to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Last week Kate over at member company Nemo Equipment wrote a great post outlining why outdoor enthusiasts should voice their support for this legislation, so we figured we'd post it for today's Conservation Stories. We hope it inspires you to voice your support!

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The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by Congress in 1964 to help fund state and local conservation efforts and to protect national parks, forests and wilderness areas. Funding comes from offshore oil and gas leases.

Over its 46-year history, LWCF has helped state agencies and local communities acquire nearly seven million acres of land and has underwritten the development of more than 37,000 state and local park and recreation projects. Federal LWCF project sites include popular recreational areas like Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, California's Big Sur Coast, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Montana. Stateside LWCF project sites include New York City's Central Park, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and Custer State Park in South Dakota, as well as thousands of local playgrounds, soccer fields, and baseball diamonds.

LWCF is authorized at $900 million annually; a level that has been met only twice during the program's 46 years. The program is divided into State grants and Federal acquisition funds. In FY 2005, the federal acquisition pot received $166 million and the state grants program received $92.5 million for a total of $258.5 million. In FY 2006 the federal pot received $114.5 and the state grants received $30 million. FY 2007 a total of only $138 million was received between the two.

Efforts are now underway in Congress to ensure full funding for the LWCF and your voice is an important part of making full funding a reality. If you value open spaces to recreate in, contact your senators today. Legislation that would fully fund LWCF for five years was passed by the House as a part of the gulf oil spill reform package. Companion legislation will be considered on the floor of the Senate in the coming months. NEMO has signed their letter of support, we hope you'll voice your support, too. ~Kate

Grantee Weekly Grind: President Obama Names September National Wilderness Month

September 01, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

President Obama announced that he has designated September National Wilderness Month.‎ In his proclamation he said:

"Together, we must ensure that future generations can experience the tranquility and grandeur of America's natural places. As we resolve to meet this responsibility, let us also reflect on the ways in which our lives have been enriched by the gift of the American wilderness."

Happy September! Now get out and enjoy some wilderness!!!

Photo via

Member Companies Raise More Than More Than $35,000 For The Conservation Alliance

August 30, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Just a few weeks ago at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show, our member companies raised more than $35,000 for the Conservation Alliance through some great gear promotions! All of these funds will go directly to protecting the wild places (like the Flathead Valley above) we all love.

A huge thank you to the participating member companies: Arc'teryx, Black Diamond, Briggs & Riley, Brooks, Camelbak, Canada Goose, Chaco, Columbia, Dansko, Eagle Creek, Grabber, Horny Toad, Jetboil, Keen, Kelty, Mountain Khakis, Osprey, Ruff Wear, Stanley, STM, Timex and The North Face. Please support them!

If you'd like to get involved in an event for the Winter Show, please email Serena Bishop: serena@conservationalliance.com

 

 

Update from Washington Climbers Coalition at 08/27/10 6:57 PM

August 27, 2010 by Washington Climbers Coalition
Sweet Success!!!! As of today, the Washington Climbers Coalition is the proud owner of one of Washingtons premier climbing destinations. For more details check out this link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012739754_climbers28m.html... Read More

Update from Washington Climbers Coalition at 08/27/10 7:01 PM

August 27, 2010 by Washington Climbers Coalition
Sweet Success!!!! As of today, the Washington Climbers Coalition is the proud owner of one of Washingtons premier climbing destinations. For more details check out this link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012739754_climbers28m.htmlThe WCC would like to thank the Conservation Alliance for playing an integral part in this purchase.... Read More

Conservation Stories: Trees Worth Fighting for by Columbia Sportswear

August 26, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. This week we were inspired by a post written over on the Columbia blog entitled Trees Worth Fighting For.

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How do you define what you love? How do you place a value on it? Would you say that loving something makes it worth fighting for? For a group of dedicated outdoor lovers, fighting for the environment is exactly how they express their love for it. In their words Tree Fight “is an initiative to inform the public of the plight of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s Whitebark pines, and to search for solutions to prevent their extinction.” Why fight for the Whitebark? In the words of Nancy Bockino, Grand Teton National Park ecologist, “Whitebark pines are one of the most ecologically important tree species living in the western United States…and can live more than a thousand years.”

Threatened by mountain pine beetles, whose habitat is spreading to higher elevations due to warming alpine temperatures, the Whitebark of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) are under attack. The 2-million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is heralded as the last remaining intact temperate ecosystem on earth. It includes Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone Park, the National Elk Refuge, six national forests, and portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. It’s thought that half this country’s Whitebark pines live in the GYE.

Tree Fight is taking a unique approach to fighting the invasive pine beetle. “From mid June to late July, we hiked to several distinct areas in the Bridger Teton National Forest where Whitebark pine survive. In each of these plots, we applied pheromone packets to several acres of Whitebark. These packets, which transmit a message to mountain pine beetles that the nearest trees are already occupied, are stapled individually to trees at chest height.” Basically, they’re going around marking the trees as already infested, in order to help save them. Pretty ingenious, wouldn’t you say?

You can read more about Tree Fight’s efforts, and the Whitebark pines of the GYE, as well donate to the cause, at www.treefight.org.

Protect Our Winters: Stop Climate Change

August 24, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Summer is still in full swing, but this video gave us a flurry of excitement for winter... And a kick in the pants to protect our winters. Being a part of the outdoor industry, we have a responsibility to protect our wild places — and that includes protecting them from climate change. For those of us who celebrate with each dump of snow in the mountains, we know it's up to us to make sure we keep that snow falling (and sticking)...

From the Protect Our Winters (POW) video:

"There is just too much at stake for us all not to be doing something. Climate change effects everyone who lives and works in our mountain communities. Climate change is serious business to those of us who depend upon it for our jobs and our livelihoods. We all have a lot at stake, and a powerful voice. We're 16 million strong and together we can protect our winters."

Support POW and take action to protect our winters! Want to do more? Contact your local elected official, and take action to stop climate change and protect the places, and seasons, you love.

Thanks to The North Face for tipping us off on this video!

Conservation Stories: Timberland Earthkeeping in Poland

August 19, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. This week we're taking a look at Timberland, who makes sure that their conservation efforts aren't just local, but international as well, as shown from a service day earlier this summer.

***

On June 8, 54 Earthkeepers in Poland from Timberland and Marketing Investment Group headed out to the forest, the garden and the mountainside to wish Mother Nature a happy belated Earth Day. By breaking up into 6 groups and serving at a number of different service sites, the Earthkeepers in Poland were able to fix up trails, restore infrastructure and fences, clear out illegal dumping sites, protect a bridge and help with flood cleanup. All of this dedicated work took place at the nursery-garden Falsztyn, Homole Gully/Pieniny Mountains, White Water Preserve, Black Water Preserve and the Jaworki Forest.

At the Homole Gully/Pieniny Mountains service site, 5,400 liters of rubbish, pipe, bathtub pieces, and linoleum were collected, sorted and prepared for recycling. And at the White Water Preserve, 480 liters of rubbish was removed from the green landscape.

In total, the Timberland Poland team members completed 500 hours of service. We applaud the Earthkeepers in Poland for their hard work in celebration of our shared planet.

To see more photos, check out Timberland's blog post

 

Osprey Packs and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Keep It Wild

August 17, 2010 by Serena Bishop

A couple of weeks ago, we dedicated an entire day to keeping it wild. Our member companies and grantees responded in full force, taking action to restore free-flowing rivers and big whitewater, protect millions of acres of wilderness and other special places that we all go to get wild and explore.

And now it's time to keep that action going. We can't just protect our wild lands for one day — we have to protect them every day. So, every week, we'll bring you news and an action from our grantees. And we urge you to take a minute out of your day to protect some of America's most special wild places. And take a moment every day to explore your own backyard — and protect it!

Take Action to keep Utah wild!

From SUWA’s blog:

Every summer the manufacturers and retailers of outdoor equipment converge on Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market – an event that this year drew an estimated 20,000 people. SUWA partnered with the Conservation Alliance to participate in the Keep It Wild day which paired environmental groups with outdoor gear manufacturers to take action to protect our natural resources.  SUWA was generously hosted by Osprey Packs, and in their booth at the show we collected over 300 postcards written by folks who were asking the Obama administration protect wild Utah. Participants also posed for photos with “Flat Ken,” a likeness of Interior Department Secretary Salazar who has the power to protect over 6 million acres of redrock land now vulnerable to oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle abuse. The day was topped off with a party hosted By KEEN Footwear, celebrating a day of conservation advocacy at the show.

Take Action to keep Utah wild!

 

Conservation Announces New Pinnacle Membership Level

August 12, 2010 by John Sterling

The Conservation Alliance announced a new level of membership that will recognize companies that contribute at least $100,000 annually to the organization. During the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last week, the Alliance announced that Eastern Mountain Sports, KEEN, Inc., Patagonia, REI, and The North Face have committed to be the first five members of this new "Pinnacle" membership level. Pictured above are Casey Sheahan (Patagonia), Sally Jewell (REI), Steve Rendle (The North Face), James Curleigh (KEEN), and Will Manzer (Eastern Mountain Sports) as they received a standing ovation from the audience at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast.

"Our goal is to increase the amount of funding we can contribute to conservation efforts throughout North America," said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. "We have terrific opportunities right now to save our last wild places, and these five members are showing the leadership we need to safeguard wild lands and rivers for the long term."

The Alliance is encouraging other members to increase their commitment to the organization, and expects to announce additional above-and-beyond contributions at the January Outdoor Retailer show.

"We recognize that our industry must do more to save our special wilderness areas and wild rivers," said Lisa Pike Sheehy, Director of Environmental Programs at Patagonia, and a member of The Conservation Alliance board. "The Alliance directs 100 percent of our members' dues into the hard-working hands of the best conservation organizations in North America, and measures ROI in terms of acres of land and miles of rivers protected, dams stopped or removed, and climbing areas acquired. It's a clean model, and we're proud to participate at the $100,000 level."

The Conservation Alliance will disburse $900,000 this year, and expects to surpass the $1 million mark for the first time in 2011.

Conservation Stories: Montrail Supports Conservation With Costumes

August 12, 2010 by Serena Bishop

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. Since we're still reeling from last week's Outdoor Retailer, this week's feature gets a special OR theme: a synopsis of Montrail's Wasatch Wobble, complete with costume photos.

***

Montrail hosted the 15th annual Wasatch Wobble 5k at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City last week. OR attendees signed up by making a $10 donation to the Conservation Alliance, and then showed up early Thursday morning decked out in Superhero costume and ready for some fun. Course challenges included a push-up station at mile 1 (minimum of 5 for women, 10 for men) and a contest to see who can carry the largest rock across the finish line. There were also 4 kittens stuck in trees throughout the course, and runners had a chance to be heros and save the kittens. Thanks for playing everyone! We had a blast. Here’s some photos, we’ll get more up as soon as we can.

 

For more photos check out the Montrail blog

Update from Foothills Water Network at 08/12/10 11:52 AM

August 12, 2010 by Foothills Water Network
The Foothills Water Network has spent the last nine months negotiating for new flow regimes in the Middle Fork American and Rubicon Rivers to enhance aquatic health including target species: rainbow trout and foothill yellow legged frogs as well as improve angling and whitewater boating opportunities. We have successfully negotiated flows for whitewater boaters on two new runs on the Middle Fork American - the Interbay Run V, which had been run a handful of times and the French Meadows Run V, which had never been run before. Boaters were very excited about the test flows on this rugged wilderness section of river with series of waterfalls, clean drops, and amazing wildlife and are eager to go back. See for yourself in the CaliProduct video of the French Meadows Run Volume I (aborted run due to snow and woody debris in first test run) and Volume II (boaters return and... Read More

Expanded Conservation Alliance Board Gets Wild

August 11, 2010 by John Sterling

The Conservation Alliance board of directors -- normally a serious, staid bunch -- is channeling some inner wildness as the organization strives to help protect ever more wild places. The Alliance board met in Salt Lake City last week, and welcomed new directors Linda Tom (KEEN), Topher Gaylord (Mountain Hardwear), and Ted Manning (Eastern Mountain Sports). Mysteriously, as the meeting proceeded the board started sprouting unusual facial hair and other markings. By the end of the meeting, the group was howling, snorting, and gnashing teeth in a collective frenzy of desire to save North America's last wild places. Expect great things from this pack!

Outdoor Retailer Wrap-Up: Another Success!

August 11, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Last week at Outdoor Retailer was full of stories of conservation challenges and successes, people taking action to save wild places, good times and furry animal hats... With hundreds of postcards signed to protect our wild playground and thousands of dollars raised to support the Conservation Alliance and our grantees, last week's show was a huge success!

As members of the outdoor community, we sometimes get caught up in the madness of OR — the meetings, the packed schedule of events and the sheer craziness of four days inside the Salt Palace, but at the end of the day, we're all here to get people outside. And part of that is making sure that we protect the special places that we love for ourselves and future generations. 

And in order to protect our playground, we dedicated one whole day of OR to a Keep It Wild day of action. Hundreds of people took action to support conservation causes and at the end of the day we celebrated conservation victories of the last year... And those on the horizon!

Big thanks to our member companies that took part, Black Diamond, Eagle Creek, Horny Toad, Kelty, Osprey Packs, Patagonia and the North Face, as well as all the conservation groups that came out and inspired OR attendees to take action: Save Our Canyons, Alaska Wilderness League, Nevada Wilderness Project, American Whitewater, American Rivers, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Save Our Wild Salmon and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Thanks again to all of our member companies for your awesome support and to the grantees making it happen on the ground. We couldn't do it without you! See you at Winter OR!

If you want to rock your own awesome animal hat, check out Yabbles Hats!

Rogue River to Run Freely for 157 Miles

August 10, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Restoring free-flowing rivers is no small task, but sometimes, we get the chance to celebrate victories. There's certainly reason to celebrate in Oregon where the Western Environmental Law Center, representing Rogue Flyfishers, Rogue Riverkeeper, and Waterwatch of Oregon, has been working extensively to ensure the removal of Gold Ray Dam on the Rogue River. 

$5 million of federal stimulus money was granted in 2009 to remove the dam, but the project was put on hold when adjacent landowners sued twice to seek to prevent removal.  WELC intervened in both proceedings, and after a hearing in federal court in Medford, the judge lifted a temporary restraining order and allowed the demolition to proceed.  

That means removal of Gold Ray Dam is well on its way, ensuring that the Rogue River will flow freely for 157 miles. The removal of Gold Ray, whose hydrofacilities have been out of use since 1972, is a win for both the environment and recreationists. In fact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ranks removing the Gold Ray dam as among its highest priorities for restoring wild coho salmon in Oregon, because of impediments to upstream migration of wild salmon to spawning grounds above the dam and the warm slackwater reservoir, home to invasive fish species, that the dam created.

Now those salmon can swim freely and the rest of us can enjoy 157 miles of unobstructed Rogue! 

Want to check out a live-camera showing construction of the temporary coffer dam being built to divert the river so that the dam can be removed, and the river restored? Click here

Summer OR: Get Down + Support the Conservation Alliance

August 06, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

 

We're less than two weeks out and have we got a lineup for you!

Happy Hour with Arc'teryx and the Conservation Alliance

Tuesday, August 3, 4 PM

Come raise a glass to celebrate conservation! Buy a $3 raffle ticket while you're there and be entered to win a sweet Arc'teryx jacket! All proceeds support the Conservation Alliance.

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast: A Talk by Historian Douglas Brinkley
Wednesday, August 4th, 7-8:50 AM at The Marriott.

I know, I know, 7 a.m. comes early, but mark your calendars for this event. Arrive tired and leave inspired! Click here for details.
 
Member Company Promotions: Score Awesome Product + Support the Alliance!

Promotions run throughout the show

Shoes, stoves, headlamps, watches... We've got you covered! We are excited to announce our largest fundraising event lineup to date. Support The Conservation Alliance and score great deals on sweet stuff at our 22 participating member booths. Click here for details.
 
Keep It Wild: Take Action for Conservation!

All day Wednesday, August 4th

We all know that if we want to get wild, we've got to protect our playground. So visit eight member company booths to take action on behalf of a Conservation Alliance grantee. Take action at all eight booths, have your Keep It Wild passport stamped and be entered to win a fabulous prize package! Click here for details.
 
KEEN Keep It Wild Party

4:30-6pm on August 4th

Join Keen, Inc. and The Conservation Alliance in celebrating the work of our grantees, the contributions of our member companies and get down to the beats of the Outdoor Industry All-Star Band at the KEEN Booth!

15th Annual Wasatch Wobble 5K Fun Run Badrock Battle – A Superhero Theme 

Thursday August 5th, Run Starts at: 6:45AM Check-In: 6:00-6:30AM

Why wouldn't you kick off Day 3 of the show with a trail run? Montrail is proud to announce that the Wasatch Wobble will be back again for the 15th running of this fun 5k trail run. Dress up in Superhero costume for a chance to win the costume contest! Stop by the Montrail booth #25001 on Tuesday or Wednesday, August 3rd or 4th, to register and receive your runner goodie bag! All proceeds support the Conservation Alliance.  Click here for more details.

 

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 08/05/10 11:49 AM

August 05, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
A report commissioned by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee calls for a “conservation and wildlife management plan” for the transboundary Flathead and a new management plan for the Flathead River Valley that “gives priority to natural ecological values and wildlife conservation.” Read the press release. Sierra Club BC and its partners petitioned the World Heritage Committee in 2008, asking that Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park be designated a “World Heritage Site in Danger” due to energy and mining development in the Flathead, which lies adjacent to the park. A World Heritage Committee mission visited the Flathead last year. Their final report, released July 26 in Brazil, recognizes that B.C.’s Flathead “plays a crucial role in maintaining north-south connectivity in the Rockies.” It also notes that the “huge area of intact nature” in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, which includes B.C.’s Flathead, offers “the best available environment to allow resilience and... Read More

At Conservation Alliance, We Keep it Wild

August 04, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Thanks to everyone that made our Keep it Wild Day at Outdoor Retailer a huge success. If you missed out on the fun, here are some pictures to give you an idea of just what supporting the Conservation Alliance and its grantees means.

Big thanks to our member companies that took part, Black Diamond, Eagle Creek, Horny Toad, Kelty, Osprey Packs, Patagonia and the North Face, as well as all the conservation groups that came out and inspired OR attendees to take action: Save Our Canyons, Alaska Wilderness League, Nevada Wilderness Project, American Whitewater, American Rivers, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Save Our Wild Salmon and the National Parks Conservation Association

 

  

Conservation Stories: Nau's 2010 Grant For Change Grantee

July 29, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. This week we're taking a look at what Nau is up to with the recent announcement of their choice for this year's Grant for Change.

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It is a difficult word to define, let alone execute with change-making results. It requires intent, insight, attention to detail. It asks for deeper thought around functionality, necessity, purpose and accessibility. Design has the power to change the way we interact with the world.

With this year’s Grant for Change we asked you to share your designs, but first, we negotiated the criteria. We asked for designs that instigate positive change. We asked for designs that address the world’s greatest challenges, and challenge assumptions about the way even the most basic things are done. We asked for design that is replicable, creative, compelling and effective.

After six weeks of open nominations, 124 nominees, an exciting voting period, support from hundreds of communities, interviews with our ten finalists, and much deliberation, we are excited to announce our second annual $10,000 Grant for Change Grantees:

Congratulations to Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney and their project Truck Farm.

Grandpa’s old pickup truck, turned mobile garden, has turned heads from Northern Massachusetts to Washington DC, and with it comes a humorous and edgy spin to the conversation around food.

It has inspired the creation of over 60 (and counting) food gardens in new and unusual places. Its course has been recorded with pictures and sound, culminating in a documentary film that is now rolling its way into the film festival circuit.

On the ground, the truck itself instigates awareness, offering a tangible, and remarkably simple, example of design as a tool for positive change; when the farm moves, it reminds us that we do not need a static plot of land to grow our own food.

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To read more about Grant for Change and watch a video on Truck Farm, head on over to the Nau blog

 

Want Offshore Drilling to Do Something Good? Support Full Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

July 27, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Where exactly does big oil money go? In some cases, it's destined for positive causes, like with the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The idea behind this fund was simple: take some of the wealth from offshore drilling and reinvest it in conservation and recreation. Seems like a simple and smart idea doesn't it? Created in 1965, the idea was for Congress to reinvest up to $900 million in the LWCF per year. If you think of the billions of dollars that the oil industry is responsible for every year, that's a small percentage.

Despite being chronically underfunded, the LWCF is still the most effective funding mechanism available to Congress to expand and improve opportunities for human-powered outdoor pursuits, including snowshoing, Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing and backcountry snowboarding, that CA grantee Winter Wildlands works so hard to support and protect. Now you might be busy being all-consumed by the summer months, but enjoying these seasonal activities requires year-round action, and if you spend anytime outdoors you know that some of the best winter spots are also the best summer spots (take the headwaters of the Yellowstone River pictured above, a place that's benefited from the LWCF).

In fact, the LWCF not only helps enhance National Parks, Forests, National Trails and Wild and Scenic Rivers, but also helps establish close-to-home open space, parks and recreation facilities in every U.S. state.  All together, more than 40,000 projects have been successfully completed through the fund, providing new and improved outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans.

So what can you do? Take action and tell your Senators and Representatives to support the LWCF, and put some of those offshore drilling profits to good use. Just click here

In the midst of the BP oil spill it's important to remember that we all need to work together to find ways to move forward, and supporting the LWCF is one of them.

Ask Secretary Salazar to Protect Utah Wilderness

July 26, 2010 by Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
You and I know that Utah is home to some of the most beautiful wilderness landscapes in the nation.  Please help ensure that these wild lands are given the protection they deserve. Watch our new video! When Ken Salazar took over the reins as Secretary of Interior he proclaimed that there's a “new sheriff in town.”  Frankly that is exactly what we need in the West and especially in Utah, where destructive and unbalanced policies put in place by the former administration have needlessly placed awe-inspiring wilderness treasures at risk -- places like the Glen Canyon/San Juan River area, Cedar Mesa and Comb Ridge, where threats from excessive off-road vehicle use, mining and drilling loom large on the horizon.  In 2003, the State of Utah and the Department of Interior secretly negotiated a deal in which the Interior Department abandoned its duty to identify and protect lands worthy of wilderness... Read More

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 07/23/10 2:54 PM

July 23, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
This week, as the World Heritage Committee gets set to release its report on the Flathead River Valley, Sierra Club BC and partners are calling attention to impending plans for clear-cut logging, quarrying and other threats to this lush valley. "We're alarmed that it's business as usual in the Flathead, with the exception of large-scale mining and energy development," said Sierra Club BC spokesperson Sarah Cox. Read our press release.These threats are pressing. A B.C. company is poised to clear-cut log in the Flathead this summer. Tembec plans to remove almost 500,000 cubic metres of timber along the river in the upper Flathead and in the proposed national park expansion area in the lower Flathead. At the same time, the B.C. government has granted a permit to another company to mine 20,000 tonnes of Flathead rock, without environmental oversight, near the Waterton-Glacier World Heritage Site. At the regional scale, two... Read More

Conservation Stories: Keen and Elements Tour Celebrating Nature's Playgrounds

July 22, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in. This week we're taking a look at what Keen's currently up to.

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Stop #2 on the Playgrounds Re-imagined Tour took the Elements Crew and Baby (the red fire truck that runs off vegetable oil) to Jackson Hole and Driggs, otherwise known as Wydaho. Playgrounds Re-imagined celebrates natures playgrounds in order to inspire others to get out and use them, and to take an active role in protecting them for future generations. The tour is visiting 10 cities across the western US. Learn more at www.elementstour.com.

 

To kick of the weekend, Baby made her third annual visit to the Tetons Science Schools outside of Jackson Hole, WY.

In support of the Snake River Fund’s Proposition 8, KEEN Retailer Rendezvous River Sports and The Elements Tour took part in an awareness campaign at the Wilson Bridge put-in to celebrate river usage and conservation.

To check out more photos, hop on over to the Keen blog.

 

Member Company Promotions: Score Awesome Swag + Support the Conservation Alliance!

July 22, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Looking for the perfect swag to takeaway from this summer's Outdoor Retailer? Well, we've got a fabulous lineup of awesome gear, and you'll support the Alliance to boot! Check it out...

 

 

Keep it Wild! Take Action at Summer Outdoor Retailer!

July 21, 2010 by Serena Bishop

To get wild in the outdoors, we all know, we've got to take action to keep it wild! So at this summer's Outdoor Retailer, we're dedicating one entire day to just that.
 
Keep It Wild Day!
 
Pick up your action passport at the Conservation Alliance breakfast on Wednesday, August 4th and then make sure to stop by eight member company booths (see below) to take action on behalf of a Conservation Alliance grantee. And if you need more inspiration to take action, you'll have your Keep It Wild passport stamped and be entered to win a fabulous prize package at the end of the day.
 
We'll pick the winners from the Keep It Wild Day of Action at the wild Keen finale party from 4:30 to 6p.m. Make sure to swing by to celebrate all the hard work of our grantees and boogie to the sweet beats of the Outdoor Industry All-Star Band!

Grantee Weekly Grind: Washington Climbers Coalition One Step Closer to Protecting Lower Index Town Wall

July 20, 2010 by Serena Bishop

The Washington Climbers Coalition is one step closer to protecting what is arguably the state's best climbing crag. Proposed granite quarrying last year threatened the Lower Town Wall rallying climbers from all over the country to save it. The Conservation Alliance supported this acquisition with a $15,000 grant in April, 2010.

From the Access Fund:

In the spring of 2009, the Access Fund loaned the WCC $15,000 [now paid off] to secure an 18-month option agreement to protect the Lower Index Town Wall and surrounding crags from a quarrying operation. The option agreement protected the area while the WCC worked to raise the $300,000 needed to purchase and steward the 20-acre tract of land.

Over the last year and a half, climbers from all over the nation worked together to raise the funds to purchase the Lower Index Town Wall—fundraising through bouldering competitions, slideshows, and major donor requests. “The community response has been incredible,” says Jonah Harrison of the WCC. “The challenge with Index was not, as we had originally thought, getting people together to work and donate to the cause. It was how to channel all the talent, enthusiasm, and funds people offered.”
We are happy to report that WCC has nearly reached its fundraising goal and is well positioned to purchase the property before the December 31, 2010 deadline.

Help protect this climbing crag for future generations by donating here!

Help Protect the Tongass National Forest

July 16, 2010 by Alaska Wilderness League
The Tongass National Forest is a world-class natural treasure – and it belongs to all of us. It is one of the last forests of its kind that remains intact. The Tongass includes the world’s largest populations of bears and eagles, 4,500 salmon-filled streams and rivers, and some of the last remaining old-growth trees. It is up to us to safeguard this special place for the local communities that depend upon the forest and for future generations with smart action now.   U.S. Congress may soon combine a number of public land, water, and resource bills into one bill. This package of bills is designed to protect our nation’s natural history and resources.  There is one bill that does not meet this noble goal: the “Sealaska Corporation bill.” The “Sealaska bill” would give some of the best of the best of the Tongass to the Sealaska Corporation who has a... Read More

Update from Alaska Wilderness League at 07/16/10 11:05 AM

July 16, 2010 by Alaska Wilderness League
ARCTIC OCEAN The Arctic Ocean is one of the most productive, fragile, and least understood marine ecosystems in the world.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the world's most threatened marine environments. Made up of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, America's Arctic Ocean is facing accelerating and dramatic changes due to climate change, along with proposals for massive and risky oil and gas development.   UPDATE: We extend our gratitude and thanks to President Obama and Secretary Salazar for their decision to suspend Shell Oil's plans for drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer. We look forward to working with the administration to develop a comprehensive plan for the Arctic that determines if, when, where and how development occurs in the Arctic Ocean - and above all ensures that any development in these pristine waters is only allowed to proceed when it can be done safely.UPDATE: BP's Dismal Track Record in... Read More

Update from Washington Climbers Coalition at 07/16/10 3:18 PM

July 16, 2010 by Washington Climbers Coalition
As of June 22nd the Washington Climbers Association was able to pay off a loan to the Access Fund. This loan enable us to purchase an option agreement for Index Lower Town Wall. As of July, the WCC has raised over 228k towards that purchase. For more info on our loan repayment check out the following link: http://www.accessfund.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=tmL5KhNWLrH&b=5000939&ct=8501735... Read More

Conservation Stories: Patagonia Stepping It Up In The Gulf

July 15, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

 The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in.

 

***

Companies across the country are taking action in response to the devastating oil. The gulf may not be in your backyard, but this spill is going to have widespread affects, and it's going to take a widespread, communal effort to move forward in a positive direction. Patagonia stepped up to the plate this week in aiding in that effort, announcing that it would send up to 10 employees per week to Louisiana to work on spill restoration.

From Patagonia:

Hole in the Ocean
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig sank in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, 2010, it opened what one songwriter called a “Hole in the Ocean,” and led to what is today the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. From that deepwater hole some 52 miles off the Louisiana coast flows an estimated 25,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil a day. Tapped by BP to help meet the needs of a nation addicted to oil, the oil has found its way into the water column, up to the water’s surface, onto the beach and even into the air. Despite efforts to stop the sub-sea gusher and contain, burn or disperse the oil, it has defied us. Marine life is poisoned, local economies ruined and the Gulf indelibly smeared with a black tar brush.

Today, more than two months after that hole in the ocean was inadvertently opened, the oil still flows, leaving many people disempowered and feeling helpless. But there are things we can do, not only to deal with the crisis at hand but more important, to make sure this disaster never, never happens again.

At Patagonia, this is how we are taking action.

Emergency Funding
We have given $100,000 to environmental organizations with whom we have longstanding relationships who are working directly in the coastal areas and communities affected by the disaster: Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Skytruth, Southwings, Gulf Restoration Network, Save Our Gulf: Gulf Waterkeepers and the Gulf Coast Fund.

Increased Employee Match
We have increased our employee match program at a 2-1 rate to further assist those nonprofit environmental groups. If a Patagonia employee gives $100, Patagonia will give $200.

Employee Volunteers
In mid-July, we started sending up to 10 employees per week to Louisiana to work with a longtime environmental partner, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. The group is creating an Oil Spill Crisis Map, and our employees are helping to gather information, stories and photographs in communities where oil has reached the shoreline and impacted wildlife. All of this information is being uploaded into the map – a living document that speaks to the environmental and health effects of the spill. It will serve as an open source of information that shows NGOs, governmental agencies, state and local wildlife agencies and the general public where help is needed most. Patagonia employees are being paid their regular salaries and have all expenses paid while they are in the Gulf region.

Read more...

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 07/15/10 4:09 PM

July 15, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama took time at the recent G20 summit to note the historic memorandum of understanding to protect the trans-boundary Flathead River Valley, signed by the B.C. Premier and Montana Governor in February 2010, we were pleased to see that the Flathead Valley is on their radar.  However, the Flathead urgently  needs permanent protection in the form of a national park and wildlife management area. Current threats include clear-cut logging slated to begin this summer, small-scale mining, increased road access and trophy hunting—all of which will impact the adjacent Waterton-Glacier World Heritage Site. The mining, oil and gas development ban announced by the B.C. government in February was a promising start. But it is only the first step in a three-part plan to protect the Flathead, home to some of the world’s purest water and rare and at-risk species like grizzlies,... Read More

Douglas Brinkley: The Best of the New Generation of American Historians

July 14, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Called "the best of the new generation of American historians", Douglas Brinkley is an award-winning author, professor of history at Rice University and a renowned historian. He is also the Alliance's featured guest speaker at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast at the August 2010 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
 
Brinkley's most recent book, Wilderness Warrior, details Theodore Roosevelt’s contributions to conservation in America. Brinkley is working on a new book about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And during his presentation, Brinkley will trace the arc of American conservation history from Roosevelt to the current effort to protect the Arctic Refuge.
 
“We are so lucky to have Douglas Brinkley as our guest speaker,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “He has written the definitive history of Roosevelt’s contributions to conservation, and in the process, has explained that conservation is a core piece of America’s DNA.”
 
Brinkley is among the most renowned historians in the US. He has published books about Rosa Parks, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kerouac, and Hurricane Katrina. He was the primary historian for When the Levees Broke, Spike Lee’s documentary about Katrina. And has been invited to the White House to discuss history with the President Obama in a wide-ranging conversation on everything from foreign policy to conservation.

If you're heading to Summer OR, make sure to mark your calendars for this presentation. You won't be disappointed!
 
The breakfast, which is open to the public, is Wednesday, August 4, 7:00-8:50 AM at The Marriott in Salt Lake City.

Grantee Weekly Grind: Photos Tell the Story of Snake River Salmon

July 13, 2010 by Serena Bishop

iLCP photographer Neil Osborne at Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho. © Emily Nuchols 

From Save Our Wild Salmon: 

Sometimes you've got to get on the ground. Get dirty, muddy and immerse yourself in a story...

That's exactly what International League of Conservation Photographers' photographer Neil Osborne did to tell the story of Snake River salmon. Tripods in the Mud (TIM) is an initiative of the iLCP that helps partner professional photographers like Neil with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue.

Snake River salmon swim more than 900 miles inland and climb almost 7,000 feet to reach their spawning grounds — the highest salmon spawning habitat on the planet , and the largest and wildest habitat left in the continental United States. These one of a kind salmon travel farther and higher than any other salmon on Earth.

So how do you make people care? And get them to act? Give them beautiful and provocative images to tell the story.

Save Our Wild Salmon and the International League of Conservation Photographers have joined forces to tell the story of the Snake River's one of a kind salmon and the place they call home.
 

Conservation Stories: In the Shadow of Glen Canyon Dam

July 08, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in.

***

One of Osprey Packs's athletes Timmy O'Neill is active in Rios Libres, a team of adventurers, photographers, writers, filmmakers and scientists working to keep Patagonia wild. Here's an excerpt from their latest post:

6,170 miles. This is the distance between Flagstaff, Arizona and Puerto Bertrand, Chile — the town closest to the source of the Rio Baker. This creates a formidable gap (the equivalent of driving from Boston to San Diego and back) between where many of us live and the rivers we are fighting to protect. Why then, are five folks from Flagstaff and two from Colorado so damned concerned about a river and a watershed that are so far from home?

The simple answer is this: we believe rivers should flow freely — from source to sea — as nature intended. But, there’s more. We are also motivated by the missteps made in our very own backyard. We live in the shadow of Glen Canyon dam —  aka “America’s most regretted environmental mistake” and we constantly grapple with ‘what could have been’ if this place had not been lost. This dam stands as a beacon, reminding us of a past heartbreak and calling us to action in order to prevent others.

 Read the rest over on the Osprey blog.

Possible International Protection for the Flathead River Watershed

June 30, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

We've been closely tracking what's happening up in the Flathead Valley in Southeastern British Columbia, where in February, a ban was placed on mining and energy development

But that ban was only part of protecting this wild and beautiful section of North America. Conservation Alliance grantee Sierra Club of British Columbia has been working hard to create a National Park in the south eastern one-third of the Flathead River Valley, to fill in the missing piece of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

Well, good news! At the recent G8 and G20 summits, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper deliberated over B.C.'s precious Flathead Valley. Now, there's an international conservation agreement in the works for the American and Canadian Flathead River watershed - a Rocky Mountain hotspot for animals that straddles the Montana-British Columbia border.

Check out the White House's official statement on the issue here

Let's keep this cause moving forward! Learn how you can help by visiting Sierra Club of BC's website.

America's Great Outdoors Listening Session

June 23, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
America's Great Outdoors California Listening SessionThursday July 8th, 2010 - 3pm to 7pmOccidental College, Los AngelesBe part of an important historical event for conservation in California! President Obama recently introduced the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to reconnect Americans to the outdoors by promoting and supporting community-based efforts in conservation. The Administration is hosting "listening sessions" throughout the country to give citizens an opportunity to share their ideas regarding the future of conservation and America's great outdoors.California's Listening Session will take place the evening of Thursday July 8th, atOccidental College in Los Angeles. If you support wilderness and conservation, we NEED your support in the room on that day. Join CWC and other conservationists during this important and historical event as we advocate for the protection of California's wildlands.For more information and to carpool to the event, please contact Laurel Williams at lwilliams@calwild.org.... Read More

Conservation Victory: Southwest Colorado May Get More Wilderness

June 22, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources passed the San Juan Wilderness Act last week soon will pop up for a full House vote — protecting almost 62,000 acres in portions of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests in Southwest Colorado.

From the Durango Herald News:

The bill, introduced by Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa, would provide permanent protection for some of Colorado's most-renowned views and mountains, including the slopes of Mount Sneffels and Wilson Peak...

"Today's passage of the San Juan Wilderness Act is a major step in the process and a victory for the communities of Southwest Colorado," Salazar said in a news statement. "This bill came from the ground up, from my constituents and local government representatives who came together to work out a bill with me that enjoys strong support on the ground.

"The bill will provide permanent protection for crystal-clear water and soaring peaks while protecting agriculture, grazing and water rights," Salazar said. "The stunning beauty of this region provides the economic driver for these communities."

Thanks to Conservation Alliance grantee Wilderness Support Center for making this happen!

 

The Sun was Shining on the Seattle Backyard Collective!

June 21, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Warm weather and a bit of sunshine greeted ConservationNEXT volunteers as they began to arrive at Mt. Baker Park for the 2nd Annual Backyard Collective. 

Cascade Land Conservancy, Green Seattle Project and ConservationNEXT put together a full morning of work and more than 80 volunteers from  Patagonia, Stanley, a brand of PMI, Outdoor Research, Nikwax, Clif Bar, Brooks, Filson, Teva, and Cascade Designs came together to pull invasive plants and spread mulch on the hillsides of one of Seattle's most popular urban parks.  

Volunteers were broken into groups of 15, each led by a Conversation Corp member, and given names including Mulch Masters, Cedar Savers and Blackberry Busters.  First on the agenda: clear the hillsides of the invasive blackberry vines and ivy, out-competing the natives for sun, nutrients and water.  Once this was complete, heavy cardboard was rolled out over the treated area and mulch was spread. 

It is said that many hands make light work.  In only four hours, 24 cubic yards of debris (invasive blackberry and ivy) was removed from 12,000 square feet of earth, on which 35 cubic yards of mulch was spread.

Once the work was done, volunteers enjoyed an amazing lunch provided by Skillet and visited with a few of the Conservation Alliance Grantees; Washington Wilderness Coalition, Alaska Wilderness League, American Rivers, and the Cascade Land Conservancy.

Huge thanks to Krissy Moehl, Green Seattle, the Cascade Land Conservancy, Patagonia, Nikwax, Brooks, Stanley, a brand of PMI, Outdoor Research, Clif Bar, Brooks, Filson, Teva, Cascade Designs and Bear Naked Granola for  providing support, product donations, nourishment, and volunteers to another successful Backyard Collective!

Boulder White Clouds One Step Closer to Wilderness Designation!

June 18, 2010 by Serena Bishop
The Boulder White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho are one step closer to receiving the designation of Wilderness.  On Wednesday, June 16th, the Obama administration endorsed a Senate bill (S. 3294) proposing 333,000 acres of land to be designated Wilderness, the nation's highest level of protection for a landscape

Backed by the Idaho Conservation League, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the 333,000 acre wilderness bill has strong support in Idaho and in Washington.  While small adjustments will most likely be made to the bill before it is passed, supporters are willing to strike a compromise to protect one of Idaho's greatest assets.  Rep. Simpson, who has been working to protect the Boulder White Clouds for more than 10 years, feels "the needs of the people who live and recreate in the area are as important as lines drawn on a map."

For more on the subcommittee hearing, click here

Legislation Would Give Tennessee Nearly 20,000 More Acres of Wilderness

June 10, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Yesterday, U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) introduced the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2010 that would designate six different areas totaling 19,556 acres as wilderness in the Cherokee National Forest.

From the Chattanoogan:

“I grew up hiking in the mountains of East Tennessee and know firsthand that these beautiful landscapes should be preserved for generations to come,” Alexander said. “The bill we are introducing today is an important step in conserving some of the most pristine areas in Tennessee and will strengthen the legacy of Tennessee’s natural heritage.”

Read more...

The Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2010 specifically creates one new wilderness area and expands the boundaries of five separate existing wilderness areas already within the Cherokee National Forest. Since these areas are owned entirely by the U.S. Forest Service and are being managed as Wilderness Study Areas currently, this bill will have no effect on privately owned lands and will cause no change in access for the public.

Thanks to the hard work of two-time Conservation Alliance grantee Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition for making this happen!

Learn more and get involved here.

Mountainfilm Kicks-off in Telluride Today!

May 28, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We’re hoping that you get out and play this weekend and appreciate some of your favorite wild places.

We wanted to give a special shout out to some of our member companies who are celebrating Memorial Day Weekend by taking part in Mountainfilm in Telluride. Currently in its 32nd year, the Mountainfilm Festival is a four-day, six-senses experience of art, adventure, culture and the environment. It attracts filmmakers, photographers, conservationists, mountaineers and explorers from around the world. The theme for this year’s festival is “Extinction.”
 
The spirit celebrated at the festival may be of a vital eco-system or a fragile one. It may be of an endangered culture or of one courageous soul. It may be of a grassroots sustainability movement or of the struggle of a species on the brink of extinction. In whichever case, it is always a spirit that is unique, important and eminently laudable.
 
Even if you’re not in Telluride, you can still check out a lot of the film trailers on the Mountainfilm website, as well as keep up with all of the action through their Blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Obama Suspends Arctic Drilling... For Now

May 27, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

 

 

With the catastrophic oil spill still wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama announced today that he would suspend drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska until at least 2011.

Congratulations to our grantee Alaska Wilderness League for this victory! Take a moment to thank President Obama for this reprieve from drilling in the Arctic Ocean here.

From The Anchorage Daily News: 

The move will stop for now a controversial expansion of oil drilling in a part of the world that could hold vast stores of oil and natural gas, but which environmentalists warn would come at great risk.

Despite a late appeal from Shell that it would employ new safety measures in the wake of the Gulf spill, Salazar was unconvinced that the exploratory drilling even in the much shallower waters of the Arctic would be safe.

"He is suspending proposed exploratory drilling in the Arctic," an administration official said on condition of anonymity to talk before Salazar's report is officially released today. "He will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011 because of the need for further information-gathering, evaluation of proposed drilling technology, and evaluation of oil-spill response capabilities for Arctic waters."

PHOTO via Treehugger



San Diego Backyard Collective Wrap-Up

May 26, 2010 by Serena Bishop

The third Backyard Collective of the season brought more than 30 volunteers from San Diego based member companies Eagle Creek, Ocean Minded and STM Bags out of the office and onto the trails.  Partnering with the Escondido Creek Conservancy, based out of Escondido, California, the San Diego Backyard Collective focused on a trail building project in Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.  This hard working group of volunteers built a rock trail that linked the main trailhead at Elfin Forest to the park's interpretive center.

Jeff Anderson, Park Ranger of the Elfin Forest Recreation Reserve said this about ConservationNEXT and the San Diego Backyard Collective event:   

"Through the cooperation of groups like yours who unselfishly give back to the community and environment, parks like ours are able to provide a more rewarding and inspiring experience to those who visit our great parks and open spaces.  In turn, hopefully they too will be inspired to give back after experiencing and appreciating what so many people are becoming detached from now days.  Undisturbed open space is a precious commodity in the area we live.  Your investment in the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve will touch countless others and has made our park a better place.  Thank you very much."

After a day of hard work, volunteers were treated to a BBQ lunch, complete with beverages provided by BYC sponsor, Stone Brewing Company. 

A huge thanks to Deanna Lloyd (The Forest Group), the Escondido Creek Conservancy, Eagle Creek, Ocean Minded, STM Bags, Prana, and Patagonia for providing support, raffle donations and volunteers to yet another successful Backyard Collective!

We are planning additional Backyard Collective events in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland, Denver, Bend, and elsewhere. Click here for details.

Timber Industry Supports Proposed Rogue Wilderness

May 25, 2010 by Serena Bishop

It's not often that timber and conservation groups agree here in Oregon, but yesterday a major timber industry group announced that they support a proposed wilderness expansion along one of the state's signature rivers.

From the Associated Press:

Conservation groups hoping to expand the wilderness area along Oregon's most popular whitewater run announced Monday that a major timber industry group won't oppose the effort to protect the land from logging and mining.

Oregon Wild and other groups hope to win wilderness protection for 58,000 acres of federal land, primarily along the upper 24 miles of the wild section of the Rogue River. They want to prevent logging and mining along tributaries where salmon spawn.

"The irony is that everyone already thought it was wilderness," Steve Pedery, conservation director for Oregon Wild, said Monday."For the public thinking of rafting the Rogue, when they put in at Grave Creek, they think they're in wilderness. The reality is, until they get down to Mule Creek, there is just this ribbon of land protecting the River."

Wilderness is the most stringent level of protection for federal lands. It typically prohibits logging, motorized travel and new mining claims, while allowing hunting and fishing...

The Rogue River was one of the first rivers in the nation protected by the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. In 1978, Congress created the Wild Rogue Wilderness, running from Marial, the approximate halfway point down the 40-mile wild section of the river, to near the takeout at Foster Bar.

The expansion would run from Marial upstream to Grave Creek, where most rafters put on the river, and beyond a few miles nearly to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Rand Visitor Center, where rafters pick up permits to run the river.

Pedery said the bill to protect Rogue tributaries has gotten little traction in Congress, and they hoped to see the Wild Rogue Wilderness proposal included in a national wilderness omnibus bill later this fall.

Take Action to Protect the Wild Rogue!

 

Update from Western Environmental Law Center at 05/24/10 9:45 AM

May 24, 2010 by Western Environmental Law Center
WELC VICTORY! Safe Passage on Colorado's Roadways As the Colorado State Legislature drew to a close last week, Western Environmental Law Center celebrated our instrumental role in passing HB 1238, a bill designed to reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife on state highways in Colorado.  By increasing the ability of wildlife to cross roadways, this bill protects wildlife movement corridors and increases wildlife's ability to adapt to the effects of climate change. HB 1238 gives the Colorado Department of Transportation the authority to create up to 100 miles of special wildlife-crossing zones on roadways. "As wildlife move in response to climate change and increasing habitat fragmentation, one of the first barriers they will confront are roads," said Monique DiGiorgio, WELC's Conservation Strategist. "HB 1238 is seminal legislation that will slow drivers down in critical movement corridors, thereby increasing driver reaction time and reducing collisions with wildlife. It is a model... Read More

Victory for Wildlife Movement Corridors in Colorado

May 20, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Digital rendition of Wildlife Crossing Zone sign 

Slow down for animals! Wildlife in Colorado just got a little extra protection thanks to the passage of HB 1238, a bill designed to reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife on state highways in Colorado. Alliance grantee Western Environmental Law Center was instrumental in passing the bill.

By increasing the ability of wildlife to cross roadways, this bill protects wildlife movement corridors and increases wildlife's ability to adapt to the effects of climate change. Thanks to the bill, the Colorado Department of Transportation the authority to create up to 100 miles of special wildlife-crossing zones on roadways.

"As wildlife move in response to climate change and increasing habitat fragmentation, one of the first barriers they will confront are roads," said Monique DiGiorgio, WELC's Conservation Strategist. "HB 1238 is seminal legislation that will slow drivers down in critical movement corridors, thereby increasing driver reaction time and reducing collisions with wildlife. It is a model for the nation and WELC is thrilled to have played an instrumental role in its passage."

But part of protecting wildlife in movement corridors is making sure that drivers are alert and aware of what can be on the road. The Colorado Department of Transportation will therefore work with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado State Patrol to develop "Wildlife Crossing Zone" signs (digital rendition pictured above), similar to those signs used in school and construction zones.

Here's to slowing down for wildlife!

The Thousand Skiers Project

May 18, 2010 by Winter Wildlands Alliance
The Thousand Skiers Project: Advocating for a Non-Motorized Recreation Area on the Wenatchee National ForestWinter Wildlands Alliance is assisting our local partners through the Wenatchee Mountains Coalition to advocate for the designation of two non-motorized winter recreation areas in the Wenatchee National Forest. Please lend your voice to this important initiative.  Currently, little of the Wenatchee National Forest is protected for human-powered winter recreation. Winter access to wilderness areas is challenging and, sadly, illegal snowmobile activity prevalent. By designating non-motorized winter recreation areas for the Wenatchee National Forest there will be greater opportunity for quite winter recreation and in turn create a non-motorized buffer to enhance wilderness protection. The Thousand Skiers Project, formed by the Wenatchee Mountains Coalition, hopes to generate one thousand letters and emails, from human-powered snowsports enthusiasts - in support of designating new non-motorized areas in the Wenatchee National Forest. Please take a moment right now to help achieve... Read More

Update from Rivers Without Borders at 05/18/10 9:40 AM

May 18, 2010 by Rivers Without Borders
Currently, our more pressing work is to protect the Taku Watershed from industrial development.The Taku Watershed covers nearly two million hectares of diverse ecological zones - ranging from boreal and temperate forests to alpine meadows and craggy mountain tops, to low lying sloughs. There are no roads in the watershed. Right now, the British Columbia government is negotiating with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation over land use designations across their territory, much of which is in the Taku. BC wants to designate areas in the lower watershed open for mining and access routes. The mines would be just upstream from the richest salmon rearing habitat in the entire watershed. The region is known to have acid-generating rock which can render the water toxic to salmon and other aquatic life  if that rock is exposed to air.  The Taku is home to globally significant populations of large mammals, and diverse flora.... Read More

Will Obama Save Wild Salmon?

May 18, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Save Wild Salmon from Epicocity Project on Vimeo.

From Osprey Packs:

The Obama administration is poised to make a decision this week that could change the fate of endangered species in this country. On May 20, the Administration will release a federal salmon plan that will do one of two things for endangered wildlife: protect the Endangered Species Act, or weaken it. A decision to weaken the ESA for the West’s iconic Columbia and Snake River salmon could send an ecological ripple across the country — affecting every endangered species in the nation.

And the situation doesn’t look good. Instead of charting its own path, the administration is working off an illegal Bush administration plan for endangered salmon.

Because they return to the biggest, highest and best-protected habitat in America, endangered Snake River salmon are slated as the West’s best chance to save salmon for future generations in an environment threatened by climate change. These cold, crisp waters of spanning three Western states — Washington, Oregon and Idaho, will remain cold under warming climates, protecting these one-of-a-kind salmon with a one-of-a-kind habitat. Making the wrong decision on these rivers would effectively dam (pun fully intended) these salmon to extinction.

The Columbia-Snake Rivers may not be in your own backyard, but the effects of this decision certainly will be.

Take Action Now!

PHOTO courtesy University of Washington, Thomas Quinn

 

CWC Featured as the PEW Environment Group's Organization of the Month!

May 17, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Conservation Alliance grantee, California Wilderness Coalition, has been featured as the PEW Environment Group's Organization of the Month! The PEW Environment Group works in conjunction with the Campaign for America's Wilderness as part of the PEW Charitable Trust. Below is an excerpt from their May 2010 Newsletter, recognizing the work of CWC:

" The California Wilderness Coalition has become a powerful voice for the state's spectacular wild heritage. Through advocacy and public education, CWC has built support for threatened wild places from the grassroots up, cultivating relationships with community leaders, local and county-level officials, businesses, and local conservation outings organizations. It is the classic recipe for wilderness success- and the record of the CWC across California proves the point!"

To read the full article visit the Pew Charitable Trusts website.

Protect the Taku Watershed!

May 17, 2010 by Rivers Without Borders
The Taku Watershed, shared by British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, is a two-million hectare wilderness region, unfettered by roads or other development. The region encompasses boreal and temperate forests, alpine meadows, grasslands, craggy mountain tops and low lying sloughs. Among the watershed's diverse flora and fauna it is home to healthy, abundant runs of all five species of wild Pacific salmon. But the Taku is at risk. The BC government is trying to negotiate land use designations that would leave key portions this area open for mining and other industrial development, as well as the ensuing access routes and roads. With salmon populations collapsing all along the west coast, the value of the Taku is more notable than ever. Whether you are in Canada or the U.S., use our on-line action centre to write to the BC government and let them know why the the ecological and cultural values of... Read More

Update from Adirondack Mountain Club at 05/15/10 5:45 AM

May 15, 2010 by Adirondack Mountain Club
Campaign for Public Lands:  Save Allegany State Park  Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) has devoted countless hours to protecting Allegany State Park and other natural treasures from the potential impact of gas drilling in the Marcellus shale formation, which extends from the Catskills to Lake Erie. Those efforts include research into the impacts of modern drilling techniques; meetings with lawmakers and public officials; public hearing testimony; and a public information campaign to inform both our membership and the general public about what’s at stake. Modern gas exploration almost invariably involves hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping millions of gallons of chemically treated water, at high pressure, deep below the surface to free gas reserves. The process also disturbs the surface through tree cutting, land clearing and road building, and can turn a once pristine landscape into an a noisy, dirty industrial site. Allegany State Park is the largest park in New York’s... Read More

A River Ready to Run Free

May 14, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Conservation Alliance grantee, WaterWatch of Oregon, is again celebrating a victory in their Free the Rogue Campaign.  The Gold Ray Dam is slated for removal in August and September of 2010.  Once completed, the removal of Gold Ray Dam will be the fourth major dam removal in the Rogue Basin in the last three years.  Its removal is the final step to freeing the lower 157 miles of Rouge River, from Lost Creek Project to the Pacific Ocean, for fish, boats and other recreation. 

$6 million has been raised to cover the cost of the Gold Ray Dam removal through grants award by the Obama Administration and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

For more information about the removal of the Gold Ray Dam and the resounding public support  following the project, read the Oregonian's article here:  A River Ready to Run Free

Lemonade From Lemons

May 07, 2010 by John Sterling

Conservation Alliance grantee Raincoast Conservation Society, in partnership with a coalition of groups in Canada, is using the tragic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to call attention to threats posed by a proposed oil pipleline from Alberta's tar sands to coastal British Columbia. The ad above provides a stark reminder of the risks posed by using coastal BC as a hub of oil tanker traffic. Enbridge Corporation hopes to build a 1,200-km pipeline from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta to Kitimat, BC. The pipeline would deliver oil to tankers waiting to haul it worldwide. The pipeline would also launch a new era of oil tanker traffic on the BC coast.

Canadian First Nations are united agains the pipeline proposal, and are working in concert with conservation organizations. For more information, see www.pipeupagainstenbridge.ca.

Update from California Wilderness Coalition at 05/06/10 1:05 PM

May 06, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
CWC Featured as the PEW Environment Group's Organization of the Month! ---------------------------------------------------------------- At CWC we are pleased to announce that we have been featured as the PEW Environment Group's Organization of the Month! The PEW Environment Group works in conjunction with the Campaign for America's Wilderness as part of the PEW Charitable Trust. Below is an excerpt from their May 2010 Newsletter, recognizing the work of CWC: " The California Wilderness Coalition has become a powerful voice for the state's spectacular wild heritage. Through advocacy and public education, CWC has built support for threatened wild places from the grassroots up, cultivating relationships with community leaders, local and county-level officials, businesses, and local conservation outings organizations. It is the classic recipe for wilderness success- and the record of the CWC across California proves the point!" To read the full article visit the Pew Charitable Trusts website.... Read More

Patagonia Environmental Essay: The Idaho Tide

May 06, 2010 by Serena Bishop

It’s been nearly 20 years since Patagonia teamed up with Save Our Wild Salmon to take on what seemed like the impossible: remove four dams on the Lower Snake River to clear a path for Idaho’s iconic salmon. Today, we’re closer than ever to making it all happen. And Patagonia has remained an unwavering ally.

So, why these fish? Why these dams? Snake River salmon have the most epic of all migrations — swimming further and climbing higher than any salmon on Earth. And as noted by Steven Hawley in Patagonia’s Environmental Essay — with climate change bearing down, saving these high-elevation fish is the West’s best shot at saving salmon.

From “The Idaho Tide”by Steven Hawley:

Late summer’s low flow barely bumped our kayaks down one of the main veins draining the vast wilderness of north-central Idaho, delivering us to the mouth of a place I’ll call Bigfoot Creek. The thin skin of water over rock made the prospect of a 10-mile side canyon hike sans socks seem like a better idea than sticking to some lame compulsion to make miles on the water. Besides, it would be worth the blisters if we got to see chinook salmon finning in a clear, deep pool we knew lay up there. Before we’d even tightened the straps on our sandals, we startled three napping wolves from their creekside beds along the Bigfoot. The looks on their faces gave the impression they were as surprised as we were.

Wolves are thriving in the Idaho woods for the same reason salmon should be – lots of protected, healthy habitat. But it’s the fish whose presence triggers the larger ecological ripple. Salmon tend to wander a bit farther than wolves. In 2003, an Idaho steelhead was caught in the Pacific near the Kuril Islands in northern Japan. Fattening on the bounty of the sea makes salmon the building blocks of forest ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest and until recently, the region’s rivers were the highways that delivered them to and from the trees. More than a hundred vertebrates, from the tiny Trowbridge’s shrew to wolves to the more cumbersome killer whale depend on the sustenance salmon provide. Decomposing salmon bodies provide ocean-derived nutrients for soils that nurture old-growth forests.

To honor salmon’s vital ecological contribution as well as their uncanny endurance and navigational skills, a 5,000-square-mile swath of Idaho, Oregon and Washington (reserving Hell’s Canyon, all the forks of the Salmon and the Selway Rivers) has been blessed with federal protection. Visionary Idaho senator Frank Church didn’t set aside the Idaho portion of this Connecticut-sized area just for wolves or whitewater junkies. He did it for the salmon, and made sure this rationale was included in the language of his landmark 1968 wilderness bill. It became law, and the effort eventually spawned tribute to its sponsor. The largest piece of this salmon sanctuary is now known as the Frank Church Wilderness. Alas, over the past four decades, too few salmon have made it to the Church on time.

The sin lies not in the wilderness, but in the dammed. Wild Idaho waters feed the Snake, which eventually joins the Columbia. These two rivers have been transformed into a series of eight slackwater impoundments behind as many obstructions in the long, slow ride between Lewiston, Idaho, and Portland, Oregon. For nearly two decades, a growing constituency of fishermen, farmers, business leaders, brave politicians and conservation groups like Save Our Wild Salmon have been backing a modest proposal: Take out half the dams. Just the four smaller ones on the Snake. With the grim prospect of climate change posing an added threat to the myriad Pacific ecosystems, many of which rely on salmon as a keystone species, removing the dams has become a mission that’s moved beyond regional borders.

Ken Balcomb is the director for the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island in Puget Sound. It’s a long way from here to Lewiston, but Balcomb sees the connection. He’s spent most of his time tracking the resident killer whales that cruise the sound in summer. He knows that chinook are whale food. The health of these orcas and that of the chinook population in the nearby ocean neatly track each other. Unfortunately, it’s a track leading toward extinction. Orcas joined Snake River chinook on the Endangered Species list in 2006. “There used to be this huge biomass of chinook in the ocean, produced by all the rivers of the Pacific Coast; the Columbia was the big horse of all those,” Balcomb told me. “We’re down to less than one percent of historic abundance. Climate change doesn’t look good for salmon in the Klamath or the Sacramento. But there’s a lot of intact habitat left on the Snake. It’s our best shot. I think any reasonable biologist will tell you the only way to take advantage of it is to tear out the dams.”

In the pristine water above the dams, predators abound. Back on Bigfoot Creek we watched a black bear sow and her two cubs splashing about, the mama submersing her head in the creek looking for a quick snack. Her behavior made us all the more hopeful a few chinook would be waiting up at the pool. More wild luck: guarded by weathered granite spires, a dozen big kings patrolled blue-green water so clear you could make out the spider-web pattern of cracks in specific boulders at the river bottom. Basking in the last blast of summer heat with all eyes on the water, it was easy to imagine we were 700 miles out in the tropical Pacific rather than that distance from its colder gray shores.

We slaked a considerable thirst from the cold, clean water of the creek, toasting salmon, bears, wolves and whales, then made our way back to the boats. Camped that night beneath cedars on an acre of white sand we had all to ourselves, I swilled the last of that good water, thinking again of all the lives nurtured by the Bigfoot. Racked out with one eye on the rising moon, I succumbed to the sensation I’d drifted off to sleep by the sea, rising and falling on an unleashed Idaho tide.

Proposal to Protect Wasatch Wildlands Unveiled at Black Diamond HQ

May 06, 2010 by John Sterling

 

Utah Congressman Jim Matheson announced plans to protect more than 26,000 acres of land in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City. Matheson made the announcement at the offices of Conservation Alliance member Black Diamond Equipement (see photo above.)

"This is the first major Wasatch Front watershed protection legislation in Utah since the Wilderness Act of 1984," Matheson told dozens gathered for the event.

The land-protection measure proposes to set aside 15,541 acres as wilderness and another 10,480 acres as "special management" areas with concessions to heli-skiing. While the proposal does away with an ATV trail, it preserves another for mountain biking.

Click here for the full story.

Bay Area Backyard Collective a Sunny Success

May 03, 2010 by John Sterling

 

More than 70 employees from Conservation Alliance member companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area converged on the Presidio for the Second Annual Bay Area Backyard Collective. The group task...WEEDING and that they did. Overall the group removed 76 bags of invasive plant species or the equivalent of 4 full pick up trucks of radish, poison hemlock, bur clover, italian wild rye, chickweed, stinkwort, and ripgut grass. 

Participants came from: Ahnu; CamelBak; CLIF Bar; Mountain Hardwear; Patagonia; The Forest Group; and The North Face. Huge thanks go to Deanna Lloyd (The Forest Group), Brook Shinsky (The North Face), California Wilderness Coalition and Golden Gate National Park Conservancy for organizing the event.

We are planning additional Backyard Collective events in San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Bend, Boulder and elsewhere. Click here for details.

Thank You for Making the Western Wilderness Conference 2010 a Great Success!

April 29, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
Thank You for Making the Western Wilderness Conference 2010 a Great Success! Please accept the sincere, ongoing, and rather awed thanks from the Co-Chairs of Western Wilderness Conference 2010, Kristi Davis and Vicky Hoover, and from everyone on the planning committee, for your vital involvement in the conference. In a most fundamental way, we couldn't have done it without you!  Your assistance in getting the message out to your members gave us the remarkable number of over 550 participants and made our conference known throughout the West.  And the financial support YOU GAVE was absolutely essential in enabling the conference to happen as it did. Kimi Kodani Hill. Photo by Mitch Tobias. With your participation we were able to achieve the goals embodied by our conference theme: New Aims, New Allies!  We offered a vast array of session topics, covering everything from economics to the arts, from Canada to the Mexican... Read More

Alliance Grantee NWP supports SWIP line - Awesome Thru-Hiker story!

April 27, 2010 by Krissy Moehl

Thru-hiker and Patagonia employee Adam Bradley is putting his talents to work on an unusual project: He has teamed up with the Nevada Wilderness Project  (NWP) to hike the 501-mile route of a renewable energy line in eastern Nevada. Called the Southwest Intertie Project--or SWIP line--it will run between Jerome County, Idaho and just north of Las Vegas, Nevada.  Construction of the line will begin this summer.  Adam is about one-third of the way into his journey; he is walking north to south and will complete the "SWIP Trip," as they're calling it, in about 15 days. He is averaging about 30-33 miles per day.

Adam is one of the most accomplished thru-hikers in the U.S. He and Scott Williamson hold the record for the fastest Pacific Crest Trail hike, finishing the 2,655 miles of the PCT in 65 days, 9 hours and 58 minutes, averaging 40.5 miles per day. Adam lives and works in Nevada at Patagonia's distribution center in Reno.  You can read all about the SWIP Trip and Adam's progress on the Nevada Wilderness Project's blog: http://www.wildnevada.org/blog.html

Canada Goose Earth Day Bake Sale Benefits the Alliance

April 26, 2010 by John Sterling

Think globally, act locally. That's what our friends at Canada Goose did last week. The company organized an Earth Day bake sale that raised $250 for The Conservation Alliance. W'ell put those funds to good use. Thanks, Canada Goose, for thinking of us on Earth Day!

Our Point Goose Kevin Spreekmeester made lemon bars.

Update from Washington Climbers Coalition at 04/21/10 9:32 PM

April 21, 2010 by Washington Climbers Coalition
We are currently working towards the purchase of Index Town Wall. Access to this iconic climbing crag was threatened due to the land owners desire to sell the property. Our goal is raise 300k to purchase and do general improvements to the property. Thanks to the generous support of the Access Fund, Conservation Alliance, many local outdoor retailers/companies and private donors, we have been able to raise over 185k towards our goal of saving this climbing resource for future generations.... Read More

Douglas Brinkley to Speak at Conservation Alliance Breakfast

April 15, 2010 by John Sterling

We at The Conservation Alliance are THRILLED to announce that our guest speaker at the Summer 2010 Conservation Alliance Breakfast is historian Douglas Brinkley. Brinkley is one of our most renowned historians, and a prolific writer. He's written or edited books about notable people ranging from Teddy Roosevelt and Rosa Parks to Ronald Reagan and Hunter S. Thompson. He worked with Spike Lee on the documentary When the Levees Broke, about Hurrican Katrina. And President Obama invited him to the White House shortly after the inauguration to discuss history and conservation. Brinkley's talk will trace the arc of conservation in America from Teddy Roosevelt to the modern effort to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Don't miss this one! Wednesday, August 4, 7-9 AM at The Marriott in Salt Lake City. Open to the public.

Click here for more information.

Update from Idaho Rivers United at 04/15/10 7:54 PM

April 15, 2010 by Idaho Rivers United
  The goal of our current Conservation Alliance campaign is to win federal Wild & Scenic River designation for 112 miles of the lower Salmon River, downstream from Long Tom Bar (the boundary of the existing Wild & Scenic reach) to the Salmon's confluence with the Snake River. We seek this designation to:Protect water quality and wildlife in a river corridor threatened by mining activities. Protect critical habitat and migration corridors for salmon, steelhead, bull trout and white sturgeon. And, protect recreation opportunities in the watershed.Securing Wild & Scenic River designations for the lower Salmon River will prohibit the construction of new dams and diversions in this reach of river forever, give conservationists and managing agencies new tools to help enforce sound conservation practices and protect recreation opportunities, and give designated river a higher "profile," which hopefully will encourage better stewardship by all river users.... Read More

Eastern Mountain Sports Sale to Benefit The Conservation Alliance

April 14, 2010 by John Sterling

Longtime Conservation Alliance member Eastern Mountain Sports will hold its annual Spring Club Day Event on April 23-24. The sale is open to members of local outdoor clubs, troops, and nonprofit organizations who will receive 25 percent off all EMS Brand products, and receive great deals on your favorite brands. We are honored that EMS will contribute 1 percent of sales during the two-day event to The Conservation Alliance. So, those of you near an EMS store, we hope you'll participate and know that your purchase supports our work to save North America's last wild places.

Conservation Alliance Goes to DC for California Wilderness, LWCF

April 08, 2010 by John Sterling

A delegation of representatives from Conservation Alliance member companies spent several days in Washington DC meeting with Congressional offices about the importance of protecting Wilderness areas in California. The group also spent a day meeting with key offices urging stronger funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The group, pictured above with Representative Mary Bono-Mack, included Conrad Anker (The North Face), Nicole Bassett (prAna), Hans Cole (Patagonia), and John Sterling (The Conservation Alliance). In meetings, the delegation talked about how important protected public lands are to the outdoor industry and its customers. Legislation has been introduce to protect lands in California Desert, and in Northern San Diego County. Projects are also emerging to save public lands in the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, and in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara and Ventura.

The group also had an interesting meeting with Colorado Senator Mark Udall (pictured above), who enjoyed trading stories with Conrad about their respective climbs on 8,000-meter peaks. Senator Udall summitted Kanchenjunga in 1990, while Conrad has twice topped out on Mt. Everest, in 1999 and 2007.

Mountain Khakis + Save Our Wild Salmon Kick-Off Photo Contest For The Love of Rivers

April 08, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Photo © Matt Leidecker

This week, Conservation Alliance member company Mountain Khakis and grantee Save Our Wild Salmon kicked off the "We Love The Snake River!" photo contest.

So why the Snake River?

From the Save Our Wild Salmon blog:

Our favorite? We love the rugged Snake River. Its headwaters begin in the wildlands of Wyoming, fed by meltwater from the Tetons, and its waters flow through the Rocky Mountains of Idaho and the Palouse prairies of Eastern Washington before feeding into the mighty Columbia River.

But what makes the Snake River even more impressive? It is home to the legendary Snake River sockeye. Snake River sockeye have the most epic migration path of any salmon on Earth — swimming more than 900 miles inland and climbing 7,000 feet in elevation to spawn in the rugged Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

There are not many issues today that people can agree on. But for 20 years, a diverse coalition of commercial, sport and recreational fishing groups, outdoor industry businesses, conservation organizations, and clean energy and taxpayer advocates have joined forces to save an icon of the American West — Snake River salmon and the waters they return to each year.

But we’re sure you’ve got your favorite river; a pristine, wild waterway where you love to play and celebrate the outdoors. Maybe it’s right down the road from your house, or it’s on the other side of the world, a river where you experienced your most memorable travel moment. It might even be a river watershed that you spend time volunteering to protect. Wherever it is, we want to see it!

From SNEWS:

From now until April 30th, river-rats can submit a photo of their favorite river and enter the chance to WIN a highly-coveted pair of Mountain Khakis® Snake River Pants. SOS will post one picture a week on their blog and will be giving away MK swag throughout the contest as well.

Entering is easy! To submit your picture, upload the image (s) to the Save Our Wild Salmon Flickr Pool. Make sure your photo has a title and a description of why it's your favorite river. We look forward to seeing your work and the rivers that you love!

Conservation Alliance, Filson Band Together for John Day River

April 07, 2010 by John Sterling

The Conservation Alliance and member company Filson co-hosted an event at the Filson retail store in Portland to raise awareness about the campaign to protect 18,000 acres of Wilderness along the Wild and Scenic John Day River in Oregon. Senator Ron Wyden, pictured above with Alliance Executive Director John Sterling, has introduced legislation to protect the Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven Wilderness areas. The Senator was on hand to give a rousing speech about the importance of protecting Oregon's wild treasures. After Senator Wyden's comments, the event featured a presentation by Brent Fenty of Oregon Natural Desert Association, a Conservation Alliance grantee leading the effort to protect these areas.

A good crowd of people was on hand to learn from ONDA, and to thank Senator Wyden for his leadership on protecting Wilderness in Oregon.

Click here for more information about the Cathedral Rock Horse Heaven Wilderness proposal.

Clear the Air Over Parks of the Southwest

April 07, 2010 by National Parks Conservation Association
Send Your Comments Today to President ObamaTell President Obama that EPA must require reductions in coal plant air pollution that will benefit people and our national parks. The deadline for submitting comments is May 7, 2010.Tell me more... Read More

The Conservation Alliance Grants $400,000 to 15 Organizations to Protect Wild Places

April 02, 2010 by Serena Bishop

This week, the Conservation Alliance granted $400,000 to 15 organizations. With the strong support of our member companies, we are looking forward to a year of more conservation victories!

Protecting mountains in Appalachia from mountaintop removal, to saving a climbing wall in Washington for future generations, and working to remove four dams on the Lower Snake River, our member companies stepped it up this season to protect the wild places we love. Thank you!

And congratulations to the passionate and dedicated folks working hard on the ground to ensure we have free-flowing rivers, wild mountains and clean oceans to explore! Please see below and read more about these great causes!

Little Great RangeAdirondack Mountain Club (Lake George, NY)  $25,000
Save Allegheny State Park - To protect Allegheny State Park from proposed hydro-fracking mining by purchasing sub-surface mineral rights by the state, or by designating the area a Park Preserve.

 

 

 

Appalachian Mountain Club (Boston, MA)  $25,000
Campaign to Protect and Promote Maine's 100 mile Wilderness Region - To protect at least 60,000 acres of new conservation lands adjacent to 66,500 acres of existing AMC conservation lands in the 100-Mile Wilderness Region of Maine.

 

 

Appalachian Voices (Boone, NC) $35,000
Stop Mountaintop Removal Campaign - To protect some of America's most diverse forests and rivers from the devastating practice of mountaintop removal mining by passing a law while fighting ongoing mining permit by permit until the practice can be outlawed.

 

 

California Wilderness Coalition (Oakland, CA)    $25,000
California Desert and San Gabriel Mountains Wilderness Campaigns- To pass legislation protecting up to 1.6 million acres of public land in California's desert and San Gabriel Mountains.

 

 

Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society - Yukon (Whitehorse, Yukon)  $35,000
Peel River Watershed Campaign - To secure strong protection for all or most of the Peel watershed, with significant First Nations participation in long term policymaking and management.

 

 

Grand Canyon Trust (Flagstaff, AZ)  $30,000
Grand Canyon Uranium Mining Campaign - To protect one million acres around the Grand Canyon from uranium exploration and mining through legislation or by securing a 20-year mineral withdrawal from the Interior Department.

 

 

Idaho Rivers United (Boise, ID) $25,000
Lower Salmon Wild & Scenic Campaign - To permanently protect 112 miles of the Lower Salmon River in Idaho as a federally designated Wild and Scenic River.

 

 

 

Montana Wilderness Association (Helena, MT) $25,000
Montana Forests Campaign - To designate 670,000 acres of new wilderness throughout Montana, thus setting the stage for the Rocky Mountain Front, Scotchman Peaks, Great Burn, and many other deserving landscapes to be designated in the future.  

 

 

Our Ocean (Portland, OR) $30,000
Oregon Marine Heritage Campaign - To establish a coast-wide network of at least six marine reserves and protected areas in Oregon waters to ensure that this coastal legacy will be here for future generations of Oregonians.

 

   

Rivers Without Borders (Juneau, AK)  $20,000
Safeguarding the Taku Watershed Campaign - To protect the Taku River Watershed from proposed mining developments that would diminish this virtually pristine watershed and its abundant wild salmon.

 

 

Save Our Wild Salmon (Spokane, WA)  $25,000
Columbia and Snake River Campaign - To restore wild salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia and Snake Rivers by removing the lower Snake dams, and implementing a full spill/flow regime through Columbia River dams.

 

 

Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition (Asheville, NC) $30,000
Tennessee Wilderness Campaign - To secure permanent Wilderness protection for at least 18,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest for outdoor recreation, biodiversity protection, climate change buffering, headwaters protection and wildlife migration.

 

 

Washington Climbers Coalition (Seattle, WA) $15,000
Index Lower Town Wall Acquisition Campaign - To purchase the Index Lower Town Wall with property improvements complete, management by the Washington State Parks Department in place, and climbing access secured for future generations.

 

 

Wilderness Support Center (Durango, CO)  $30,000
San Juan Mountains Wilderness Campaigns - To permanently protect up to 200,000 acres in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado through wilderness and other conservation designations, specifically through the enactment of the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act and the campaign to protect the Hermosa Creek watershed outside of Durango.

 

Winter Wildlands Alliance (Boise, ID)  $25,000
Quiet Winter Recreation Campaign - To permanently protect Yellowstone National Park's magical and fragile winter ecosystem  from the noise and exhaust of snowmobiles and, and to secure balanced winter use plans for Mount Jefferson, Togwotee Pass and Tumalo Mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate + Protect John Day Wilderness April 5 in PDX

March 31, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Join the Conservation Alliance, Filson and the Oregon Natural Desert Association to learn more about wilderness along the John Day River, and how we can protect this prized jewel of the Oregon high desert.

When: 7p.m. on April 5

Where: Filson Portland, 526 NW 13th Ave in the Pearl District

RSVP: devon@onda.org

Hope to see you all there!

 

 

2010 Western Wilderness Conference is a week away! Register today!

March 31, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
Join us at The Western Wilderness Conference from  April 8-11th 2010,  at UC Berkeley, California. Sponsored by the California Wilderness Coalition and the Sierra Club, the Western Wilderness Conference includes organizations* from all twelve western states, including Alaska.Nearly 50 workshops, led by the nation’s most effective advocates, teach you tools and strategies to strengthen your campaign.  Whether you're a long time activist, or new to environmental advocacy, you’ll discover both tools and inspiration.For more information and to register, visit : http://www.westernwilderness.org  ... Read More

Update from California Wilderness Coalition at 03/31/10 10:58 PM

March 31, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
WESTERN WILDERNESS CONFERENCE 2010 April 8-11, 2010 UC Berkeley Campus, California Join us at The Western Wilderness Conference from April 8-11th 2010, at UC Berkeley, California. Sponsored by the California Wilderness Coalition and the Sierra Club, the Western Wilderness Conference includes organizations* from all twelve western states, including Alaska. Nearly 50 workshops, led by the nation’s most effective advocates, teach you tools and strategies to strengthen your campaign. Whether you're a long time activist, or new to environmental advocacy, you’ll discover both tools and inspiration. For more information and to register, visit : http://www.westernwilderness.org... Read More

Wild and Scenic Rivers Event - April 15th, Seattle, WA

March 29, 2010 by Gifford Pinchot Task Force
Keeping Wild Rivers Wild: Opportunities for Conservation through Wild and Scenic River Designation in Washington State Despite the tremendous abundance of free-flowing rivers in Washington State, segments of only six rivers are protected are under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: the White Salmon, Klickitat, and Skagit and its major tributaries, the Cascade, Sauk, and Suiattle rivers. In contrast, our sister state of Oregon has protected reaches of sixty of the state’s rivers as Wild and Scenic. With legislation currently in Congress to designate the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as Wild and Scenic, and dozens of agency-identified eligible rivers in the North Cascades, Southwest Washington and Olympics, we have an incredible opportunity to ensure that our most outstanding rivers are permanently protected for salmon, wildlife, clean water and the world-class recreational opportunities that these wild rivers provide. Join representatives from Alpine Lakes Protection Society, American Rivers,... Read More

Ventura Volunteers Kick Off 2010 Backyard Collectives!

March 25, 2010 by Serena Bishop

In one afternoon, more than 100 volunteers at last Friday's Backyard Collective in Ventura removed nearly 4 tons of trash from Ventura River and beach -- resulting in a dumpster full of waste that would have otherwise polluted the waters of hte Ventura River and the Pacific Ocean.

From Santa Barbara's KEYT Television:

You may notice the mouth of the Ventura River near the Ocean looking cleaner than usual. That's because local companies; Patagonia, Deckers outdoor and Horny Toad gave their workers Friday afternoon off in return for cleaning up the river bottom.

The trio joined forces with the Santa Barbara Channel Keepers and the Conservation Alliance and the City of Ventura to clean up the Ventura Lagoon from the beach to the Main Street bridge.

"Conservation Next" funded the event named the "Santa Barbara Ventura Backyard Cooperative". Their goal is to bring corporations and volunteers together at a grass roots level.

Check out the KEYT TV video for more from the event!

"On behalf of the community of residents, tourists, surfers and beach goers the City of Ventura staff would like to extend our thanks to the participants, the company contacts who organized their staff... To have CEO's from these three companies on-site getting dirty sends a terrific message we hope, and our staff stands ready for future collaborative efforts," said Peter Brown, the Community Services Manager at the City of Ventura.

More Backyard Collectives coming to your neck of the woods this spring and summer. Keep up the great work!

 


Update from Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center at 03/24/10 11:11 PM

March 24, 2010 by Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center
To stay up to date on efforts to add new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protections for the Lower Rogue River, please visit the coalition website at: www.savethewildrogue.org ... Read More

Help remove Gold Ray Dam on the Rogue River

March 24, 2010 by Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center
Your letters are needed now to help the Rogue River's imperiled salmon populations. The Gold Ray dam is an obsolete, 105 years-old structure that was taken out of electricity production decades ago and is now a major liability for its owner, Jackson County.  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife identified Gold Ray dam as the fifth biggest problem for fish passage in the state of Oregon. The federal stimulus funding that was received by the county to remove the dam is a wonderful chance for Jackson County to address this looming liability and take major action to assist in the recovery of Rogue River salmon. This is an historic opportunity. An Environmental Assessment was released last week and Jackson County is accepting public comments until March 26. Please click here to let Jackson County know that you support quick action to help the Rogue River and its salmon by removing... Read More

Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard Talks Dam Removal, Saving Nature + Ourselves

March 11, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Over the weekend,Conservation Alliance co-founder and Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard, appeared on an American Express commercial for their members project with Takepart.com.

"We're part of nature, and as we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves," Yvon said in the video.

The dam that's featured is the Matilija Dam, an outdated monstrosity that sits 18 miles upstream from Patagonia HQ on a tributary of the Ventura River. With its crumbling concrete and silt filled reservoir, Matilija Dam no longer serves any beneficial purpose. Its removal would allow native Southern Steelhead trout to once again use the river to spawn, and give local beaches a much needed boost in sediments (more sand) from the steep canyons of Matilija Creek.

If successful, it would be largest dam ever removed in the United States. Yvon is clear in the video that he is a "dam buster" and said: "When you take out a dam, that's a real victory. A concrete victory so to speak."

All proceeds that Yvon receives from the commercial will be divided between five of environmental groups of his choice: Concervacion Patagonica, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Freedom to Roam Coalition, Native Fish Society and Conservation Alliance grantee Save our Wild Salmon!

Keep up the great work Yvon and Patagonia!

Update from Adirondack Council at 03/11/10 3:56 PM

March 10, 2010 by Adirondack Council
In the continued effort to help save New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), the Adirondack Council has joined a broad coalition of organizations to launch a major advertising campaign urging state lawmakers to restore money to the EPF.  The campaign includes billboard, online and print advertisements, including personal ads slated to appear in papers across the state. The ads ask state leaders to demonstrate their love for New York by supporting the Environmental Protection Fund. Ads are available at www.KeepProtectingNY.org.  "We Love New York" is the first high profile advertising campaign ever mounted by the state's environmental groups, which believe the Governor's proposed budget cuts are unfairly and irresponsibly harsh on environmental programs that protect public health and safety.  The advertising campaign began on March 4th and will run through the end of state budget negotiations. The budget is due to be approved by April 1st, but disagreements between the... Read More

ConservationNEXT Brings Backyard Collectives to Ventura!

March 04, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Next Friday, March 19, volunteers from local outdoor recreation businesses in Ventura, Calif. will get their hands dirty in an effort to clean-up the Ventura River and Surfers Point Beach. This event will kick off the 2010 Backyard Collective season!

Organized by ConservationNEXT (a program of The Conservation Alliance) with help from the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Deckers, Horny Toad and Patagonia (all Conservation Alliance members), the Backyard Collective is a roving volunteer event that brings together outdoor industry employees and Conservation Alliance grantees for a day of hands on environmental stewardship.

The CEO’s of each of the three participating companies will kick the day off before getting down to work cleaning up the beach and the river. Volunteers will be rewarded for their hard work with an after party including refreshments, music by Todd Hannigan, and food catered by Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company.

The Backyard Collectives are a great way to bring outdoor industry companies together to help with an environmental service project in their own backyard. And these types of events can make a huge difference,” said Deanna Lloyd – ConservationNEXT board member and employee at The Forest Group. “This group of volunteers will be making a significant contribution to the overall maintenance and beauty of this area.”

The event will also feature a volunteer fair at which Conservation Alliance grantees and local environmental organizations will share information on their current conservation initiatives.

The Conservation Alliance launched ConservationNEXT in August, 2008 to connect individuals in the outdoor industry with the work of organizations that receive financial support from the Alliance. ConservationNEXT provides people with opportunities to take online action in support of conservation. The Backyard Collective moves that action to the field, and helps people get their hands dirty in their own communities.

Stay tuned to learn about Backyard Collectives coming to your neck of the woods!

 

 

Grantees - check out this opportunity! Wild & Scenic Film Festival

March 03, 2010 by Krissy Moehl

In the spirit of Conservation Alliance's Backyard Collectives, comes another great idea for community outreach...The Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival. The annual event each January kicks-off the national tour to over 90 cities nationwide. 80% of these venues are hosted by environmental organizations who receive a grant from Patagonia to help pay for the turn-key, festival kit. The festival was started by fellow Conservation Alliance grantee, The South Yuba River Citizens League. SYRCL is now sharing their success with other grassroots groups in forming a network of host partners connected by a common goal of using film to inspire local activism! Learn more about hosting a tour venue, grant guidelines and how to apply @ http://wseff.org/grant.  Take a virtual tour of one festival venue hosted by the Access Fund at Clif Bar headquarters in Berkeley, CA.

Thanks to Susie Sutphin, Tour Manager, for this content.

Krissy Wins a Stormy One!

March 02, 2010 by John Sterling

The Conservation Alliance's Program Associate Krissy Moehl placed first among women, and fifth overall in the Mt. Mitchell 40-miler over the weekend. Unusual snowy weather in North Carolina made the course challenging. Way to go Krissy!

Full story here.

Bill to Protect 22,000 Acres of Wilderness in Washington State Clears House Committee

March 01, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Washington State is one step closer to protecting a chunk of the Cascades this week.

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act cleared the Natural Resources committee in the U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday.

If passed, the bill will protect 22,000 acres of wilderness adjoining the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and will add 10 miles of the Pratt River and 30 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the National Wild and Scenic River System.

From the Snoqualmie Valley Record:

“Protection of these spectacular rivers has so many benefits for nearby communities,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater. “With the proximity of the Pratt and Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie rivers to the major urban center of Seattle, residents of the region have unparalleled access to an abundance of recreational opportunities provided by these world-class rivers. As someone who has explored hundreds of river miles across the country and around the world, I can confidently say that we have some of the most spectacular river resources of any place in the world.

Next steps: The bill, which has strong bipartisan support, will be brought before the House and Senate for votes. When the bill passes through there, it will go on to the President to be signed in.

We'll let you know what happens!

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 02/26/10 11:41 PM

February 26, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
Great news! The B.C. government recently announced a ban on mining and energy development in the Flathead River Valley, adjoining Glacier National Park. The ban is a vital first step towards permanent protection for the Flathead, and one that we’ve asked for. Now we must build on our momentum. The Flathead is home to rare and threatened species like grizzly bears and tailed frogs, and it has some of the world’s purest water. This ecological jewel deserves full protection. Sierra Club BC will continue to work for a National Park in the south eastern one-third of the Flathead River Valley, to fill in the missing piece of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The Flathead deserves the same level of protection that Alberta and Montana have given their share of the same Crown of the Continent ecosystem—National Park status. It’s also crucial that we establish a Wildlife Management Area in the rest... Read More

Utah Senator Fights Proposed National Monuments

February 24, 2010 by John Sterling

 

Utah Senator Robert Bennett introduced legislation yesterday that would prevent any President -- now or in the future -- from designating new National Monuments in Utah without the consent of Congress. The move came just days after a leaked Department of Interior memo showed that the agency is eyeing 14 potential new Monuments, including two in Utah. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar explained that the memo was just a draft. Click here for the full story.

Hostility to protected public lands in Utah is nothing new, but this is an unusual step. Since 1906, the American Antiquities Act has given US Presidents the authority to designate National Monuments from any sites "situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States." Even George W. Bush used the Antiquities Act to designate a National Monument. Senator Bennett's legislation does not stand much of a chance of passing in this Congress, but it demonstrates how adamantly opposed Utah's elected officials are to protecting spectacular wild places like the San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa.

It's amazing that the state that benefits economically from the outdoor industry's trade show -- held twice yearly in Salt Lake -- works so hard to obstruct protections for its special wild places.

Before And After: Dillsboro Dam Removed On The Tuckaseegee

February 23, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Last week, American Whitewater, a Conservation Alliance grantee, celebrated the removal of Dillsboro Dam on the Tuckaseegee River in North Carolina. For the first time in more than 100 years, this portion of river will run free! Check out the before and after photos below.

Congratulations to American Whitewater and all of the folks who worked so hard on this conservation victory! 

It's a free-flowing Tuckaseegee!

 

Pacts Signed to Restore Klamath River, Recover Salmon

February 19, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Yesterday, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed agreements for the nation's largest-ever dam-removal project. In an effort to recover endangered salmon populations, the agreements will remove four dams on the Klamath River and revise how water is shared in the basin in southern Oregon and Northern California.

Channeling his former movie star persona, Gov. Schwarzenegger addressed the crowd who gathered to watch the historic agreement take place.

From the Salem Statesman Journal: "It was 15 months ago that we were all promising each other we are going to do everything we can to get through our differences and finalize an agreement to tear down those dams — to say 'hasta la vista' to the dams and restore the majesty of the Klamath River," he said... "I can see the salmon fishery screaming, 'I'll be back.' "

In all seriousness, he did say California would do its part to raise the $250 million to carry out its share of the agreement. The expected cost of dam removal and basin restoration is about $1.5 billion. Oregon has already committed about $200 million; the federal government will contribute the other $1 billion.
 
Thursday's agreement is a critical step, but it's been a long battle, and it's far from over.
 
From the New York Times: "The dams, which have provided hydroelectric power and water for farm irrigation for decades, have caused severe depletions in salmon populations in the 250-mile river, hurting Indian tribes in the area and helping force shutdowns of some West Coast commercial fishing. 

"In 2001, farmers were angered when irrigation was cut off to provide more water for salmon migrating up the river to spawn. The next year, irrigation was restored, only to have tens of thousands of fish die. The roller coaster increased tension but eventually led to talks. The basic outlines of the agreements became final in November 2008 under the Bush administration.

"The agreements would remove the four dams by 2020 if a series of federal studies and Congressional approval and appropriations follow suit; the interior secretary is to make a final decision on removal by March 2012.

Gov. Kulongoski added: "The two agreements we are signing do not completely put to rest this decades-old conflict. Everyone who has been involved with the agreements knows that there is much work still to be done."
 
The Conservation Alliance has twice funded California Trout for its work on restoring the Klamath River and recovering salmon. Chuck Bonham, CA Director for Trout Unlimited added, “We all recognize that we must work as partners with the agricultural community and private landowners to make fisheries recovery possible.  We want the fish welcomed home.”

 

The Conservation Alliance Gets A Shout-out In The Season

February 17, 2010 by Serena Bishop

The Season combines the outdoors, adventure, conservation and how a few incredible people are making their way through the course of a single season in the Pacific Northwest.

In the most recent episode, released today, Jonaven Moore, a pro snowboarder, searches for a way to return to the roots of his sport. His story is inspiring to say the least and he shreds in some of the Northwest's most beautiful mountains, so take a moment and enjoy. Be sure to stay tuned until the very end because the Conservation Alliance gets a major shout-out as this episode wraps up! Thanks to Fitz Cahall, lead man of the The Dirtbag Diaries and one of the masterminds behind the Season, for supporting the Conservation Alliance's work!

And thanks to Conservation Alliance member company Outdoor Research for supporting this great project.

Dam Removal Restores A Free-Flowing Tuckasegee River in NC

February 15, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

After nearly a decade of negotiations and involvement by American Whitewater, Dillsboro Dam on the Tuckasegee River in North Carolina is finally being removed! February 4, 2010 saw the first steps of a multi-week process to remove the 100+ year old dam from blocking this great river from flowing freely.

American Whitewater, a Conservation Alliance grantee, is looking foward to celebrating the removal of Dillsboro Dam with the paddling community. Taking the dam out will provide a great river access area in Dillsboro and allow paddlers (and fish) to pass through the area for the first time in over a century. 

We would like to thank the many paddlers that have supported this river restoration initiative over the past nine years, including a special thanks to the Carolina Canoe Club and Western Carolina Paddlers. Conservation Alliance member company, KEEN, also supported this project. 

Dillsboro Dam removal with AW's Jeff Paine from Lunch Video Magazine on Vimeo.

Salmon Win On The Columbia-Snake, Judge Tells Federal Agencies To Comply With ESA

February 12, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge James Redden, who is hearing the long-running legal challenge to the Columbia-Snake River Basin salmon plan, rejected the Obama administration's eleventh-hour bid to salvage the Bush-era plan.

In his letter, Redden said, "federal defendents must comply with the [Endangered Species Act]."

Redden has twice before rejected federal salmon plans for Columbia Basin salmon, but he has given the government multiple opportunities to correct the one currently before his court. The judge gave the administration until February 19 to decide whether it will take steps to issue an amended plan that considers all new and pertinent scientific informations and contains measures necessary to protect salmon and steelhead.

Salmon and fishing advocates, as well as the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, the Spokane Tribe of Washington, and the State of Oregon, are greatly encouraged by the judge's action.

"We sure hope they take him up on the idea to fix this plan, and we hope they take the opportunity to truly engage us and the other plaintiffs to find a long-term solution to this long-standing issue in the region," said Nicole Cordan, attorney for the group Save Our Wild Salmon, a grantee of the Conservation Alliance.

To learn more about Columbia-Snake River salmon, and to take action, visit: www.wildsalmon.org

PHOTO  © Brandon Cole

Canadian Conservation Win! British Columbia Government Bans Mining in the Flathead

February 10, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Big conservation news came out of Canada this week as the British Columbia government announced a ban on oil and gas development in the Flathead River Basin. The Flathead River Basin is home to one of North America’s wildest valleys, with pristine waterways and diverse wildlife.

The British Columbia government is promising to partner with Montana to “sustain the environmental values … in a manner consistent with current forestry, recreation, guide outfitting and trapping uses.”

Located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, the Flathead River Basin adjoins the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in 2008 conservation groups petitioned the United Nations to investigate proposed mining and drilling projects in the headwaters of the Flathead River and the effect they would have on the area’s ecological health. This time, conservation efforts won over those of the energy industry, giving another breath of fresh air to our movement.

The Conservation Alliance funded the Sierra Club of BC for their Flathead Valley Campaign. Although this ban is an important win, the ultimate goal adds two additional pieces: establishing a new National Park and a Wildlife Management Area for the valley, ensuring that it has the same level of protection as its neighbor to the south, Waterton-Glacier International Park. We’re happy to have supported this effort!

Want to see just what we're working to protect? Check out the trailer to Flathead Wild, a film produced by Epicocity Project as they follow the International League of Conservation Photographers in a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition documenting the area with compelling photography to support conservation efforts.

Flathead Wild Trailer from Epicocity Project on Vimeo.

New York Budget Threatens Adirondack Park/Environment Funding

February 09, 2010 by Adirondack Council
As part of his 2010-2011 Executive Budget, Governor David Paterson proposed significant and disproportionate cuts to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and Adirondack Park Agency (APA) that would have lasting negative consequences for the Adirondack Park. Your help is needed today to ensure that the APA can perform its duties, the Park’s open space is protected and opportunities to save ecological significant lands are not lost forever. We need you to write letters to the Legislature to urge them to save the environmental programs in the budget. View our full Action Alert on the Adirondack Council's website: http://www.adirondackcouncil.org/EPF_aa_Feb10.html  Without full funding to New York's EPF, many lands within the Adirondack Park are at risk to development or unsustainable logging. Failure to secure these vital lands would jeopardize a Park that is a global conservation model and a landscape that offers the greatest of New York’s natural heritage.  Please read more about... Read More

REGISTER NOW for the Western Wilderness Conference 2010!

February 08, 2010 by California Wilderness Coalition
WESTERN WILDERNESS CONFERENCE 2010April 8th- 11th, 2010Berkeley, Californiawww.westernwilderness.orgCalifornia Wilderness Coalition, Sierra Club, , and Northwest Wilderness and Parks Conference are the principal planning organizations, and also represented on the planning committee areThe Wilderness Society, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Desert Survivors, Audubon California, Tuleyome, and Californians for Western Wilderness.Although the event will take place in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, wilderness organizations and advocates from all twelve western states, including Alaska, are involved, and wild lands advocates from all those states are enthusiastically invited to participate in this grand event.... Read More

Heaven In The High Desert

February 06, 2010 by Serena Bishop

Oregon needs more wilderness, according to the Eugene Register-Guard and Senators Merkley and Wyden. And we couldn't agree more! Conservation Alliance grantee the Oregon Natural Desert Association has been working hard to secure the Horse Heaven and Cathedral Rock Wilderness, and now we're one step closer.

From the Eugene Register-Guard:

"The proposed Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven federal wilderness areas make up for their lack of size with the uniqueness of Oregon’s incomparable high desert, with its basalt cliffs and rolling hills of juniper, sagebrush and bluebunch wheatgrass. And a horizon that drifts into eternity.

Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have proposed adding to the state’s wilderness inventory 16,000 acres of high desert near the John Day River in Central Oregon. A land swap between private landholders and the federal Bureau of Land Management would clear the way for congressional approval of the two new wilderness areas...

For a state known for its forests, mountains and rivers, Oregon has a surprisingly small amount of land designated as wilderness...

Even with the addition of these and other proposed wilderness areas, Oregon still would lag behind other Western states in the percentage of land protected as federal wilderness. Oregon needs more wilderness, and the high desert is an excellent place to start filling that need."

---

This would be a huge victory for conservation and recreation in the Oregon high desert. To take action, please send letters of thanks and encouragement can be sent directly to:

Senator Jeff Merkley
One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon Suite 1250, Portland, OR  97204
Tel: 503-326-3386
Fax: 503-326-2900 


Senator Ron Wyden
700 NE Multnomah Suite 450
Portland, OR  97232
Tel: 503-326-7525
Fax: 503-326-7528


 

The Season. Five Lives. A World of Possibility.

February 05, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

If you haven't already heard the buzz... Check out The Season.

Combining adventure, conservation and inspiring people, this cool new web television project followed five athletes through the course of a single season in the Pacific Northwest.

A veteran climber invents a new piece of gear. A pro snowboarder searches for a way to return to the roots of his sport. A boulderer returns from a series of injuries with new perspective. A family man goes to Whistler to test himself against mountain biking’s elite. A young sea kayaker with a troubled past sets out to reinvent his sport. From the creators of The Dirtbag Diaries and 49 Megawatt, make sure to check it out!

Shot entirely in HD, you can watch the 22-episode series for free. Every episode premieres once or twice a week on the Arc’teryx website, subscribe to The Season on iTunes.

Thanks to Conservation Alliance member company Outdoor Research for supporting this great project. And a big shout-out to the creators for promoting conservation and including The Conservation Alliance and The Access Fund!

Check out the First Episode right here!

Look For More Wilderness Protection In 2010

February 03, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

Key lawmakers say that they are likely to pass another sweeping package of wilderness, parks and other natural resources bills by the end of this year. This action would follow the passing of the unprecedented Ominibus Public Land Management Act last year that protected 3 million acres of land, and 1,000 miles of rivers throughout the US.

Every conservation provision included in the legislation started at the local level where grassroots organizations led the charge to build public support to protect a special wildland or waterway. The Conservation Alliance supported the local organizations that led the efforts behind 12 of the 16 Wilderness provisions included in the package, and funded the groups leading the efforts behind protecting the Snake River Headwaters, and closing the Wyoming Range to new oil and gas development.

In total, The Conservation Alliance contributed more than $700,000 to 10 different organizations and worked in close partnership with Outdoor Industry Association to demonstrate that the outdoor industry stood uniformly behind the provisions in this package.

When President Obama signed the Act into law, John Sterling, Executive Director of the Conservation Alliance said, "This is a major conservation victory that preserves wild places throughout the US forever. We did everything within the limits of our lean staff capacity and financial resources to ensure it crossed the finish line."

Here's hoping for another year of victory!

 

United Nations Steps In To Protect The Flathead

February 01, 2010 by Krissy Moehl

Proposed mountaintop removal mining in southeastern British Columbia is threatening one of America’s most endangered rivers and North America’s wildest remaining valley — The Flathead. But the Sierra Club of British Columbia, Canada, a Conservation Alliance grantee, is getting some help from the United Nations in their campaign to protect the Flathead River Valley. Last week, a United Nations committee report recommendeded a moratorium on mining in the Flathead Valley of southeastern B.C. and development of a comprehensive transboundary conservation and wildlife management plan for the area.

The Flathead Valley is comprised of nearly 400,000 acres of wilderness located in southeastern British Columbia, straddling the Canada/U.S. border. Home to the most grizzly bears per acre of anywhere in the interior of North America and the pristine Flathead River, the Flathead Valley is the only unsettled, low-elevation valley of its kind in Western Canada. 

The Sierra Club also partnered up with the International League of Conservation Photographers and conservation filmmakers, the Epicocity Project, to document the wild Flathead with photos and film.

View a gallery of photos here.

Watch the Flathead WILD film.

Take action to save the Flathead!

 

Legislation Introduced for Two New Wilderness Areas

January 29, 2010 by John Sterling

Conservation Alliance grantee Oregon Natural Desert Association announced that Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkely introduced legislation yesterday to protect two new Wilderness areas in the John Day River Basin. The Cathedral Rock (photo above) and Horse Heaven Wilderness areas together comprise 18,000 acres of public land adjacent to or near the Wild and Scenic John Day River. The legislation would transfer important riverfront property into public hands, increasing access to this special river. The Alliance supported this campaign with a $30,000 grant in July, 2009.

Click here for the full story.

Member Companies Raise $40,000+ For The Conservation Alliance

January 27, 2010 by Serena Bishop

 

In just four days, Conservation Alliance member companies raised more than $40,000 to protect wild places! Here are just a few of the highlights...‎

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast

"To understand a place, you need to drink from its many waters," said author Craig Childs at the Conservation Alliance Breakfast last week. Craig captivated a packed room and inspired people to listen to the stories that water tells us everyday -- and protect it while we still have the chance.

The breakfast gives all of us a chance to be inspired and celebrate the victories we have seen in the last year and look ahead to the conservation challenges we must overcome. We are proud to announce that in the last year, our member companies and grantees helped to protect 1.6 million acres and 700 miles of rivers, remove two dams and acquire one climbing area. Last week, the industry also sent its appreciation to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar for his decision to preserve wild desert landscapes and took the opportunity to highlight through pictures the reason for protecting these lands.

At last week's show, member companies really stepped it up to support the Alliance and because of their help, we will be able to push even more funds into protecting the wild places we love in 2011! Please see below to see how companies did their part...


The Annual Canada Goose Cup raised more than $8,300 for the Alliance. Thank you to all of the teams who participated!

Columbia Sportswear's OR fashion show Twitter promotion raised $4,500 for the Alliance.

Other member companies came together to offer up a huge lineup of awesome gear promotions, with all proceeds going directly to the Alliance. Together, companies raised more than $25,000!

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this Winter OR a resounding success. If you'd like to get involved at the summer show, please email serena@conservationalliance.com for more info.



Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 01/22/10 10:25 PM

January 22, 2010 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
A United Nations report has recommended a moratorium on mining in the Flathead River Valley, which adjoins Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park! The report also recommends development of a comprehensive transboundary conservation and wildlife management plan for the area. Sierra Club BC and 10 other U.S. and Canadian groups petitioned the UN's World Heritage Committee last year, asking that Waterton-Glacier be declared a World Heritage Site in Danger due to energy and mining threats in the Flathead River Valley.  Sierra Club BC--along with our partner organization Wildsight--presented to a World Heritage Committee mission in September. We told the mission that the southeastern one-third of the Flathead must be protected as a National Park in order to preserve the ecological integrity of Waterton-Glacier, and that a Wildlife Management Area must be established in the rest of the valley and adjoining habitat.  See the Calgary Herald story. The story has also been covered... Read More

Update from Western Environmental Law Center at 01/18/10 6:18 PM

January 18, 2010 by Western Environmental Law Center
For the last two years, WELC has prioritized the protection of wildlife corridors in order to address the catastrophic effects that climate change will have on the West's water and vegetation, in turn forcing wildlife to move in order to survive. At the heart of our work is fundamentally shifting how wildlife protection is viewed in decision-making processes to ensure that wildlife corridors are considered early in the process, before it is too late.  With the support of the Conservation Alliance we have achieved much success and are working to advance protection of wildlife migration corridors at the federal, state, and local levels.For example, with our partners, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation (the Center), WELC is working to administratively designate wildlife corridors on both Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands to increase protections and set the stage for federal administrative action by the Departments of Energy, Interior, and Agriculture.Following... Read More

Update from Western Environmental Law Center at 01/18/10 6:27 PM

January 18, 2010 by Western Environmental Law Center
For the last two years, WELC has prioritized the protection of wildlife corridors in order to address the catastrophic effects that climate change will have on the West's water and vegetation, in turn forcing wildlife to move in order to survive. At the heart of our work is fundamentally shifting how wildlife protection is viewed in decision-making processes to ensure that wildlife corridors are considered early in the process, before it is too late.  With the support of the Conservation Alliance we have achieved much success and are working to advance protection of wildlife migration corridors at the federal, state, and local levels.For example, with our partners, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation (the Center), WELC is working to administratively designate wildlife corridors on both Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands to increase protections and set the stage for federal administrative action by the Departments of Energy, Interior, and Agriculture.Following... Read More

Sweet Gear + Conservation-Minded Brands At Outdoor Retailer

January 18, 2010 by Krissy Moehl

Looking for a new pair of kicks to get muddy on the trail? How about a new water bottle or hydration pack to quench your thirst? Our member companies are offering screaming deals at Outdoor Retailer this week to benefit The Conservation Alliance. Below is a comprehensive list of the brands, the booths and the sweet schwag that will be up for grabs at the show. So, take a quick break from your meetings and boogie on over to one of the booths below and support great work of The Conservation Alliance and our grantees. After all, we're protecting your playground!

memberlogosColumbia, Booth #28001
Product: Ravenice, Men's and Women's.
Donation: 100% to The Conservation Alliance
Price: $40, MSRP $115
Hours: Happy Hour, Thursday, January 21, 4:30-6pm

Montrail, Booth #26001
Product: Sabino Trail Shoe
Price: $35, MSRP $100
Donation: proceeds will be split between The Conservation Alliance and Conservation Alliance grantee The Wilderness Support Center
Hours: Friday, January 22, 4-6pm

Brooks, Booth # 36123
Product: Brooks Cascadia 5.
Price: $50, MSRP $100
Donation: 100% to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: Thursday, January 21 - Friday, January 22, 11am-6pm each day

Ruff Wear, Booth # 33061
Product: Ruff Wear Sqwash dog toy
Price: $5, MSRP $9.99
Donation: 100% to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: available throughout the show

Stanley, Booth #21017
Product: Stanley eCycle Exchange Recycled & Recyclable mug and bottle. Two limited Edition Nineteen 13 Flasks for Auction
Price: $10 for bottle/mug. Silent Auction for Flask
Donation: 100% to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: Runs through the show and at Open Air Demo

Timex, Booth # 35125
Product: WS4 Watch
Price: $50, MSRP $200
Donation: 50% of revenue will go directly to The Conservation Alliance. IF all 300 watches are sold, Timex will provide an additional donation to a Conservation Alliance grantee.
Hours: Friday, January 22nd, 3-5pm.
Additional notes: limited quantity available

CamelBak, Booth # 15027
Product: SnoBlast Pack, limited edition - embroidered with The Conservation Alliance logo!
Price: $30, MSRP $79.99
Donation: 100% to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: available throughout the show,

Dansko, Booth #18027
Product: Dansko Shoes for Women and Men
Price: $75, MSRP $120-140
Donation: $10 of each shoe sale will be donated to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: available throughout the show

NEMO, Booth #1011
Product: Ditto Tote, made of repurposed NEMO tent samples and manufacturing seconds.
Price: $15, MSRP $19.95
Donation: 100% of the proceeds will benefit The Conservation Alliance
Hours: Available throughout the show

Osprey, Booth #8027
Product: Osprey Raptor 6 Hydration Pack
Price: $30, MSRP $79
Donation: 100% of the proceeds will benefit The Conservation Alliance
Hours: Thursday, January 21, 3-6pm

Black Diamond, Booth #5027
Product: Ion Headlamp
Price: $10, MSRP $19.95
Donation: 100% will benefit The Conservation Alliance
Hours: available throughout the show

Eagle Creek, Booth #22027
Product: ES Cargo Duffle, medium size. The perfect bag for hauling gear through the rainforests of Borneo or valuable schwag home from OR.
Price: $25, MSRP $75
Donation: 100% will benefit The Conservation Alliance
Hours: available throughout the show

Canada Goose, Booth # 5045
Product: Merino Wool Beanie
Price: $20, MSRP $50
Donation: 100% to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: Thursday, January 21, 2 - 4pm

Grabber, Inc., Booth #132
Product: 20-pack Hand Warmers or 8-pair Toe Warmers
Price: $5, MSRP: $10 Hand / $15 Toe
Donation: 100% to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: All Day January 23-24, 2010

Horny Toad, Booth #30051
Product: Men's and Women's Cashmoore fleece styles
Price: $20-$40, MSRP $76-$110
Donation: 10% of the proceeds to The Conservation Alliance
Hours: available throughout the show

2010 Trips schedule now ONLINE. Get it while it's hot!

January 15, 2010 by Oregon Natural Desert Association
Save the Date, Save the Desert! Here is the clearing-house for all of ONDA's 2010 scheduled Volunteer Trips and Events.  The majority of trips are finalized in February, however new opportunities often arise throughout the year: To keep up-to-date on opportunities with ONDA make sure you are receiving SAGEnet email updates from ONDA, and check www.onda.org regularly. Additional information and registration links are available here.... Read More

Party It Up, and Support the Conservation Alliance at Winter OR!

January 14, 2010 by Krissy Moehl

Here at The Conservation Alliance we're getting excited for next week's Outdoor Retailer, so we decided to put together a list of all of the great events we have going on next week. Whether you're looking for some wild inspiration, a rockin' party or some sweet gear that benefits a great cause - we have a packed line-up.

And make sure to check back as we'll be updating our blog during the show - featuring words and photos from the day and spotlighting our member companies who are stepping it up at Winter OR. And make sure to follow us on Twitter at @conservationall!

All right folks, click this link, grab your calendars and mark it up for The Conservation Alliance!

Melting Glaciers at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast

January 07, 2010 by John Sterling

The Conservation Alliance is so excited about James Balog's presentation at the upcoming Conservation Alliance Breakfast that we wanted to give you a sneak peek at what to expect. The Breakfast is Friday, January 22, 7-8:50 AM at The Marriott in Salt Lake City. We hope to see those of you who will be in town for the Outdoor Retailer show!