The Conservation Alliance


Conservation Alliance Blog

Permanent legal protection of critical streamflows in nearly 70 miles of the Colorado River!

December 19, 2011 by Serena Bishop

In 2008, The Conservation Alliance awarded American Whitewater a grant to launch American Whitewater's Colorado River Stewardship Program to protect and restore water flows in streams throughout Colorado.

On November 30th, 2011, Instream-Flow water rights that protect streamflows critical to ecosystem health on the Upper Colorado was filed, ensuring that the Colorado River will be protected from future dams and diversions. This is the first-of-its-kind protection for streamflows in iconic sections of the Colorado River, including Gore Canyon, Pumphouse, and State Bridge.

To learn more about American Whitewater's work on the Upper Colorado River, click here.


White Rocks Acquisition Project a Success

December 16, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Although this success officially took place back in February; The Conservation Alliance just learned about it - so to us - it's breaking news and we want to celebrate!

Because of the hard work of Conservation Alliance grantee, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 840 acres have been permanently protected in Pennsylvania. 

We supported the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's White Rocks Acquisition Project to preserve 1,050 acres of open space and wildlife habitat. In 2011, ATC purchased and protected 840 acres, which will enhance the Appalachian Trail experience and provide protection to critical groundwater recharge areas.

Read more about the acquisition and hiking opportunities here.

Help Grand Canyon's Colorado River Ecosystem

December 15, 2011 by Grand Canyon Wildlands Council
An EIS being prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service gives us a great opportunity to build support for scientifically credible experiments and stewardship actions to benefit the Colorado River Ecosystem in Grand Canyon over the next 15 to 20 years.  Click here for information about the EIS process and to reach a page for submitting comments. The comment period has been extended through the end of January so you can still get to it after the holidays.Grand Canyon Wildlands Council holds a stakeholder seat on the Adaptive Management Workgroup of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, represented by Dr. Larry Stevens, Senior Ecologist. Dr. Stevens points out that what we really are working for is a healthy ecosystem in Grand Canyon, one that contains and supports all native species (500 vertebrate species, 10,000+ native invertebrate species, >500 plant species). Set in the context of... Read More

Protecting the North Kaibab Plateau Wildlands

December 15, 2011 by Grand Canyon Wildlands Council
A Unique Landscape At the heart of a new national monument proposal in Arizona is the North Kaibab Plateau, which forms the north rim of Grand Canyon, extends north of Grand Canyon National Park and borders the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.  This gigantic "mountain lying down," through which the Colorado River carves the Grand Canyon, rises to over nine thousand feet above sea level and supports habitats from semi-desert grasslands to stately ancient conifer forests.  The Plateau encompasses the watershed of the Colorado River, which provides water for millions of people in Arizona, Nevada, and California.  It is home to 22 sensitive species, some of which occur nowhere else in the world.   U.S. Presidents from Benjamin Harrison to Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, who all recognized the North Kaibab's uniqueness and importance, included the Plateau in sweeping designations of forest and game preserves and a smaller national landmark. Unlike surrounding... Read More

Are You Ready for Outdoor Retailer?

December 08, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast
Featuring: To The Arctic
A multimedia presentation by wildlife photographer Florian Schulz
Friday, January 20, 2012 7-9 AM
The Marriott, Salons F-I, Salt Lake City
Click here for full details

Review of grant requests on the Winter 2012 ballot to follow.
Friday, January 20, 2012 9-10 AM
The Marriott, Salons F-I, Salt Lake City

The Canadian Cup

The Winter 2012 Outdoor Retailer trade show is just around the corner, and The Conservation Alliance has a full agenda planned, including our regular breakfast event mentioned above. The third annual hockey tournament in support of The Conservation Alliance is back again and even more Canadian than before. The venerable Canada Goose Cup as been re-named: The Canadian Cup for The Conservation Alliance.

Sponsored by Arc'teryx, Baffin and Canada Goose, the tournament will take place at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Industry Party on Thursday, January 19, from 6:00pm-8:30 pm in the Salt Palace. Fourteen teams will take to the "ice" to see who is worthy enough to take home the coveted "Cup".

Participants include Arc'teryx, Baffin, CamelBak, Canada Goose, Eddie Bauer, Nikwax, Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Retailer, prAna, PrimaLoft, Rogers Corporation, Yukon Charlie's, and Woolrich. Come enjoy a fun night for a good cause!

The Conservation Alliance, partnering with member companies, will again host a number of fundraising events.  The full list of events will be announced in early January,so stay tuned!


GOA and Marmot raise more than $5K for The Conservation Alliance

December 02, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Conservation Alliance members, Marmot Mountain, LLC and The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, a buying group of nearly 36 independent specialty retailers, teamed up in October to raise $5,270 for the Conservation Alliance.

GOA and Marmot raised the funds through the sale of Marmot PreCip™ jackets and pants sold in 22 participating GOA stores. For each purchase of a Marmot PreCip™ jacket or pant, $10 was donated to the Conservation Alliance.

“The Marmot-GOA promotion is a perfect example of how manufacturers and retailers can work together to benefit conservation. The funds they raised will help us in our efforts to protect wild places throughout North America,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance.

“The Conservation Alliance is the only non-profit organization our Alliance supports as an organization. We’re extremely proud of their important work and want to do our part to help them succeed with their conservation efforts,” explains Roanne Miller, GOA President.

Participating GOA stores that helped to make the promotion a success were: Alpine Shop, Ltd., Appalachian Outdoors, Black Creek Outfitters BaseCamp, Black Creek Outfitters, Buffalo Peak Outfitters, Champaign Surplus, Great Outdoor Provision Co., Half Moon Outfitters, Massey’s Professional Outfitters, Midwest Mountaineering, Mountain Chalet, Mountain High Outfitters, Nat’s Outdoor Sports, River Sports Outfitters, Peak Sports, Rock Creek Outfitters, Skinny Skis, Travel Country Outdoors, Ute Mountaineer and Wilson’s Eastside Sports.

Tom Fritz, Marmot’s Vice President of Marketing adds, "Everyone at Marmot would like to thank all of the GOA stores that supported this promotion and the exceptional effort they put forth to raise much needed funds for The Conservation Alliance."

 For a slideshow promotion photos, click here.

Clean Up Day 2011: Eastern Mountain Sports

November 18, 2011 by Serena Bishop

On September 13th, 2011, more than 100 volunteers from Eastern Mountain Sports, Briggs & Riley Travelware, EarthTec, NEMO Equipment, Jetboil, and Polartec came out to support the East Coast Backyard Collective.  This event was organized in conjuction with Eastern Mountain Sports' annual Anniversary Clean Up Day.

This great group of volunteers partnered with several local environmental organizations and spread out through the Monadnock region of New Hampshire to work on a variety of conservation and restoration projects.  To get an inside look at the work accomplished, check out this short video, thanks to our friends over at EMS.

Wilderness Bills Clear Senate Committee

November 11, 2011 by John Sterling

Projects funded by The Conservation Alliance took an important step forward yesterday when the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved five bills to protect more than 125,000 acres of Wilderness. Among the bills were three initiatives that would protect Wilderness in Washington, Oregon, and Tennessee, as follows:

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), to add 22,100 acres to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and designate parts of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as Wild and Scenic.

The Devil’s Staircase Wilderness Act of 2011, introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (both D-Ore.), to safeguard nearly 30,000 acres on Wassen Creek in Oregon’s Coast Range (map).

The Tennessee Wilderness Act, introduced by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (both R-Tenn.), to protect nearly 20,000 acres of wilderness in the Cherokee National Forest.

These bills now go to the full Senate for a vote, and then on to the House. While the politics for Wilderness in Washington are tricky right now, we are pleased that three of the campaigns we have supported have made progress.

Save the Date - The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Florian Schulz

November 02, 2011 by Serena Bishop

 Save the Date!

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast

Friday, January 20, 2012




To the Arctic
A multimedia presentation by:
Wildlife Photographer Florian Schulz

Friday, January 20, 2012, 7-9 AM
The Marriott, Salons F-I, Salt Lake City

Click here for more details and watch the video below for a sneak peak of To the Arctic 3D

The Condit Dam Breach: A Time-Lapse Video

November 01, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Last Wednesday, the Condit Dam, on the White Salmon River in southeastern Washington, was breached. For more than 98 years, this 125-foot dam choked off passage to salmon and created a reservoir.  Work to remove this dam began 20 years ago.  In 1992, The Conservation Alliance provided funding to American Whitewater to start the process.  

Filmmaker and Conservation Alliance member, Andy Maser, captured this amazing time-lapse footage of the magnificent breach and the river’s primal tendency to return to its pervious form.

Ecologists are hopefully that the dam breach and resulting increase in water flow will restore the White Salmon River to the habitat it once was for fish, aquatic organisms, birds and mammals.

To learn move about this dramatic breach and the efforts put forth to make it possible, visit White Salmon Restored and American Whitewater.

Rocky Mountain Front May Get More Protection

October 31, 2011 by John Sterling


Conservation Alliance members may recall that in 2006, our funding helped Montana Wilderness Association secure a permanent prohibition on new oil and gas development on 300,000 acres of public land on Montana's Rocky Mountain Front. We received some good news today from Brian Sybert, Executive Director of MWA. 

"I wanted to share with you the exciting news that on Friday October 28th Senator Max Baucus announced that he is introducing in Congress the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. Senator Baucus made the announcement before a room full of sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts at Montana Outdoor Sports in Helena. While introduction of the Heritage Act in Congress is reason to celebrate there is much work to be done before the legislation is passed and signed by the President. We will now begin implementing an aggressive communications and grassroots campaign to build support for the Heritage Act and fend off opposition to the legislation."

It would be great to add this additional layer of protection to this special wild place.

Click here for a supportive editorial from the Helena Independent-Record.

'Ambassadors for Marine Mammals'

October 28, 2011 by Raincoast Conservation Society
Check out Raincoast Conservation Foundation science director Dr. Chris Darimont's recent blog post on our October surfing expedition in the Great Bear Rainforest with Patagonia's surfing ambassadors: Read More

The Condit Dam Came Down Today!

October 26, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Today, at 12pm PST, the Condit Dam, located on the White Salmon River, in Washington State, was breached. 

Crews blasted a tunnel into the base of Condit Dam, effectively freeing the White Salmon for the first time in a century.  This is a landmark event and is reason to celebrate!

Visit White Salmon Restored and American Rivers to learn more about "The Year of the River" and the restoration of the White Salmon and Elwha Rivers.


Appeals Court Upholds Roadless Rule

October 22, 2011 by John Sterling


A federal appeals court today upheld the Clinton-era Roadless Rule, which prohibits roads on nearly 60 million acres Forest Service land throughout the US. This ruling marks a significant -- and possibly the final -- milestone in the decade-long battle to defend the rule.

The Roadless Rule came out of the most extensive public process in federal rulemaking history but, despite being wildly popular, was almost immediately attacked by the incoming Bush administration and its allies in the timber industry. 

The Conservation Alliance funded several organizations for their work to defend the rule, including Portland-based Oregon Wild. Here is a quote from Oregon Wild's press release celebrating the court decision:

"10 years ago, Oregonians led the charge to protect our last pristine wildlands. These precious wild areas provide clean drinking water, habitat for abundant wildlife, and economic drivers for a thriving outdoor recreation economy. People don’t buy KEEN shoes or Columbia jackets to go hike the clear-cuts. They are part of what make Oregon such a great place to live, work, and raise a family."

Click here for the news story from the Washington Post.

Ads for the Earth Auction Ends Friday!

October 21, 2011 by Serena Bishop

  Ads for the Earth Auction

October 17-21, 2011 

Each of the ten publications below has donated ONE FULL-PAGE or HALF-PAGE, FULL-COLOR AD to The Conservation Alliance. We will offer these ad pages in an online auction. Bidding starts at 30 percent of full value. All proceeds will support our efforts to protect North America's wild places.

Bidding begins Monday, October 17th at 5 AM Pacific/8 AM Eastern, and ends Friday, October 21th at 2 PM Pacific/5 PM Eastern. Ad space purchased in the auction may be used in any issue of the publication during the 2012 calendar year with approval from the publisher.  We ask that the winning bidders not use these ads to replace space they were already planning to purchase.

This is an opportunity to support The Conservation Alliance while increasing your brand visibility!

We are grateful to these generous publications for their donations, and to each of you for your membership in The Conservation Alliance.

Questions?  Contact John Sterling,, 541-389-2424.



October 19, 2011 by Alaska Wilderness League


The Arctic is all around us. Every year, birds that begin their lives on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge journey to all 50 states and across six continents, before heading back to the Arctic, where the cycle of life begins again. The Arctic is the origin of life for more than just birds - numerous species of mammals bear their young on this vast expanse of tundra including polar bears, caribou and more. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we must do everything we can to be sure that this last wild haven remains protected for generations to come. On August 15, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This plan will guide how the Refuge is managed over the next fifteen years... Read More

Jailhouse Rock Adopt-a-Crag - We need your help!

October 19, 2011 by Access Fund
Access Fund will be hosting an Adopt a Crag on Saturday Nov. 12th at 9:30 AM at Jailhouse Rock. We would love for you to join us as we work with the new Access Fund Conservation Team, climbers, and ranchers to install a new climber’s trailhead. With your help, we plan to close the old trail, build a corral/double gate at the entrance, spread gravel on the new approach road, fence the new parking area, install signs, and improve the climber's trail.The Access Fund will provide food, beverages, tools, and raffle items. If you're interested in joining us, please RSVP to Tom Addison at to help us organize work parties and food. We are hoping for 50-75 volunteers, so bring a friend! For driving directions, visit will be back again on Sunday to complete any unfinished projects and get in some climbing! We hope to see you there!... Read More

Raincoast Video/Patagonia Surf Catalog

October 19, 2011 by Raincoast Conservation Society
Patagonia's very cool new Fall Surf Catalog ( has one of its 21 pages dedicated to Raincoast's efforts to protect the Great Bear Rainforest from the proposal to ship tar sands oil via supertankers through the region's pristine marine waters...go to page 6 and check out the video Raincoast produced for the catalog: Read More

Hope on a Global Scale

October 19, 2011 by Serena Bishop
KEEN, a Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member, cares about their communtiy and the envirnoment.
At KEEN, it's all about HOPE on a global scale.   
Through community, education and understanding, KEEN is paving the way for change.

Protecting Wild Alaska!

October 19, 2011 by Alaska Wilderness League
ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE The Arctic is all around us. Every year, birds that begin their lives on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge journey to all 50 states and across six continents, before heading back to the Arctic, where the cycle of life begins again. The Arctic is the origin of life for more than just birds - numerous species of mammals bear their young on this vast expanse of tundra including polar bears, caribou and more. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we must do everything we can to be sure that this last wild haven remains protected for generations to come. THE COASTAL PLAIN OF THE ARCTIC REFUGE NEEDS YOUR HELP: On August 15, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This plan will guide... Read More

Update from Alaska Wilderness League at 10/19/11 6:26 PM

October 19, 2011 by Alaska Wilderness League
ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE The Arctic is all around us. Every year, birds that begin their lives on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge journey to all 50 states and across six continents, before heading back to the Arctic, where the cycle of life begins again. The Arctic is the origin of life for more than just birds - numerous species of mammals bear their young on this vast expanse of tundra including polar bears, caribou and more. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we must do everything we can to be sure that this last wild haven remains protected for generations to come. THE COASTAL PLAIN OF THE ARCTIC REFUGE NEEDS YOUR HELP: On August 15, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This plan will guide... Read More

Drawdown Underway at Brown Bridge Dam!

October 18, 2011 by Conservation Resource Alliance
Drawdown of the impoundments has begun at Brown Bridge and Sabin, the first two of the three dams to be removed on the Boardman River as part of a historic restoration project. The interim drawdown will utilize existing water control structures, not by breaching the dams and will take place at a rate of less than 6-inches in pond elevation per day, not to exceed 13 feet total at Brown Bridge Pond and 8.5 feet at Sabin Pond.   “This is a gradual process that is carefully conducted to ensure safety and minimal impact on fish and wildlife species,” said Sandra Sroonian, project engineer for AMEC E & I, Inc., the engineering firm hired by the Boardman River Dams Project Implementation Team. Over 100 acres of previously inundated bottomlands will be exposed as a result of the drawdowns. ”The public will witness the emergence of stream and wetland habitat that hasn’t... Read More

Urge Governor Kitzhaber: Designate Oregon's Marine Reserves Now!

October 17, 2011 by Our Ocean
After a decade of hard work, careful study, and strong community engagement, Oregon’s ocean protection efforts are at a tipping point. We now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build a system of marine reserves and protected areas that will safeguard the bounty and beauty of Oregon’s coast for generations to come.Please urge Governor Kitzhaber to implement the Ocean Policy Advisory Committee’s December 2010 unanimous recommendation to designate marine reserve sites at Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, and Cape Perpetua. Ask that he honor the decisions made by coastal volunteers and marine scientists who last year invested 25,000 volunteer hours in public meetings to come to these recommendations. Volunteer community teams produced plans that drew boundaries around ecologically important areas and proposed management measures to protect these critical places. The new reserves will allow plants and animals to flourish and reproduce—creating “ecological savings accounts."These common sense recommendations are needed now more than... Read More

The Condit Dam on the White Salmon River will come down on October 26th

October 12, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Year of the River: Episode 2 from Andy Maser on Vimeo.

The restoration of Washington's White Salmon River begins on October 26, when a hole will be blasted at the base of Condit Dam. Removing the outdated 125-foot tall dam will restore the health of the river and habitat for salmon and steelhead. It will also create new recreation opportunities on this river that is already a premier whitewater destination. The conservation community, including Friends of the White Salmon and the Yakama Nation, and Conservation Alliance grantees, American Rivers and American Whitewater, have worked for more than 20 years to restore this river.

American Rivers dubbed 2011 "The Year of the River" because our country will soon reach the significant milestone of 1000 dams removed nationwide. This is the second video in the Year of the River series - the first video explored the current Elwha River dam removal project.

To learn more about the Restoration of the White Salmon River, click here.

Otero Mesa: Fighting development and pushing for national monument

October 06, 2011 by New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
New Mexico’s Otero Mesa is the largest and wildest Chihuahuan Desert grassland left on BLM public lands in this country, providing important and irreplaceable recreational and conservation opportunities, yet it is currently under threat of oil and gas development. Currently, Denver-based Geovic Mining Corp. has started exploratory drilling at Wind Mountain, one of the area's most iconic peaks. Within Otero Mesa, over 500,000 acres are eligible for wilderness designation, based on inventory work conducted by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NMWild). Already our coalition has nominated close to 600,000 acres of the area as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). Clearly, this valuable and nationally important area demands permanent protection to preserve the irreplaceable resources found here. Over the past months, NM Wild has been leading outreach and online action activities to keep the public informed and active in speaking out against development in Otero Mesa. NM Wild has... Read More

Summer 2011 Funding Cycle Grant Announcement

October 05, 2011 by Serena Bishop

We are pleased to announce the results of The Conservation Alliance Summer 2011 Funding Cycle.  We have awarded $550,000 to the 18 organizations listed below.  This year, The Conservation Alliance will contribute more than $1 million to organizations working to permantely protect wild places.  Please check out the full summary of the Summer 2011 Funding Cycle by clicking here.    


West Grand Lake Community Forest

October 04, 2011 by Downeast Lakes Land Trust
The West Grand Lake Community Forest is 21,700 acres of forests and wetlands around the community of Grand Lake Stream, Maine. It includes 17 miles of lakeshore and 90 miles of stream frontage. Its protection will represent the completion of a 370,000-acre conservation proposal initiated by Downeast Lakes Land Trust in 2001, and is essential to maintaining the remote character of the region and its heritage as a destination for outdoor recreation. The land trust has an option to purchase the property from the current owner. We plan to manage it for wildlife habitat, public recreation, and a sustainable forest economy. As of September, 2011, over $13 million has been committed for the project, but we have $11 million to go. Please visit us at to learn more!... Read More

Bend Backyard Collective Moves Forest Restoration Forward

October 03, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Almost 50 volunteers joined us in the Metolius Preserve for the Bend Backyard Collective on Thursday, September, 29th.  Employees from Ruff Wear, Inc., GearTribe, REI, Stanley, a brand of PMI, and QuickFeat International spent the morning lending a hand with forest restoration to help meet the Land Trust's long-term goal of restoring old-growth ponderosa pine forests. Among the volunteers were representatives from Conservation Alliance Grantees: The Deschutes Land Trust, Central Oregon Land Watch, and Oregon Natural Desert Association.

After a morning of work in the forest, volunteers enjoyed a catered lunch by Bleu Bite Catering under the sunny skies of this outstanding autumn day in Central Oregon.

Brad Chalfant, Executive Director of the Deschutes Land Trust had this to say after the event:

"People don't stand up for causes they don't understand and communities don't rally to protect lands they've never seen. The Conservation Alliance and its member companies provide critical visibility and inspired leadership for the scores of small conservation groups fighting against long odds to protect our remaining wild areas. The Backyard Collective allows the employees of CA members to get their hands dirty in the fight to protect and restore our wild places for our children and beyond."

 The Deschutes Land Trust truly appreciates the efforts of our hard working volunteers!


ONDA Receives Volunteer Award

September 30, 2011 by Serena Bishop

We are proud to announce that Conservation Alliance Grantee, Oregon Natural Desert Association, has been named a regional winner in the Outstanding Volunteer Program category for the 2011 Governor's Volunteer Awards.

This award recognizes ONDA's Wilderness Stewardship Program for their dedication, commitment and determination in promoting and supporting volunteerism throughout Oregon with the purpose of inspiring individuals to make a positive difference by strengthening Oregon communities.

Learn more about ONDA and the Governor's Volunteer Awards by clicking these links.

Bill Introduced to Expand San Juan Mountain Wilderness

September 28, 2011 by Serena Bishop

  Photo: Jonathan Richter

On September 27, Mark Udall announced that he has introduced a bill to preserve some of the state's most iconic public lands in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. 

The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act would designate 33,000 acres as wilderness - mostly as expansions of the existing Lizard Head and Mount Sneffels wilderness areas - and establish a new area called McKenna Peak, which presides over imposing sandstone cliffs rising 2,000 feet above the plain.  It would also designate about 22,000 acres as a special management area and withdraw over 6,000 acres within Naturita Canyon from mineral entry. 

The Conservation Alliance funded the Wilderness Support Center's work on the San Juan Wilderness Campaign in 2008 and 2010. 

On a divisive dam, a snippy bit of graffiti

September 22, 2011 by Serena Bishop
Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times / September 19, 2011

A picture says a thousand words.  In this case, tens of thousands of words. 

"Tear the thing down already."

This is a dam that should be removed. 

Built in 1947, the 200-foot Matilija Dam, near Ojai, California, was flawed from the onset; depriving beaches 17 miles downstream of the sand they need to replenish themselves and a huge obstacle for steelhead trout, an endangered species.

Environmentalists, fishermen, surfers and officials from every level of government have called for demolishing the obsolete structure. 

Learn more and read the article written in the Los Angeles Times here


Senator Barbara Boxer introduces the Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Act of 2011

September 21, 2011 by Serena Bishop

On Monday, September 19th, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer introduced the Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Act of 2011, which would expand two existing wilderness areas in northern San Diego County.

The bill is a Senate companion to legislation introduced in January and in the last Congress by Repersenative Darrell Issa.

Senator Boxer sees both the recreation and economic value in the permanent protection of our wild spaces.

"By permanently protecting these natural treasures, we will ensure that future generations can continue to visit these places and revel in their scenic beauty while also boosting the tourism and recreation economy of San Diego County," Boxer said in a statement.

The House and Senate bills would add more than 7,796 acres of public land to the existing Agua Tibia Wilderness and expand the Beauty Mountain Wilderness by an additional 13,635 acres; all of which are currently being managed with wilderness-level protections.

The Conservation Alliance has funded both California Wilderness Coalition and Friends of the River for their work to build local support for these protections.

Read the whole story here.


Backyard Collective travels to the East Coast

September 20, 2011 by Deanna


More than 100 volunteers from Eastern Mountain Sports, Briggs & Riley Travelware, EarthTec, NEMO Equipment, Jetboil, and Polartec came out to support the East Coast Backyard Collective. This great group of volunteers partnered with several local environmental organizations and spread out through the Monadnock region of New Hampshire to work on a variety of conservation and restoration projects.

The Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests, a recent grantee of the Conservation Alliance, organized a large scale trail maintenance project. Volunteers spent the morning clearing trails and building 4 bridges at the 189-acre McCabe Forest Reservation. The property will soon have a new parking lot, property sign and kiosk for the new trail to access existing paths along the scenic Contoocook River.

"The thing that was amazing about the Conservation Alliance Backyard Collective event was the instant camaraderie that developed. Our crew of 18 was comprised of 4 EMS employees, 6 folks from NEMO Tents in Nashua (even in the midst of moving their HQ to Dover) and four Forest Society land steward volunteers and four Forest Society staff," said David Anderson, The Director of Education and Volunteer Services for The Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests. "We busted-out a lot of work. We carried in the lumber and decking for 3 foot bridges and one bog bridge, placed the stringers and decked the bridges, cleared the treadway and cleared the fallen trees and painted blazes and cleaned up and finished all before noon. Essentially we accomplished a full day of heavy trail work in a half day due to the enthusiasm and strength of the individuals working together. The Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests is extremely pleased to have had an opportunity to host a volunteer service project as part of the Backyard Collective!"


All volunteers ended their day celebrating their efforts and hard work over a pizza lunch at Eastern Mountain Sports base camp. During lunch, local non-profits including The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, New Hampshire Audubon, Harris Center for Conservation Education, New Hampshire State Parks, and the Alaska Wilderness League were able to share additional ways volunteers could support their environmental efforts.

A huge thank you to all our participating volunteers and special thanks to Eastern Mountain Sports, The Timberland Company, Briggs and Riley, and EarthTec for their sponsorship of the New Hampshire BYC.

Stay tuned for the next BYC in Bend Oregon on September 29th.

World's biggest dam removal begins this week

September 13, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Year of the River: Episode 1 from Andy Maser on Vimeo.

The biggest dam removal project in history begins this Saturday on Washington's Elwha River. American Rivers, the national leader in restoring rivers through dam removal, applauded the effort which will revitalize salmon runs and deliver significant cultural, economic, and recreation benefits to the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe and surrounding communities.

"This is one of the most significant river restoration efforts the world has ever seen," said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers. "We will witness a river coming back to life, with great benefits for people and the environment. The lessons we learn on the Elwha will inform and inspire other river restoration efforts around the country."

The three-year process to demolish the two Elwha River dams begins Saturday, September 17. Actor and American Rivers board member Tom Skerritt will emcee the ceremony at Elwha Dam, which will include Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles, Governor Christine Gregoire, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Rep. Norm Dicks.

American Rivers has dubbed 2011 ‘The Year of the River' because the Unites States will reach the significant milestone of 1000 dams removed nationwide. Dams can provide useful services, but should be removed when they have outlived their usefulness, are unsafe, or when their costs outweigh their benefits.

The Elwha River flows from the heart of Olympic National Park to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Puget Sound.  Dam removal and river restoration on the Elwha will bring hundreds of millions of dollars of economic benefits to the community, from restored fisheries to recreation and tourism.  Dismantling Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam will allow the river to flow freely for the first time in 100 years, restoring over 70 miles of salmon and steelhead habitat. Fish populations are expected to grow from the current 3,000 to more than 300,000 a year, benefitting the entire web of life, from black bears to eagles to orca whales.

At 210 feet tall, Glines Canyon Dam will be the tallest dam ever removed.

The Elwha River restoration effort is the result of decades of work by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, American Rivers, and many other conservation partners. American Rivers has advocated for dam removal on the Elwha for more than 25 years, from intervening in the dam relicensing proceedings to supporting the 1992 legislation authorizing dam removal, to helping secure $50 million in federal economic stimulus funding for the project.

"All of us care about clean water, and about the rivers where we fish, swim, and paddle," said Irvin. "American Rivers is committed to protecting and restoring the Elwha and all of our nation's rivers for future generations. Rivers connect us."

Oil Free Coast

September 12, 2011 by Raincoast Conservation Society
Raincoast’s ‘Oil Free Coast’ initiative focuses on the threats to British Columbia’s marine and coastal environment posed from its potential conversion to an energy corridor for tanker shipments of tar sands oil. Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline expansions are both proposing the use of oil tankers to ship Alberta’s tar sands crude oil through the coastal waters of British Columbia. These proposals raise serious concerns at global, regional and local scales. They introduce the threat of chronic and potentially catastrophic oil spills in regions that host rare, endangered, vulnerable, and ecologically valuable species and ecosystems. Further, these routes provide outlets for the export of tar sands oil, exacerbating their staggering local impact and accelerating Canada’s contribution to atmospheric carbon. Raincoast is addressing this issue through several strategies tailored to the different proponents, processes and circumstances of the north and south coasts.... Read More

Petzl's Rasmussen Speaks Out for Balance in Utah Public Lands Management

September 09, 2011 by John Sterling


Roody Rasmussen, President of Petzl America, a long-time Conservation Alliance member, wrote an eloquent piece in the Ogden, Utah Standard Examiner asking that Utah's members of Congress recognize the economic value of protected public lands as they deliberate over how to manage lands in their state. In the article, Rasmussen references a letter that 27 Utah-based outdoor industry companies sent to each member of Utah's Congressional delegation asking them "to adopt a balanced, rational approach to protecting Utah's unique and scenic landscapes."

Members of Utah's delegation are leading efforts to deny needed protections for special wildlands in Utah and throughout the US. This despite repeated efforts by outdoor industry companies to demonstrate the economic benefits of outdoor recreation that depends on protected public lands.

Roody writes:

"It's time for... our delegation, to realize Utah has a strong economic interest in protecting, preserving, and enhancing our public lands. The concept that protective designations lock us out of public lands is patently false. To say we are locked out of protected public land is like saying we're locked out of a shopping mall because we can't drive a bulldozer through it.

"Solutions are rarely found at the extremes. If we put partisan politics aside and look at the real facts about what drives our economy, we can work together for balanced management of our public lands that strengthens Utah's economy, provides abundant recreational opportunities for its residents and visitors, and preserves and protects Utah's iconic wildlands for future generations."

Well spoke, Roody!

Click here to read the full piece.

Speak out now to protect the Arctic Refuge

September 08, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Right now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking YOUR input on a plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that, for the first time, could recommend Wilderness protection for the Coastal Plain - the Refuge's biological epicenter that has been in Big Oil's sights for decades. A Wilderness recommendation would protect this unparalleled area and the abundant wildlife that depends on it, including polar bears, musk oxen, caribou, and millions of birds from around the globe.

If Americans speak with a loud and united voice, we'll send a strong message that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can't ignore.  That's why the many organizations that care about the Arctic Refuge have an ambitious goal of generating 1 million comments in support of Wilderness for the Coastal Plain this fall.  Will you speak up for the Arctic Refuge by signing this letter?

Will you speak up for the Arctic Refuge by signing our letter?

2011 Boulder Backyard Collective Round-Up

September 06, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Conservation Alliance Member Company, Osprey Packs, led the charge for the Boulder Backyard Collective! 

Here is an excerpt from the Osprey blog................

It's always a fantastic feeling to donate a little sweat equity to give back to the places we play in and the 2011 Backyard Collective was no exception.  Backyard Collective's were started back in 2008 as a program of The Conservation Alliance.  In essence, they bring Conservation Alliance member companies together with grantees for a day of service work.  Put a bunch of outdoor industry people together with environmental not-for-profit folks and that adds up to a LOT of work done in one short day.  This is an energetic and motivated demographic that's not afraid to get dirty!

Read the whole article and check out a load of photos here.

Boulder Backyard Collective

September 02, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The Conservation Alliance hosted its third annual Boulder Backyard Collective in Colorado on Friday, August 26th.  In partnership with the Colorado Mountain Club, Eldorado Canyon State Park, and Conservation Alliance member companies, the Backyard Collective volunteers worked tirelessly on trail maintenance and habitat restoration in Eldorado Canyon State Park.

More than 100 volunteers came out for the day. Not only did they work hard but they celebrated their efforts by enjoying a catered lunch from Whole Foods and refreshments generously donated by  New Belgium brewing company, also a sponsor of the event. The volunteers wrapped the day by participating in the Grantee Fair, where Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Environmental Coalition, and The Access Fund shared additional ways these volunteers could support local environmental efforts.

The Conservation Alliance would like to thank its sponsoring companies including: Osprey Packs, American Recreation Products, Inc., Backpacker's Pantry, Outdoor Industry Association, Leisure Trends Group, La Sportiva, SCARPA,  and Nite Ize. A variety of companies including Verde PR & Consulting, Great Plain Mountain Stuff, Sea to Summit, IMBA and Burt's Bees also sent volunteers to join the cleanup effort.

Thanks to everyone for a great day!!!


The Deschutes Land Trust announces launch of ‘Discover Skyline Forest’ Hikes

September 01, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Dust off your hiking boots and get outside with Conservation Alliance Grantee, Deschutes Land Trust

The Deschutes Land Trust is pleased to announce the launch of their ‘Discover Skyline Forest' hiking series. This series of outings will give the community an opportunity to get outside and explore Bend's wild and beautiful backyard. Each outing covers a different topic and will be held at Skyline Forest (formerly the Bull Springs Tree Farm) which the Land Trust is currently working to protect.

On Saturday, August 27th, the series kicked off with a four mile hike along the Bull Springs trail, through mixed-aged pine forests, to a nice resting spot at the headwaters of Bull Springs. Hikers delighted in the scents of pine and sage, while taking in views of snow-capped mountains in the distance. If you missed the first hike, upcoming dates for the hiking series include:

September 8: Native Plants in Skyline Forest

September 10: Discover Skyline Forest with Your Dog

September 15: Skyline Forest Ecology Hike

September 24: Three Creek Butte Sunset Hike

October 6: Discover Your Wild Neighbors

October 15: Discover Snag Springs

October 20: Hiking the Wildland Urban Interface of Skyline Forest

October 27: Walking Wildlife Corridors in Skyline Forest

October 29: Hiking Through History at Skyline Forest

For more information and to sign up click here.

Out and About for the Flathead

September 01, 2011 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
It may be a dreary summer here in B.C., but that hasn’t dampened the spirits of our two new Flathead Wild team members. Working on Flathead River Valley outreach and education, both Leila Darwish and Ivy Smith have been out and about all summer, tabling at events and speaking to the public about the need for permanent protection of this important valley. Leila is the Outreach Coordinator at Sierra Club BC and has been travelling all over B.C. to speak to British Columbians about the Flathead, while Flathead Campaign Associate Ivy has been hard at work on the Alberta side, working out of the Yellowstone to Yukon office in Canmore. Together, the two have gathered more than a thousand signatures on our official Flathead petition and raised the profile of the Flathead River Valley. B.C.’s Flathead River Valley is home to an amazing variety of plants and animals as well... Read More

Join us for a hike on the Discover Skyline Forest Hiking Series

August 30, 2011 by Deschutes Basin Land Trust
The Deschutes Land Trust, in partnership with Bend Parks and Recreation, is pleased to announce the launch of their ‘Discover Skyline Forest’ hiking series.  This series of outings will give the community an opportunity to get outside and explore Bend’s wild and beautiful backyard.  Each outing covers a different topic and will be held at Skyline Forest (formerly the Bull Springs Tree Farm) which the Land Trust is currently working to protect.   Upcoming dates for the hiking series include:September 8:  Native Plants in Skyline ForestSeptember 10: Discover Skyline Forest with Your DogSeptember 15: Skyline Forest Ecology HikeSeptember 24: Three Creek Butte Sunset HikeOctober 6: Discover Your Wild Neighbors October 15: Discover Snag Springs October 20: Hiking the Wildland Urban Interface of Skyline ForestOctober 27: Walking Wildlife Corridors in Skyline ForestOctober 29: Hiking Through History at Skyline ForestAll of the outings are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is... Read More

Wilderness, who are you protectig it for?

August 29, 2011 by Serena Bishop

What Southern Utah Wilderness Association is sharing with the rest of Utah....

Wilderness, who are you protecting if for?

Creating jobs by conserving wilderness

August 23, 2011 by Serena Bishop


The scene at the conservation and the economy round table discussion
at Eastern Mountain Sports in Portsmouth, NH.


Will Manzer, President and CEO of Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member, Eastern Mountain Sports, is passionate about outdoor recreation and knows the outdoor industry. 

"Going outside to play is big business and in this economy, we need all the healthy businesses we can get. And when it comes to outdoor recreation, we’re talking about a LOT of businesses. When you take up a new outdoor sport, you  not only discover a new way to relieve stress and stay active, you start a chain reaction of economic activity."

Check out Will's latest blog post over at The Easter Mountain Sports blog to learn move about the connection between outdoor recreation and job creation, and what you can do to remind our leaders in Congress that conservation is good for the economy.

Sunshine and Smiles. The Portland Backyard Collective.

August 22, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Friday, August 19th was a beautiful day in Portland, Oregon.  And the 250 volunteers from Conservation Alliance member companies KEEN, Columbia Sportswear, Icebreaker, Merrell, Horny Toad, REI, and Egan & Associates took advantage of one of the summer's nicest days!  Pulling ivy, rebuilding trails and demolishing a decommissioned foot-bridge in Forest Park and Sellwood Park, these folks earned their lunch!

Stephen Hatfield, Stewardship Director of The Forest Park Conservancy announced during luNch, "The volunteers I was working with at Pittock Mansion were unbelievable... the hardest working crew I have ever spend a day with!".  In just one day, "volunteers from The Conservation Alliance Backyard Collective provide about 10% of Forest Park's annual volunteer hours!"

 Well Done Team, Well Done.


The Conservation Alliance partnered with The Forest Park Conservancy and Sellwood Park for the second year in a row to organize the Portland Backyard Collective, a day of stewardship in our member companies' very own backyard. 

After all the hard work was complete, volunteers relaxed in the green grass of Wallace Park in Northwest Portland, enjoyed lunch from Elephant's Deli and talked with Conservation Alliance Grantees, WaterWatch, Save Our Wild Salmon and Oregon Wild about additional ways to support environmental efforts in their backyards.

Volunteers also received a Backyard Collective Tote Bag, Water Bottle and Merino Wool Tee, and other goodies thanks to the support of Icebreaker, Stanley, a brand of PMI, Patagonia, Osprey, and Merrell

Be sure to check out the next Backyard Collective in Boulder on August 26th.





Monadnock Trail Week

August 18, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Conservation Alliance Grantee, The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, together with New Hampshire State Parks, held their seventh annual "Monadnock Trail Week".  This event was initiated in 2005 to restore the most heavily-used trails on the mountain where the Forest Society owns 4,119 acres.

"This year's event was a great success," said Forest Society Land Steward Program Specialist, Carrie Deegan who coordinated the event. "Thirty-six volunteers put in nearly 500 hours of work on the mountain over five consecutive days."  

Read more about the event and work of The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests here.

Shelton Johnson speaks to the Conservation Alliance

August 11, 2011 by Serena Bishop

"Heaven isn't a place you have to die to get to, you just need a good pair of hiking boots."

                                                                                                                                 -Shelton Johnson

An excerpt from James Mills and The Joy Trip Project

For those of us who spend a great deal of time outdoors it’s hard to believe that there are many of those who don’t. Especially when it comes to our national parks there is an entire segment of the United States population, natural born citizens who seldom if ever visit. This is particularly true among people of color. African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities spend far less time in nature than their white counterparts. And in a shifting demographic where minorities will soon become the majority there’s rising concern throughout the conservation movement that one day in the not so distant future most U.S. citizens will have no personal relationship with or affinity for the natural world.

Thanks to James Mills, you can listen to Shelton's entire 40 minute spech; moving, inpiring, and tear-jerking.

Click here to listen to the Podcast

Outdoor Retailer Knows How to Keep it Wild

August 09, 2011 by Serena Bishop

This past weekend, we gathered up the energy of our member companies and threw it all into supporting the great work of some of our grantees, and we had a blast doing it! 24 members hosted events and we're hoping that as the numbers coming in, we'll beat our winter Outdoor Retailer show fundraising amount of $50,000.

Also, a big thanks to everyone that participated in our Keep It Wild day, our eight grantees that participated all had a great amount of support and people that took action. We celebrated at the end of the day with a Recess party at KEEN, complete with hula hooping.

Weren't able to make it to Outdoor Retailer? Don't worry, we've rounded up some of our favorite photos from Keep it Wild Day. Enjoy! 

Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling says "Boo!" to Pebble Mine. 

Lots of people celebrating Keep it Wild Day at the KEEN booth.

Alliance grantee Winter Wildlands spent the day getting people to sign their latest action.


Shoren Brown of Trout Unlimited, Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling, and Emily Nuchols of Under Solen Media loving their Klean Kanteen pints. 

Chris Enlow of KEEN enjoys the Keep it Wild happy hour.

 Osprey hosts American Whitewater.



Outdoor Retailer: Get Inspired, Keep it Wild + Score Awesome Swag!

August 08, 2011 by Serena Bishop


It's that time again! Outdoor Retailer is just a week away, so make sure to mark you calendars for some great Conservation Alliance events and promotions!

Day 2

Conservation Alliance Breakfast: Need some inspiration? Come to the Alliance breakfast and hear novelist, award-winning poet and Yosemite National Park ranger Shelton Johnson speak. We know 7a.m. is early... But you know what we say, arrive tired and leave inspired! Stick around after breakfast to learn about the organizations up for funding in our next cycle!

When: 7a.m to 8:50a.m., Friday, Aug. 5; Grant Review after breakfast from 9am to 10am.

Where: The Marriot, Salons F-I

More details here...

Keep it Wild Day! We all know that if we want to get wild, we've got to protect our playground. Please join us for Keep it Wild Day! Eight Conservation Alliance grantees will be hosted at member companies’ booths all-day Friday. Visit participating booths, meet a grantee and take in support of protecting special wild places. Cap off Day 2 at the KEEN booth for The Conservation Alliance Keep It Wild Party, where we will celebrate the important work of our grantees, the contributions of our member companies, and play games.

When: All day Friday, Aug. 5

Where: Details here...

Day 3

Montrail Wasatch Wobble: 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 16th running of this fun 5k trail run. Dress up in Retro costume for a chance to win the costume contest! Stop by the Montrail booth #25001 on Thursday or Friday to register, get details and receive your runner goodie bag! $10, with all proceeds support the Conservation Alliance.

When: Saturday August 6, Run Starts at: 6:45AM Check-In: 6:00-6:30AM


TweetaPic4CA = $5
Columbia will proudly donate $5 for every tweet that includes a picture from
our "Partly Sunny, with a Chance for Weather" fashion shows with the hash
tag #orshowCA to Conservation Alliance.
Thursday, August 4 @
10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:30 pm
Friday, August 5 @
10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:30 pm
Tweets must include a link to an image from the Fashion Show, the hash tag
#orshowCA, and be tweeted by August 7 to trigger the donation.

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! Details below...


Conservation Alliance Breakfast: Diversity and Wilderness with Shelton Johnson

August 03, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Please join us for this summer's Outdoor Retailer Conservation Alliance breakfast! We are pleased to welcome Shelton Johnson as our guest speaker this year!

Shelton Johnson is a novelist, award-winning poet and Yosemite National Park ranger. Johnson played a prominent role in Ken Burns' documentary about the National Parks, and was instrumental in convincing Oprah Winfrey to visit Yosemite last year.

He has been an outspoken advocate for increasing diversity in the National Parks. His talk, "Diversity and Wilderness" will focus on our need to build a conservation ethic among communities of color to ensure that our national parks and wilderness areas enjoy broader support. Johnson is author of the novel Gloryland.

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast is free and open to the public, so bring a friend! Arrive tired, leave inspired!

When: 7am to 8:50am - stick around for a full review of 2011 grants! Details below.

Where: The Marriot, Salons F-I

Summer 2011 Grant Review Session

This presentation is designed to help Conservation Alliance members learn more about the projects that will be included on the Summer 2011 funding ballot. There will be 28 projects on the ballot, of which we will be able to fund 18-20. Conservation Alliance members will vote to determine which groups will receive grants. We have $550,000 to contribute during this cycle. Conservation Alliance staff will make a short presentation about each project on the ballot, and answer questions about the projects.

When: 9am to 10am

Where: The Marriot, Salons F-I

PHOTO courtesy Ben Moon.

Keep it Wild! Take Action for Wild Places at Outdoor Retailer on Friday, August 5

August 02, 2011 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 Friday, August 5 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!

When: All day! Party at KEEN booth kicks off at 4:45pm!

Where: All grantees and member company booths listed below...

Winter Wildlands Alliance at KEEN booth #30183W

Nevada Wilderness Project at Horny Toad booth #30049

Alaska Wilderness League at Canada Goose booth #26039

Trout Unlimited at Patagonia booth #13027

California Wilderness Coalition at IBEX booth #34203

Save Our Canyons at Black Diamond booth #7015

American Whitewater at Osprey Packs booth #5010

American Rivers at Adventure Travel Trade Association booth #BR527

Party at KEEN Booth #30183W

Backyard Collective brings some sunshine to Seattle

July 26, 2011 by Deanna


The sun was shining and volunteers were all smiles on Friday July 22nd at The Conservation Alliance Backyard Collective in Seattle’s Westcrest Park. More than 60 volunteers came out for the day from Outdoor Research, Nikwax, Brooks, Filson, Cascade Designs, Stanley, a brand of PMI, Clif Bar, Patagonia, and Runner Girl Races.

This great group of volunteers removed over 12,000 square feet of invasive ivy plant and created 23 tree survival rings.




The Conservation Alliance partnered with the Cascade Land Conservancy and The Green Seattle Partnership to organize the service project. After a day of park restoration, the volunteers celebrated their hard work with a picnic lunch and volunteer fair. Representatives from Conservation Alliance grantees, Cascade Land Conservancy, American Whitewater and Washington Wilderness Coalition shared additional ways these volunteers could support environmental efforts in their backyards.


Be sure to check out the next Backyard Collective in Portland on August 19th.


July 22, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Visit Trout Unlimited online action center and urge Congress to oppose the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011, a harmful bill which would damage fishing and hunting opportunities by releasing millions of acres of pristine backcountry to road development.

Backcountry habitats on national forests and BLM lands are extremely important to achieving Trout Unlimited’s mission. Across the West, we have found that a significant portion of trout and salmon habitat is found in unroaded, pristine habitat.  Read the fact sheet (pdf). This bill would remove the protections for these vital habitats and open them up to road building and development.


1.         Please visit the Trout Unlimited online action center today and write to your Representative and Senators to urge them to reject HR 1581 and S. 1087.

2.        Also please consider calling your Representative and Senators, via the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask the switchboard operator to connect you to your Member’s office. Please tell the receptionist at your member's office that you oppose HR 1581, and S. 1087, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act and urge him/her to oppose it.

Update from Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests at 07/20/11 8:20 PM

July 20, 2011 by Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
  The Forest Society gratefully appreciates the $25,000 grant from the Conservation Alliance and its member companies for supporting our protection of a critical 52-acre property on Mt. Monadnock, in Jaffrey, NH, that is surrounded on three sides by conservation land, and provides key access to the Monadnock State Park. This easement permanently protects a trailhead and trail entering into the southeastern flank of Mt. Monadnock. Owner Charlie Royce is the former manager of the Monadnock State Park, and he and his wife Ann have dedicated their lives to the preservation of this mountain. 335 New Acres to be added to Mt. Monadnock conservation!The Forest Society has made an agreement with the Stowell Family to purchase two additional parcels totaling 335 acres not far from the Royce property, on the western side of Mt. Monadnock. The 248-acre Jaffrey parcel abuts the Forest Society's existing land which contains the trailhead for... Read More

The Peace Needs Your Help!

July 07, 2011 by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative
The Peace River needs your help. As one of the most ecologically important and culturally rich valleys of the Y2Y region, the Peace River in northeast British Columbia provides critical habitat for wildlife, as well as a beautiful setting and productive agricultural land for its residents. Unfortunately, the Peace River is under threat. BC Hydro is proposing to put a third dam on the Peace River, at a location known as "Site C", which would have serious biological, environmental, agricultural and social ramifications on the wildlife, fisheries and communities that depend on the river. The consequences of implementing this dam are potentially going unnoticed. BC Hydro requested a provincial environmental assessment (EA) for the project. Unfortunately the scope of the provincial process does not adequately assess the issues associated with this mega-project. A federally-conducted environmental assessment with a joint federal-provincial panel review will, however, ensure that all of the issues... Read More

Update from Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative at 07/07/11 8:16 PM

July 07, 2011 by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative
  On July 9, the Peace River will be bobbing with colorful canoes, kayaks, motorboats and other assorted watercraft. This year marks the 6th anniversary of Paddle for the Peace - staged upstream from Fort St. John, B.C., and designed to raise awareness about the threat posed by BC Hydro's proposed Site C dam. The historic Peace River rises in the Rocky Mountain Trench, carves its way through the Continental Divide into Alberta, and eventually forms part of the mighty Mackenzie River system. Already extensively flooded by the existing W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon dams, the stretch of river flowing from Hudson's Hope into Alberta is the only valley bottom that remains available to wildlife moving east and west along the river, and north and south through tributary canyons. Y2Y fears that a third dam will create cumulative impacts that could sever connectivity for large mammals in this narrow waist... Read More

Update from Deschutes Land Trust at 07/06/11 9:00 PM

July 06, 2011 by Deschutes Basin Land Trust
Skyline Forest: A work in progressJuly 2011The Deschutes Land Trust is currently working to conserve a massive block of land near Bend and Sisters, Oregon called Skyline Forest. This 33,000 acre former tree farm was historically known as the Bull Springs Tree Farm, and is one of several commercial timberlands in central Oregon threatened with conversion to residential development. Surrounded by state and federal lands, Skyline Forest contains important wildlife habitat, tremendous recreation opportunities and protects the scenic green foothills that set off the Central Oregon Cascades.  If protected, Skyline Forest would be the Northwest’s largest community forest devoted to sustainable production of forest products, jobs, wildlife, scenic views, and recreation.Skyline Forest is currently owned by Fidelity National Financial, through a holding company and these owners are engaged in long-term discussions with the Land Trust on the future of Skyline Forest.  Although we’ve been working to acquire the property since... Read More

Act Now to Protect Winter in Yellowstone

June 30, 2011 by Winter Wildlands Alliance
A Final Opportunity to Protect the Magic of Winter in Yellowstone. Please Make Your Voice Heard!It's so close you can almost taste, smell and hear the crystalline air, gurgling geysers, and squeak of cold snow underfoot in a Yellowstone National Park that is managed to further restore and permanently protect the natural sights and sounds of winter. So close, but we're not there yet. You and I have a final opportunity to urge Yellowstone to adopt a permanent plan for winter access that protects the Park and at the same time improves the visitor experience. Please help us complete the transition to a healthier, cleaner, and quieter Yellowstone by commenting right now.Park officials recently released a Draft Winter Use Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement including a "preferred alternative" that the park proposes to adopt. The plan, once finalized, will take effect in December, 2011 and will guide winter activities... Read More

Salt Lake City BYC

June 28, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The Salt Lake City Backyard Collective- A Great Success!!!


The sun was shining and temperatures reached the mid 90's on June 23rd at the Salt Lake City Backyard Collective. But the heat didn't slow down the energetic group of 60+ volunteers who spent an afternoon working hard to fix up the trails and general landscape of Grandeur Peak Open Space. Employees from 3point5,, Black Diamond, Gregory, Hotwax Media, Patagonia, Petzl, and Treasure Mountain Inn were able to install 22 water bars, 10 check dams, and 2 fences. They were also able to clean up the area of invasive plants and filled 14 bags full of myrtle spurge.
The Conservation Alliance partnered with the Save Our Canyons and Salt Lake City Climbers Alliance to organize the service project. After a half day of trail maintenance the volunteers celebrated their hard work with food and drink at Black Diamond's annual fundraising party for The Salt Lake City Climbers Alliance. 



Columbia Sportswear Teams Up With TerraCycle to Support The Conservation Alliance

June 27, 2011 by Serena Bishop




Columbia Sportswear, Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member, just signed up to participate in this innovative program thanks to help from Staples®, and will be sending depleted writing instruments to TerraCycle® for recycling or upcycling. Not only does this allow Columbia to divert waste from the landfill, but for every used writing instrument we recycle, Sanford® Brands will donate $0.02 towards The Conservation Alliance

Read more here. 

Ban on Grand Canyon Uranium Mining One Step Closer

June 21, 2011 by John Sterling


The federal government on Monday extended for six months a moratorium on new uranium mining claims in a million-acre buffer zone around the Grand Canyon as it awaits the conclusions of a study of potential environmental harm to the region. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the extended prohibition, and added that Interior's preferred alternative in a new Environmental Impact Study is to ban all new uranium mining leases for the next 20 years. A final decision on the plan is due on December 20. 

The Conservation Alliance funded the Grand Canyon Trust's efforts to win a 20-year ban on new mining leases.

Click here for the full story from the New York Times.

Update from Adirondack Council at 06/17/11 3:17 PM

June 17, 2011 by Adirondack Council
Green groups score victory in Albany, defeating land moratorium Cuomo Needs to Hear From You   Please write to Governor Cuomo and tell him in your own words that: The 65,000 acres not yet protected in the pending Finch agreement deserve to become part of the constitutionally protected, "Forever Wild" Forest Preserve. State ownership of these lands would be a huge boost to tourism in this region by opening them up to public recreation. These lands are of great ecological importance and need to be protected to ensure that this incredible natural heritage becomes a legacy for future generations. Failing to complete this acquisition could prevent other historic land protection agreements from moving forward and undermine the state's history of protecting critical lands for conservation and recreation in the Adirondack Park. Please Send Your Letters to Governor Cuomo Today!   Governor Andrew Cuomo NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY... Read More


June 16, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Gareth Martins, Kate Ketschek Elected to Three-Year Terms

Bend, Ore., June 16, 2011 - The Conservation Alliance membership elected Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing at Osprey Packs, and Kate Ketschek, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for NEMO Equipment to new three-year terms on the Alliance board of directors.

Martins was re-elected after serving a full term during which he has chaired the Alliance's Outreach Committee, and been active in advocacy efforts. Ketschek is new to the board, and fills the seat vacated when Black Diamond's Adam Chamberlain completed his board term.

"This election brings us both continuity and fresh blood," said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. "Gareth has made huge contributions over the past three years, and we're excited to have his passion and expertise for another three years. Kate brings us new energy and marketing depth, and adds to the board's East Coast contingent."

Five nominees ran for the two board seats in what was another tight election. The Conservation Alliance board and staff thank everyone who ran.

"We are fortunate to have such strong interest in board service," said Sterling. "We only wish we had seats for everyone who is interested in serving."

The new three-year board terms begin immediately after the August 3rd board meeting.

Limited Edition Clif Bar t-shirts to support California Wilderness Coalition!

June 13, 2011 by California Wilderness Coalition
Check out our new, limited edition organic cotton CLIF t-shirt, designed to support the CWC. Only 100 have been made, and all profits go to the California Wilderness Coalition. Get yours here! Since 1976, the CWC has worked to protect the natural landscapes that make California unique. We count on the support of local communities, activists and the private sector, and thanks to our friends at Clif Bar & Company, together we are working to make the voice of wild California heard.  ... Read More

There should be some places that you just do not mine.

June 10, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Eastern Mountain Sports President, Will Manzer, talks about the fragility of the Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon Uranium Mining PSA from James Q Martin Media on Vimeo.

It sounds insane, but it’s absolutely true. A two-year ban on destructive uranium mining in the Grand Canyon is set to expire on July 21, with no additional protection measures in sight. This is a big problem because according to the Grand Canyon Trust, “Thousands of new mining claims are threatening the Grand Canyon’s watersheds, fragile seeps and springs, Havasupai sacred sites, critical wildlife habitat, and the tourism-based economies of northern Arizona.”

Read More Here on the EMS blog.

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt Challenges Obama to Lead on Conservation

June 09, 2011 by John Sterling

Bruce Babbitt, former Interior Secretary and Governor of Arizona, delivered a pointed speech to the National Press Club yesterday in which he said the current US Congress "has embarked on the most radical course in our history." He continued: "The Congress, led by the House of Representatives, has declared war on our land, water and natural resources. And it is time for those of us who support our conservation tradition to raise our voices on behalf of the American people."

Babbitt then went on to call on President Obama to step up his conservation leadership. "President Obama and the Executive Branch are the best, and likely only, hope for meaningful progress on this critical issue. So I am here today to call on the President to lead us in standing up to the radical agenda of the House of Representatives, and to replace their draconian agenda with a bold conservation vision."

There is growing discontent and disillusionment within the conservation community over Obama's lack of leadership on conservation issues. It is unusual for a former Cabinet Secretary to criticize a successor of the same party. Babbitt did make it clear that his remarks were meant to be forward looking, and to encourage Obama to sieze the opportunity to lead by using such tools as the Antiquities Act to designate new National Monuments.

Click here to read the full text of Babbitt's speech.

Alliance Adds Voice to Effort to Protect Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining

June 08, 2011 by John Sterling


The Conservation Alliance was included on an ad that ran this week in the New York Times, asking the Obama Administration to impose a 20-year moratorium on uranium mining on one million acres of public land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. The Alliance funded the Grand Canyon Trust in 2010 to lead the campaign to win the moratorium. The Alliance was joined on the ad by representatives from Patagonia, Eastern Mountain Sports, Black Diamond Equipment, and Outdoor Industry Association.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar imposed a two-year moratorium on mining the area in June 2009. That prohibition expires later this month. Interior is expected to announce future plans for mining the area any day now.

Tennessee Senators Introduce Wilderness Legislation

June 04, 2011 by John Sterling


Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker introduced legislation yesterday to protect 20,000 acres of public land in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest.The Conservation Alliance has twice supported the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition's Tennessee Wild Campaign, which is organizing local support for the protections. The legislation faces challenges in a gridlocked Congress, but it is encouraging to see a conservatino measure introduced by two Republican senators.

Click here for the full story.

KEEN Invites Portlanders to Join the Recess Revolution

June 03, 2011 by Serena Bishop


A little rain didn't stop 783 people from coming to KEEN Footwear's "Recess Revolution" kick-off event in downtown Portland's Director Park on Thursday, May 26! In addition to taking the Recess Pledge to stop work for 15 minutes each day and get out and play, people of all ages also played tetherball and spun a wheel for cool KEEN swag...and generally had a great time playing hooky from work!

  VIDEO: Mayor Sam Adams play tetherball against Commissioner Randy Leonard

 To view and download pictures from this fun event, please click here.

Salazar, Obama Give Up on Wild Lands Policy

June 01, 2011 by John Sterling


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that BLM will not designate any Wild Lands under the new Wild Land Policy he announced in December, and which many in the outdoor industry fought hard to defend. Congress voted to deny any funding to implement the policy in April as part of the 2011 budget deal, and the Obama Administration acquiesced. In his statement today, Salazar essentially gives up on the Wild Land Policy. This is a major disappointment on many obvious levels, not least of which is the amount of energy we – our member companies, OIA, and The Conservation Alliance – put in to defending an Obama Administration policy that the administration then abandoned. More important, the millions of acres of lands that qualify for Wild Land designation are once again threatened without an obvious and timely path to protection.

If there is any good news here it is that we can now get back to talking about Wilderness designations on the local level without having to fight over a nationwide policy that had turned into a galvanizing force for anti-conservation voices in Congress. Most of our grantees are working on local, place-based campaigns to protect specific public lands as Wilderness. The Conservation Alliance got involved in defending the Wild Land Policy largely because it offered to provide interim protection for millions of acres of lands that we’d ultimately like to see designated as Wilderness, a higher form of protection. The projects we have funded remain viable, and our grantees are working hard to move them through Congress. To be clear, Wilderness bills will be very hard to pass in this Congress, but at least now we can get back to talking about the merits of those bills, without also having to talk about the Wild Land Policy.

Ultimately, it appears the Obama Administration decided that defending the Wild Land Policy in the face of rising gas prices (even though the policy itself would have no impact on gas prices) and angry members of Congress just wasn’t worth it. Disappointing, yes. But now we just focus on those campaigns that have broad local support.

Update: The following statement is from William H. Meadows, President of The Wilderness Society:

“We are deeply disappointed in Secretary Salazar’s decision today to undermine his Wild Lands policy. This policy helped provide the guidance needed by the Bureau of Land Management to properly manage lands as required by the Federal Land policy and Management Act of 1976. Today’s memorandum ignores the BLM’s obligation to protect wilderness values and effectively lets stand former Secretary Gale Norton’s deeply flawed decision to prohibit the BLM from properly managing those public lands that harbor wilderness values. Without strong and decisive action from the Department of Interior, wilderness will not be given the protection it is due, putting millions of acres of public lands at risk. It’s important to keep in mind that these lands belong to all Americans.  This apparent capitulation to opponents of wilderness protection is deeply disturbing – we hope the Secretary will reassert his previous leadership in recognizing the Interior Department’s responsibly to protect our most sensitive landscapes for future generations.”

Patagonia, Inc. protests the proposed construction of five dams in Chile's Aysen Region

May 25, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Patagonia, Inc., a founding member of The Conservation Alliance and Pinnacle Member, staged a peaceful 500-employee-strong cacerolazo – a Chilean-style protest developed in the Pinochet era where citizens bang pots and pans in loud opposition - to protest the Chilean government's approval of a multi-national energy company to construct five huge dams in the area of southern Chile that inspired Yvon Chouinard to name the company Patagonia.


“This is like building Hoover Dam at the entrance to Yosemite Valley,” said Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia vice president of environmental affairs, who knows the region well, recently spending time there with the making of the movie, 180 South. “This is not about a North American corporation trying to tell Chile what to do – it’s about asking Chile’s democratically elected government to listen to the majority of its own people when they say there has to be a better way.”

Read the entire article here and visit Patagonia's blog, The Cleanest Line for more information.

Update from Conservation Resource Alliance at 05/20/11 6:06 PM

May 20, 2011 by Conservation Resource Alliance
The Boardman: A River Reborn UpdateThe Boardman River is located in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties and includes 160 miles of river and tributary streams. There are a total of 287-square miles in the watershed, producing one-third of the water volume of Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City and draining 182,800 acres of land. An estimated 2 million user days are logged on the Boardman River annually for recreation purposes. Many of these visitors come to the river to fish since the river is one of the top ten trout streams in Michigan and 36 river miles are designated as Blue Ribbon river sections.  The six year long process leading up to the current status of the project to remove three of the Boardman River dams and modify the Union Street dam has garnered the attention of so many folks throughout the region, State, and Country. A diverse group of... Read More

Senator McConnell fails to give Big Oil free pass to risky drilling in the Arctic Ocean

May 19, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Yesterday, the so-called "Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011" bill (S. 953), sponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), failed on the Senate floor by a vote of 42-57.

This bill would have led to aggressive drilling in America's Arctic; bringing back Arctic lease sales cancelled by President Obama in wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and wiping out adequate environmental review by declaring that environmental analyses found to be illegal by the courts, are in fact sufficient.

Read more about this issue and comments from Alaska Wilderness League's Executive Director here.

CLIF BAR annouces Meet the Moment - Moments Collected Generate Donations to Protect the Places We Play

May 17, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Conservation Alliance member, CLIF BAR announced Meet the Moment this week; a celebration of athletic adventures and the places they happen. Whether it's action, adventure or the thrill of the chase, CLIF BAR wants people to share how they Meet the Moment by uploading inspiring photos and stories at

To protect the places people play, CLIF BAR will donate $5 to one of five non-profits dedicated to protecting outdoor places each time someone creates and uploads their first Moment. To further support these conservation and preservation efforts, CLIF BAR will double its contribution to each non-profit if people submit 10,000 Moments by July 31st.  Two of the five non-profits benefiting from Meet the Moment are Conservation Alliance Grantees, Winter Wildlands Alliance and Access Fund.

 How to Post a Moment

Anyone is invited to upload a photo and share their Moment at The Moment can be described in "magnetic poetry style" by choosing from a bank of words that will be placed on top of the photo to create an individualized postcard.  People can also opt to add their own words to their postcard.

Once the postcard is complete, it can be posted to a photo gallery on The gallery is designed to serve as a visual community of people sharing athletic adventures and stories.

Bay Area Backyard Collective A Huge Success

May 11, 2011 by Deanna

No one can resist getting outside on a sunny day in the Bay Area. The Berkeley Backyard Collective volunteers were all smiles while they worked hard to restore a hiking trail in beautiful Tilden Park. Over 100 employees from CamelBak, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Jansport, Clif Bar, REI and Ahnu Footwear, participated in the stewardship event. The group worked tirelessly, restoring a badly eroded and overgrown trail by installing and finishing drain dips, effective at diverting water off of the trail. Volunteers also pruned vegetation, improved the trail tread, and eliminated berms that would create future water issues on the trail. The Tilden trail looks 100% improved thanks to everyone's hard work!

The Conservation Alliance partnered with the California Wilderness Coalition and East Bay Regional Park District to organize the service project. After a morning of trail maintenance, the volunteers celebrated their hard work with food and drink, generously donated by New Belgium Brewing Company. Volunteers also had the opportunity to mingle with other local environmental non-profits and grantees of The Conservation Alliance. Representatives from California Wilderness Coalition, The American River Conservancy, and Friends of the Inyo shared additional opportunities to support environmental initiatives in California.

The next Backyard Collective will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 23rd.

Senate Subcommittee holds hearing on Wild and Scenic Molalla River

May 10, 2011 by Serena Bishop


 Photo: Molalla River Alliance

Conservation Alliance Grantee, Oregon Wild, shared continued forward progress on the Wild and Scenic Molalla River Bill today.  The Senate subcommittee on National Parks is holding a hearing today to consider protections for the Molalla River. Next steps are a hearing in the House and full committee in the Senate. When passed this would protect 21.3 miles of the Wild and Scenic Molalla River.

Here more here…

Sign up here to help Oregon Wild protect the Molalla River and other waters and wildlands across the state.

Congress Introduces Protections for Oregon Natural Areas

May 09, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Conservation Alliance Grantee Oregon Wild reports the first steps of success on the Devil's Staircase Wilderness Campaign.  On April 7th, legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate to protect several outstanding natural gems on Oregon’s public lands including the mythical waterfall and surrounding salmon habitat in the proposed Devil’s Staircase Wilderness area.  The legislation would also expand the Oregon Caves National Monument and add additional protections for the Chetco Wild and Scenic River.

Read More Here…..

Nester Hosiery Receives Green Business of the Year Award

April 27, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Conservation Alliance member Nester Hosiery Inc, was awarded the 2010 Green Business of the Year award by the Mount Airy North Carolina Chamber of Commerce.  Nester Hosiery Inc, a manufacturer of high performance socks for the outdoor industry is located in North Carolina and puts environmental stewardship at the top of its priority list.

Read the whole story here

Happy Hidden Gems Earth Day!

April 25, 2011 by Serena Bishop
Companies Applaud Congressman Jared Polis for Legislation to Protect 167,000 Acres


Conservation Alliance member Kim Coupounas speaks in support of Wilderness in Colorado.


Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) re-introduced legislation Friday to protect 167,000 acres of public land in Colorado.  Rep. Polis announced on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver that his Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act would designate 82,000 acres of Wilderness and another 84,000 acres of special protected areas in the White River National Forest.

Sixteen Conservation Alliance member companies based or with retail stores in Colorado applauded Rep. Polis' leadership with a letter of support. The group of companies noted that in Colorado, environmental preservation and economic development are inextricably linked.

Colorado-based outdoor industry brands are "part of the active outdoor recreation economy that contributes over $10 billion annually to Colorado's economy and supports over 107,000 jobs across the state," said Kim Coupounas, co-founder of GoLite, a Conservation Alliance member, who spoke at the press conference (above).

"These wild landscapes are what make Colorado the special place that we love," said Congressman Polis. "Preserving our natural resources strengthens the economic resources that support Colorado jobs. We also ensure that generations of Coloradans can enjoy these special places for fun, adventure or just enjoying the peace of the outdoors. That's why this bill, which is the product of months of consensus building, enjoys such broad support."

Please see video of the press conference below. Kim's comments start at the 18:00 mark. Also below is a slide show of the event courtesy of Colorado Environmental Coalition.


Photos: Colorado Environmental Coalition

The Conservation Alliance has supported the Colorado Environmental Coalition for its efforts to build strong local support for the protections included in the bill. For more information, see:

EMS & TNF Team Up To Support The Alliance

April 22, 2011 by Serena Bishop




Pinnacle Members EASTERN MOUNTAIN SPORTS and The North Face are teaming up to support The Conservation Alliance on Earth Day! For every Venture Rain Jacket sold at EMS today, $5 will be donated to The Conservation Alliance!

The Conservation Alliance: The heart of the outdoor industry

April 20, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Will Manzer, CEO of Eastern Mountain Sports, a Consevation Alliance Pinnacle Member, tells The Conservation Alliance Story....

It all started at the San Francisco International Airport. Employees from Kelty, REI, Patagonia and The North Face were waiting for a flight when the topic of conversations shifted from the nature of each other’s business to nature itself and the need for all outdoor businesses to give something back to the planet. In the 22 years since that initial conversation, The Conservation Alliance has grown to over 160 dues paying members and donated over $9.5 million to more than 300 conservation projects in the continental United States. Every dollar of every annual membership fee goes to grassroots conservation programs that are in-progress but need a little extra financial help to reach completion. That’s the true beauty of the Conservation Alliance– every grant awarded makes an immediate impact. 

Read the rest of the story here.

Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim Running Record

April 19, 2011 by Serena Bishop

As I drank my morning coffee and read Tuesday's addition of The Wall Street Journal, I thought of my good friend and Conservation Alliance Member (Runner Girl Races), Krissy Moehl, and fellow ultra-runner, Devon Crosby-Helms.  Today, these two women are attempting to set a new R2R2R Record - Running the Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim to Rim, in under 9 hours and 25 minutes.

Adventure Journal caught up with them before they set of on their recording breaking adventure.

The ultra-endurance studs are running together to set the fastest time for a woman going from rim to rim and back to rim of the Grand Canyon, tracing the classic route that starts on the South Rim, goes down the South Kaibab Trail, crosses the Colorado River, ascends the North Rim on the North Kaibab Trail, and then turns back aroundHere the rest of the article here.

Summer 2011 Nominations Due May 1st

April 18, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Calling all Conservation Alliance Members!

As a member of The Conservation Alliance, your company has the privilege of nominating two organizations per funding cycle.

How to Nominate for the Summer 2011 Funding Cycle:

1. Down a nomination form from the website.

2. Save your completed nomination form to your computer, one per nominated organization, please.

3. Click on the following e-mail link to call up a blank message to

4. Attach your completed nomination form(s) to that message, and hit send. We will acknowledge receipt of your nomination(s).

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 04/18/11 6:55 PM

April 18, 2011 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
Sharpen your pencils and uncap your pens... a new official petition will take permanent protection for the Flathead right to the House of Commons. Even if you've signed a Flathead petition before, please sign this one! You can also download a copy of the petition for completion in your community. How do you measure support for a national park in the Flathead River Valley? In the case of an official federal petition, it’s in a stack of paper several inches thick. The petition, created by Sierra Club BC and our partners in the Flathead Wild coalition, will be tabled in Parliament and officially recognized by the Canadian government. While online petitions are a great way to rapidly fill a key politician’s email inbox with messages from citizens, this official paper petition will carry the weight, quite literally, of thousands of signatures from concerned Canadians. Highlighting some of the Flathead’s many... Read More

EMS Club Day Event a Great Success for Local Orgainzations

April 15, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Members of outdoor clubs and organizations saved 25% off EMS brand items and receive great deals on other favorite brands during EMS's Club Day Event, April 8-9th. Eastern Mountain Sports will donate 1% of the proceeds of every purchase made over the Club Day Weekend to The Conservation Alliance.

In addition to great savings and a generous donation to The Conservation Alliance, Eastern Mountain Sports Retail stores partnered with local organizations for in-store tabling events; and gave shoppers the chance to connect with local organizations doing good work in their backyard!

Santa Barbara Backyard Collective Kicks off the 2011 Season of Events

April 13, 2011 by Deanna


Heavy wind and light rain did not slow down volunteers from Deckers, Horny Toad and Patagonia from getting out and cleaning up their backyard. On April 7th, more than 100 employees from Conservation Alliance member companies came out in force to clean up the Los Padres National Forest and the Arroyo Burro recreation site.

The Los Padres National Forest is a 200 million acre landscape that stretches from the Big Sur Coast in Monterey County to the western edge of Los Angeles. The Los Padres Forest Watch, a recent grantee of The Conservation Alliance, helped to organize the clean up.

“The Los Padres National Forest is one of our community’s greatest treasures, providing wildlife habitat, clean water, and endless outdoor opportunities for fun,” says Suzanne Feldman, conservation coordinator for Los Padres Forest Watch.  “We’re grateful to be partnering with The Conservation Alliance Backyard Collective Program in a day of giving back to the forest; these are public lands and we all have the responsibility to make the national forest a better place for everyone.”

The day concluded with a celebratory lunch complete with refreshments from New Belgium Brewing Company and a Volunteer Fair highlighting the efforts of local environmental organizations.

The next Backyard Collective is set for May 6th in Tilden Park in Berkeley California.

Obama Administration Gives Up Funding for Wild Land Policy in Budget Deal

April 13, 2011 by John Sterling

As details of the budget deal brokered between President Obama and Congress emerge, one thing is clear: conservation was not a high priority for the President in negotiations. The budget deal that will likely pass into law this week eliminates all funding for the BLM's new Wild Land Policy, which the Obama Administration announced in December. As a reminder, the Wild Land secretarial order once again gave the BLM clear authority and direction to maintain an inventory of wilderness quality lands under their management. The outdoor industry celebrated after Interior Secretary Salazar announced the new policy (at the REI store in Denver). We all bent over backwards to thank the Administration, and to voice strong support for the order. We sent letters and signed oversized thank you cards. In March, Peter Metcalf, CEO and Founder of Black Diamond Equipment, testified before a hostile House Natural Resources Committee hearing in support of the policy. 

Congressional Republicans were not as pleased with the policy, and immediately vowed to deny any funding to implement it. In the end, through the budget negotiations, Obama failed to defend the policy his own Interior Department worked so hard to develop. Assuming that deal passes this week, the BLM will have no funding to handle the inventories.

Conservation groups are vowing to rally public support to ensure that the Wild Land policy is funded in the 2012 budget. 

Click here for the article from the Deseret News.

Burt's Bees founder wants to donate national park

April 07, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Roxanne Quimby, founder of Conservation Alliance Member, Burt's Bees, is a conservation-minded individual with a passion for wildland protection.

Although Quimby is no longer involved with Burt's Bees, she remains loyal to her passions for art, wildlife, conservation and the environment. She has purchased tens of thousands of acres of Maine's fabled North Woods and now wants to give more that 70,000 wild acres next to Maine's cherished Baxter State Park to the federal government, hoping to create a Maine Woods National Park. She envisions this national park as a tribute to Henry David Thoreau, as well as her own personal legacy. 

If the creation of this new national park is successful, it will be nearly twice the size of Maine's Acadia National Park.

Learn more about Roxanne Quimby and the proposed Maine Woods National Park here.

VIDEO: Conservation Alliance Member Krissy Moehl in Fringe Elements

April 06, 2011 by Serena Bishop



Dirtbag Diaries and National Geographic Adventure team up with ultra marathon runner extraordinaire and Conservation Alliance member, Krissy Moehl, to capture the heart and soul of ultra running. 

Watch the video here

Learn more about ultra trail running from Krissy herself here

Winter 2011 Funding Cycle Grant Announcement

April 05, 2011 by Serena Bishop
We are pleased to announce the results of The Conservation Alliance 2011 Winter Funding Cycle. We have awareded $500,000 to the 17 conservation organizations listed below.

This year, The Conservation Alliance will contribute $1 million to organizations working to permantely protect wild places.  Please check out the full summary of the Winter 2011 Funding Cycle by clicking here.


Eastern Mountain Sports Spring 2011 Club Day Event – April 8-9

April 04, 2011 by Serena Bishop

1% of all sales during the Club Day Event will be donated to The Conservation Alliance

Members of outdoor clubs and organizations will save 25% off EMS brand items and receive great deals on your favorite brands. Eastern Mountain Sports will donate 1% of the proceeds of every purchase April 8-9 to The Conservation Alliance. In addition to great savings and a generous donation to The Conservation Alliance, Eastern Mountain Sports Retail stores are partnering with local organizations for in-store tabling events; giving you the chance to connect with the groups you care about in your local store.

For a list of EMS retail store locations, visit

18,000 Acres of Wilderness to Be Preserved in Oregon’s High Desert

March 23, 2011 by Serena Bishop
ONDA Catherdal Rock

On March 17th, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) reintroduced legislation into the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, which would protect close to 18,000 acres as wilderness along the John Day River in eastern Oregon's rugged high desert.

The Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven Wilderness Act of 2011 will swap public land with private landholders, in order to create two new wilderness sites; the Cathedral Rock & Horse Heaven Wilderness Area.

 "Preserving our natural resources, helping local landowners and boosting recreation-based jobs is an all-around winner and that is exactly what this bill will do," said Merkley. "I look forward to working with Senator Wyden and the local communities to protect an additional 17,000 acres of natural beauty in Central Oregon."

Read Senator Merkley's Press Release here.

Read ONDA's Press Release here.


VIDEO: Canada Goose Cup 2011. Our Members in Action.

March 18, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The Canada Goose Cup, held at Winter Outdoor Retail in January, was a huge success.  Check out this video to relive the excitement and the heartache that goes hand-in-hand with this type of grueling event.

Another big THANK YOU to all who participated in the Canada Goose Cup, making the annual event a huge success and helping to raise over $8,000 for The Consevation Alliance.

2011 Canada Goose Teams:

  • adidas Outdoor
  • Arc'teryx*
  • Camelbak*
  • Canada Goose*
  • Columbia*
  • Eastern Mountain Sports*
  • ITW Nexus Global
  • Kamik
  • Keen*
  • Merrell*
  • Nikwax*
  • Outdoor Industry Association*
  • Outdoor Retailer*
  • Prana*
  • PrimaLoft*
  • Yukon Charlie's

* Conservation Alliance Member

National Park Service Releases "America's Wilderness" Video

March 17, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The National Park Service currently manages 44 million acres of land as wilderness. This video showcases the natural beauty of those special places and uses language from the Wilderness Act to help tell the story.

Ahnu Footwear, Plus3 Network & Runner Girl Races team up to Support The Conservation Alliance.

March 11, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The Chuckanut Challenge is back!


The Chuckanut 50k, one of the country’s premier trail running events, will take place on March 19, 2011. And in honor of the Chuckanut; Ahnu Footwear and The Conservation Alliance have once again teamed up to motivate and reward all you wonderful, crazy trail runners!

Sign up for Plus3, accept the Chuckanut Challenge, support The Conservation Alliance, and earn some sweet prizes.

Check out all the details here.


Conservation Alliance Member is one of Virginia's Cox Conserves Heroes Finalists!

March 09, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Lillie Gilbert, owner of Wild River Outfitters, and Conservation Alliance and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance member, has been nominated for the Cox Conserves Hero Award.

This award acknowledges her work on advocacy, education and/or community outreach for parks and open space in the state of Virginia.  Lillie utilized Wild River's Patagonia Enviro Grants to make one of the river signs made and positioned in this video. 

To learn more and vote for the Virginia's Cox Conserves Heroes Finalists, click here.

The Conservation Alliance Winter 2011 Funding Cycling is Underway!

March 08, 2011 by Serena Bishop

 Last Call to Cast Your Vote!

Ballots Due Friday, March 11th

For The Conservation Alliance

Winter 2011 Funding Cycle


The Winter 2011 Funding Cycle is well underway. Conservation Alliance members are reviewing 26 grant proposals from organizations working to protect North America's most special wild places. Those members will complete their ballots to determine which of those 26 projects we should support. We have allocated $500,000 for this grant cycle. Grants will be announced in early April.  


Forest Park in Portland, Oregon, it’s more than just a playground

March 03, 2011 by Serena Bishop



Forest ParkOn Wednesday, Conservation Alliance Pinnacle member KEEN, hosted Stephen Hatfield, stewardship director for the Forest Park Conservancy, on the HybridLife Radio program.  Forest Park is a magically place, nestled in the heart of Portland, Oregon.  Stephen talks about the Park’s legendary history, unknown future and miles of smiles the park has brought to Oregonians and animals.  Click below to listen to the entire radio podcast.






Peter Metcalf Testifies Before The Natural Resources Committee

March 02, 2011 by Serena Bishop

On Tuesday, Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond Equipment testified during the full committee oversight hearing on "The Impact of the Administration’s Wild Lands Order on Jobs and Economic Growth".

Here is the webcast of yesterday’s hearing. Click here to view the entire hearing.

Peter’s testimony starts at the 02:07:10 mark; and its worth watching through to the end. There are some interesting exchanges are during the Q&A after the formal testimony.

The Salt Lake Tribune also covered the hearing.  Here is a snippet of what they had to say.

Peter Metcalf, president and co-founder of outdoor-gear maker Black Diamond, said protecting public lands yields many jobs. He noted the outdoor industry contributes $730 billion to the U.S. economy and supports 6.5 million jobs.

"This ain’t pocket change," Metcalf said.

Read the entire story here.

Introducing the Patagonia Music™ Collective!

March 01, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The Conservation Alliance has been asked to be a part of the Patagonia Music™ Collective; a project teaming up world-class musicians with nonprofit environmental groups working to protect and restore the natural environment.

The Patagonia Music Collective launches today, March 1st!  Ra Ra Riot will donate proceeds from their song “The Orchard (Friendly Ghost Remix)” to The Conservation Alliance.

 Here's how:

1. Click here to visit The Patagonia Music Collective

2. Purchase The Orchard through iTunes

3. Enjoy the sounds of your new favorite track!

The Patagonia Music™ Collective is a new way Patagonia is working to realize their mission: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire solutions to the environmental

Check out Patagonia Music; a robust new sitelet on where listeners can learn about the artists, benefit tracks, environmental groups, new releases, concerts, etc. From Patagonia Music you can go right to iTunes to purchase benefit tracks and download the free Patagonia Music iPhone® app.



America's Great Outdoors

February 17, 2011 by Serena Bishop

On Wednesday, Sally Jewell, President and CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc, introduced President Obama as he unveiled the America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations Report.  REI was a founding member of The Conservation Alliance in 1989, is a Pinnacle Member of The Alliance today and remains active and influential in the success of the organization.

The report on America’s Great Outdoors focuses on connecting American to the great outdoors and the wildspaces of this land.  The AGO report leads with a chapter on the benefits of active, outdoor lifestyles and time spent in the great out-of-doors. The report also calls for the foundation of the Partnership for AGO, a coalition comprised of non-governmental stakeholders to promote innovation, augment partnerships and invest in the future of America’s great outdoors.

 Watch Sally’s introduction and President’s Obama’s speech above or by clicking here.

Learn more about America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations Report here


Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 02/17/11 8:19 PM

February 17, 2011 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
B.C. Legislation for Flathead Only First StepLegislation to prohibit mining and energy development in the Flathead River Valley is only the first of three steps the B.C. government must take to protect the Flathead permanently, Sierra Club BC and partners said today. Read our press release. On February 15, 2011, the B.C. premier's office issued a statement that "the Province has signed an agreement to sustain environmental values in the Flathead Valley, and will introduce legislation to support the 2010 MOU on Environmental Protection, Climate Action and Energy with the State of Montana." “While the legislation is an important step, it does not equate to long-term conservation for the Flathead River Valley,” said Sierra Club BC spokesperson Sarah Cox. “It’s a complete stretch to say that the Flathead is forever protected.” The B.C. government also announced that the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the U.S. Nature Conservancy will contribute $9.4... Read More

44,720 acres protected on the Eastern Front of the Wyoming Range

February 16, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Due in large part to the dedicated work of Conservation Alliance grantee, Wyoming Outdoor Council, 44,270 acres along the Eastern Front of the Wyoming Range is now permantely protected from Oil and Gas Leases.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest released its final decision regarding the fate of 44,720 acres of contested oil and gas leases along the eastern front of the Range.  The U.S. Forest Service has listened to the public, the citizens of Wyoming and of the nation, who said this place is too special to drill.  After more than six years of uncertainty, the agency has decided it will not lease these acres for oil and gas development.

Learn more about this decision and the work of the Wyoming Outdoor Council here.


Take Action to Stop Pebble Mine!

February 14, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Trout Unlimited Bear

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency took a big step toward the protection of Bristol Bay from the permitting of the 54-square-mile open-pit Pebble Mine.  Now it’s your turn to take action!

Help Conservation Alliance grantee Trout Unlimited gain support from Federal Representatives and Senators by clicking on the link below and sending a letter to Washington D.C.

Why Protect Bristol Bay?

The largest sockeye and king salmon runs on earth occur each year in the Kvichak and Nushagak rivers, in the wild Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska. But development of the Pebble Mine could change that over night. Two foreign mining corporations plan to apply this year for government permits to dig a

54-square-mile open-pit giving them access to a mother lode of copper, gold and molybdenum. They’ve spent several hundred million dollars to that end. If they get those permits, their mine will leave behind a lot more than pebbles – rather an estimated 10 billion tons of heavy metals and toxic materials.

The Pebble Partnership assures “respectful resource development,” but last year’s BP oil spill and other lesser environmental disasters demonstrate the inevitable. When the mine’s toxic wastes one day find their way into local waters, the tens of millions of Bristol Bay salmon that today feed the world, and the people of the region who depend on them, will struggle to survive.

More than three quarters of Bristol

Bay-area residents oppose the Pebble Mine. But the State of Alaska refuses to take action to protect the wild rivers, fishing jobs, native cultures and wild salmon threatened by the Pebble Mine. We hope you’ll join us in opposing it, by calling on the federal government to say no to mining interests and instead protect our waters and wetlands in the Bristol Bay watershed.

  Take Action Now! Annouces The Conservation Alliance's One Million Dollar Goal

February 11, 2011 by Serena Bishop, a leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream, reported this week on The Conservation Alliance’s goal of awarding over 1 million dollars to grantees working to save our last wild places.  This announcement was first made at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast in Salt Lake City in mid-January.  The Alliance is poised to award the first half of this 1 million dollars in early April.
Read the entire story at

EPA takes first step toward protecting Bristol Bay

February 09, 2011 by Serena Bishop

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that they would conduct a scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed, the location of the proposed Pebble Mine. 

Conservation Alliance grantee Trout Unlimited, along with federally-recognized Bristol Bay tribes and local business owners, have been working to prevent Pebble Mine, which could destroy 40,000 square miles of wetland and endanger the world’s largest sockeye salmon run.

“Today’s announcement from the EPA is a great first step toward protecting Bristol Bay from the dangers of Pebble Mine,” said Tim Bristol, Director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program. “We are pleased the EPA is doing the right thing by starting a public process and gathering scientific data about how mining would have an impact on the health and environment of Bristol Bay.”

Read teh full EPA press release here.

Peter Metcalf Named Entrepreneur of the Year

February 05, 2011 by Serena Bishop


Peter Metcelf


Congratulations to Peter Metcalf, CEO, president and co-founder of Black Diamond Equipment, for being named the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year!  Peter is a long-time member of The Conservation Alliance, a passionate outdoorsman and has been defender of our most wild places for the entirety of his career.   

Here the whole story here.

Conservation Alliance board member Ted Manning says a lot in just 7 minutes.

February 03, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Ted Manning, Conservation Alliance Board Member and Executive Vice President at Eastern Mountain Sports, recently spoke at the 2011 New Hampshire Environmental Policy Breakfast. 

In seven short minutes, Ted presents the importance of responsibility and environmental conservation from both a personal point of view and from a corporate stand point.  

Click play on the video below and spend 7 minutes of your day really listening to what Ted had to say.  It is worth your time!

After watching this video yesterday afternoon, John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance, commented,  "This is the best 7-minute talk about the importance of business and conservation I have seen in a long time."  

Eastern Mountain Sports is a Pinnacle Member of The Conservation Alliance.  Thanks to both Ted and Will for their continuing commitment to outdoor recreation and environmental conservation! 


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

January 27, 2011 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 for more info.

Update from Sierra Club of British Columbia at 01/27/11 11:11 PM

January 27, 2011 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
Flathead Wild Goes to Alberta - Fill in the Missing Piece of Waterton-Glacier B.C.’s Flathead River Valley is home to an amazing variety of plants and animals as well as some of the purest water on the planet. It’s also a vital link in a globally-significant wildlife corridor and the missing piece of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The Flathead is a nursery for wildlife, including rare and at-risk species, that disperse to the adjacent Waterton-Glacier peace park. Despite a ban on mining and oil and gas development announced by the B.C. government in February 2010, the Flathead is still threatened by logging, grizzly trophy hunting, increased road access, and quarrying. Because of the Flathead River Valley’s proximity to Waterton-Glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, what happens in the valley doesn’t stay in the valley – it directly affects Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta and Glacier National Park in Montana.... Read More

Conservation Alliance Breakfast Welcomes Craig Childs, Friday January 21st

January 18, 2011 by Serena Bishop


At Outdoor Retailer this week in Salt Lake City? Make sure you schedule time for the Conservation Alliance Breakfast. We're happy to welcome writer Craig Childs, with his presentation The Secret Knowledge of Water. Childs has been steeped in water issues, recently returning from Patagonia where he took part in the Rios Libres initiative, documenting the adventure and beauty of the Rio Baker, scheduled to be dammed in 2013.

"To understand a place, you need to drink from its many waters," wrote Childs during last year's expedition to Patagonia.

When: Friday January 21st, 7-8:50am

Where: Salt Lake City Marriott

Photo: Craig Childs watching a huge chunk of ice falling 20 stories down the Neff Glacier.By James Q. Martin

Outdoor Retailer: Get Inspired, Score Awesome Swag + Support the Alliance!

January 17, 2011 by Serena Bishop

It's that time again! Outdoor Retailer is just a week away, so make sure to mark you calendars for some great Conservation Alliance events and promotions!

Day 1: Ready for some friendly competition with other industry friends? Hit the street for the Canada Goose Cup and watch 16 teams compete during the Industry Party.

Day 2: Need some inspiration? Come to the Alliance breakfast and hear renowned author and advocate Craig Childs speak. We know 7a.m. is early... Arrive tired and leave inspired!

Throughout: 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! Details below...


California's Elkhorn Ridge declared Wilderness

January 17, 2011 by Serena Bishop

On Thursday, January 13th, the US Bureau of Land Management announced the designation of more than 11,000 acres of wilderness in Northern California.  The Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness Area was classified as potential wilderness in 2006 under the Northern California Costal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act; a victory protecting 275,000 acres of Wilderness and celebrated by Conservation Alliance grantees California Wild Heritage Campaign and California Wilderness Coalition.

These 11,000 acres were to become wilderness as soon as BLM found a 1,500-acre previously acquired private in-holding to be eligible for a Wilderness designation or five years passed since the act's signing.  On Thursday, the BLM found the area to have naturally rehabilitated itself from years of timber cutting, making it compatible with the Wilderness Act.  This Wilderness designation grants permanent protection for the 11,000 acre Elkhorn Ridge area and 7 miles of the South Fork Eel River. 

"The Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness Area appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature and exhibits outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive and unconfined recreation," BLM announced in the Federal Register. "Although some traces of past logging operations and associated road construction remain, the BLM has determined that the benefits of mechanized restoration are outweighed by the adverse impacts of such mechanized restoration on wilderness character."

Read The Times Standard article here.

EPA vetoes Spruce Mine permit!

January 14, 2011 by Serena Bishop
Spruce Map

West Virginia is celebrating!  The largest single mountaintop removal mining permit in the US, Spruce No.1 Mine, was vetoed by the US Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, January 13th

Conservation Alliance grantee, Appalachian Voices, has been instrumental in protecting the 2,300 acres and six miles of headwater streams surrounding the proposed Spruce No.1 Mine.

EPA officials said their agency is "acting under the law and using the best science available to protect water quality, wildlife and Appalachian communities who rely on clean waters for drinking, fishing and swimming."

Read the whole story here.

Learn more about Appalachian Voices here.

Recreational Equipment Inc. Receives The Sharp End Award

January 13, 2011 by Serena Bishop

Each year The Access Fund presentsThe Sharp End Award to individuals and businesses going above and beyond to preserve climbing access and the climbing environment.

REI, a Conservation Alliance founding member and long time steward of our wild places, received The Sharp End award this year because of a long-term dedicate to protecting the places we climb.  REI's support of both the Adopt a Crag program and the TeamWorks youth stewardship program has grown local volunteerism and long-term stewardship of climbing areas tremendously. In 2010, REI increased their support of the climbing community through the REI VISA card and proceeds from BANFF Mountain Film Festival.

Read the whole article and learn about other award recipients here.

Merrell Increases Commitment to The Conservation Alliance as a Pinnacle Member

January 11, 2011 by John Sterling

We are pleased to announce that Merrell has increased their commitment to The Conservation Alliance by becoming our newest Pinnacle Member. Pinnacle Members contribute at least $100,000 annually to the Alliance.

"Merrell's brand cause is about getting people outside," said Craig Throne, vice president of global marketing for Merrell. "To help drive that effort we make protecting our natural places a priority as they will inspire current and future generations to recreate in the outdoors. The Conservation Alliance is leading this effort and we are proud to extend our support to a Pinnacle level to help defend our natural outdoor playground."

Merrell first joined The Conservation Alliance in 2001, and has been a rock-solid member ever since. When we launched our Legacy Fund endowment campaign in 2008, Merrell dove right in, committing $500,000 toward our $3.5-million goal. With the Pinnacle commitment, Merrell again demonstrates its unflinching dedication to protecting North America's wild places.

"We are thrilled that Merrell has stepped up to the Pinnacle Member level," said John Sterling, executive director of The Conservation Alliance. "Merrell is a leader in our industry, and with this commitment, they demonstrate an above-and-beyond commitment to protecting the wild places so important to outdoor consumers."

The Conservation Alliance launched the Pinnacle member level in August 2010. With the addition of Merrell, we now have six Pinnacle members: Merrell; Patagonia; The North Face; REI; Eastern Mountain Sports; and KEEN, Inc. Their commitments will ensure that we contribute more than $1 million to conservation organizations for the first time in 2011.

Huge thanks to Merrell, and to ALL the companies that make The Conservation Alliance such a critical piece of the outdoor industry's commitment to land and water conservation.

Wilderness on tap for the 112th Congress!

January 06, 2011 by Serena Bishop


The first day of the 112th Congress is now history; and written into that history is great news for Wilderness.  During the first day of this new Congressional term, two important California Wilderness bills were introduced.

Representative David Dreier (Republican of Rancho Cucamonga) introduced the "Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests Protection Act" which, when passed, will enlarge the Cucamonga and Sheep Mountain Wilderness Areas in the San Gabriel Mountains by approximately 18,000 acres.

Representative Darrell Issa (Republican of Vista) reintroduced the "Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act," which, when passed, will add over 7,000 acres to the Agua Tibia Wilderness and 13,635 acres to the Beauty Mountain Wilderness.

The introduction of these two bills is a great first step toward the protection of almost 40,000 acres of Wilderness in California and is due in large part to the unyielding efforts of Conservation Alliance Grantee, California Wilderness Coalition.

To learn more about the work of the California Wilderness Coalition, click here.

The Economic Benefits of Wilderness, Like Wilderness Itself, Can Last Forever.

January 03, 2011 by Serena Bishop
Two days before Christmas, at Conservation Alliance member Recreation Equipment, Inc's flagship store in Denver, CO, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced an important policy change; the Bureau of Land Management is now directed to identify and maintain an updated inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics. 


This announcement is not only important because it allows the BLM to plan for potential future Wilderness designations by ensuring that certain lands maintain Wilderness qualities until Congress can act; it is also an important announcement for the health of our economy.

Wilderness protection provides economic benefit for local communities.  Hunters, anglers, hikers, campers and all types of recreational enthusiasts are eager to spend money and create jobs near areas with adventure potential.

Click here to read the whole story from The Salt Lake Tribune

Update from Adirondack Council at 01/01/11 8:28 PM

January 01, 2011 by Adirondack Council
A critical step in protecting the 161,000-acre former Finch Pruyn paper lands in the Adirondack Park was announced Dec. 30th: Read More