The Conservation Alliance

Home

Conservation Alliance Blog

Favorites on Friday: Downeast Lakes Land Trust Celebrates!

December 21, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Mark Berry

In 2011, The Conservation Alliance funded Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s West Grand Lake Community Forest Campaign to permanently protect 21,700 acres as a community forest.

On Tuesday, December 18th, the acquisition of a conservation easement on this land was announced. This easement includes 17 miles of shoreline on West Grand, Big, and Lower Oxbrook lakes, along with frontage on Big Musquash Stream and conserves 1/4 mile on the west side of Grand Lake Stream above Big Falls. This is a major milestone in the West Grand Lake Community Forest Project.

“Grand Lake Stream has a rich heritage as a destination for outdoor recreation,” said Mark Berry, Executive Director of Downeast Lakes Land Trust. “By permanently conserving these lands, and guaranteeing they will always be open to the public for recreation, we’re protecting that heritage and a way of life for future generations.”

Click here to read more.

{worthWILD} ALLEGANY

December 19, 2012 by Serena Bishop

{worthWILD} ALLEGANY from Conservation Alliance on Vimeo.

The Conservation Alliance has released {worthWILD} ALLEGANY, the third video in the {worthWILD} series. The film tells the story of Adirondack Mountain Club's successful campaign to protect New York's Allegany State Park from oil drilling, and related habitat destruction, landscape alteration, and ground and surface water contamination.

Unwilling to accept energy development in a popular state park, Adirondack Mountain Club organized and then amplified the voices of people who love Allegany State Park.This short film illustrates how these collective voices came together to convince the State of New York to designate 85 percent of the 65,000-acre park as Park Preservation Area.

Click here to watch the film.

Everest Textile: The Triple Bottom Line

December 18, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Everest Textile Eco-Industrial Park

Conservation Alliance member and textile manufacturer, Everest Textile Co., LTD, have devoted themselves to “Co-creating Triple-Bottom-Line.”

They believe that caring about and helping others; and protecting our wild places is good for business. Everest is a global innovation-sustainability solution provider of textiles to the outdoor industry and they take the responsibility of corporate citizenship very seriously; working diligently to make their business a model of sustainability.

Everest’s focus on sustainability started with reducing energy consumption (an economic aspect) and reducing their carbon footprint (an environmental aspect), but has since extended further to include social justice and integrity (a social aspect). Everest aims to achieve “Triple-Bottom-Line” from these three sustainable perspectives: Economy, Environment and Society.

Everest is a market leader and has been rewarded for these efforts – receiving a number of awards from the Taiwanese government including the Taiwan Green Benchmarking Award, the Green Factory Award (including the certification and recognition of green buildings and cleaner production), and receiving final confirmation for the Everest Textile Eco-Industrial Park as the Sight-seeing Factory.

To learn more about Everest Textile Co. and their commitment to a sustainable future, click here to check out their Sustainability Report.

Everest Natural Education Farm

Everest Show Room

Roger Yeh (left), President of Everest, received the Green Factory Award from Ministry Economics Affairs of Taiwan

 

Breaking News: Oil, gas development banned in B.C's Sacred Headwaters

December 18, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Brian Huntington

The British Columbia government has confirmed a ban on oil and gas development in the Sacred Headwaters region of northwestern B.C; a huge success for Conservation Alliance grantee Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition.

"There are no words to even describe how we're feeling about this right now," Shannon McPhail, the executive director of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, said after hearing the annoucement.

"This has been a long road of 10 years of working on this and I think it has been a huge victory."

The moratorium will prevent Shell Canada from doing exploratory drilling in the area, which is home to the headwaters of three salmon-bearing rivers: the Skeena, Nass and Stikine.

Read more here.

Favorites on Friday: A love of the GREAT outdoors inspires CLIF Bar's commitment to Protect the Places We Play.

December 14, 2012 by Serena Bishop
      
At CLIF Bar, a spirit of adventure and love for the outdoors inspires a commitment to Protect the Places We Play; climate change is the biggest threat to these places.
 
CLIF Bar challenges themselves, their partners and their consumers to be a part of the efforts needed to restore our planet for future generations.
 
CLIF Bar & Company is a Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member; contributing at least $100,000 annually to The Conservation Alliance. We are grateful to CLIF Bar for going above-and-beyond their required membership dues to further our efforts to protect North America's wild places.

Celebrate our breathtaking mountains

December 12, 2012 by Tuleyome
By Special to The Davis Enterprise From page A6 | December 11, 2012 By Charlotte Orr Dec. 11 has been designated International Mountain Day. The day was created by the United Nations in 2003 to promote awareness about the importance of the world’s mountains and highlands. Mountains are crucial to life, provide most of the world’s fresh water, harbor a rich variety of plants and animals, and are home to one in 10 people. Luckily in our back yard, you don’t have to go far to appreciate breathtaking mountains. Nearby, there is Berryessa Peak, the highest point of Blue Ridge, a small mountain ridge east of Lake Berryessa. In September 2008, private landowners established a trail easement that opened up 9,100 acres of public lands and gave public access to the remarkable views and summit of Berryessa Peak. Also worth mentioning is Snow Mountain, in the 37,000-acre Snow Mountain Wilderness... Read More

Time to Renew New Year's Resolutions!

December 12, 2012 by Tuleyome
It's time to start thinking of those New Year's resolutions!This year,  we ask that you resolve to help us permanently protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain region!Visit our website at www.berryessasnowmountain.org for more information!... Read More

Favorites on Friday: A Free Flowing River

December 07, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Ben Knight

On October 26, 2011, at 12pm in the afternoon, the Condit Dam came down. The White Salmon River, in Washington State, was free to flow for the first time in 100 years.

On November 11, 2012, just over one year later, the first organized float down the White Salmon River took place. The water was clear, salmon swam by, wildlife was abundant.

“You think back a year ago to when the blast happened, when all that sediment was let loose. Just a year later, the salmon are spawning in the lower river. It’s incredible how resilient the river and the salmon are. It’s a new river, and it’s still evolving so much.” Said Amy Kober of American Rivers.

In 1993, The Conservation Alliance funded American Whitewater for its campaign to implement a plan to improve recreational access to the nation's whitewater rivers and streams. A major component of that effort was to restore the White Salmon River in Washington State by removing the Condit Dam.

Nearly 20 years later, this project succeeded with the breaching of the dam, and restoration of the magnificent White Salmon River.

Learn more about The Joyous First Descent of a Newly Dam-Free River over at Adventure Journal.

The Story to Save the Gaviota Coast Forever

December 04, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 
 

In just over two generations, 280 of the 300 miles of southern California's once unspoiled coastline have been lost to development, FOREVER. Only 20 miles of coastline remain undeveloped and unprotected -- for every generation that follows us.

 

Twenty men, for twenty years, for twenty miles... This is the story of the Surfrider Foundation, Santa Barbara Chapter's epic struggle to preserve the Gaviota Coast - southern California's last remaining stretch of unspoiled, rural coastline. For twenty years, twenty men have withstood a slew of deep-pocket developers, major corporations, and elected officials in their effort to protect the Gaviota Coast's incredible biodiversity and unparalleled scenic beauty.

"The Twenty" is an inspiring story of ordinary people, fueled by their passion and their love, who stand together against improbable odds to defend one of California's last great places.

To learn more about how to get involved and protect the Gaviota Coast, visit Surfrider and The Twenty.

Upholding the Law, Protecting the Land, Sharing the Wealth

November 29, 2012 by West Coast Environmental Law
The Gitanyow Huwilp Recognition and Reconciliation AgreementThe announcement of a landmark agreement between the Province of British Columbia and the Gitanyow Nation in late September, 2012 was made with surprisingly little fanfare or media coverage. Yet the Gitanyow Huwilp Recognition and Reconciliation Agreement (the “Gitanyow Agreement”), covering the ancestral territories (Lax’yip) of the Gitanyow in the mid-Nass and Skeena (upper Kitwanga and upper Kispiox) watersheds, was of deep significance not only for the people, the land, and the water of the Gitanyow territories but for all British Columbians.  West Coast Environmental Law provided legal support to the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs in negotiating this agreement.A cornerstone of the Gitanyow Agreement was provincial recognition of the Gitanyow Lax’yip Protection Plan (referred to in the agreement as the Gitanyow Lax’yip Land Use Plan). This plan provides direction about land and resource use in the territories of the eight Gitanyow Huwilp, which cover an... Read More

Conservation is never easy, but it is worth the effort.

November 27, 2012 by Serena Bishop

A note from John Sterling, Executive Director.

Photo: William Thompson

At a meeting earlier this year, The Conservation Alliance board and staff learned from a pollster that roughly 75 percent of voters in the Intermountain West support stronger protections for public lands and open space. In the wake of the 2012 elections, it is tempting to assume that the results reflect that public support for conservation. Time will tell.

The Conservation Alliance Staff and Board spent three days in Boulder, CO earlier this month, at our annual Board Retreat developing our Annual Operating Plan for 2013. Among other things, we discussed what the election means for our conservation efforts, and the work of our grantees.

In general, we see a lot of encouraging signs. Second-term presidents tend to start thinking about their legacy, and most designate new National Monuments to leave their mark on the land. We have supported several campaigns to designate National Monuments, and have every reason to believe that President Obama will lead on this front before he leaves office (he has already designated three small monuments).

Obama's Interior Department is also poised to finalize a historic management plan for the Western Arctic that will protect up to 11 million acres. Congress will likely remain a dysfunctional mess. But the Senate - with a larger pro-conservation majority - is in a better position to move public lands legislation.

Notably, Sen. Jon Tester from Montana narrowly won re-election while touting his proposal to protect 750,000 acres of Wilderness in the state.

The House will remain challenging, but the election (and redistricting) created several new opportunities for land protection, particularly in California.

Conservation is never easy, but it's worth the effort. The projects we fund promise to permanently save many of our last wild places. As we drafted our 2013 Annual Operating Plan - a mundane task - we kept those places in mind.

We wrap up 2012 with optimism that our efforts are broadly supported, and that our decision makers will honor the will of the people who elected them.

Onward!

Take Action Tuesday: Wild Olympics

November 20, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Wild Olympics for Our Future from Wild Olympics on Vimeo.

The Conservation Alliance has twice funded American Whitewater’s Wild Olympics Campaign, to designate two dozen Wild and Scenic rivers representing more than 450 river miles, new wilderness areas that protect key watersheds, and additions to Olympic National Park that enhance watershed protection.

The Wild Olympics Campaign has broad, local support for new Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers; protecting the last wild places on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Make your voice heard in the fight to protect these special places by clicking here to sign a letter to Congressman Dicks, Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell in support of the Wild Olympics Campaign.

Favorites on Friday: The Sacred Headwaters

November 09, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Sacred Headwaters from Paul Colangelo on Vimeo.

The Conservation Alliance has funded the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition's Sacred Headwaters Campaign to secure permanent protection for one million acres of the Sacred Headwaters, a pristine wilderness area surrounding BC's Skeena, Nass, and Stikine Rivers. 

Located in remote northern British Columbia, the Sacred Headwaters is the shared birthplace of three of the province's greatest salmon rivers -- the Stikine, Skeena and Nass. It supports an extraordinary population of large mammals, and it is the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation. Numerous mining developments are proposed for the Sacred Headwaters, including a coal bed methane development spanning nearly one million acres and an open-pit gold and copper mine on Todagin Mountain, home to Stone's sheep.

Learn about the Sacred Headwaters by watching the video above, with National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis and photographs by Paul Colangelo.

To learn more and support this campaign, please visit www.skeenawatershed.com.

Special thanks to Patagonia for making this video possible. 

Take Action Tuesday: VOTE

November 06, 2012 by Serena Bishop

"The environment is where we live, where we work, and where we play," said Dana Alston, a pioneer in the environmental movement.

It is also any place you love. We need to elect leaders committed to the places we live, work, and play - and the places we love. 

Make your voice heard, VOTE!   

Support New Wilderness!

November 05, 2012 by Colorado Environmental Coalition
Two important Congressional efforts are underway that will make this proposal a reality; Senator Mark Udall's Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal and Congressman Jared Polis's Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act. Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal (http://www.markudall.senate.gov/?p=form&id=52) Colorado's Senior Senator, Mark Udall, announced on February 26 2012 that he will begin the process of taking public input and doing stakeholder outreach for a possible Wilderness Bill. His process will hopefully shape a Bill that he will introduce into the Senate. His maps show 32 areas in three Colorado counties (Pitkin, Eagle and Summit) totaling about 335,000 acres. The areas are a mix of designated as wilderness and special-management areas. Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act (http://polis.house.gov/Wilderness/) Congressman Jared Polis, who represents the 2nd Congressional District of Colorado, introduced the Summit and Eagle County Preservation Act into both the 211th and 212th Congresses. Congressman Polis' bill protects 167,000 acres... Read More

Favorites on Friday: Marmot and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance team up to support The Conservation Alliance

November 02, 2012 by Serena Bishop

During the month of November, Marmot is partnering with the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance to raising funds for The Conservation Alliance.

undefined 

Here's the deal:

Purchase $99 or more of Marmot merchandise from a participating Grassroots Outdoor Alliance member during November and Marmot will donate $10 directly to The Conservation Alliance.

It's that simple.  Re-up your winter wardrobe and support The Conservation Alliance.

Here's a list of participating GOA members:

The Outside World

Mountain Chalet

Base Camp Billings

Base Camp Helena

Summit Canyon

Champaign Surplus

Skinny Skis

Peak Sports

Half Moon Outfitters

Diamond Brand

Travel Country

Summit Hut

Wilson's

Massey's

Black Creek Outfitters

Appalachian Outdoors

Alpine Shop

Trailblazer

Mountain High

River Sports Outfitters

Appalachian Outfitters

Casual Adventures

Outside Hilton Head

Midwest Mountaineering

Backcountry North

Ute Mountaineer

Nat's Outdoor

Bill Jackson's

Outdoor Source

Rock Creek Outfitters

Wyoming Outdoor Council One Step Closer to Success

October 30, 2012 by Serena Bishop

In 2009, The Conservation Alliance funded Wyoming Outdoor Council's Wyoming Range Campaign, to halt energy leases issued on 100,000 acres of public land in the Wyoming Range, safeguarding a haven for outdoor adventure and wildlife.  Leases on 44,720 acres of this land have been successfully halted and an additional 58,000 acres are one step closer to protection.

Plains Exploration and Production, a Houston-based company, has agreed to sell approximately 58,000 acres of valid oil and gas leases in the Upper Hoback area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, along the Eastern Front of the Wyoming Range, just south of Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park.

The company had planned to develop a 136-well gas field in this priceless wildlife, hunting and recreation area. The landscape where this full-field development would have taken place is one of Wyoming's treasured places -- an area, in fact, that just about nobody in Wyoming wanted to see developed.

This lease buyout -- with a willing buyer and a willing seller -- is the culmination of years of work by the Wyoming Outdoor Council its partners, including The Conservation Alliance.

When the historic buyout was announced earlier this month, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, former Governor Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming State Legislators, and more than 100 local residents, including hunters, anglers, ranchers, and mineral industry workers all celebrated.

"This is an outstanding outcome for the people of Wyoming-a true ‘win-win' resolution. It respects both the wishes of local residents and the legal rights of leaseholders," Governor Mead said.

Thanks to the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, passed by Congress in 2009, these leases underlying the Bridger-Teton National Forest can never be leased again.

Citizens for the Wyoming Range, a group of local hunters and residents, also endorsed the deal.

"We always felt like a lease buyout was the cleanest, and a win-win, solution. It's a Wyoming solution to a Wyoming problem," group spokesman Dan Smitherman told The Associated Press.

This $8.75 million buyout is the culmination of years of work by a truly diverse group of Wyoming citizens who came together to prevent the development of this major gas field -- a field that nearly everyone agreed would have been a bad idea for western Wyoming's wildlife, air quality, and one of its most special places -- near the southern approach to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park.

About half of the $8.75 million needed for the buyout has been raised.

To learn more about the Wyoming Outdoor Council and their work in the Wyoming Range, please click here.

Volunteers Needed

October 29, 2012 by Tuleyome
We are in need of volunteers for  projects related to the (proposed) Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area! Volunteer Positions:- Trail Building (within the proposed NCA)- Community Outreach (tabling, canvassing, etc) - Field work (surveys within the proposed NCA) - Information officer (databasing, organizing materials)-Campaign Ambassador  (campus/student position) For more information about volunteering with the proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area, please contact Charlotte Orr at corr@tuleyome.org  or (530) 350-2599... Read More

Community Meeting at Lake Berryessa

October 29, 2012 by Tuleyome
On October 25, 2012, the Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce, Lake Berryessa Lions Club, and the Lake Berryessa Senior Center held a community meeting to discuss the proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area.   In attendance was Congressman Mike Thompson, and panelists included Rich Burns, a field manager for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Napa County Supervisors Diane Dillon and Keith Caldwell.  Questions were also fielded by technical experts including: Don Glaser, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s director for the mid-Pacific region, Sara Husby, executive director of Tuleyome; and Ken Wysocki, a representative for the U.S. Forest Service.    There was a great turnout from the community; nearly 150 locals participated in the meeting. Congressman Thompson's welcome approach to questions from the crowd was comforting to locals that had expressed concerns over the legislation.   Rep. Thompson later stated, “Many thanks to all who came out to our... Read More

October Lake Berryessa Community Meeting

October 29, 2012 by Tuleyome
On October 25, 2012, the Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce, Lake Berryessa Lions Club, and the Lake Berryessa Senior Center held a community meeting to discuss the proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area.  In attendance was Congressman Mike Thompson, and panelists included Rich Burns, a field manager for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Napa County Supervisors Diane Dillon and Keith Caldwell.  Questions were also fielded by technical experts including: Don Glaser, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s director for the mid-Pacific region, Sara Husby, executive director of Tuleyome; and Ken Wysocki, a representative for the U.S. Forest Service.  There was a good turnout from the community; nearly 150 locals participated in the meeting. Congressman Thompson's welcome approach to questions from the crowd was comforting to locals that had expressed concerns over the legislation. Rep. Thompson later stated, “Many thanks to all who came out to our recent community... Read More

Leisure Trends Group Founder, Jim Spring, Passes Away

October 25, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

We were sad to learn yesterday of the passing of Jim Spring, founder of Leisure Trends Group, a Conservation Alliance member. I never met Jim, but got to know him "virtually" through his committed engagment in The Conservation Alliance. We could always rely on Jim to honor basic responsibilities of membership: voting for which organizations we should fund; nominating organizations to submit grant requests; and of course, paying membership dues. Several times over the past five years, we asked our members to sign on to letters in support of conservation initiatives that we had funded. Jim was always quick to add Leisure Trends' name -- and logo -- to those letters. Under Jim's leadership, Leisure Trends was a rock solid member of The Conservation Alliance.

We received a call yesterday from one of Jim's colleagues at Leisure Trends letting us know that they are asking people to donate to The Conservation Alliance to honor Jim's memory. She went on to say that Jim was proud of Leisure Trends' participation in the Alliance, and always worked hard to share news about the organization with his team in Boulder. In the course of managing our membership of nearly 200 businesses, we don't always hear stories about how leaders like Jim embrace our work internally. As we work from our small office in Oregon, it's an honor to know that we do not work alone; that people like Jim Spring are carrying our commitment to protecting wild places into their communities.

We'll miss you, Jim. Thanks for all that you did for The Conservation Alliance.

Take Action Tuesday: Vote the Environment

October 23, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Election season is upon us, and Patagonia is back with the Vote the Environment campaign.

"The environment is where we live, where we work, and where we play," said Dana Alston, a pioneer in the environmental movement.

It is also any place you love. We need to elect leaders committed to the places we live, work, and play - and the places we love.

League of Conservation Voters, HeadCount, the band Wilco, and Patagonia have joined together this year to elevate Vote the Environment 2012. We are encouraging people to register to vote, get educated about their candidates' environmental voting records, and share their stories about the places, wildlife, and outdoor activities they love.

 Ultimately, we'll be bringing our environmental values to the voting booth on November 6.

 Learn more by clicking here.

Favorites on Friday: Cook-Out with Conrad. A guest post by Blair Witte

October 19, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Editor's Note: Blair Witte, Outdoor Participation & Community Development Coordinator at The North Face, was instrumental in making the Bay Area Cookout With Conrad a success! We would like to thank Blair for all her efforts in support of The Conservation Alliance.

Working in the Outdoor Industry is an interesting juxtaposition because although the word "outdoor" is in the title, we tend to have to spend the multitude of our work week sitting in front of a computer.  So, when I was asked to help coordinate a climbing event with The Conservation Alliance this past week, I was super excited about the prospect of mixing work with play.

The  "Cook-Out with Conrad" event was an idea fostered at Summer Outdoor Retailer by The Conservation Alliance Outreach Committee with a purpose of connecting Conservation Alliance Ambassadors from different companies and collaborating on ways to share information about the great work that The Conservation Alliance is doing.

 Ambassadors from The North Face, Camelbak, Mountain Hardwear and The Forest Group had the privilege of being mentored in bouldering by epic mountaineer, rock climber and environmental enthusiast, Conrad Anker. It was not only a great opportunity to meet people who share the same passions, but also served as a brainstorming session to start to think about ways we can get people excited in our own companies about what The Conservation Alliance is working on.

The most important thing I took away from the event was that when it comes to conservation and the preservation of the places we play- there's really no competition regardless of the product you're selling.

 

Chimney Rock Protected as a National Monument

October 16, 2012 by Serena Bishop

On September 21st, President Obama used the Antiquities Act to designate Chimney Rock as the United State's 103rd National Monument.  The Chimney Rock National Monument, a 5,000 acre archaeological site located in the San Juan National Forest of Southwest Colorado, is now permanently protected.  

In addition to protecting Chimney Rock for future generations, the National Monument Designation wil be a source of economic opportunity in Colorado, attracting new business and tourism. According to a study commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the national monument designation is expected to double economic activity from tourism in the area over the next five years. 

Protected public lands like Chimney Rock provide outdoor enthusists with places to recreate and strong economic opportunites for surrounding areas.  Outdoor recreation alone contributes an estimated $650 billion a year to our economy, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

Learn more about Chimeny Rock from the The Washington Post and The Whitehouse Council of Environmental Quality.

Backyard Collective Bend: a beautiful day of river restoration

October 12, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

Brilliant sunshine greeted volunteers at Riverbend Park last Tuesday in Bend. Volunteers from RuffwearREIQuick Feat International, Oregon Natural Desert Association and Central Oregon Landwatch arrived ready for a day of riparian stewardship lead by our partner, Kolleen Yake, Education Director at Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.

 

 Earlier that morning, 700 locally propagated native plants including cottonwood, water birch, woods' rose, dogwood and fescue were delivered to the staging area along a beloved stretch of the Deschutes River that is frequented by hikers, joggers, and water recreationists.

 

 

Our energetic volunteers were up to the task of planting them with enthusiasm and care. Soon shovels were digging, gloved hands were planting and conversations covered all variety of topics.

The Riverbend site was once a severely degraded vacant lot prior to a restoration partnership between the Watershed Council and Bend Metro Park and Recreation District in 2007. After more than 400 hours of volunteer effort, 2,084 native plants and 25 pounds of seed, it now represents an excellent example of community-based restoration. 

 

 

 

It seemed fitting that this event, the last of the 2012 Backyard Collective season truly was in our backyard. Local dogs and more than a few friends happened by on the path throughout the morning effort.

 

 

The day closed with lunch from Nancy P's bakery, an update from local grant recipients at ONDA and Central Oregon Landwatch, followed up by a pop quiz with prizes from REI Bend.

We're grateful to all of the volunteers, our partners at Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and our event sponsors at Backporch Coffee, Stanley and Icebreaker.

Bill for Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Introduced

October 11, 2012 by Tuleyome
Bill seeks protection of 319,000 acres May 08, 2012 | Written by Cory GoldenA bill introduced by Democratic lawmakers seeks to designate 319,000 acres of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region, including portions of western Yolo County, as a national conservation area.House Resolution 5545 seeks to improved coordination between federal agencies, protect migratory corridors for wildlife, keep water clean and boost the chances for federal funding of projects addressing invasive plants, conservation, recreation and a multi-agency fire management plan.“The Berryessa Snow Mountain Region is a unique national treasure and we have a responsibility to preserve it for our kids and grandkids,” Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, said in a news release. Thompson introduced the bill with Reps. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and Lynn Woolsey, DPetaluma.“Designating the region as a National Conservation Area will preserve the land, help our local economies, and protect a wide variety of plants and animals,” Thompson said.... Read More

Senator Boxer Introduces Bill for Berryessa Snow Mountain

October 11, 2012 by Tuleyome
Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara BoxerJuly 11, 2012Boxer Introduces Bill to Create Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation AreaLegislation Would Help Better Protect 319,000 Acres of Public Lands in Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Yolo Counties.Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced legislation that would designate the Berryessa Snow Mountain region as a National Conservation Area to better manage and protect 319,000 acres of federal lands in Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Yolo Counties and to promote recreational opportunities across the region. Senator Boxer said, “The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is one of California’s treasures, and this bill will help ensure that it is protected for future generations to enjoy. The designation of a new National Conservation Area will not only help preserve the region’s natural resources, it will also promote tourism and create jobs in local communities.” The legislation would designate a new National Conservation Area encompassing 319,000 acres... Read More

Like Berryessa Snow Mountain on Facebook

October 11, 2012 by Tuleyome
We would like to encourage all of our supporters to "like" our new Berryessa Snow Mountain page on Facebook! To like Berryessa Snow Mountain, please visit http://www.facebook.com/BerryessaSnowMountain Share our upcoming events, campaign updates, and fun posts with pictures of the plants, wildlife and places in the Berryessa Snow Mountain region!... Read More

Patagonia Footwear and Onlineshoes.com Partner for Advocate Week in Support of The Conservation Alliance

October 09, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Patagonia Footwear and Onlineshoes.com are partnering to raise awareness and funds for The Conservation Alliance during Advocate Weeks; October 9th -22nd.

During Advocate Weeks, OnlineShoes will highlight some of our grantees on their blog and Patagonia will donate $10 to TCA for every Patagonia shoe sold on OnlineShoes.com.

Visit Onlineshoes.com by clicking here. 

Foothills Water Network Celebrates Proposed License Conditions That Will Improve the Yuba and Bear River's Health for Next 50 Years

October 08, 2012 by Foothills Water Network
Building upon eight years of investment in the relicensing process, the Foothills Water Network and its members have achieved some major successes. These successes are best reflected by the Forest Service’s and Bureau of Land Management’s filings of the Preliminary Conditions for the new licenses affecting the Yuba and Bear watersheds.  The Foothills Water Network was instrumental in negotiating these license conditions. Preliminary license conditions for the next 50 year license term include:        Increased minimum instream flows for 44 river reaches of the Yuba and Bear Rivers to improve aquatic health.        Increased spring flows and restoration of a spring snowmelt recession that simultaneously improves Rainbow trout and Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog habitat as well as increased predictable whitewater boating opportunities.       Increased minimum instream flows in the South Yuba and Middle Yuba Rivers to strategically cool the rivers in the event of summertime heat waves to improve habitat for Rainbow... Read More

Favorites on Friday: Save the Date for The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Cheryl Strayed

October 05, 2012 by Serena Bishop
undefinedSave the Date!

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast

WILD 

A presentation by Cheryl Strayed

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

7AM-9AM

Marriott Downtown Salons F-I  

Salt Lake City, UT 

Click here for details 

 

 

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, Wild. At age 22, Strayed found herself shattered by two major life events: her mother's sudden death from cancer and the end of her young marriage. To cope, Strayed used drugs and sex before she hit rock bottom and confronted her emotional pain by attempting to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild tells the amateur hiker's tale, and illustrates the healing power of our wild places. Strayed is also the author of the novel Torch, and her stories and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure, and The Best American Essays. Open to the public, bring a friend.

Brown Bridge Dam Removal Update

October 05, 2012 by Conservation Resource Alliance
The powerhouse at Brown Bridge Dam has been removed and restoration of the blue-ribbon Boardman River to its relic channel is progressing. The dewatering structure is complete and final drawdown of the remaing impoundment will now start. This will allow the remaining infrastructure of this 95 year old hydro-electric dam to be removed and the first of thee historic dams slated for deconstruction to set this cold-water trout stream free again. The Conservation Resource Alliance is leading a team of dedicated partners through the steps that will return the Boardman to a more natural state, improving habitat and recreational opportunities for the million of diverse users of this resource.... Read More

Protecting Oregon's Wild and Scenic Chetco River

October 04, 2012 by Earthworks
The Wild and Scenic Chetco River in southwest Oregon originates in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, and traverses for 44.5 free-flowing miles before it empties into the Pacific Ocean. The river was formally protected, through an Act of Congress in 1988, in recognition of its remarkable fishery, strikingly clear waters and recreational opportunities. Renowned for its world-class salmon and steelhead runs, the Checto attracts tens of thousands of tourists annually for fishing and recreation. Its water is exceptionally pure and clean, drawing rafters and kayakers, and providing domestic water supplies for the towns of Brookings and Harbor. We have a unique opportunity to protect the entire length of the Wild and Scenic River from mining.  The Bureau of Land Management has just declared existing mining claims along approximately twenty miles of the river forfeited, and recently granted the Chetco River a temporary two-year mineral withdrawal ending in July 2013. New claims cannot... Read More

{worthWILD} Our Rivers

October 02, 2012 by Serena Bishop

{worthWILD} OUR RIVERS from Conservation Alliance on Vimeo.

The Conservation Alliance has just released Our Rivers, the second video in the worthWILD series, telling the story of a successful partnership between Conservation Alliance grantee American Whitewater and Conservation Alliance member, Portland-based outdoor footwear brand, KEEN, in their efforts to save rivers nationwide. This documentary shows how AW and KEEN are working together, with support from The Conservation Alliance, to save whitewater rivers by bringing down dams, protecting water flows and habitats, and providing outdoor recreationalists with places to adventure.

Today, many of the nation’s whitewater rivers are threatened by water storage or diversion to supply water to urban sprawl. American Whitewater and KEEN see the importance of healthy rivers for humans, fish, and the beauty of our landscape, and are actively working to preserve and protect them from such imminent threats. Their efforts have led to securing flow protections for iconic Colorado rivers, blocking the Flaming Gorge Pipeline Project on the Green River (WY/UT/CO), and dam removals including the Dillsboro Dam on the Tuckasegee River (NC) and the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River (WA).

“Protecting whitewater rivers is our number one passion at American Whitewater,” said American Whitewater Executive Director Mark Singleton. “We are continuously working to prevent the threats posed on our rivers and reversing the damage that has been done through dam removal projects. These rivers are vital to our existence. Both financial and personal partnerships with The Conservation Alliance and KEEN are allowing us to save our rivers. We will continue to make a difference through these committed partnerships.”

The Conservation Alliance has funded American Whitewater eight times since 1993, contributing close to $250,000 to AW campaigns to protect North America’s last wild rivers. In conjunction with this support, AW has tuned in to like-minded Conservation Alliance members including KEEN.

“Since KEEN was founded in 2003, we promised to serve as activists for positive change for the environment,” said Chris Enlow of KEEN. “Partnerships with American Whitewater and The Conservation Alliance have been instrumental in helping us live up to this promise. Together, we can make a better impact.”

Produced by Alexandria Bombach’s Red Reel Video, the Our Rivers ‘worthWILD’ video is the second of four documentaries that the Conservation Alliance is rolling out over the next four months.

Watch the worthWILD-Our Rivers video here. For more information about the dynamic duo, visit American Whitewater and KEEN, Inc.

Supreme court rejects challenge to roadless rule in national forests

October 01, 2012 by Serena Bishop

           Photo: Scott Smith

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away an appeal challenging a federal rule that bars development on 50 million acres of roadless areas in national forests, including Utah.

The justices said Monday they will leave in place a federal appeals court decision that upheld the so called roadless rule that took effect late in the presidency of Bill Clinton.

The roadless rule enacted under Clinton in 2001 had been upheld earlier by both the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit in separate cases.

Nearly 12 years after it was first announced, the Roadless Rule has faced endless legal challenges. The Supreme Court’s decision not to review the legality of the rule should put an end to the wrangling, and protect our Forest Service Roadless Areas once and for all.

For more information, click here

Favorites on Friday: New Hampshire receives a big, Backyard Collective hug

September 28, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

More than 100 volunteers from Eastern Mountain Sports, NEMO Equipment, Polartec, Vibram and ECCO came together for a variety of stewardship projects across the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire last Tuesday. 

This year’s Northeast Backyard Collective also marked a special celebration for our hosts at Eastern Mountain Sports as they celebrated their 45th anniversary.

Beth Marchand, Marketing Manager at EMS, was integral in planning the day’s activities, working with Miller State Park, Greenfield State Park, The Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Monadnock Conservancy, the Harris Center for Conservation Education as well as a number of EMS employees who selected some of their favorite waterway and bike paths for improvements.

 

Volunteers worked in a number of small groups participating in a number of activities ranging from invasive plant removal, path and waterway cleanup, picnic table repair, trail construction, clearing and other improvements.

 
Falling rain did not dampen our day, not one iota. Teams worked together to achieve the day’s objectives with skill and good cheer.

 

Following a successful workday, volunteers gathered at EMS Base Camp for lunch, conversation and a Volunteer Fair.  Joining us were representatives from Monadnock Conservancy, The Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Trust for Public Land, Northeast Wilderness Trust and Forest Society, and New Hampshire State Parks on hand to discuss additional ways to support local conservation initiatives.


Many thanks to everyone who came out for an extraordinary day of volunteer effort!

Our final event of the Backyard Collective season is planned for October 9th in Bend, Oregon.

Summer 2012 Grant Announcement: $700,000 to 19 Organizations

September 26, 2012 by Serena Bishop
Summer Grant Announcement!

The Conservation Alliance Contributes $700,000 to 19 Organizations

We are pleased to announce the results of The Conservation Alliance Summer 2012 Funding Cycle.  We have awarded $700,000 to the 19 organizations listed below.  This brings our 2012 total grant distribution to $1.3 million.  Many great conservation opportunities lie ahead, and we're please to be able to support these important initiatives. Please check out the full summary of the Summer 2012 Funding Cycle by clicking here.

WILDERNESS = JOBS

September 25, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

At the Summer OR Show, The Conservation Alliance held a "Post Card Signing" Campaign.  We encouraged you to staple your business card to two postcards, one to be delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the other House Speaker John Boehner. 

The message was clear - WILDERNESS = JOBS:

To:          Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

                House Speaker John Boehner

Outdoor recreation contributes $646 billion annually to the U.S. economy and supports 6.1 million jobs nationwide. Protected public lands are the infrastructure for the outdoor industry. These wild areas provide places for our customers to use the products that we make and sell.  

There are currently dozens of public land conservation bills pending before the House and Senate. These measures would designate new wilderness areas, create new national parks and monuments, and preserve free-flowing rivers. On behalf of outdoor gear and clothing manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and customers we represent, we respectfully request that you take up these pending public land conservation measures, and help speed America's economic recovery.

Protecting our public lands is an investment in our economic future.

Sincerely,

Today, Tuesday September 25th, these postcards are being hand-delivered to Harry Reid and John Boehner.

Here's how you can help! 

Make your voice heard and ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner to take action and move these Public Land Bills forward!

Tell them "WILDERNESS = JOBS".  Protecting our public land is an investment in our economic future.

Contact Senator Harry Reid by clicking here: http://www.reid.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm

Contact Speaker Boehner by clicking here: http://boehner.house.gov/contact/ 

Favorites on Friday: New York - New Jersey Trail Conference

September 21, 2012 by Serena Bishop

In April of 2012, The Conservation Alliance awarded the New York - Jersey Trail Conference $35,000 toward their efforts to purchase and transfer land to the State of New York State resulting, in the elimination of the remaining unprotected gaps in the Southern Gunks Greenway.

In just six months, we have already seen great results from this organization.  Two of the long-distance trail projects they are working on, the Shawangunk Ridge Trail and the Long Path have received additional protections.

In June, the Mine Hole Trail and Long Path Reroute opened, creating a 3.5-mile trail linking the Berrypicker Trail to Berme Road and providing most of the long-sought green link to connect the Shawangunks to the Catskills.  To learn more, click here.

In July, the purchase and preservation of the 435-acre Ridgeview property, along the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, was complete.  The Ridgeview property is a key parcel in a project to preserve a green corridor along the entire Shawangunk Mountains.  To learn more, click here.

Arctic Ocean - 1; Shell Oil - 0

September 18, 2012 by Serena Bishop

           Photo: Florian Schulz

It’s been an amazing fight. And, thanks to the efforts of Alaska Wilderness League and many others, oil companies have abandoned drilling for oil in America’s Arctic Ocean – at least until next year.

Shell Oil announced, Monday, that it is drastically scaling back its oil drilling operation this year in the Arctic, focusing instead on preparations for next year’s drilling season. This move happened after its oil spill containment dome suffered damage during sea trials which occurred off the comparatively mild coast of Washington and not in the extreme, sea ice conditions of the Arctic. As predicted, Shell’s untested, unproven cleanup and safety equipment failed – even outside of the Arctic’s extreme conditions.

Alaska Wilderness League, and their partners, will continue to fight corporate giants like Shell Oil who remain intent to despoil the few natural treasures we have left. Soon, we will be asked once again to raise our voice in solidarity with our Inupiat allies on America’s Arctic coast, as the multifaceted, far-reaching effort to keep the Arctic healthy and whole continues. We will be asked to continue to fight until Arctic conservation eclipses any and all Arctic development.

But right now, it is time to celebrate. Alaska Wilderness League is thankful to its partners and supporters; for their letters, calls, commitment and dedication to keeping the Arctic healthy.

Following is a statement from Cindy Shogan, Executive Director, Alaska Wilderness League:

“People have been fighting Mother Nature since the dawn of time – the fight is crystallized in Shell’s desire to drill in the harsh and unpredictable climate of America’s Arctic Ocean. And, as we have seen today, Shell is losing.

Shell has promised over and over again to deliver the best technology and the safest drilling program in the world, and has thrown billions at the problem. And, earlier in August, Secretary Salazar promised to hold Shell’s ‘feet to fire,’ yet all we have seen is incompetence and excuses. We are relieved to see that Shell is not moving forward to drill in hydrocarbon zones, however the administration should not be allowing any drilling to go forward, without all oil spill response and safety equipment in place.

Shell’s list of foibles continues – from its drilling ship running aground, to missing the mark on meeting its air permits, to drilling only one day in the Arctic Ocean before a 30 by 12 mile iceberg barreled down on its operation – Shell has shown that it is unprepared to drill, yet the administration has shown that it will give Shell any excuse it needs to move forward with its drilling operations.

The Arctic Ocean, where icebergs can be as tall as apartment buildings, is prone to hurricane-force storms, 20-foot swells, sea ice up to 25 feet thick, sub-zero temperatures and months-long darkness. There is no proven way to clean up an oil spill in these extreme conditions."

To read more about Shell’s abandoned Alaska offshore drilling efforts, click here.

To learn more about the Alaska Wilderness League, click here.

Favorites on Friday: World Wide Recess Day!

September 14, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Today, September 14th, is World Wide Recess Day! 

Bring Recess Back and take 10 minutes (or more) out of your day to get  ouside and play!

 Need some hints for quick and easy RECESS IDEAS?  Disc Golf, Hopscotch, Four-Square........

 

Have fun and #take10!

Favorites on Friday: The Trust for Public Land is one step closer to creating the Barre Town Forest

September 07, 2012 by Serena Bishop
   

Photo: Jerry and Marcy Monkman

In April, The Conservation Alliance awarded The Trust for Public Land a grant for their work on the Campaign to Create the Barre Town Forest, a community forest in Vermont's Washington County.  This campaign will completely transform a degraded industrial site into a vibrant natural landscape that will be owned by the local community, as a new town forest, providing extensive wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities.

Last week, the U.S. Forest Service announced a $400,000 grant in support of this campaign, providing the funding to acquire the 384 acres that will become this new community forest.  This acreage, combined with an additional 26 acres, already owned by the town, will become the 410 acre Barre Town Forest - ensuring water quality, wildlife protection, timber production, education opportunities and public access to 20 miles of trails. 

The creation of Barre Town Forest will not only provide protected land for habitat and recreation, it will also bring economic benefits to Washington County.  For every $1 the town invests in ownership of the community forest, the local economy will realize returns of $22 by 2015.  The project is also excepted to generate 20 new jobs.

The learn more about the U.S. Forest Service grant and the positive economic impacts of the creation of the Barre Town Forest, click here.

Connection, Collaboration & Conservation in Vancouver, BC

September 04, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

Friendly faces from Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Arc’teryx, Icebreaker and Innate arrived at Heywood Park by foot, bike, carpool and public transportation for our first Canadian Backyard Collective on Wednesday, August 29th. There they were met with coffee, Clif bars and smiles from the Canadian Parks & Wilderness BC, (CPAWS BC) staff and team members.


It was CPAWS BC, our Backyard Collective partner, who connected us with Dana McDonald, Project Manager of Urban Ecology at Evergreen and Angela Negenman, Environmental Technician with the City of North Vancouver. Together we served as hosts for an invasive species removal project within the park
.

Dana provided project tools and volunteer leadership while Angela provided context on the stages of City of North Vancouver park planning development–from their 2011 inventory through this year’s strategic planning effort and improvements now underway. Their respective passion and knowledge were well matched by our volunteers, who were every bit as inquisitive as they were energetic.

Angela explained that although a variety of invasive species including Hogweed, Knotweed and Holly threaten native flora and fauna with their presence in the park, our volunteer efforts for the day would be focused on Ivy and Blackberry removal.

 

Four teams of Backyard Collective volunteers spread out as instructed to address swaths of land, removing Blackberry and Ivy as to prevent excessive erosion.  Soon loppers were lopping, shovels were digging and gloved hands took to pulling long strands of Ivy to get to their roots.

 

Once again, the power of the collective was on display as brambles, ivy strands and impressive root balls were piled high.  Along the way, participants had the opportunity to listen, share and learn from their colleagues in the outdoor industry as well as those focused on conservation at the grassroots level. It is these connections that make the Backyard Collective events especially fulfilling.

 

By noon our objectives were fulfilled and our volunteers hungry. We returned for a sack lunch and a Q & A program led by Angela. The Dogwood Initiative joined us for the Volunteer Fair and we finished the day with a raffle followed up by our first ever Backyard Collective Pop Quiz. Naturally, our team aced it.

Thanks again to our phenomenal partners and member business volunteers who came out for a great day in North Vancouver!

{worthWILD} Badlands

August 31, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

The Conservation Alliance has just released Badlands, the first video of the worthWILD series, telling the story of a successful partnership between Conservation Alliance grantee, Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), and Conservation Alliance member FootZone Bend.

This documentary video shows how the independently-owned, Bend, Oregon shoe store, the FootZone, has made a big difference in its local community through its activism and support of the ONDA and the Deschutes Land Trust (DLT).

President and owner of the FootZone, Teague Hatfield, along with his staff, volunteer countless hours each year on behalf of ONDA and DLT. Teague sits on ONDA's board of directors and was instrumental in developing a report on the economic impacts of Wilderness on Central Oregon. Teague also traveled to Washington, D.C. to provide testimony on the need to protect the Oregon Badlands as Wilderness, which was designated as such in 2009.

"Protecting the natural landscapes right in Bend's backyard is at the core of my business because I see the value this land brings to the beauty, the lifestyle, and the economy of Central Oregon," said Teague Hatfield, president and owner of FootZone. "A committed partnership with The Conservation Alliance and a dedicated staff has allowed us to raise awareness and appreciation for the land that has so much to offer the people and wildlife of Central Oregon. We are really thankful for that."

The Conservation Alliance has funded ONDA for their work to protect Oregon's high desert as Wilderness, namely on Steens Mountain, in the Oregon Badlands and in the Lower John Day River Basin. The DLT has also received funding from The Conservation Alliance for their work to protect Skyline Forest from residential development and preserve it as a community forest to be enjoyed by hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians.

"The FootZone is a testament to the fact that, no matter the size of the company, all Conservation Alliance members have equal benefits, equal voting rights, and equal opportunity to make a difference," said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. "Teague's hands-on involvement in ONDA, his passion for the Oregon wilderness and his community, and his activism as a Conservation Alliance member has resulted in thousands of acres of protected wilderness. We are proud to have members like the FootZone."

Produced by Red Reel Video, the Badlands ‘worthWILD' video is the first of four documentaries slated to roll out over the next four months.

"The ‘worthWILD' video series is a wonderful way for the outdoor industry to celebrate successful Conservation Alliance stories and a great reminder of what we are capable of when we stand together," said Alexandria Bombach, Producer, Red Reel Video. "As an outdoor filmmaker, it is an honor to work on this series because it embodies why I am dedicated to being a part of the outdoor business community that fights for our wild places and the future of our adventures into the great outdoors."

Watch the worthWILD-Badlands video here. For more information about the Conservation Alliance, visit www.conservationalliance.com

Momentum grows in the largest conservation initiative in history.

August 30, 2012 by Forest Ethics
Through their Boreal Forest Campaign, ForestEthics is working with their environmental allies – and the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and its 23 member companies – to protect Canada’s Boreal Forest, and develop a framework for ecosystem-based management (EBM), a land-use approach that will protect endangered caribou habitat and other ecological values, while supporting a viable logging industry and providing for jobs and economic well-being. The largest conservation initiative in history, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), covers more than 76 million hectares (187.8 million acres), and was a direct result of ForestEthics’ campaigns focused on persuading some of the world’s largest buyers of Boreal products to demand more environmentally responsible practices from their suppliers. This year, soon after the second anniversary of the Agreement, the forest company and conservation group signatories to the CBFA were able to announce a breakthrough plan for Ontario’s Northeast. The announced action plan... Read More

Update from Forest Ethics at 08/30/12 10:16 PM

August 30, 2012 by Forest Ethics
... Read More

Boulder Backyard Collective Volunteers Rock the Wapiti Trail

August 28, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

Our Boulder volunteers truly rocked at this year’s event! With over 100 participants from member businesses Osprey, SmartWool, Nite Ize, La Sportiva, IMBA, Outdoor Industry Association, Backpacker’s Pantry, American Recreation Company and our friends at Sea to Summit, we put McLeods, Pulaskis, and Bucket Brigades to work on the completion of a reroute project initiated and supervised by the Boulder County Parks and Open Space.

 

Many hands and hearty volunteers quickly resulted in tangible results. “We finished the day with 150 ft of new trail constructed on the reroute, 700 ft of material added to harden the trail, and the addition of nine rock structures built for a total of 115 feet and 1500 feet of social and access trail restored," said Fletcher Jones, Recreation & Facilities Volunteer Coordinator at Boulder County Parks and Open Space.

 

Conservation Alliance grantees and event partners at the Colorado Environmental Coalition provided assistance throughout the planning process and brought a handful of staffers to join in the day’s work.

“We are honored to have participated in this year’s Backyard Collective,” said Colorado Environmental Coalition’s Executive Director, Elise Jones. “Not only are we a grant recipient of The Conservation Alliance, but also we collaborate regularly with many of the outdoor companies that volunteered at Heil Valley Ranch. It is a great opportunity to connect with these volunteers and let them know what kinds of non-profits are supported by their employers.”

Colorado Mountain Club representatives were also on board for the day, tabling at the volunteer fair as well as working trailside. 

 

Great representation and participation by many of our Colorado-based business members and friends was a true highlight. Thanks again to all of our volunteers, partners and event supporters for contributing to the day’s success. We’re already looking forward to next year!

All photos courtesy of Lauren Debell, for additional images check out our Facebook album by visiting this link.

Favorites on Friday: The Adirondack Council Celebrates Success

August 24, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Carl Heilman II

The Conservation Alliance supported the Adirondack Council's Upper Hudson Woodlands Campaign to ensure the protection of 200,000 acres of land in the Adirondacks; 90,000 acres of which was protected in 2011.  In August 2012, New York State purchased 69,000 additional acres of the Upper Hudson River watershed, providing permanent protection for its mountains, ponds, lakes, streams, forests and wetlands, while preserving the land for human-powered recreation and public access.

To read more about Adirondack Council's success, click here

Volunteers turn out in record numbers for the Portland Backyard Collective

August 21, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

Volunteers turned out in record numbers for the Portland Backyard Collective! Over 300 participants from Conservation Alliance business members Columbia, KEEN, Icebreaker, Merrell, REI, and The North Face worked together across seven sites on a variety of stewardship projects at Sellwood Park, Tryon Creek State Park, Willow Creek, Springwater Trail and Forest Park.

Event partners The Forest Park Conservancy provided leadership for three of the work sites where volunteers removed invasive ivy plants. Renee Myers, Stewardship Director of The Forest Park Conservancy spoke of the positive impacts of volunteer boots on the ground "Without the support of the outdoor industry in Portland, we simply could not fulfill our mission!"

Once projects were completed, Backyard Collective volunteers returned by bus and carpool to Wallace Park for lunch on the lawn, some frisbee action and a Volunteer Fair with Conservation Alliance Grantees and non profit organizations including Save Our Wild Salmon, Oregon Wild, Wild Salmon Center, SOLV and North Coast State Forest Coalition.

 

"It was a great day at the Backyard Collective," said Jonathan Jehlen, of Oregon Wild. "Seeing the conservation values held by the people at Conservation Alliance member companies is both inspiring and demonstrates the groundswell of support for protecting the places we all care about. Oregon Wild was honored to be part of it all."

Beyond the satisfaction of actively improving area parks, Portland volunteers returned to the office with raffle items, tote bags and gear generously donated by Icebreaker, Merrell, Columbia, REI, The North Face, Stanley a brand of PMI and other Conservation Alliance member businesses.

Thanks again to everyone who came out for a terrific show of force!     

Draining Tumalo Creek is Unnecessary

August 21, 2012 by Central Oregon LandWatch
Do you live in the City of Bend? If yes, please contact your City Councilors to let them know that Draining Tumalo Creek is unnecessary because growth will come from groundwater.Tom Greene – 419-0021 tgreene@ci.bend.or.usJeff Eager – 815-4730 jeager@ci.bend.or.usKathie Eckman – 388-5505 keckman@ci.bend.or.usMark Capell – 420-8883 mcapell@ci.bend.or.usJodie Barram – 388-5505 jbarram@ci.bend.or.usScott Ramsay – 610-8566 sramsay@ci.bend.or.usThank Councilor Clinton for his continued opposition to this nonsensical plan:Jim Clinton – 383-0568 jclinton@ci.bend.or.us In April, the Bend City Council passed a Water Public Facilities Plan which plans for a gradual build out of groundwater infrastructure with a cost of $139 million. That $139 million will get us about 45.2mgd in new groundwater wells, which averages out to about $3 million per MGD (million gallon per day).Compare that to the $68 million cost of the Surface Water Improvement Project (SWIP). Since Bend’s water rights on Tumalo Creek are mostly junior, the Creek can only reliably provide 7.2mgd, which means the SWIP costs us $9.4 million per MGD(page 13, Optimatics 2011)Keep in mind that... Read More

Summer Outdoor Retailer - A Huge Success!

August 17, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Summer Outdoor Retailer Wrap-Up

 * We had a record crowd at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast. 

* We announced CLIF Bar & Company as a new Pinnacle Member.

* We INKED close to 1,000 Conservation Alliance Supporters with CA Tattoos!

* We generated 1000 postcards to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. John Boehner urging them to move Wilderness bills through Congress.

* We premiered The Conservation Alliance Film Project; WorthWILD

* We raised close to $40,000 through member booth fundraisers.

* We had fun!

All this would not have been possible with out YOU!! Thank you!

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Aron Ralston 

In front of a packed house, Sally McCoy, out-going Conservation Alliance Board Chair, called us to action. 

"We are all dirt-bags turned business people.  Now is the time to use your business voice for change, for conservation."   

She then handed over the reins to Angela Owen, in-coming Board Chair.  Angela has big shoes to fill, but she is excited and up to the challenge.  

Aron Ralston then took to the stage, sharing his story of survival in Blue John Canyon, Utah and inspiring the audience to take a stand for our last wild places. 

"Climbers who love Indian Creek, the rafters that love Desolation Canyon and Labyrinth Canyon and the explorers, the canyoneers, the mountain bikers - we all adore these playgrounds and landscapes down in southern Utah and we can also be advocates for that."

 

 

 

 

 

 CLIF Bar & Company becomes a Pinnacle Member

Clif Bar & Company has committed to become The Conservation Alliance's next Pinnacle Member. Pinnacle Membership is reserved for companies that contribute at least $100,000 annually to the organization.

"Clif Bar has a long history of supporting conservation efforts, so it was natural for us to invite the company to become a Pinnacle Member," said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. "We're thrilled that our shared goals aligned such that Clif Bar was prepared to make this significant commitment."

Clif Bar joins Columbia Sportswear, Eastern Mountain Sports, KEEN, Inc., Merrell, Patagonia, REI, and The North Face at this highest membership level.

"We and our consumers are passionate about the outdoors," said Thao Pham, vice president of community for Clif Bar, a leading maker of organic food and drinks. "The Conservation Alliance is a great way for us work collaboratively with others in the outdoor industry to help protect the places we all like to play."

 Conservation Alliance Tattoos

 Conservation Alliance Member Companies, CamelBak, Eagle Creek Travel Gear, KEEN, and Osprey Packs held Tattoo Parlors at the Show - inking Conservation Alliance supporters with one of three temporary tattoo designs, created by  Todd Bischoff, global graphic designer for SmartWool, John Duran, industrial design manager for CamelBak, and Tim Calkins, graphic artist for Osprey Packs. 

Conservation Alliance Ambassadors were also on site at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast, tattooing attendees and making a mark for conservation.

Conservation Alliance Video

To celebrate our members, their commitment to conservation and the work and successes of our grantees, The Conservation Alliance has launched a video campaign.  The first video in the series speaks to the work of our grantees and the collective commitment of the outdoor industry to protecting North America's last wild places.

We hope that you will enjoy and share this video, with your friends, on your website, and through your social media channels.

Click below to view and share "We all need our wild places".

Clif Bar & Company Becomes Pinnacle Member of The Conservation Alliance

August 14, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Clif Bar & Company has committed to become The Conservation Alliance's next Pinnacle Member. Pinnacle Membership is reserved for companies that contribute at least $100,000 annually to the organization.

"Clif Bar has a long history of supporting conservation efforts, so it was natural for us to invite the company to become a Pinnacle Member," said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. "We're thrilled that our shared goals aligned such that Clif Bar was prepared to make this significant commitment."

The Conservation Alliance, which makes grants to grassroots organizations working to protect wild lands and waters throughout North America, aims to grow its grant fund to $2 million by 2014. The Pinnacle Membership program is a key strategy toward reaching that goal.

"We will contribute $1.3 million in 2012, so we have some work to do," said Sterling. "But Clif Bar's commitment is a huge, important step."

Clif Bar joins Columbia Sportswear, Eastern Mountain Sports, KEEN, Inc., Merrell, Patagonia, REI, and The North Face at this highest membership level.

"We and our consumers are passionate about the outdoors," said Thao Pham, vice president of community for Clif Bar, a leading maker of organic food and drinks. "The Conservation Alliance is a great way for us work collaboratively with others in the outdoor industry to help protect the places we all like to play."

The Alliance is encouraging other members to increase their commitment to the organization, and expects to announce additional above-and-beyond contributions in 2013.

Forest Service Special Use Permit Approved

August 09, 2012 by Central Oregon LandWatch
The Forest Service recently released its decision to approve a Special Use permit for the City of Bend's $68 million Surface Water Improvement Project (SWIP). This decision was originally expected to happen in May, so while this may seem like bad news, this delayed decision actually means that the City might be hard-pressed to start construction this Fall, as it had originally intended. This decision is also not final, and will likely be appealed by Central Oregon LandWatch. Here is the link to the Forest Service's response to EA Comments: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=36008. The City still has not secured many of the permits needed to move forward with the project, including a permit from the Department of State Lands, which you can comment on here. The best news of all is that before the City can even start building this unwieldy project, a majority of the City Council is up for re-election.... Read More

Help Secure Adirondack Wild Lands for the Future

August 02, 2012 by Adirondack Council
Sign the joint online petition for new Forever Wild Adirondack Forest Preserve lands! A small but vocal group is calling on the Governor and the DEC to back out of a historic land protection agreement and downgrade the 65,000 acres that are supposed to be protected in the Forest Preserve by having the state purchase only conservation easements on them. This proposal undermines a carefully balanced project that is a sound investment in the local economy, the environment and the ecological integrity of the Adirondack Park. Please sign the joint petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens urging New York to buy these lands for addition to the Adirondack Forest Preserve where they will enjoy Forever Wild protection. www.adirondackparkpetition.com Thank you!  ... Read More

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Guest Speaker Aron Ralston

July 30, 2012 by Serena Bishop

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

Aron Ralston is an adventurer who inadvertently gained fame when he hiked into a remote area of Utah's canyon country, and accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand. After six days of entrapment alone, he amputated his arm with a cheap multi-tool knife and hiked to a miraculous rescue.

Aron's account of his experience, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was adapted into 127 Hours, a motion picture starring James Franco. With new prosthetic arms that he designed, Aron finished solo winter ascents of Colorado's 59 Fourteeners, skied from the summit of Denali, and led a raft trip through the Grand Canyon. Aron is a strong advocate for wilderness protection, donating his time to organizations working to protect the landscapes that he knows well.

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

When: 7am to 8:50am

Where: The Marriot, Salons F-I

Outdoor Retailer: Be Inspired, Take Action & Sweet Gear!

July 27, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

It's that time again! Outdoor Retailer is less than one week away, so make sure to mark your calendars for The Conservation Alliance events and promotions!

The Conservation Alliance Breakfast - Day 2

Conservation Alliance Breakfast: Arrive Tried, Leave Inspired.  Join us for The Conservation Alliance Breakfast and hear from guest speaker Aron Ralston, an adventurer who inadvertently gained fame when he hiked into a remote area of Utah's canyon country, and accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand.  We know 7 AM is early... But we can think of no better way to start off your day! 

When: 7a.m to 8:50a.m., Friday, Aug. 3

Where: The Marriot, Salons F-I

More details here...

Get yourself INKED for The Conservation Alliance & Show Your Support

Expect "Tattoo Parlors" to pop up in member company booths throughout the show, including: CamelBak (#15027), Eagle Creek Travel Gear (#24016), KEEN (#32183), and Osprey ( #5010).

You can also get your Tattoo at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast.

More details here...

The Wasatch Wobble - Day 3

Montrail Wasatch Wobble: Why wouldn't you kick off Day 3 of the show with a trail run? Montrail is proud to sponsor the Wasatch Wobble, a 5k trail run on Saturday morning.  Dress up in a KEEP IT WILD costume for a chance to win the costume contest! Stop by the Montrail booth #26001 on Thursday or Friday to register, get details and receive your runner goodie bag! $10, with all proceeds benefiting the Conservation Alliance.

When: Saturday August 4, Buses Depart from the Marriot at 6AM, Run Starts at: 6:45AM

More details here...

Throughout the Show...................

Looking for the perfect swag to take away from this summer's Outdoor Retailer? Well, we've got a fabulous lineup of awesome gear, and you'll support the Alliance to boot! Click here for details...

 

 


 

 

Grab your boots and get ready to dance the happy hour away with Vasque & The Infamous Stringdusters - Thursday 5pm, Booth 12001

July 26, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Join in Vasque's trail festivities at Summer OR and celebrate the debut of the new, less-is-more trail runner, the Pendulum, and the updated lighter, faster and more breathable Breeze 2.0 GTX boot. Kicking off Day 1 of the show in style, Vasque is bringing the party to their booth with the Infamous Stringdusters, cold beers in a reusable boot cup and prize giveaways.

Conjure up memories of campfire jam sessions after long days on the trail, as the Infamous Stringdusters bring the sweet authentic sounds of Charlottesville, VA to the Outdoor Retailer Show. In addition to the band, meet Vasque ultra-runner, Duncan Callahan, who will be on hand to share his favorite aspects of the Pendulum and discuss his most recent trip to Japan to race in the Ultra Trail du Mt. Fuji.

The revelry kicks off at 5pm on Thursday, when the music festival darlings, the Infamous Stringdusters, begin their rare acoustic show and the beer starts flowing.

"We are thrilled to bring the award winning, foot stomping sounds and fun experience of the Infamous Stringdusters to the show floor," says Chris Miller, Director of Sales, Vasque. "We'll have great music, friends, giveaways and refreshments--the only thing missing is a campfire!"

To top it all off, a $5 donation to the Conservation Alliance gets you a refillable Boot Cup to use throughout the show and the chance to win multiple prizes such as: a pair of Breeze 2.0's, a trail running package that includes the Pendulums, a 30-minute training session with Callahan and an UltrAspire Hydration System, or a pair of tickets to The Festy Experience put on by The Infamous Stringdusters in Virginia. Just check the bottom of your beer cup to see if you are a winner!

Grab your boots and get ready to dance the happy hour away at booth 12001!

"Silver Sky", the band's first studio album on High Country Recordings record label, showcases their progressive tunes and deep talent. To check out their latest album visit their site: http://music.thestringdusters.com/album/silver-sky

The Conservation Alliance Announces Tattoo Design Contest Winners

July 24, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Designs from CamelBak, SmartWool, and Osprey featured in ‘Tattoo Parlors' at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

 

The Conservation Alliance Outreach Committee selected three winning designs from among the 15 submitted during the Conservation Alliance Temporary Tattoo Design Contest.  Todd Bischoff, global graphic designer for SmartWool, John Duran, industrial design manager for CamelBak, and Tim Calkins, graphic artist for Osprey Packs were selected as the winners of the design contest.  These three designs will be "inked" on Conservation Alliance member company employees at Outdoor Retailer Summer Show in Salt Lake City, August 2-5, 2012. 

A new feature at ORSM, attendees can expect "Tattoo Parlors" to pop up in member company booths throughout the show, including: CamelBak (#15027), Eagle Creek Travel Gear (#24016), KEEN (#32183), and Osprey ( #5010). 

Supporters can also pick up their Tattoos during The Conservation Alliance Breakfast (featuring Aron Ralston on Friday, August 3 from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. at the Marriot Downtown).

"We want employees of our member companies to show their pride in being a part of The Conservation Alliance," said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance executive director. "What better way than to rock one of these great tattoo designs during the trade show?"

Tattoo Parlors

Eagle Creek: 24016 - All day, every day of the show

CamelBak: 15027 - Day 1, August 2nd, 4-6pm

KEEN: 32183 - Day 2, August 3rd, All Day

Osprey: 5010 - All day, every day of the show

 Be sure to visit one of the parlors and show your support for the Conservation Alliance and its members. For more details on this and other Conservation Alliance events at OR Summer Market, click here!

Bennet Introduces Bill to Preserve Hermosa Creek Watershed

July 18, 2012 by Serena Bishop

      Photo: Jeff Widen

Bill Would Protect More Than 100,000 Acres in San Juan National Forest, Designate 38,000 acres of new Wilderness

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today introduced a bill to protect more than 100,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek Watershed, an area in the San Juan National Forest north of Durango. The bill would establish a long-term management plan for the land based on recommendations from the Hermosa Creek River Protection Workgroup, which includes local water officials, conservationists, sportsmen, mountain bikers, off-road-vehicle users, outfitters, property owners, grazing permit holders and other interested citizens.

"The Hermosa Creek Watershed represents some of the best Colorado has to offer.  It deserves to be protected for our outdoor recreation economy, and for future generations of Coloradans and Americans to enjoy," Bennet said. "This bill originated from a local effort that took into account the varied interests of the community. Their collaborative approach set the tone early for a public process that led to a strong bill."

The bill, which is cosponsored by Senator Mark Udall, would designate roughly 108,000 acres of San Juan National Forest land as the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Area.  Much of the land would remain open to all historic uses of the forest under the bill, including mountain biking, motorized recreation, selective timber harvesting and grazing.

In accordance with the consensus recommendations of the Hermosa Creek Workgroup, roughly 38,000 acres of the watershed would be set aside as wilderness, to be managed in accordance with The Wilderness Act of 1964.  No roads or mineral development are permitted in wilderness areas; while hunting, fishing, horseback riding and non-mechanized recreation are allowed.  The Wilderness Act also contains several provisions to provide for active land management in wilderness areas as necessary to control wildfires, insect infestations and disease outbreaks.  Finally, per request of the Durango City Council, the bill would protect Animas Mountain and Perins Peak near Durango from future federal mineral leasing.

Supporters of the bill include the La Plata County Commission, the San Juan County Commission, the International Mountain Biking Association, and the Durango Herald editorial board among others.

"We commend you for respecting the hard work of the Hermosa Creek Workgroup. We support the legislation, and stand ready to help in whatever way to see it enacted into law," said the La Plata County Commissioners.

"The residents of Durango support Senator Bennet's legislation to protect Hermosa Creek in a way that respects the variety of interests in our community. We especially appreciate the inclusion in this bill of a provision the City of Durango formally requested to put our cherished local icons Animas Mountain and Perins Peak off limits to oil and gas development," said Durango City Council Member Christina Rinderle.

Last year, Bennet wrote an op-ed in the Durango Herald, outlining his plans to seek feedback from interested Coloradans to build on the framework the workgroup set for the bill.

 For more information on the bill and Hermosa Creek, visit Bennet's website at http://www.bennet.senate.gov/hermosacreek/.

 

Take Action Tuesday: Urge the Obama Administration to Protect the Epic Migration Columbia-Snake River Salmon

July 10, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Thousands of ocean miles.  Over 900 miles inland.  To nearly 7,000 feet in elevation. The migration of the salmon and steelhead of the Columbia and Snake River Basin is truly one-of-a-kind.

The bad news: at 1% of their historic abundance, wild salmon remain on life support. 

The good news: the spawning habitat for these fish is the largest and wildest habitat left in the continental United States and the highest salmon spawning area on earth.

All across the country - from the Penobscot River in Maine to the Elwha and White Salmon Rivers in Washington State - we've seen that when people work together, rivers can be restored, jobs created and new economic opportunities realized. We can do the same on the Columbia and Snake Rivers for salmon and communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Businesses, conservation groups, the State of Oregon, and the Nez Perce Tribe have been in court pushing for a legal and scientifically sound plan to restore Columbia-Snake River salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. This advocacy has been vital for protecting fish, jobs, and rivers. Today, these same groups stand ready to move beyond the years of litigation and work toward a new dialogue among stakeholders that considers all options for restoring salmon and protecting communities.

BE INSPIRED, TAKE ACTION

Take Action on behalf of Save Our Wild Salmon by urging the Obama Administration to protect the epic migration of Columbia-Snake River Salmon.  Click here to sign on to a letter in support of restoring Salmon and enter to win an Omni-Freeze ICE Short Sleeve Shirt from Columbia

 

Outstanding Partnerships: REIs commitment to the American River Conservancy goes above and beyond the traditional grantor - grantee relationship.

July 06, 2012 by Serena Bishop

For more than 20 years, the American River Conservancy (ARC) has been working to permanently protect rivers and wildlands in the central Sierra Nevada foothills. REI has consistently provided support for the American River Conservancy's conservation, stewardship, and education programs.

In addition to funding several years' worth of stewardship and education projects, REI's commitment to the organization has gone above and beyond the traditional grantor - grantee relationship.

The staff at the REI retail store in Folsom, CA does a terrific job of keeping the REI community & membership engaged and involved in all that the American River Conservancy has to offer their community. Whether it's sharing upcoming events and programs thought various media outlets, sponsoring stewardship and restoration events, including National Trails Day, or providing much-needed in-kind support (equipment, materials, and staff support), REI continues to be a leader in philanthropic support of conservation in the central Sierra Nevada foothills.

An example of the multi-faceted partnership between ARC and REI is REI's support of the South Fork American River Trail Project. REI provided a grant to support trail property acquisition and development while also sponsoring a local National Trails Day event in partnership with the BLM, American River Conservancy and the National Hiking Society. This local event brings over 100 volunteers annually to complete trail maintenance and restoration work along the South Fork American River near Coloma, CA.

American River Conservancy is a grassroots organization.  Their partnership with REI allows them to educate and inspire their local community and bring awareness to the benefits of protecting lands and rivers for future generations to enjoy.  Without REI's ongoing support, ARC will not be able to provide the number of education and outdoor recreation programs, or continue the habitat restoration, trail building and maintenance projects necessary to preserve our wild spaces.

Take Action Tuesday: Become A Role Model

July 03, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

The North Face has challenged people across the country to get outside, and take someone with them.  Launching on The North Face Facebook page and TheNorthFace.com, Role Models is an online pledge where people commit to taking someone outdoors this summer, helping to start a global movement of outdoor exploration. 

"If you've never had anyone show you how to tie a safe figure eight knot for climbing, set up a tent, or even understand how much water you need for an overnighter, getting outside for the first time can be daunting," said Ann Krcik director of Outdoor Exploration for The North Face.  "Our goal with Role Models is to empower all of those outdoor enthusiasts to share their passion and their knowledge to create a new generation of explorers.  Think about who taught you an appreciation for the outdoors, then pay it forward."

By taking the Role Models pledge and sharing photos, you'll be entered to win The North Face gear that will help you get outdoors more often. The North Face will also be donating $1 per pledge (up to $10,000) to the Children & Nature Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting Nature Deficit Disorder.

"We teach our kids manners, to be kind to others - always leading by example. We have a responsibility to be Role Models for them in the outdoors as well, because if they don't learn a passion for exploration or an appreciation for the world's wild places from us, who will they learn it from?" said Kit DesLauriers, world-renowned skier and mother of two.

DesLauriers and other The North Face athletes have pledged to be Role Models this summer and are part of the Role Models Clinic Tour,  traveling to The North Face and REI stores across the country through the fall to give tips and advice on how to get outside as a family.

For more information and to pledge to be a Role Model, visit apps.facebook.com/tnfrolemodels or www.thenorthface.com/rolemodels.

 

Join Us for the 7th Annual Paddle for the Peace

July 03, 2012 by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative
... Read More

Seattle Backyard Collective

July 02, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

With Mt. Rainier standing impressively in the background, volunteers from Brooks Sports, Nikwax, Filson, Patagonia, Teva, Outdoor Research, Cascade Designs and Stanley, a brand of PMI arrived at the Seward Park Amphitheater on a beautiful morning in Seattle.

 

Seward Park is an urban gem with over 300 acres of forest, including 120 acres of old growth, providing habitat to a variety of species including a resident bald eagle who swooped by us as if on cue during our morning welcome.

Our project partner, Forterra is working in cooperation with Green Seattle Partnership with a shared goal of restoring and maintaining 2,500 acres of forested parklands by 2025--the largest urban forest restoration project in the nation.

Katie Cava, Outreach Associate at Forterra, discussed the importance of keeping the forest healthy explaining that many of Seattle's trees are nearing the end of their natural lives.  At the same time, invasive plants are choking out the seedlings that would replace today's forest. English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry have been identified as particular threats with their aggressive growth. Our 90+ volunteers were put to work focused on the removal of these invasive species.

 

Pulaskis and shovels were soon swinging and digging, with cheerful smiles and plentiful sunshine. 

 

 The Volunteer Fair featured our project partners from Forterra as well as the Green Seattle Partnership, Nature Consortium, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Washington Trails Alliance and Conservation Northwest.

 

Though every Backyard Collective provides its own variety of delight, it was especially noticeable that our Seattle volunteers were a rock star bunch! Thanks to all for an outstanding day!

For additional photos from this event, please visit our Facebook page at this link.  

 

Outstanding Partnerships: KEEN and Oregon Wild; Redefining Corporate Engagement

June 29, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Daniel Pierce

KEEN has redefined what corporate engagement means for Oregon Wild.  While many large companies tend to shy away from controversial issues, KEEN dives right in.  KEEN has used its resources and contacts in Portland, OR to both support Oregon Wild's efforts and draw new supporters into the organization.

KEEN has been incredibly involved with Oregon Wild, providing both financial and organizational support.  KEEN awarded Oregon Wild a two year, $10,000 grant directed toward advertising, recruiting and training volunteers to lead the Oregon Wild Hikes Program.  The Hikes Program connects the general public with places Oregon Wild is working to protect and providing exposure to wild land advocacy to a large cross-section of people.

KEEN has also contributed incentives to new and continuing supporters of Oregon Wild, providing KEEN shoes as a reward to volunteers and donors who make a significant commitment of time or financial support.

KEEN has held a number of community events for Oregon Wild and provided discounts at their Portland retail store, "The Garage", as a way to drive attendance to these events.  During one such event, KEEN used social media channels to promote Oregon Wild's work by offering customers the opportunity to make a donation by simply saying "Oregon Wild" at checkout.  This week-long campaign netted more than $2,000 in contributions.

KEEN has also been a leader in using their business voice to stress the importance of protected wild places for a healthy economy.  KEEN has been able to educate other Portland-based businesses and grown support for organizations like Oregon Wild around the region.

KEEN's engagement with Oregon Wild is an example of how companies can leverage their resources and connections to support conservation work on every level.

VICTORY: 55,000 acres on the Roan Plateau Protected from Oil & Gas Development

June 26, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Roan Plateau East Fork Canyon        Roan Plateau, East Fork Canyon

In 2008, the Conservation Alliance funded The Campaign to Save Roan Plateau and their efforts to secure lasting protection for the Roan Plateau's spectacular, undeveloped public lands.  For the past four years, The Campaign to Save Roan Plateau, along with other Conservation Alliance grantees including Rocky Mountain Wild and Colorado Mountain Club, have worked with a diverse coalition of sportsmen, wildlife, recreation and conservation organizations, as well as with local governments and citizens, to protect the Roan Plateau from the impacts of natural gas drilling. 

Last week a federal judge in Denver handed down a ruling on a lawsuit to protect the top of the Roan Plateau from oil and gas drilling.  Judge Marcia Krieger found that the Bureau of Land Management failed to look at all the environmental impacts from opening the top of the Roan Plateau to drilling and failed to consider alternative plans, such as protecting the outstanding natural values on the Roan.  This ruling results in the protection of 55,000 acres of public land.

This ruling is a huge success and confirms what conservation organizations and local citizens have been saying all along:  the Roan Plateau is a unique and biologically rich place which deserves careful consideration before being compromised by roads, pipelines, and tanker trucks.  The Roan Plateau is one of the top biological "hotspots" in Colorado, housing rare wildflowers, great mule deer herds, and one of the last genetically pure strains of Colorado River cutthroat trout.  A second look by the BLM before they lease it is a victory for the beautiful wildlife and scenery that grace Colorado's West Slope.

 "This is a victory for the people and wildlife of Colorado who value clean water and open space.  The BLM now has a chance to go back and fix the problems with this plan to protect these values," said Scott Braden, Conservation Director of the Colorado Mountain Club.

For more than 25 years, REI and Appalachian Mountain Club have been partners with complementary missions.

June 22, 2012 by Serena Bishop

       Trail Maintenance Workshop with REI and AMC

Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI) have been working together since 1987.  This long lasting partnership is due in large part to their complementary missions.  AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of mountains, forests, waters and trails of the Appalachian region, while REI seeks to inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. 

An outdoor business giving back to the outdoors.

A conservation organization protecting the places we play. 

The relationship between REI and AMC represents an example of how an outdoor business and an environmental non-profit can have a mutually beneficial partnership. 

REI has provided grants, in-kind donations, and matching employee gifts, along with sponsoring in-store events to benefit the work of the Appalachian Mountain Club. 

REI's support doesn't stop with financial support.  Vice President of REI Gear and Apparel, Lee Fromson, has served on AMC's Board of Advisors since 2006, lending a business voice and working to further the role of AMC in the Appalachian region.

REI has also worked closely with AMC to develop the next generation of adventurers. For many years, local REI stores in the Boston area actively supported the AMC's Youth Opportunities Program a youth development initiative that engages more than 20,000 at-risk urban youth in outdoor wilderness adventures each year. More recently, REI stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have nominated AMC for grants to support volunteer trails skills and stewardship training sessions for adults.  

As a result of REI's support and involvement, AMC has been able to expand programs, educate and inspire more individuals, and protect the Northeast's last wild places - giving REI's customers outdoor spaces in which to recreate and explore.

Take Action Tuesday: Friends of Nevada Wilderness Partners with KEEN Footwear to Clean Up Mt. Charleston

June 19, 2012 by Serena Bishop

       Photo: Mark Vollmer

Conservation Alliance Grantee, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, is teaming up with the Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member, KEEN, and the Zappos Family to give picnic and camping areas in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness a makeover. The Mt Charleston Wilderness is located in the Spring Mountains of Southern Nevada.

Over 100 volunteers will be taking part in this stewardship day, preparing five popular recreation areas within the Mt. Charleston Wilderness for the summer season.

"We love seeing all the volunteers from KEEN and the Zappos Family out here," said Kurt Kuznicki, Southern Nevada Program Director for Friends of Nevada Wilderness. "It's going to be great weather, a great day to make a difference volunteering in the wild!"

At the end of the day, Friends of Nevada Wilderness will have an awards ceremony to honor last field season's top volunteers from the Zappos Family, Danielle Cotte and Elyse Briski. Volunteers will also be treated to a Dutch oven cooking demonstration and delicious samples prepared by Stewardship Program Director Pat Bruce.

This is the third year Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the US Forest Service has partnered with KEEN and Zappos for a day of restoration in Mt. Charleston. The annual project is sponsored by the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership.

Check out the official photos and video from the day at www.nevadawild.blogspot.com on Thursday morning!

How you can take action to protect Nevada's last wild places:

Protect Nevada's Wild Forests - Take action to help Friends work with the Forest Service to protect it's remaining wild roadless areas.

Defend Gold Butte - Here is your chance to help defend the wild beauty of southern Nevada's 350,000-acre Gold Butte region.

Other Opportunities

You can also make a difference by joining other great folks on wilderness stewardship trips where you learn to heal the land (and have a good time!).

More Volunteer Opportunities - Use your skills or contacts to help protect Nevada's wild places.

CLIF Bar and Winter Wildlands Alliance Partner Up To Strengthen The Voices of Backcountry Skiers and Snowshoers

June 08, 2012 by Serena Bishop
CLIF Bar and WWA

For the last five years, the partnership between Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA) and CLIF Bar has been strengthening the voices of backcountry skiers, snowshoers and others who enjoy quiet winter recreation. 

This partnership goes above and beyond; providing in-kind product for partners and events, cash sponsorship of outreach activities and awareness raising through joint marketing campaigns. 

This is a true partnership - two organizations working side-by-side to make a difference in the opportunities available for winter recreation and protecting the places we play.

CLIF Bar's Meet the Moment Campaign, an interactive community-driven initiative encouraging CLIF Bar fans to share photos of their defining" moments" , raised awareness of Winter Wildlands Alliance, funds for the organization and culminated in a Day of Action to benefit winter recreation opportunities for two key wilderness areas.   CLIF Bar employees, Winter Wildlands staff and local volunteers joined forces to work on the Winter Wilderness Stewardship Project, an effort to promote a better backcountry experience for all winter travelers.  The crew got their hands dirty, digging sign-post holes, marking boundaries and installing educational kiosks at trailheads near Idaho's Jedediah Smith Wilderness and Winegar Hole Wilderness.  On a single day, the group racked up 216 hours of volunteers hours - all in the effort to help protect the places we play, in the wintertime.

CLIF Bar also contributes to the Winter Wildlands Alliance through their 1% for the Planet membership and through the membership in The Conservation Alliance - which has granted $165,000 to Winter Wildlands Alliance over the past eleven years.

CLIF bar has also highlighted their relationship with Winter Wildlands Alliance at the point of sale to help raise awareness of their efforts to protect wildlands for winter recreation. Throughout the Fall seasons of both 2011 and 2012, 1% of net sales proceeds of the CLIF Bar Seasonal energy bars directly support WWA.

CLIF Bar is also the top sponsor of the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival, a winter themed film series that travels to more than 80 locations each year, raising funds for grassroots organization working in their local communities to preserve our winter environment.

CLIF Bar is a true partner in the work of Winter Wildlands Alliance and their efforts are apparent in the success seen by the work of Winter Wildlands Alliance.

"We are a more effective organization because of CLIF Bar's partnership and support" says Mark Menlove, Executive Director, Winter Wildlands Alliance. "They are critical to the work that we do, the people we reach, and the protection of our winter wild places."

Take Action: Speak Out to Defend Canadian Wild Places

June 06, 2012 by Serena Bishop

           Photo: Joe Riis

The Conservation Alliance funds organizations working to protect threatened wild places throughout North American.  In Canada, there are many such places.  The Conservation Alliance has contributed more than $900,000 to Canadian organizations working to protect these places.

Our ability to fund Canadian organizations including Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Rivers Without Borders, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Sierra Club BC, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Dogwood Initiative, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and Forest Ethics is under threat.

The Canadian federal budget bill contains huge changes to Canada's environmental laws. The changes being proposed range from replacing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act with much weaker legislation to restricting the ability of Canadian environmental non-profits to receive funding from organizations based in the United States.  This limits our collective voice and threatens Canadian wilderness.

It is time to speak out.

To learn about how to make your voice heard, click here.

To learn more about the threats to Canada's last wild places by big oil, click here to read the Huffington Post's Article.

To take action and sign the petition to defend Canada's Environment, click here.

Outstanding Partnership Stories: FootZone Bend makes a big difference in their local community through support of Oregon Natural Desert Association and Deschutes Land Trust

June 01, 2012 by Serena Bishop

         Photo: Tyler Roemer

No matter the size of a company, all The Conservation Alliance members have equal benefits, equal voting rights, and the equal opportunity to make a difference.

Conservation Alliance member, FootZone Bend, is a small, independently owned business in Bend, Oregon.  FootZone Bend is a local fixture in the Central Oregon outdoor community and has a reputation for friendly service and the local know-how that makes them a trusted source of information in a region geared toward outdoor recreation. 

When we asked Teague Hatfield, president and owner of FootZone Bend, why he is a Conservation Alliance member, he responded simply, "Because it makes sense."

Teague's membership in The Conservation Alliance is just a start to his commitment to conservation.  Teague, and the entire FootZone staff, are active members of their community and see the value in protecting natural landscapes because it is important to the beauty, the lifestyle, and the economy of Central Oregon. 

Protecting Bend's backyard is at the core of FootZone's business.  They continuously raise awareness and speak out in support of important conservation initiative; including the efforts of Conservation Alliance grantees Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) and Deschutes Land Trust (DLT). 

The Conservation Alliance has funded Oregon Natural Desert Association for their work to protect Oregon's high desert as Wilderness, namely on Steens Mountain, in the Oregon Badlands and in the Lower John Day River Basin.

The Deschutes Land Trust has received funding from The Conservation Alliance for their work to protect Skyline Forest from residential development and preserve it as a community forest to be enjoyed by hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians.

Teague volunteers countless hours each year on behalf of both these organizations.  He sits on ONDA's board of directors and was instrumental in developing a report on the economic impacts of Wilderness on Central Oregon.  Teague also traveled to Washington, D.C. to provide testimony on the need to protect the Oregon Badlands as Wilderness, which was designated as such in 2009.

FootZone Bend holds awareness raising events in their retail store, showcasing the conservation efforts of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and the Whychus-Deschutes proposed Wilderness.  They help raise funds for ONDA through the annual sale of the "Wild Desert Calendar", featuring brilliant photography of Oregon's high desert landscape.

The Dirty Half Marathon, a half-marathon trail running race organized by Footzone, is a direct benefit for the Deschutes Land Trust, and has raised more than $112,000 for Land Trusts' work to protect and bring awareness to the risks of development on Bend's community forests. 

Teague believes strongly in the value of strategic alliances and shares his vision with the FootZone staff. 

The result is a true collaboration between FootZone staff and its partners, where the local community is the ultimate winner. 

Teague, why are you committed to conservation?

Because it makes sense.

Enough said.  

Conrad Anker Summits Everest with NatGeo / The North Face Team

May 31, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Andy Bardon        Photo: Andy Bardon

Earlier this month we wrote about Conservation Alliance board member and The North Face icon Conrad Anker's preparation for his third summit of Mt. Everest.  As the weather improved and the summit attempt date drew closer, it was exciting to follow Conrad and his team, online, courtesy of The North Face and National Geographic Society.

On Friday, May 25th, Conrad summated, without oxygen, via the South Col route, along with National Geographic/The North Face expedition members Kris Erickson, Sam Elias, Emily Harrington, Mark Jenkins, and Hilaree O'Neil.

This year was one of the deadliest seasons on Mt. Everest.  Ten people died on the mountain.  Lines of climbers caused traffic jams on May 19th, when over 300 people crowed the upper slopes of Everest's southeast ridge.  Alpine climbing is inherently dangerous.  So why do climbers continue to risk their lives to climb to the world's highest point?

Mark Jenkins, a member of Conrad's expedition team said well in his most recent post to National Geographic's Everest Blog:

Climbing Everest is not curing cancer. It is a narcissistic pursuit, not a noble one. But, there is grandeur in the endeavor. A common goal of magnificent difficulty, with everyone sharing in the brief moments of pleasure and extended periods of pain, binds heart to heart more strongly than the rope itself. Because Everest is so high and so indifferent, it calls upon every mountaineer, at some point during the climb, to rise to his or her better self-that person inside us all who has unquestioned courage, who will sacrifice without doubt, who will commit without complaint, who will put life on the line. This is the answer to the inevitable question: Why? Because: The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, expects of you, demands of you, to reach for the highest qualities inside yourself.

Congratulations to Conrad and his team!

 

Protect the Peace

May 29, 2012 by Serena Bishop

       Photo: Juri Peepre

Take a minute - Protect the Peace!

With one simple action, you can make your voice hear in support of Conservation Alliance Grantee, Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) - and make difference!

British Columbia Hydro is proposing the construction of an $8 billion dam and reservoir - know as Site C - on British Columbia's Peace River

Site C would be the third hydro project on one of the most endangered rivers in the British Columbia. Among other consequences, this dam could be the final barrier to wildlife movement in this critical Y2Y corridor.

Now is the time for public comment!

Y2Y believes BC Hydro needs to conduct a cumulative effects assessment as part of their environmental assessment process that measures the impact that the Site C reservoir, together with all other existing and future development, will have on the ability of wildlife to move through the Peace Break region.

It Only Takes 1 Minute to Take Action

Please write a letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency asking them to broaden the scope of the guidelines.

Please click here to send a letter to send a letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

             Photo: Juri Peepre

Outstanding Partnership Stories: American Whitewater And KEEN, Inc. Join Forces To Make A Difference In Our Landscape

May 25, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Kent Vertress, AW Volunteer

American Whitewater, Conservation Alliance grantee and nation-wide advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers, is doing great work. Their efforts have lead to securing flow protections for iconic Colorado rivers, blocking the Flaming Gorge Pipeline Project on the Green River (WY/UT/CO), and dam removals including the Dillsboro Dam on the Tuckasegee River (NC) and the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River (WA).

But they aren't doing this work alone. 

The Conservation Alliance has funded American Whitewater (AW) eight times since 1993, contributing close to $250,000 to their campaigns to protect North America's last wild rivers.  But equally important to the success of these campaigns, AW has developed relationships with Conservation Alliance members; like-minded outdoor industry businesses passionate about protecting the landscape where their customers recreate. 

When we asked Mark Singleton, Executive Director of AW, to tell us about an outstanding partnership he has with a Conservation Alliance member company, without a moment of hesitation, he shared a narrative about KEEN, Inc. an outdoor footwear brand based in Portland, Oregon.

When KEEN started making shoes in 2003, they made a promise to themselves.  If their footwear caught on, they would do things differently.  The shoe with the big toe bumper proved a huge success, and true to their promise, KEEN is actively working for change.  They are in the game, not sitting on the sidelines.  KEEN's partnership with American Whitewater is an excellent example of this involvement and has been instrumental in AW's success in bringing down dams, protecting water flows, and providing human-powered recreationalist with places to play.

"Our partnership with KEEN looks to the future," said American Whitewater Executive Director Mark Singleton. "We both see a world where healthy rivers have a vital role in supporting the well-being of all those who enjoy the great outdoors."

When the Obama Administration needed a venue for an American's Great Outdoors listening session, KEEN stepped up and opened their Portland space for a home grown session, and the resulting "grassroots" comments and input generated there were included in the final AGO report delivered to the Whitehouse. 

At the Summer 2011 Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Salt Lake City, Utah, KEEN hosted America Whitewater in their booth, raising awareness and funds for the Colorado River Stewardship Campaign; ultimately resulting in protecting river flows in the Upper Colorado Basin and halting the Flaming Gorge Pipeline Project.

Support, both financial and personal, were instrumental in the Dillsboro and Condit Dam removal projects - and KEEN staff has helped to celebrate these achievements through site visits and attending the breach and party for the Condit Dam removal.

KEEN's support has also been influential in increased AW membership levels and credibility on the national scene.  Through KEEN product membership incentives, American Whitewater increased their membership by 13% in 2011; allowing AW to have an elevated voice with local and national elected officials.  KEEN has also been a strong and continual voice in Washington DC, demonstrating how protecting our wild places is an economic win.

Setting the bar high, American Whitewater and KEEN are working together, joining forces and making a difference in our landscape.  Click these links to learn more about American Whitewater  and KEEN, Inc.

This is the first is a series of Outstanding Partnership Stories.  Stay tuned to The Conservation Alliance Blog, ‘Favorites on Friday' for additional stories of outstanding partnerships.

Tattoo Design Contest - WE NEED YOU

May 23, 2012 by Serena Bishop

WE NEED YOU and your creative genius to design a temporary tattoo for The Conservation Alliance. 

If your design is selected as the winner, it will be "tattooed" onto the arms of hundreds of people at the Summer Outdoor Retailer tradeshow this August. 

And, you will win a Prize Package from Conservation Alliance member companies.

How to enter:

1)      Submit your design as an EPS file via email to serena@conservationalliance.com, subject line: Tattoo Contest

2)      Then, post your design as a photo The Conservation Alliance Facebook Page

Deadline for submissions: June 1st, 2012

Guideline requirements:

1)      1 color design

2)      Files must be submitted as a Adobe Illustrator EPS file

3)      Tattoo size must be between 2-4" wide & 4-6"' long

4)      All lines and type must be converted to outlines

5)      Must be original artwork

6)      The design must incorporate The Conservation Alliance logo and retain it in a recognizable fashion without significantly altering it. 

Here are the links to The Conservation Alliance Logos: Vertical & Square

Help Assess the True Cost of the Site C Dam

May 23, 2012 by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative
With one simple action, you have the opportunity to make a big difference!BC Hydro is proposing to construct an $8 billion dam and reservoir - known as Site C - on British Columbia's Peace River.Halfway River - Site C Impoundment  This would be the third hydro project on one of the most endangered rivers in the province. Among other consequences, this dam could be the final barrier to wildlife movement in this critical Y2Y corridor. Click here for the full background on Site C.Public Consultation Is On Now!Y2Y believes BC Hydro needs to conduct a cumulative effects assessment as part of their environmental assessment process that measures the impact that the Site C reservoir, together with all other existing and future development, will have on the ability of wildlife to move through the Peace Break region.It Only Takes 1-minute to Take ActionPlease write a letter to the two environmental assessment bureaus... Read More

Speak Out about Site C!

May 23, 2012 by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initative
Site C Campaign In northeastern British Columbia, near the middle of the Y2Y region, the Peace River Break stands out as a critical connection zone. This is also one of the few east-west links in the region. These geographic attributes make the Peace River Break vital to Y2Y's Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy. If the last remaining wildlife corridors are squeezed shut in this fast-growing area, southern grizzly bear populations could be permanently cut off from populations in the north.The SignificanceBC Hydro has resurrected, and is pushing ahead with, controversial plans for a huge dam on the Peace River. First proposed in the 1970s, and strongly opposed by area residents and ranchers, the Site C Dam has been on-again, off-again, four different times. If built, the facility would be the third massive dam in a series along the river. The dam could effectively put the final crimp in the Peace River... Read More

New Bill for Berryessa Snow Mountain!

May 22, 2012 by California Wilderness Coalition
REPS. MIKE THOMPSON, John Garamendi, lynn Woolsey Introduce Bill to Designate Berryessa Snow Mountain A National Conservation Area   On May 8, 2012, Representatives Mike Thompson (CA-1), John Garamendi (CA-10) and Lynn Woolsey (CA-6) introduced H.R. 5545, the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Act. The legislation would designate the Berryessa Snow Mountain region as a National Conservation Area (NCA). Under this designation, all currently owned federal lands within the NCA boundary would be united under one management plan, allowing the region to be managed according to the site-specific needs. The region would also be permanently protected under a NCA designation, ensuring continued recreational opportunities while safeguarding the region’s natural beauty, wildlife, rare plants, and waters – which include important sources of drinking water and irrigation for nearby communities.   The Berryessa Snow Mountain region stretches more than 100 miles from the lowlands of Putah Creek below Lake Berryessa, across... Read More

Thank our California Representatives for Berryessa Snow Mountain bill!

May 22, 2012 by California Wilderness Coalition
Take Action! Please join the CWC in thanking Representatives Thompson, Garamendi, and Woolsey for this important bill.   Copy and paste the sample letter below. Please personalize the letter as you see fit and then email it to info@calwild.org. We will deliver your letter.   SAMPLE LETTER   Dear Representatives Thompson, Garamendi, and Woolsey,   I am writing to thank you for introducing the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Act. This area is important to me because …..   Once passed, this legislation will help preserve these beautiful lands and rivers for all Americans to enjoy. Your bill will help protect the rich biodiversity of this region, including bald and golden eagles, black bears, mountain lions, tule elk, and rare plants found nowhere else on Earth.   The bill is also important for the local economy. Outdoor recreation and protected lands help the local economy. Recent studies by Headwaters... Read More

Outstanding Partnership Awards Announcement

May 18, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: CLIF Bar and Winter Wildlands Alliance - Glory Peak on Teton Pass in Wyoming

We are proud to announce that KEEN, Inc. and FootZone of Bend are the winners of our first annual Outstanding Partnership Awards. We asked our grantees to tell us stories about great partnerships they have with our members, and how these initiatives have helped their effort to protect special wild lands and waterways.

As the nominations rolled in, we were inspired by the stories of Conservation Alliance members going above and beyond their annual membership dues and connecting with our grantees directly - and making a difference.

We received eight nominations for the 2012 Outstanding Partnership Award. All the nominations are worthy of sharing. It was a challenge to pick only two winners. These two stories will be told through videos to be released later this year. We will tell all eight stories, one at a time, each week on The Conservation Alliance Blog starting May 25th.

Stay tuned to The Conservation Alliance Blog - where "Favorites on Fridays" will feature one Grantee/Member Partnership Story for the next eight weeks.

 

Take Action Tuesday: American Rivers Announces America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2012

May 15, 2012 by John Sterling

 Photo: James Kaiser courtesy of O.A.R.S.

Conservation Alliance grantee American Rivers today released its annual America's Most Endangered Rivers report.The report lists the 10 most endangered rivers in the US, and explains why these waterways are in peril. Topping this year's list is the Potomac, which flows through our nation’s capital. The Potomac earned the distinction as the most endangered river in the country because of pollution, and the fact that essential clean water protections are under attack in Congress.

"As ‘the nation’s river,’ the Potomac is emblematic of what’s at stake for rivers and public health nationwide," says the report.

Also on the list is the Green River, which flows through Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The Conservation Alliance has supported American Whitewater in their efforts to protect rivers in Colorado, including the Green. Water developers have proposed to build a 500-mile long "Flaming Gorge Pipeline" that will send water from the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to Colorado's Front Range. Estimates for completing the Flaming Gorge pipeline range between $7 billion and $9 billion an amount that could be the highest of any water project in Colorado's history. The project could potentially divert more than 250,000 acre feet of water from the Green River annually— water that currently supports a robust recreation and tourism economy, rural agriculture, native species, and urban water use downstream.

Take Action!

The complete list of endangered rivers follows. Click here to take action to protect any and all of the rivers on the list!

  1. Potomac River (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington D.C.)
    Threat:  Pollution; Clean Water Act rollbacks
  2. Green River (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado)
    Threat:  Water withdrawals
  3. Chattahoochee River (Georgia)
    Threat:  New dams and reservoirs
  4. Missouri River (Colorado,Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming)
    Threat:  Outdated flood management
  5. Hoback River (Wyoming)
    Threat:  Natural gas development
  6. Grand River (Ohio)
    Threat:  Natural gas development
  7. South Fork Skykomish River (Washington)
    Threat:  New dam
  8. Crystal River (Colorado)
    Threat:  Dams and water diversions
  9. Coal River (West Virginia)
    Threat:  Mountaintop removal coal mining
  10. Kansas River (Kansas)
    Threat:  Sand and gravel dredging

Central Oregon LandWatch Provides Comments to the Forest Service

May 14, 2012 by Central Oregon LandWatch
Central Oregon LandWatch recently received a grant from the Conservation Alliance to help protect the flows of Tumalo Creek (a critical cold water tributary to the Deschutes River). Enabled by the grant, LandWatch retained a hydrogeologist and hydrologist to provide comments to the Forest Service on an environmental assessment of a pipeline project that would divert water from the Creek. The experts criticized the Forest Service’s failure to assess climate changes that will seriously impact summer flows of the Creek in the future and the failure to do an assessment based on natural flows of the Creek. LandWatch itself submitted over 90 pages of critical comments on the EA and 160 pages of news articles critical of the project. It also coordinated the submittal of numerous letters from fishermen, professional photographers, runners, and other recreationists pointing out the negative effects of water withdrawals from the Creek.Only with the support LandWatch... Read More

Favorites on Friday: For Alliance Board Member Conrad Anker, a Waiting Game on Everest

May 11, 2012 by John Sterling

Photo: Andy Bardon

As we reported a few weeks ago, Conservation Alliance board member and North Face icon Conrad Anker (above left) is in Nepal preparing for his third attemp at the summit of Mt. Everest. He summited the mountain in 1999 and 2007. The two-month expedition seeks to repeat the historic climb of the 1963 National Geographic-sponsored American Mount Everest Expedition, almost 50 years after that first American ascent. Conrad was originally planning to attempt the West Ridge with photographer Cory Richards, who had to back out of the expedition after experiencing health issues during an acclimitization trip to 23,000 feet on the mountain. Conrad is now hoping to climb the West Ridge with accomplished Himalayan mountaineer Simone Moro (above right). According to the Field Test on Everest blog, Moro would first need to change his climbing permit, and, in his words, "fall in love with this route." It has been exciting to follow this expedition online for the past month, courtesy of The North Face and National Geographic Society.

I was suprised to receive an email from Conrad earlier this week. I had sent a message to the entire Conservation Alliance board, expecting to hear back from him in June, after his expedition. Dedicated board member that he is, Conrad found bandwidth -- literally and figuratively -- to keep on top of his Conservation Alliance responsibilities.  "The wonders if technology.  I'm working on my solid state iPad and enjoying life at base camp," wrote Conrad. He added that if things work out with Simone, they will shoot for a summit bid in late May. The weather on Everest has been challenging this year, forcing several expeditions to pack up and go home. We wish Conrad the best on this adventure.

Take Action Tuesday: 25,000 Miles of Roads to Nowhere Threaten Utah's Wilderness

May 08, 2012 by John Sterling

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is pushing a lawsuit agains the federal government that seeks to give Utah counties control over 25,000 miles of so-called roads that traverse most of Utah's Wilderness-quality federal land. According to Conservation Alliance grantee Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance:

"The vast majority of these routes have never been established or maintained, and they don't really exist on the ground. They are but cow paths, old seismic lines, dry stream beds and one-man joyride trails. This is not really about transportation at all. Utah is simply using an old mining law, Revised Stature 2477, as an excuse to undermine future wild lands conservation and to open these special places to development, extractive industry and off-road vehicle assault. If they succeed, such lawsuits will spring up throughout the West, and our last wild public lands will be lost forever."

Following is a map showing the extent to which these "roads" (in red) would intrude on Utah's wild public lands. Click here for a larger version.

 

Take Action!

Ask Interior Secretary Salazar to defend Utah's public lands today! Click here to send a message to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, asking that he vigorously fight the State of Utah's lawsuit.

This lawsuit is one of a growing list of efforts and proposals that elected officials are making to undermine protections for public lands in Utah. In March, Governor Herbert signed into law a bill that authorizes the state to do everything within its power to transfer title of federal lands in Utah to the state.

Also in March, the BLM authorized nearly 1,300 new natural gas wells in Utah’s Desolation Canyon wilderness and other remote areas. In approving the so-called Gasco development project, the Department of the Interior rejected calls by the Environmental Protection Agency and tens of thousands of citizens from across the country to approve an alternative to Gasco’s proposal. This alternative would have allowed for significant development while protecting the department’s plan to designate Desolation Canyon as wilderness and reducing the overall footprint and impact of the project.

It is disappointing to watch Utah -- which benefits economically from outdoor tourism and from the outdoor industry's twice-yearly trade show in Salt Lake City -- work so hard to diminish the wild and natural places in the state. 

 

Marin Backyard Collective

May 07, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

The Bay Area Backyard Collective brought together more than 60 volunteers for a day of invasive plant removal with the guidance of our partners at Marin County Parks

Volunteers from MarmotCamelBak, Clif BarREI and and The North Face hiked a steep incline to reach four areas for Himalayan Blackberry, Barbed Goat Grass and Pioneer Fennel removal in the Terra Linda Sleepy Hollow Preserve.

A White Tailed Kite soared above as Marin County Parks Natural Resource Field Staff Coordinator Pete Frye related the importance of the serpentine grasses for the preserve, adding a note of significance and beauty.

Volunteers in the field (photo by Amber Miska)

(photo by Amber Miksza)

The work here was demanding and teamwork a necessity. One of my favorite elements of the Backyard Collective is seeing how cooperative volunteers from our member businesses work together for the good of the project. New connections are always cultivated at these events. Our hope is that they continue to grow beyond the day.

 

Our celebration and Volunteer Fair was located a few miles away at the beautiful Lagoon Playground, overlooked by the Marin Civic Center. After a hard morning's work, volunteers arrived at the park hungry--a good thing as lunch was being served up by Top Dog Catering.

The Volunteer Fair included representatives from the Marin County Parks, the Bay Area Ridge Trail and the Volunteers for Outdoor California, eager to discuss upcoming projects and opportunities for action.

We closed the day with words of inspiration and a raffle loaded with goodies from our participating member businesses. Thanks again to all who planned, worked and celebrated with us! For additional photos, visit our Facebook page by clicking here.

 Marin BYC Volunteers, photo by Amber Miksza

(photo by Amber Miksza) 

Favorites on Friday: Conservation Alliance Seattle Tour

May 04, 2012 by Serena Bishop

  Seattle's Pike Place Market

Last week I had to opportunity to venture north, to Seattle, and visit a number of our member companies.  Seattle is a big city, full of sights, sounds, and a hustle-and-bustle we don't have in Bend, Oregon.  As I negotiated my way through a maze of freeways, only one thought came to mind: "Seattle is a Big City."  Once I got my bearings, I realized it wasn't that big after all, and was impressed at how easy it was to get around; I only wished I was commuting by bike instead of car.

I started off Day One with a stop at Brooks Sports where Conservation Alliance Ambassador, David Kemp, rallied a great group around coffee and pastries to learn more about The Alliance.  I was impressed by the thoughtfulness of the group's questions and had a renewed sense of inspiration as I drove into Seattle's city center to meet with the folks from Outdoor Research.

 Vasque might be home to the largest boot, but I think Brooks is home to the largest running shoe.

Jeff Greenwell, Ambassador for Outdoor Research, helped to arrange for a lunch-time gathering, with pizza, of course, and I presented to a full room of OR employees, including CEO, Dan Nordstrom.  The Conservation Alliance has recently funded a number of projects in Washington, namely the Wild Olympics Campaign and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Campaign, and it was great to discuss these projects in a bit more detail with people that call these areas their backyard.   After my presentation, Christian Folk, OR's Grassroots Marketing Supervisor, gave me a tour of OR's facility, including the factory that manufactures OR accessories and gloves (right in downtown Seattle) and their onsite climbing wall.

Outdoor Research
Christian sporting his Stanley water bottle with new Conservation Alliance sticker.
 
The next day, I made a presentation at REI's headquarters in Kent, Washington. REI is a founding member of The Conservation Alliance and I had the privilege of hearing a little bit more about the early days of the organization from former board member and  REI's corporate giving program manager, David Jayo.  REI has a rich history in the outdoor industry and I was impressed by the way this legacy is celebrated around their corporate headquarters and among the staff.
 
My next two meetings took me back downtown, where I met with Cascade Designs and delivered a presentation to Filson Outdoor Clothing employees.  Both companies, located just a few miles from one another, manufacture products on-sight.
 
Ever wonder how many little pieces are needed for your MSR DragonFly stove to operate?  I don't know the answer, but just walking through the Cascade Designs factory and seeing all the machinery needed to manufacture the parts and then construct the stove gave me a new-found appreciation for my morning coffee in backcountry.
 
Filson has a retail store below their offices and from the windows of the store, you can look right into the space where garments are being cut and sewed.   Filson has been located in Seattle since 1897, when the company was started by C.C. Filson, to outfit Klondike gold-seekers.
 
The Filson store merchandising speaks novels about their commitment to history and quality.

Visiting our members is one of the most inspiring parts of my job.  We are all part of the Outdoor Industry; a collective voice that, when used together, can make a difference.  I am proud and honored to work with people that have made a concious decision to be part of this voice - and together, we are making a difference.

Take Action Tuesday: Help Protect Teshekpuk Lake and America's Arctic!

May 01, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

The nearly 23 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska supports a stunning diversity and abundance of wildlife. Right now, the U.S. Department of the Interior is writing its first-ever, comprehensive plan for the entire Reserve, providing the opportunity to protect the most important places for wildlife.

Teshekpuk Lake, on the coastal plain of the Reserve, is part of the largest wetlands area in the entire Arctic. These wetlands provide vital habitat for millions of migratory birds, including species such as the rare Yellow-billed Loon and the threatened Spectacled Eider. Birds that breed, forage, molt, and stage in the Reserve each summer disperse from coast to coast throughout the U.S and to every continent, even Antarctica.

The Reserve is home to other wildlife as well. More than 400,000 caribou migrate to their calving grounds in the Reserve. Iconic marine mammals inhabit the coastline, including polar bear, walrus, beluga whale, and several species of ice-dependent seals. 

Congress has long recognized that there are special areas in the Reserve that deserve protection from oil and gas development, but there are currently no permanent protections in place.

Take Action!

Ask Secretary Salazar to choose a final plan that provides balance by protecting Teshekpuk Lake and other key wildlife areas as oil and gas are developed in the Reserve. Click here to submit your comment.

In the draft plan, Alternative B stands apart as the clear choice for balanced management. It would effectively protect habitat vital to healthy wildlife populations in America's Arctic while also allowing for future oil and gas development. Alternative B would protect several ecologically important areas with exceptional wildlife:

  • Teshekpuk Lake/Dease Inlet: Calving grounds for the Teshekpuk Lake caribou herd; globally-significant Important Bird Area with nesting habitat for countless shorebirds, waterfowl, and seabirds, including the rare Yellow-billed Loon and the threatened Spectacled Eider.
  • Peard Bay and Surrounding Wetlands: Concentration area for three species of ice-dependent seals; designated critical "no disturbance" habitat for polar bear; important nesting and feeding habitat for various seaducks, including the threatened Spectacled Eider.
  • Utukok River Uplands/DeLong Mountains: Calving grounds of the Western Arctic caribou herd (the largest in Alaska); vital habitat for grizzly bear, wolves, and wolverine; exceptional wilderness recreation opportunities in the mountains of the Brooks Range.
  • Colville River: Extraordinary multi-species densities of cliff-nesting raptors including Peregrine Falcon, Rough-legged Hawk, and Gyrfalcon.
  • Kasegaluk Lagoon: This unique coastal area and the surrounding wetlands are vital to several marine mammal species including polar bear, walrus, ice seals, and beluga whale. It is a globally-significant Important Bird Area for a diversity of nesting and foraging waterbirds.

Take Action now by clicking here and asking Secretary Salazar to choose Alternative B, plan that provides balance by protecting Teshekpuk Lake and other key wildlife areas as oil and gas are developed in the Reserve. 

To learn more about the Western Arctic, visit the Audubon Alaska website here.

Protecting 200 miles of the Yuba Watershed

May 01, 2012 by Foothills Water Network
The Foothills Water Network and its members are currently engaged in hydropower relicensing negotiations to protect and restore 200 miles of the Yuba watershed by establishing conditions in two federally enforceable hydropower licenses. The two licenses are for the Pacific Gas & Electric Company Drum-Spaulding Hydropower Project and Nevada Irrigation District’s Yuba-Bear Hydropower Project. These two hydropower projects are the most complex hydropower projects in the nation – impacting over 200 miles of river with 22 dams and diversions. The Network is negotiating with the licensees as well as federal and state resource agencies and Placer County Water Agency. The headwaters of the Yuba originate in the west slope of the California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Tahoe National Forest. Just before you climb over the summit into the Lake Tahoe basin, you can see the Yuba’s headwaters streams shimmering through the pine and fir tree forest. Hiking trails meander... Read More

Conservation Alliance Grantee Update April 2012

April 27, 2012 by Serena Bishop

In April 2011, The Conservation Alliance invested $500,000 in grassroots conservation organizations.
Each grant went to a project working to secure permanent protection for a specific threatened wild place. We direct organizations to use our funding over the course of a 12-month period. At the end of the grant period, we ask each group for a 12-month final report. These reports play a key role in helping us determine the return on our investment.

On April 1, we received 17 final reports. Click here for a summary of the progress our grantees have made with our funding. At the end of this summary are several exciting updates on work we funded in October 2011. We will share final reports on all of our October 2011 grants in October 2012.

Take Action Tuesday: Polar Bear Dance Party

April 24, 2012 by Serena Bishop

           Photo: Steven Kazlowski / www.lefteyepro.com

Right now, Shell Oil's drill ships are on their way to America's Arctic Ocean. Shell hopes to begin drilling in our Arctic waters in a matter of weeks with no viable plan to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic's extreme conditions, which range from sea ice up to 25-feet thick and sub-zero temperatures to months of darkness and hurricane-force storms.

There is still time to stop this disaster from happening. President Barack Obama has yet to grant Shell's final drilling permits. Alaska Wilderness League and many other organizations are gearing up an unprecedented campaign to get the message to President Obama that he must stop Shell now. This Saturday, join a nationwide Polar Bear Uprising to show the president that our nation's most beloved bears will not be ignored.

Across the country, people will be gathering, dressed in white wearing polar bear masks, to do the polar bear dance and demand that President Obama turn Shell's ships around. The hope is to set a world record for the largest "polar bear uprising" ever, and put Shell on ice!

As the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change, two-thirds of the world's polar bears could disappear by mid-century. Rapid sea ice loss from climate change is the polar bear's biggest threat. However, if an oil spill were to happen in the Arctic's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, polar bears would suffer huge impacts, as would many other species that depend on the Arctic - bowhead whales, beluga whales, ice seals, walrus, millions of birds and much more.

In addition, the Inupiat people who have thrived off the bounty of Arctic waters for thousands of years could see the loss of their livelihood and their culture. Caroline Cannon, an Inupiat leader and outspoken advocate for the people of America's Arctic coast, was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize last week in acknowledgement of her ongoing efforts to stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic.

"Right now as I speak, my Inupiat people up in Point Hope are out hunting for whales. And Shell's drilling ships are on their way to launch the most aggressive drilling plans ever in the Arctic Ocean," Caroline said in her acceptance speech.  "When I met President Obama a couple of years ago, he told me he knew what it was like to be treated as a second-class citizen. He made a promise to work with the Inupiat people and protect our way of life. That gave me hope. Now is the time to hold him to that promise. I need everyone here today to remind him what's at stake. I need you to stand with me to honor my father's wishes as he stood on the ice for the last time. I need you to stand with me to remind him that we all have a responsibility to protect America's Arctic."

Help Caroline ensure that President Obama gets the message loud and clear by joining the largest Polar Bear Uprising in history on Saturday. Find an uprising near you here, or learn how you can host one. If you can't make it on Saturday, please sign this petition to President Obama - and demand that he put Shell on ice.

President Obama designates California's Fort Ord as a National Monument

April 23, 2012 by Serena Bishop

On Friday, April 20th, President Obama, under the 1906 Antiquities Act, designated Fort Ord as a National Monument.  Located on the central California Coast in Monterey, the Ford Ord National Monument encompasses approximately 14,650 acres and provides recreational opportunities including hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. 

"This national monument will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California's coast, but will also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century," said President Obama. 

While the detailed protections associated with this designation are not yet released, most national monuments are protected from all oil and gas drilling, and mining activities.  This Fort Ord Monument will be managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management - 7,200 acres are currently open for recreation, while an additional 7,450 acres, once used for artillery practice, will be cleaned up and opened for public use in 2019.

Environmental leaders, politicians and the business community from the Monterey Bay area have worked together in their efforts to have Fort Ord designated as a National Monument.  Such a designation brings tourism and new business to the area, permanently protects open space and provides environmental protections.

President Obama's National Monument designation does not require a vote of Congress; as he used the Antiquities Act, a law signed by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906, meant to provide special protection to federal lands of national importance.

"This is fantastic," said Henrietta Stern, president of Fort Ord Recreation Trails Friends. "We just wanted to make sure that what we're enjoying today will always be preserved for future generations."

To learn more about Fort Ord, click here.

To follow, comment or celebrate Ford Ord's National Monument designation on Twitter, please use hash tags #fortord #monumentsmatter

Favorites on Friday: Conservation Alliance Midwest Tour

April 18, 2012 by John Sterling

Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling here, fresh off a quick tour of Minnesota and Western Michigan, where I visited three member companies and enjoyed a solid dose of the famous Midwest hospitality. My first stop was Minneapolis, where I made a presentation to our newest member company, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day. It was great to meet the Mrs. Meyer's crew in their brand-new offices right next to Target Field (I missed the Twins' home opener by one day). CEO Kevin Rutherford leads a dedicated crew that asked a ton of questions about The Conservation Alliance and our grantees. We're excited to have this great company on board!

Mrs. Meyers offices in the shadow of Target Field in Minneapolis.

My next stop was Red Wing, Minnesota, on the banks of the Mississippi River, one hour downstream from the Twin Cities. My primary goal was to meet with employees of member company Vasque, a brand of the Red Wing Shoe Company. I arrived the afternoon before my presentation and got a tour of Red Wing (the town) from Bill Sweasy, the third-generation leader of the family-owned company. Red Wing is a well-preserved river town. Downtown is full of authentic, brick storefronts, and the river features steamboats and riverside grain elevators. At the center of it all is Red Wing Shoes (known to locals as "The Shoe"). Bill led us on a hike up Barn Bluff, which offers a birds-eye view of the town. He pointed out many parks and historic buildings that the company had helped preserve.

Bill Sweasy on the summit of Barn Bluff in Red Wing.

The following day, I made a presentation to the Vasque crew before joining Vasque Sales Manager Chris Miller on a tour of the Red Wing Shoe Factory #2, a short drive from the head offices. Seeing hundreds of employees building Red Wing boots and shoes made it clear how important this company is to the community. My final stop was to the Red Wing Shoe Flagship Store, which is home to the world's largest boot, a two-story, full-leather boot (size 638 1/2 D).

The world's largest boot.

I ended my tour by flying into Grand Rapids, MI, the urban center nearest Wolverine World Wide, the parent company of Conservation Alliance members Merrell, Chaco, and Patagonia Footwear. Merrell General Manager Seth Cobb rallied a great turnout for my presentation in the company's auditorium. Nearly 100 employees heard about The Conservation Alliance and our efforts to protect wild places throughout North America. Joining me in this presentation was Amy Beyer, Director of Conservation Resource Alliance, one of our grantees. Merrell has twice nominated CRA to submit grant requests to us to support their Boardman River dam removal project. We have funded CRA twice (totaling $65,000) for the project, which aims to remove four dams on the Boardman, which flows through Traverse City, MI. Amy answered many insightful questions from the Wolverine crew, and built a stronger relationship with the company.

 

The Conservation Alliance's greatest strength is that we are a group of companies with different cultures, different geographic locations, and different ways of doing business. The common thread that links them all is a strong commitment to protecting the wild rivers, mountains, deserts, forests and other landscapes so important to people who love the outdoors. It was great to visit a few of our members in a part of the country I don't often see. 

Take Action Tuesday: Ever Dreamed of Being a Polar Bear?

April 17, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Ever dreamed of being a polar bear? Join Alaska Wilderness League and the feisty nonprofit will fulfill your wish with one of its eight "Ice-P" costumes. You'll be covered in white fur from the top of your head to the bottom of your shoes.

These costumes regularly travel the country as "Ice-P" to appear at elementary schools, presidential town halls or on roller skates in a Fourth of July parade. One is oftentimes spied in New England riding in the passenger seat of a staff member's car. Ice-P also has his own Facebook page and column in the organization's newsletter. He is quite the verbose bear.

If polar bears aren't your thing, you can also take on the persona of a brown bear, sandpiper, white-fronted goose or walrus. This Washington-based, fun-loving organization boasts a full Alaskan menagerie.

Alaska Wilderness League's costumes say a lot about the organization - where the goal is to work hard, but have fun while pursuing its ultimate mission: "to lead the effort to preserve Alaska's wild lands and waters by engaging citizens and decision makers with a courageous, constant, victorious voice for Alaska."

The League, founded in 1993 by wilderness champion Mike Matz, has been led by Cindy Shogan for the past 13 years.  The Alaska Wilderness League is  the only environmental organization based in D.C. devoted full-time to protecting Alaska's wild places and has a reputation for being nimble, strategic and forward-thinking.

"We pride ourselves on being a grassroots organization, meaning that we do our best work by engaging people from all over the country who care about Alaska," Shogan said. "My favorite part of every year is our Wilderness Week, when we bring activists to Washington and let them loose on Congress.  After all, the places we are working to protect are public land-we all own them."

The League is constantly striving to be creative and innovative - to help bring Alaska to people who may never actually go there themselves. As part of their current campaign to stop Shell Oil from drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer, they are hosting "Polar Bear Uprisings" across the country - together with Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana, Endangered Species Coalition, and other partners. These events will bring people together, dressed as polar bears, of course, to dance to "Ice Ice Baby" and chant "President Obama: Put Shell on Ice!"

In addition to grassroots, the League has an extensive online program - from comprehensive email alerts to frequent Twitter storms and an active Facebook page. Follow @AlaskaWild on Twitter and you'll be invited to this week's Twitter storm that will mark the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and implore President Obama to stop the next disaster from happening in America's Arctic Ocean. 

Alaska Wilderness League staff and members have one thing in common - they love Alaska for the mystical beauty and spiritual stillness of its wild places. They've got stiff competition - from the state of Alaska itself to Big Oil - but so far, the League has proved that the mighty can come in all sizes and iterations.

Join The Conservation Alliance, The North Face, and Alaska Wilderness League to protect the Arctic Ocean today by visiting the Conservation Alliance Facebook page and sending a message to President Obama.

Click here to Take Action!

 

Rep. Gallegly Introduces Los Padres Recreation and Land Protection Bill

April 17, 2012 by California Wilderness Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February  29 , 2012 CONTACT: Laurel Williams, (O) 626-298-6424, (M) 909-260-8833, lwilliams@calwild.org Washington, DC - Republican Representative Elton Gallegly who serves California's 24th Congressional District introduced legislation today that would protect many important wild places in the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The "Los Padres Conservation and Recreation Act of 2012" (LPCRA) proposes to protect over 63,000 acres (over 98 square-miles) of the LPNF as legally-designated wilderness. Once an area is designated as wilderness, it cannot be opened to road construction, oil drilling, logging or other forms of development, though people can still visit the area to hike, camp, fish, ride horses, hunt and enjoy other low-impact forms of recreation. The Forest Service is also still allowed to fight fires in wilderness areas and to conduct law enforcement and search and rescue operations. Representative Gallegly's bill would expand the existing Dick... Read More

Update from California Wilderness Coalition at 04/17/12 6:03 PM

April 17, 2012 by California Wilderness Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February  29 , 2012 Washington, DC - Republican Representative Elton Gallegly who serves California's 24th Congressional District introduced legislation today that would protect many important wild places in the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The "Los Padres Conservation and Recreation Act of 2012" (LPCRA) proposes to protect over 63,000 acres (over 98 square-miles) of the LPNF as legally-designated wilderness. Once an area is designated as wilderness, it cannot be opened to road construction, oil drilling, logging or other forms of development, though people can still visit the area to hike, camp, fish, ride horses, hunt and enjoy other low-impact forms of recreation. The Forest Service is also still allowed to fight fires in wilderness areas and to conduct law enforcement and search and rescue operations. Representative Gallegly's bill would expand the existing Dick Smith Wilderness, Matilija Wilderness and Sespe Wilderness in... Read More

Successful kickoff to our 2012 Backyard Collective season in Santa Barbara!

April 16, 2012 by Cassondra Schindler

With perfect working temperatures and storm clouds hovering, over 150 volunteers from Patagonia, Horny Toad, Deckers, Vapur, REI and Channel Islands Outfitters removed invasive species replacing them with 600 native plants between two sites along the Atascadero and Cieneguitas creeks in the San Marcos Foothills Preserve

 

There were cultivators, hoes and gloved hands working side by side as volunteers took turns pulling invasives and replacing them with fuschia-flowered gooseberry, coastal sage-brush and many other native plant species color coded with a flag system. 

 

A volunteer crew arrived early to set up the stage (thanks Deckers!), bring coffee (yeah Horny Toad), assist with registration (Go REI!), and general duties (High Five Patagonia).

A bus filled with Patagonia employees making the forty minute trek arrived and Deanna Lloyd, Conservation Alliance Outreach Committee Member, took to the stage for a morning welcome and brief program that included remarks from participating member business leaders Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad, Casey Sheahan, CEO of Patagonia, Zohar Ziv, COO of Deckers, Dave Troutner, General Mager of REI Santa Barbara and guest Garret Kababik, co-owner of Channel Islands Outfitters.

Local television station KEYT came out filing this video report for their "What's Right" news segment. 

Our Volunteer Fair brought representatives from Environmental Defense Fund, Santa Barbara ChannelKeeper, Los Padres Forest Watch, California Wilderness Coalition, Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers and our Backyard Collective partner Channel Islands Restoration to share updates and engage volunteers in taking additional action.

The Santa Barbara Backyard Collective was weeks in the making with a cross-organizational team of Conservation Alliance member planners. Thanks again to our planning group: Adam Druckman, Ariana Arcenas-Utley, Hans Cole, Kate Larramendy and Piper Presley. 

Special thanks to Julie Popp (Verde PR), and everyone else who pitched in on our communications team: Sean Knotts, Ben Wahler, Jen Rapp, and Blair Brown.

Of course, we're also grateful to Mother Nature for timing rainstorms perfectly around our event. The first raindrops fell as participants said farewell after a very satisfying day's work.

 Enjoy more photos of the Santa Barbara Backyard Collective on Facebook.

 *To learn more about the Backyard Collective Program click here: http://www.conservationalliance.com/UserFiles/File/BYC/sponsorship.pdf

 

Favorites on Friday: Save Our Wild Salmon has reason to Celebrate!

April 13, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Save Our Wild Salmon is a nationwide coalition of conservation organizations, commercial and sports fishing associations, businesses, river groups, and taxpayer advocates working collectively to restore self-sustaining, abundant, and harvestable populations of wild salmon and steelhead to rivers, streams and oceans of the Pacific Salmon states. 

This week, for the seventh straight year, comprehensive spring and summer spill begins on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.  Spill is a salmon protection measure that sends water over the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers in order to help young salmon migrate through the federal hydrosystem. It is widely regarded as the safest and most effective means of helping these fish reach the Pacific Ocean, as long as the dams remain in place.

Since the annual spill on the Snake and Columbia Rivers began in 2006, tens of thousands more salmon and steelhead have been produced. Measured in fish, this is Save Our Wild Salmon's biggest achievement in 20 years.

Although most of these salmon are hatchery fish, any fish improvements in the dam system necessarily benefit all the fish in the river. These better hatchery returns make spill the most successful job protector and creator in Columbia-Snake salmon policy in the last 20 years.

As for wild fish, most ESA-listed salmon and steelhead populations in the Basin are at higher numbers and in sounder condition because of comprehensive spill, buying them precious years against extinction. Spill is not enough to restore them, particularly Snake River and upper Columbia species, but it has made a big positive difference.

Help celebrate 20 years uniting people for salmon, rivers, and jobs at the SOS Turning 20 in 2012 Anniversary Party!

WHEN: Thursday, April 19
TIME: 6-9 PM
WHERE: KEEN headquarters, 926 NW 13th Ave #210 (upstairs), Portland, OR
FREE Admission 

More Details here

Shoshone National Forest & Wind River Valley Keep it Wild Campaign

April 13, 2012 by Wyoming Outdoor Council
 Over the next two years, federal land managers will propose new long-term plans for more than 2.5 million contiguous acres of National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Wyoming Outdoor Council, in partnership with The Wilderness Society of Wyoming, intend to capitalize on this rare opportunity in order to (1) secure a decision that withdraws the spectacular Upper Wind River Valley—which is adjoining to the Shoshone National Forest—from future oil and gas leasing; (2) convince officials to recommend expanded wilderness designations on the Shoshone National Forest; and (3) ensure that all inventoried roadless areas on the Shoshone are deemed unsuitable for industrial development.... Read More

Protecting Utah’s Red Rock Country

April 11, 2012 by Earthjustice
Project OverviewThe goal of this project is to use the power of law to protect roughly three million acres of spectacular wilderness-quality public lands in Utah’s red rock country. On behalf of conservationists, Earthjustice has challenged in court six federal land management plans that would sacrifice these wild lands to oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicles (ORVs). The areas at risk include lands adjacent to Arches, Canyonlands, and Zion National Parks, as well as Desolation, Nine Mile, and Labyrinth Canyons. Our goal is to overturn the land management plans and compel the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to produce new plans that close the wilderness-quality lands at stake to oil and gas leasing and ORVs for the next 15-20 years. This would open an opportunity to obtain permanent federal protection for these wild places. Project UpdateIn March 2012, this litigation was transferred from the federal district court in Washington... Read More

Update from Earthjustice at 04/11/12 10:17 PM

April 11, 2012 by Earthjustice
In March 2012, this litigation was transferred from the federal district court in Washington DC to the federal district court in Utah. We hope to begin briefing the case by mid-2012, which could lead to a final ruling by the end of 2013.... Read More

Take Action Tuesday: How You Can Help Protect America's Arctic Landscape

April 10, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Lauren Hierl

There are few places in this country more pristine, vast and wild than Arctic Alaska. From the snowcapped peaks of the Brooks Range, to the vast tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's Coastal Plain - crucial habitat for polar bears, caribou, millions of birds and more - America's Arctic is one of the few places that remain largely untouched by humankind. That all could change in a matter of months. Royal Dutch Shell is itching to launch the most aggressive course of drilling in history in the Arctic's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas - as soon as July 1.

Despite falling victim to a lawsuit from Shell, organizations like Alaska Wilderness League are stepping up efforts to stop the oil giant, which recently admitted to 207 oil spills in 2011, including the worst spill in a decade in the North Sea.

Right now, Shell's drill ships are on their way to America's Arctic Ocean - unless President Obama acts to stop them. Shell is pushing to drill in our Arctic waters despite the fact that there is no proven way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic's extreme conditions. In addition, there is limited information about the Arctic's marine environment.

The risks are huge - at this point, drilling in the Arctic Ocean is tantamount to ‘Mission Impossible.' The Arctic Ocean is prone to hurricane-force storms, 20-foot swells, sea ice up to 25 feet thick, sub-zero temperatures and months-long darkness.  What's more, the Arctic has extremely limited infrastructure (there are no roads or deep water ports and only a handful of small airports) and the nearest Coast Guard station is 1,000 miles away.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama made a profound and welcome promise: "I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago." He must keep this promise in America's Arctic Ocean.

Join our efforts to protect the Arctic Ocean today by visiting the Conservation Alliance Facebook page and send a message to President Obama. There is no time to waste. If President Obama fails to stop Shell from moving forward with its dangerous plans for our Arctic waters, he could be left with the next major oil spill disaster on his hands - and the destruction of one of our planet's most vital ecosystems.

 To learn more about Alaska Wilderness League click here.

Protect Beauty Mountain!

April 10, 2012 by California Wilderness Coalition
Congressman Daryl Issa introduced the Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act last year, but the bill is languishing in the US House of Representatives. Take action today by writing to Rep. Issa and let him know just how important this bill is to you! Copy and Paste the letter below and click here: http://issa.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=597&Itemid=73 to send to Representative Issa. Feel free to add in your own personal stories and anecdotes about why Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia are so important to protect! Dear Representative Issa, Thank you so much for introducing the Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act. Your bill would bring much needed protections to these spectacular areas in San Diego County. The chaparral-draped slopes and valleys of Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia provide homes to wildlife as well as hiking and horseback riding opportunities for locals and visitors. We need this bill! Given the challenging climate... Read More

Land Protection Challenges Evident During Conservation Alliance Visit to D.C.

April 09, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Gareth Martins

Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing for Osprey Packs and Conservation Alliance board member, joined The Conservation Alliance in Washington, DC a few weeks ago, carrying a positive of how the outdoor recreational economy has remained strong and healthy through challenging economic times. 

Gareth has traveled to Washington, DC a number of times to advocate for the protection of our public lands and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and a strong and powerful voice.  We are fortunate to have partners like Gareth, truly impassioned individuals who have a long term vision for the health of our economy, our country, and our children.

"The outdoor recreational economy has remained strong and healthy through challenging economic times. Members of The Conservation Alliance rely on public lands for our customers to engage in human powered recreation. I am thankful for those in Congress who recognize that conservation of our public lands is good for our economy - period. I had a great time listening and learning and checking the vibe on Capitol Hill and I look forward to a spirit of progress and action in years to come."

To read Gareth's complete recap of his Washington, DC experience and learn more about the issues over at the Osprey BLOG, click here.

A Board Member's Recap: D.C. Lobbying Trip with the Conservation Alliance

April 06, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo:Andrea Manning

Ted Manning, a Conservation Alliance board member and Executive Vice President of Eastern Mountain Sports, joined The Conservation Alliance in Washington, DC a few weeks ago, carrying a message of how conservation is as good for business as it is for the environment.

This was Ted's first time to Washington, DC in an advocacy capacity and he came away with some great insights, which he shared in a piece posted on the Eastern Mountain Sports blog.

"What I am left with is the realization that there are some really great people (working in a very tough environment) to protect our natural assets. They do this work without a lot of glory, but the work they do is critical to our economy, our communities and our heritage as Americans. I am also left with the feeling that all of us really can make a difference. We just have to be willing to take the time to inform ourselves on the issues at hand and begin to make our own informed decisions about what is right and what is wrong. And once we're clear on that, well... then we fight like hell. Because when you're truly passionate about something, you've got to stand up for it.

If we win, our children win. If we lose, we can still look our kids in the eyes and say that we didn't sit by and allow our Wilderness to be taken from us without fighting for it."

To read Ted's complete recap of his Washington, DC experience, click here.

 

Bolton Nordic and Backcountry - Make it Yours!

April 06, 2012 by Vermont Land Trust
With more than 90 kilometers of groomed and backcountry trails, the Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry land in Bolton, Vermont is a priceless and beloved natural resource. The area provides an unparalleled recreational opportunity to a well-populated part of Vermont; nearly half of the state’s population lives within 30 miles of the Bolton property. Vermont's well-known Catamount Trail runs through the property, and there are connections to many other popular backcountry routes. Additionally, the land provides a critically important wildlife habitat connection between two large blocks of state land: Mt. Mansfield State Forest and Camel's Hump State Park. In February of 2011, the public learned that the majority of this land was to be sold to a private individual and that public access to the trail system would be lost. In less than two months, a group of local skiers and friends of the land formed the "Friends of Bolton... Read More

Forest Society Reports Success!

April 05, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo: Brian Hotz

Conservation Alliance grantee, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, reports they have executed a conservation easement deed on the 55-acre Royce Property, located on the flanks of Mt. Monadnock, North America's most popular hiking destination.  Mt. Monadnock is in the backyard of Conservation Alliance Pinnacle Member Eastern Mountain Sports and this project was nominated for a grant from The Conservation Alliance by Perry Dowst, President and CEO of JetBoil, Inc.

The conservation easement on the Royce land will now be monitored by the Forest Society stewardship staff on an annual basis.  Inspired by this campaign, two other nearby land owners have engage Forest Society land agents to talk about conserving their land.

To learn moreabout the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, click here.

The Conservation Alliance awards $600,000 to 19 Organizations

April 03, 2012 by Serena Bishop

                      Photo: Ray Bloxham

The Conservation Alliance is excited to announce the results of the Winter 2012 Funding Cycle.  This week we awarded $600,000 to 19 organizations across North American, including organizations in Mexico and Canada. 

In 2012, The Conservation  Alliance plans to contribute $1.3 million to organizations working to permanently protect wild places.  

 

Please check out the full summary of the Winter 2012 Funding Cycle by clicking here.

Progress at East Fork Headwaters

April 03, 2012 by Caronlina Mountain Land Conservanvy
Nearly 800 acres of the 8,000-acre East Fork Headwaters (EFH) tract have now been permanently conserved and made forever publicly accessible through the efforts of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and other community partners. The protected area includes a nine-mile corridor that hosts the venerable long distance Foothills Trail. EFH was recently included in President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative. CMLC executive director Kieran Roe was invited to the White House to represent CMLC and our EFH project at its "Conference on Conservation" in March 2012.... Read More

Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act introduced by Rep. Matheson

March 30, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Photo Credit: Howie Garber, Wanderlust Images

Save Our Canyons reported a huge success this week; the introduction of the Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act into the House of Representatives by Congressman Matheson (D-UT).

The Conservation Alliance has twice funded Save Our Canyons' Wasatch Wilderness Campaign and the introduction of this bill is reason to celebrate.  While it is just one step in the process toward federal legislation that would expand wilderness and enhance watershed protection for more than 26,000 acres of Wasatch Front canyons, it is an important step.

"The Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act not only protects some of the most treasured landscapes in the central Wasatch, it is a symbol that despite our differences, communities, local governments, the federal government, and industry can come together to do incredible things for the places we love and future generations," said Carl Fisher, executive director, Save Our Canyons.

The Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act introduced by Mathenson will create new and additional wilderness areas on Grandeur Peak, Mt. Olympus, Twin Peaks, and Lone Peak; sets aside more than 10,000 acres within "special management areas" to strengthen watershed protection while continuing permitted use by helicopter skiing; and resolves a conflict between backcountry skiers and Snowbird ski resort's proposed expansion into White Pine Canyon. It also provides access to maintain private water supplies and allows for avalanche control to ensure public safety.

To learn more about Save Our Canyons and the Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act, click here

 To send a note to Representative Matheson thanking him for his efforts, click here.

Take Action Tuesday: Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness

March 27, 2012 by Serena Bishop

       Photo: Doug Steakley

In 2011, The Conservation Alliance provided funding to the California Wilderness Coalition in support of their efforts to permanently protect 21,000 acres on Beauty Mountain and the proposed Agua Tibia Wilderness, located in the Southern California Desert.  The Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act would add over 7,796 acres to the existing Agua Tibia Wilderness and would expand the Beauty Mountain Wilderness by an additional 13,635 acres.

Last year, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced the Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act, but the bill is languishing in the US House of Representatives. If passed by the House, Representative Issa's bill would build on successful legislation passed in 2009 by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) whose "California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act" established the Beauty Mountain Wilderness and enlarged the Agua Tibia Wilderness that was established in 1975.

Take action today by writing to Rep. Issa and letting him know just how important this bill is to you.

Copy and Paste the sample letter below and click here to send to Representative Issa. Feel free to add in your own personal stories and anecdotes about why Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia are so important to protect.

Sample Letter

Dear Representative Issa,

Thank you so much for introducing the Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act. Your bill would bring much needed protections to these spectacular areas in San Diego County. The chaparral-draped slopes and valleys of Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia provide homes to wildlife as well as hiking and horseback riding opportunities for locals and visitors. We need this bill!

Given the challenging climate in Congress and the future uncertainties that redistricting will bring, I hope that you are able to move the bill across the finish line in this Congress. Please let me know if I can help in any way to assist you with this important bill.

Thanks again for your leadership and vision for San Diego County's wild places.

About Beauty Mountain and the Agua Tibia

Characterized by deep canyons and rugged coastal sage scrub, Agua Tibia is enjoyed by thousands of hikers and equestrians each year who travel through the region via the rugged Cutca Trail. As its name implies, Beauty Mountain is a scenic jewel draped in chaparral, fascinating rock formations and oak woodlands. Both of these areas provide endless recreational opportunities as well as priceless habitat for endangered wildlife. Both areas serve as critical plant and wildlife corridors between Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the coastal mountains of Riverside and San Diego counties.

Learn more at www.calwild.org

 

The Science of the Flathead

March 24, 2012 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
Grizzlies, big-horned sheep, wolverines and bull trout don't need Nexus cards to cross the border regularly between Montana and B.C. In mid-March, three leading international scientists spoke in Whitefish, Montana about the importance of permanently protecting B.C.'s Flathead for these at-risk species, and many other trans-border critters. The scientists gave presentations at a public event organized by Flathead Wild, a coalition of Canadian and American organizations, including Sierra Club BC, that strives to protect a globally-significant wildlife corridor. B.C.'s unprotected Flathead River Valley is a critical link in the corridor, which stretches up the spine of the Rockies from Whitefish to Banff. "Species that once thrived elsewhere--and are no longer found there because of human activity--have a refuge here," explained Dr. John Weaver, a carnivore conservation biologist who has spent many years studying the transboundary Flathead. Weaver described how scientists track elk which winter on the U.S. side of the Flathead then... Read More

The Conservation Alliance Board of Directors Visit Washington, DC

March 23, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Board of Directors On Capital Hill

The Conservation Alliance board and staff spent two days this week in Washington, DC. The trip included a full day of board education on which the board heard presentations about conservation policy, including Wilderness, National Monuments, Land and Water Conservation Fund, the American Arctic, and the prospects for conservation legislation passing in 2012. On the second day, the Alliance board took to Capitol Hill, and met with Congressional offices to voice business support for legislation to protect wild lands and waterways.


Senator Wyden (D-OR) met with representatives from The Conservation Alliance, Wild Places, LLC, REI, The North Face, KEEN, CamelBak, Osprey Packs and Patagonia.

 

Represenative Polis (D-CO) met with John Sterling (The Conservation Alliance), Angela Owen (REI), and Gareth Martins (Osprey Packs)

 

Taku River Included on the BC Most Endangered Rivers List

March 21, 2012 by Serena Bishop

    Photo: David Nunuk

Since 2007, The Conservation Alliance has contributed close to $100,000 to the Rivers Without Border's Taku Watershed Conservation Campaign; a campaign to secure a Critical Habitat designation for the Taku River watershed, keeping it wild and fully intact by preventing mining associated development activities. 

On March 12, 2012, the Taku River, the wild ecological heart of the British Columbia - Alaska transboundary region, has made the BC Most Endangered Rivers List.  Of the ten rivers selected for this dubious distinction by the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, the Taku placed number 6.  Given that a major Land Use Plan embracing all of the Canadian side of the watershed was completed in summer 2011, in large part to safeguard conservation values, it is unfortunate the spectacular, biologically rich Taku is once again on the list. 

Here's why ...   

The Land Use Plan provides some important protections for the Taku.  Until it was finalized, the entire 4.5 million acre/1.8 million hectare watershed - fully intact, virtually pristine and, not coincidentally, the transboundary region's most productive salmon system - was open for development.  Now a significant portion of the watershed, including the main stem Taku and its Inklin and Nakina tributaries, is protected.  The Taku River Tlingit First Nation in particular deserves credit for bringing about this noteworthy conservation success.

But the plan allows a mining district within the watershed in what is, from an environmental perspective, the worst possible location.  The Tulsequah River is a major Taku tributary, joining the main stem just before it flows into Alaska.  There is a block of mineral tenures at this juncture.  Small scale mining occurred in the Tulsequah Valley into the 1950s.  The long abandoned mine site has been bleeding acid into the Tulsequah River ever since. The pollution is not sufficient to cause far reaching impacts, but it's a vivid warning that the sulfide geology of the area, if disturbed by renewed, larger scale mining, will threaten downstream waters.  For the Taku, it best salmon habitat, a maze of winding streams and backwaters vital to rearing juvenile salmon, is immediately downstream of the Tulsequah Valley. And virtually all of some two million salmon leaving or returning to the Taku system annually must pass the Tulsequah juncture.

Here is where two mine projects are now proposed by Chieftain Metals.  Efforts to raise capital and get the projects permitted are advancing.  Initial development work could start soon.  Mining at Tulsequah would undermine the conservation gains of the Land Use Plan.  It will mean construction of a road through remote Tlingit territory, and industrial barging impacting river habitat.  Water pollution problems will be inevitable.  Operational failures - a tailings impoundment blow out, for example, by no means unlikely in a remote, seismically active, high precipitation region - could have catastrophic consequences.

The Taku is at a crossroads, as the Endangered Rivers announcement underscores.  Mining can be initiated in the watershed, bringing the short term profits of resource extraction.  And with infrastructure in place, more development will surely follow.  Or the Taku can remain as it is, one of the continent's top salmon strongholds, a wild river sustaining fish, wildlife, and people that depend on them for generations to come. 

Chieftain's proposal - the only present threat to the entire Taku watershed - is on shaky grounds.  Concern, and outright opposition, is growing on both sides of the border.  Strong and concerted pressure can save the Taku, and insure that the conservation promise of the Land Use Plan is achieved.  We look forward to a time, soon, when the Taku does not make BC Endangered Rivers List. 

To learn more about the Taku River and Rivers Without Borders, please visit: www.riverswithoutborders.org

 

Update from Colorado Environmental Coalition at 03/20/12 8:46 PM

March 20, 2012 by Colorado Environmental Coalition
The Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign advocates for the protection for lands in four Colorado Counties (Summit, Eagle, Pitkin and Gunnison). The proposal includes such gems as Acorn Creek where the fall aspen turn bright gold and shimmer in the fall light. Bull Gulch where low elevation red rock canyons and Doug fir forests at the banks of the Colorado river provide excellent low elevation wildlife habitat. And Thompson Creek where water splashes over large round rocks past stunning rock fin formations that make you wonder if you are in Colorado or Utah. The proposal attempts of focus on bringing lower elevation lands (more biologically productive and safer access n the winter) into the wilderness preservation system. But the jagged alpine ridges and rolling alpine tundra of Red Table Mountain and Tenmile (to name a few) needed to be included! The proposal includes Wilderness designation for the majority of the places.... Read More

Support Land Protection in Colorado

March 20, 2012 by Colorado Environmental Coalition
If you live in Colorado please go here to send a quick email to Senator Udall thanking him for his efforts and encouraging him to introduce Wilderness legislation: https://secure3.convio.net/cec/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=619 You can also go to Senator Udall’s Website to view maps and make comments too!  http://www.markudall.senate.gov/?p=form&id=52... Read More

Favorites on Friday: Conrad Anker Returns to Everest

March 16, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

This month, a team of world class climbers will embark on the 2012 Everest Expedition to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first American ascent of Everest, via the difficult West Ridge route.  The team, led by Conrad Anker, Conservation Alliance Board Member, The North Face Athlete, world renowned mountaineer, climber, and author, and all-around great guy, will attempt to repeat this historic feat on the world's highest peak.  In 1963, Americans Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld climbed Everest's West Ridge, and made their decent via the Southeast Ridge.  This route has not been successfully climbed since.

The team will split into two groups; Conrad's group will retrace Hornbein and Unsoeld's route up the West Ridge and be supported by the second group who will climb up and down the Southeast Ridge route.

In addition to this historic mountaineering feat, the team will be conducting extensive scientific work on Mount Everest.  While previous research of region has advanced our knowledge of the area, Everest continues to hold many secrets; this expedition will be instrumental in discovering some of them.

To learn more about the expedition, visit The North Face Blog, www.neverstopexploring.com

To follow the expedition online and to download the National Geographic Magazine App for iPad, click here.   

To learn more about the scienticific portion of the expedition click here.

Aron Ralston to Speak at Conservation Alliance Breakfast in August

March 13, 2012 by John Sterling

   Photo: Michael Alvarez
 

We are excited to announce that Aron Ralston will be the featured speaker at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast at the August, 2012 Outdoor Retailer tradeshow. The Breakfast is Friday, August 3, 7-9 AM at The Marriott in Salt Lake City. 

Aron is an adventurer who inadvertently gained fame when he hiked into a remote area of Utah’s canyon country, and accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand. After six days of entrapment alone, he amputated his arm with a cheap multi-tool knife and hiked to a miraculous rescue. Aron’s account of his experience, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was adapted into 127 Hours, a motion picture starring James Franco. With new prosthetic arms that he designed, Aron finished solo winter ascents of Colorado’s 59 Fourteeners, skied from the summit of Denali, and led a raft trip through the Grand Canyon. Aron is a strong advocate for wilderness protection, donating his time to organizations working to protect the landscapes that he knows well.

If you plan to be at the OR Show in August, we hope to see you for this very special presentation. As always, The Conservation Alliance Breakfast is open to the public. Click here for full details.

Favorites on Friday: Our Ocean Reports Success on the Oregon Coast

March 09, 2012 by Serena Bishop

    Photo: Ben Nieves

In 2010 and 2011, The Conservation Alliance funded Our Ocean's Oregon Marine Heritage Campaign to designate and implement Oregon's first-ever coast-wide network of six ecologically significant marine reserves and protected areas.  These are areas within Oregon's Territorial Sea or adjacent rocky intertidal area and protected from all extractive activities. 

In late 2011, the State of Oregon designated the first two of these reserves at Otter Rock and Red Fish Rock, totaling 3.9 square miles of near-shore waters. 

This month, three additional areas, Cape Falcon, Cascade Head and Cape Perpetua have received the Oregon State Legislature's approval to be designated as Marine Reserves.  A signature from Governor Kitzhaber is all that is required to preserve these "ecological savings accounts".  His signature is expected any day.

Learn more about Our Ocean's work and the Oregon Marine Heritage Campaign here.

Shell Oil Sues Alaska Wilderness League

March 07, 2012 by John Sterling

   Photo: Florian Schulz

Shell Oil has filed suit agains Conservation Alliance grantees Alaska Wilderness League and National Audubon Society and several other conservation organizations that have raised concerns about the oil company's plan to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this summer. The defendants are scratching their heads trying to understand the logic behind the suit.

"What are they trying to do, get the courts to declare something legal that hasn’t been challenged as illegal? It seems premature, and potentially unnecessary," said Whit Sheard, senior advisor to Oceana.

Apparently, Shell is worried that the conservation groups will sue over the company's oil spill response plan, but will do so just before the window opens for drilling this summer. An injunction in such a suit could delay any drilling until 2013. So Shell is trying to get the courts to declare the response plan legal before any opposition formally challenges it in court.

Cindy Shogan, Executive Director of Alaska Wilderness League had this to say:

“In a true-life David vs. Goliath parable, Royal Dutch Shell, a foreign company that makes millions
of dollars in profits per hour, is forcing Alaska Wilderness League, a grassroots-based nonprofit with the sole purpose of advocating for Alaska’s lands, waters and native people, into court – and seeking fees and costs against us. I suppose if you're like Shell, and you have billions of dollars to throw around, you can engage in this desperate ploy, instead of proving on the ground that you can actually clean up an oil spill in Arctic conditions.


"My response to Shell is this: Alaska Wilderness League will not be bullied. We will take the time we
need to evaluate whether Shell’s oil spill response plan, for the most aggressive course of Arctic
Ocean drilling ever proposed in history, meets the letter of the law. We owe that much to the
Inupiat people who have thrived on Alaska’s Arctic coast for thousands of years, and the
extraordinary Arctic ecosystem that is among the most vital in the world.”

 

Click here for the full story from the Los Angeles Times.

Split Rock Wildway

March 07, 2012 by Northeast Wilderness Trust
The Split Rock Wildway is an ambitious effort to protect a wildlife movement corridor linking the Split Rock Wild Forest along the shores of Lake Champlain to other blocks of public land in the high peaks of New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The goal of the Wildway is habitat connectivity—making sure wild creatures have room to roam. The Northeast Wilderness Trust has protected seven parcels in the Split Rock Wildway, and is actively working with area landowners to conserve additional properties. Within the Wildway project area, roughly 6,000 acres are permanently conserved already; existing conservation lands include areas in public ownership as part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and tracts secured by the Northeast Wilderness Trust and other nonprofits. This is a promising start toward restoring and protecting the rich biological diversity and wildlife habitat of this area, while also supporting local communities.  LEARN MORE.As of spring 2012, we are working... Read More

Take Action Tuesday: Senator Udall Wants to Hear From You; Speak Up on Behalf of Wilderness

March 06, 2012 by Serena Bishop

    Photo: Glenn Randall

Since 1912, the Colorado Mountain Club has been an unwavering advocate for the protection of Colorado's wild, remote, and quiet places.

Last week, CMC's ten-year campaign for more Wilderness in central Colorado took a step toward victory when Senator Udall announced the Central Mountains Proposal. The Central Mountains proposal could encompass as many as 32 areas in Eagle, Pitkin and Summit counties, expanding existing wilderness areas in the region, including Holy Cross, Eagles Nest and the Maroon Bells.  

This is a great step; but there is much more work to be done.

Senator Udall is now calling for public comments.  This is our chance to make our voices heard in support of Udall's Wilderness Proposal and to let him know that there are additional wilderness-quality lands, such as Lower Piney and Basalt Mountain, which would make great additions to the proposal.

Learn more about Udall's Proposal here and then submit your comments here.

Once you Take Action on behalf of Colorado Mountain Club and Colorado Wilderness, visit The Conservation Alliance Facebook Page, where Osprey Packs have teamed up with CMC for this month's Be Inspired, Take Action Campaign.

Be Inspired, Take Action and Enter to Win an Osprey Syncro 15 Hydration Pack here.

 


 

 

Favorites on Friday: Whychus Creek Restoration Success

March 02, 2012 by Serena Bishop

     Photo: Gary Miller

On Tuesday, February 28th, the full flow of Whychus Creek, located just 9 miles north-east of Sisters, Oregon, was redirected to its historic channel through Camp Polk Meadow, for the first time in 47 years. 

The Deschutes Land Trust, a Conservation Alliance Grantee, has been working in collaboration with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and the Deschutes National Forest for the past decade on the planning and implementation for this project; a major step in the return of salmon and steelhead to the upper Deschutes Basin.

"It's incredible to see a project in which so many have worked patiently for so many years finally come to fruition. The Land Trust has worked toward this day for over 15 years, but we couldn't have done it without our many partners, funders and volunteers. Together, we've created a slow, meandering new stream channel that can provide essential spawning and rearing habitat for the historic return of salmon and steelhead," said Brad Chalfant, the Land Trust's executive director.

 

To learn more about the Whychus Creek Project and see 4 time-lapse videos of restoration, click here.

Photo:  Jay Mather

 

Utah Governor Herbert's Unholy Alliance Hurts Economy

March 01, 2012 by Serena Bishop

     Photo: James Kay

The State of Utah has never been known for its strong conservation ethic. Recently the Utah Legislature has proposed legislation that would dramatically rollback protections and regulations governing public lands in the state. Black Diamond Equipment's CEO and Founder Peter Metcalf wrote an eloquent piece in today's Salt Lake City Tribune speaking out against these attacks on magnificent public lands, and calling upon the growing outdoor industry to take a stand.

"Utah has balanced economic vitality with a sense of stewardship for protecting the landscapes that make our state unique. But the current bills would rob us of that equilibrium and destroy one of the most vibrant and fastest-growing economic sectors in our state - active outdoor recreation."

 Read the full article here.

Congressman Gallegly introduces recreation and land protection bill for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties

March 01, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Republican Representative Elton Gallegly, who serves California's 24th Congressional District, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would protect many important wild places in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. 

This is first step toward securing Wilderness and Wild & Scenic designations for these areas, an effort led by Conservation Alliance Grantees California Wilderness Coalition and Los Padres Forest Watch

The Los Padres Conservation and Recreation Act of 2012 proposes to protect over 63,000 acres (more than 98 square-miles) of the Los Padres National Forest as wilderness.

Once an area is designated as wilderness, it cannot be opened to road construction, oil drilling, logging or other forms of development, though people can still visit the area to hike, camp, fish, ride horses, hunt and enjoy other low-impact forms of recreation.

The Forest Service is still allowed to fight fires in wilderness areas and to conduct law enforcement and search and rescue operations.

Representative Gallegly's bill would expand the existing Dick Smith Wilderness, Matilija Wilderness and Sespe Wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest.  It would also provide special protection for the Condor Ridge area that rises dramatically above the Gaviota Coast.

This legislation also proposes to protect upper Piru Creek, upper Sespe Creek, Mono Creek and Indian Creek as Wild & Scenic Rivers. 

When Congress designates a stream as a wild and scenic river, the watercourse cannot be dammed and the government-owned land along its banks must be protected to a significant degree.

"We're thrilled!" said Laurel Williams of the California Wilderness Coalition. "We're so grateful for all of the effort Mr. Gallegly and his staff have put into crafting this bill.  These areas are wonderful places to hike, camp, and if you're lucky, you might even see a California Condor!"

To learn more about this legislation, click here.

Republican Presidential Candidates vs. Federal Lands

February 28, 2012 by John Sterling

 

Two of the remaining candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination think the Federal Government should sell our public lands or transfer them to the states. 

Most outspoken on the issue has been Rick Santorum, who recently told a crowd in Idaho, “We need to get it [federal lands] back into the hands of the states and even to the private sector. And we can make money doing it.”

Santorum added that National Parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon should remain under federal management, but did not explain why.

Like Santorum, candidate Congressman Ron Paul thinks the federal government should get out of the land management business. Paul would like to eliminate the Department of Interior, which manages more than 500 million acres of land, including our National Parks and Monuments.

Though radical, this position on who should manage our public lands is not new. Politicians have tried unsuccessfully over the years to transfer federal lands to the states or sell them to the highest bidder. For those of us who consider our National Parks, Forest Service, BLM, and Wildlife Refuge lands to be our birthright as Americans, this notion is abhorrent. Let's hope it continues to go nowhere.

Check out this interesting article from the Idaho Statesman for more information on politicians -- past and present -- who have sought to sell or transfer federal lands.

Favorites on Friday: Success for American Whitewater on the Colorado River

February 24, 2012 by Serena Bishop

        Photo: Kent Vertrees, AW Volunteer

FERC Dismisses Preliminary Permit for Flaming Gorge Pipeline

In September, 2011, Wyco Power and Water, Inc., filed a preliminary permit application to study the feasibility of developing the Regional Watershed Supply Project.  This project would include seven hydropower projects and 501-mile water pipeline that would run from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir and the Green River in Wyoming to a proposed reservoir near Pueblo, Colorado. 

This week, FERC dismissed the preliminary permit application.

Conservation Alliance grantee, American Whitewater to a lead in the opposition of the project that would have had significant impacts on the iconic river canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers, including Gates of Lodore, Desolation and Gray Canyons, and Cataract Canyon, among others.

Nathan Fey, Director of American Whitewater's Colorado River Stewardship Program had this to say after the FERC decision was announced:

"Support from the Conservation Alliance in 2006 was instrumental in launching our work in the Colorado basin, including the Yampa/Green River Project. Our big-picture goals in these basins is to prevent any large-scale water transfer from either the Green or Yampa Rivers, and to ensure that these iconic waterways, which run through Dinosaur National Monument, Desolation and Gray Canyons, Canyonlands National Park and Cataract Canyon, are protected and restored.

These rivers are critical components of the Colorado River system and of AW's Colorado River Program.  With support from Conservation Alliance, we've been able to make significant progress in protecting these places."

This decision is a significant milestone for conservation and protection of the Colorado River Basin.

                                                                        Photo: Kent Vertrees, AW Volunteer

Conservation Victories Lie In Local Grassroots Efforts

February 21, 2012 by Serena Bishop

                                                                    John Sterling on the Owyhee River, Oregon                      

During the last week of January, Conservation Alliance Executive Director, John Sterling, spent a few days in Washington, DC, attending conference designed to provide funders with insights into the political landscape, and the prospects for conservation success in 2012.  After returning home and reflecting on the experience and what he learned, John shared these thoughts:

"Given the dysfunction in Congress, and election year politics, much of the news was discouraging. But, we heard over and over that the best hope for conservation victories lies in local grassroots efforts to protect special places. Congressman Martin Heinrich (D-NM) told our group to focus on local people and the places that are important to them. This was encouraging to hear, because for 23 years, The Conservation Alliance has done just that. We provide funds to local organizations that leverage the passion of local people to protect the wild lands and rivers in their backyards. 2012 will be a challenging year for conservation, but we are confident that we have the right strategy to win protections for wild places in good years and bad. "

Staying positive and pro-active in challenging times can be difficult, but we are confident in the work of our grantees and their commitment to the process - even when things get tough.  Moving forward is the only way to reach our conservation goals - and we intend to do just that. 

Thank you for being a part of our efforts!

"Though men now possess the power to dominate and exploit every corner of the natural world, nothing in that fact implies that they have the right or the need to do so." - Edward Abbey

Favorites on Friday: Be Inspired, Take Action!

February 17, 2012 by Serena Bishop

We have great stories.  Stories of conservation success, stories of hard work that need grassroots support, stories of outdoor industry companies standing up for our wild places.  More people need to hear these stories and we need your help. 

February kicks off the Be Inspired, Take Action Facebook Campaign! Each month, a Conservation Alliance member company will partner with a Conservation Alliance grantee to highlight ways you can take action and win some sweet prizes!

This month, visit The Conservation Alliance Facebook Page to learnabout ways you can take action on behalf of California Wilderness Coalition, share, comment and interact with us on Facebook and enter to win this month's prize, any item of your choice from prAna's Spring Collection.

              Be Inspired, Take Action - and tell your friends! 

Flathead: The Curious Tailed Frog

February 15, 2012 by Sierra Club of British Columbia
The endangered Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog is smaller than your pinky finger, and pounces on prey instead of snatching them with a sticky tongue like other frogs. It’s one of the longest-lived frogs in the world, yet can’t croak or call. This remarkable amphibian is one of a dozen at-risk species in B.C.’s Flathead River Valley, a Noah’s Ark for species that have lost habitat elsewhere. Everything about this hopscotching creature is intriguing. Tailed frogs grow very slowly, with tadpoles taking four to five years to metamorphose. The froglets take several more years to mature sexually, and adults can live for as long as 20 years. They only reach three centimetres in length. The tailed frog’s hind foot toes are flatter and wider than toes on other frogs and toads. They lack the external “ear” of other frogs, and are voiceless. B.C. is the only place in Canada with tailed... Read More

24 Hours to Stop Keystone XL

February 14, 2012 by Serena Bishop

 

Right now, the Senate is considering legislation that would resurrect the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. President Obama rejected this toxic disaster-in-the-making last month, and now Big Oil's representatives in Congress are trying to force its approval.

It looks like a deal might be coming together in the next 24 hours. We have a short window to act.  Make your voice heard by joining the effort to blitz the Senate with messages opposing Keystone XL - the entire environmental movement is coming together to send over 500,000 messages to Congress in under 24 hours.

It takes all of about 30 seconds to send your message - just click here to join in the fight against Keystone XL.

If you haven't heard of Keystone XL or don't know about the tar sands, here's the short summary: Keystone XL is a proposed 1700 mile pipeline connecting the Alberta tar sands with refineries on the Gulf Coast. The tar sands are North America's largest pool of carbon, and NASA's top scientist James Hansen says that exploiting them means 'essentially game over' for the climate. Keystone will ship tar sands oil across critical water supplies and sensitive ecosystems just so it can be exported to foreign markets from refineries in Texas. The job benefits are way overstated, and overall it is just a scam designed to line Big Oil's pockets at our own expense. 

 Learn more at http://www.350.org/

Groundswell: The Wave of Opposition to the Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline

February 08, 2012 by Serena Bishop

In 2011, The Conservation Alliance funded the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, in support of their unspOILed Initiative.  The goal of the unspOILed campaign is to defeat the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline and tanker proposal, keeping coastal British Columbia, including the Great Bear Rainforest, unspoiled. 

Raincoast is teaming up with many partners to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, including the surfers who enjoy the waters of Northern British Columbia. 

In partnership Patagonia and Woodshed Films, Raincoast Conservation Foundation has brought an exploratory surf trip along British Columbia's unspoiled west coast to life; searching for waves and documenting the threats of the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands oil pipeline.

 Read more about this collaborative project here.

Permanent Protection for Rivers in the North Cascades

February 06, 2012 by American Rivers
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams.  Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations.  Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers™.   Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Current Work with the Conservation AllianceThe spectacular rivers of Washington State face an uncertain future with threats from new development, dams, mining, and other projects that will forever change their character. Unfortunately, Washington lags behind neighboring states like Oregon when it comes to protecting rivers. For example, Washington has only six rivers designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act while Oregon has fifty nine Wild and Scenic Rivers with more... Read More

Teshekpuk Lake Escapes Oil & Gas Lease Sale

February 03, 2012 by Audubon Alaska
Audubon Alaska is pleased to report we prevailed in the effort to have the Bureau of Land Management keep Teshekpuk Lake off-limits in the December 2011 oil and gas lease sale.   This is an essential short-term victory, but it doesn’t provide lasting protection for Teshekpuk Lake. The Bureau of Land Management is currently writing a new plan for the entire National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska (NPRA), with a public comment period expected in April 2012.To learn more, see our report on the NPRA, Striking a Balance in America’s Western Arctic. The report shows why Teshekpuk Lake and its surroundings are a globally-significant Important Bird Area for molting geese, as well as key places for nesting waterfowl, staging shorebirds, and calving caribou.  We are also engaged in cutting-edge science to analyze the ways caribou use the Arctic landscape.Stay tuned for your opportunity to help protect the Special Areas of the NPRA! ... Read More

Many Reasons to Celebrate the WInter Outdoor Retailer Show!

February 02, 2012 by Serena Bishop

At Outdoor Retailer in just a few 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

“My connection to the environment is something very emotional; it comes from the heart for me especially now that I have become a dad.”

Wildlife photographer Florian Schulz had us all inspired and on the edge of tears during the Conservation Alliance breakfast. Schulz shared his stories and captivating photos from the Arctic. 

“I hope we can keep this planet the way it is for a while longer… fighting for this is essential.” Take action with Alliance grantee Alaska Wilderness League here.

In addition to being inspired to protect our wild places to the north, member companies stepped it up to support the Alliance and because of their help, we will e able to push even more funds into protecting the wild places we love in 2012!

The North Face made a $750,000 commitment to complete Phase One of our Legacy Fund, which will ensure permanence for The Conservation Alliance, and allow us to maintain our commitment to contribute 100 percent of our members' dues to conservation organizations.

In addition, Peter Metcalf, Black Diamond Equipment Founder and active conservationist, and his wife Kathy Metcalf, made a personal commitment of $75,000 to the Legacy Fund, and an additional $50,000 from Black Diamond Equipment to kick off Phase Two of the Legacy fund.

The Annual Canadian Cup, sponsored by Canada Goose, Arc'teryx and Baffin, raised $8,800 for the Alliance. Congratulations to the winners, KEEN Footwear and thank you to all of the teams who participated! 

 

 

 

Other member companies came together to offer up a huge lineup of awesome gear promotions, with all proceeds going directly to the Alliance. 

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

 

Help the Arctic Ocean!

February 02, 2012 by Audubon Alaska
The ocean waters along Alaska's northern coast provide vital habitat for extraordinary wildlife, including polar bears, walruses, ice-dependent seals, endangered bowhead whales, and millions of migratory birds. The Arctic Ocean can also be phenomenally harsh: broken ice covers the water for much of the year, storms with hurricane-force winds can whip up 20-foot seas, and it is entirely dark for half the year. The federal government recently released a proposed Five-Year Program (2012-2017) for oil and gas leasing that could open up pristine new areas in the Arctic Ocean offshore of Alaska to oil drilling. The oil industry has never successfully demonstrated the ability to clean up an oil spill in the harsh conditions of the Arctic Ocean.  Send your comments by February 8!... Read More

Industry Leaders Make a Statement with Legacy Fund Contributions

February 01, 2012 by Serena Bishop
 

In January 2008, The Conservation Alliance launched the Legacy Fund Campaign, a campaign to raise a $3.5-million endowment, earnings from which will cover the majority of our operating expenses. The Legacy Fund will ensure permanence for The Conservation Alliance, and allow us to maintain our commitment to contribute 100 percent of our members' dues to conservation organizations. Last week, we reached our $3.5-million goal when The North Face made a $750,000 commitment to complete the fund.TNF President Todd Spaletto (left) made the announcement at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast in Salt Lake City.

 

But, we didn't stop there.  Our original endowment goal was a great start, but the Legacy Fund remains open for contributions from anyone who wants to give something back in support of the outdoor industry's collective effort to protect wild places. Peter Metcalf, Black Diamond Equipment Founder, active conservationist, and industry leader (below), kicked off Phase II of the Legacy Campaign with a bang.  Peter and Kathy Metcalf made a personal commitment of $75,000 to the Legacy Fund, and an additional $50,000 from Black Diamond Equipment.

 

Announcing their commitments, Spaletto and Metcalf both spoke eloquently about the reasons for their generous gifts. Below is a reprint of Peter's comments, which touched so many in the audience.

"As I look out at all of you, here at 7am before a big day of work, I am reminded that we are much more than just an industry. We are a community, the "Outdoor Community", a community whose passion runs so deep that collaboration trumps competition relative to the great issues of life.

This is a community that has three defining qualities to it.

a.       A love for an outdoor sport - rich in adventure, athleticism, and commitment.

b.       A community of fellow passionate individuals with whom we share epics, trust, experiences and fear. We are all connected by the bond of these shared experiences - whether they are big air, big hydraulics, or big drops.

c.       The third defining element is that of the sublime places where we ply our craft, lay down our sleeping bags and brew our morning coffee. You do not need to believe in any religion to know something supreme has crafted these places and they inspire us to fight for their preservation and stewardship. Places like this help us keep our lives in perspective and remind us of our humanity.

That is why we are all here this morning.

But we are an industry, as well as a community; which means there is a fourth defining reason for the importance of these wild place places in our lives. They are the source of our Economic sustenance and our families' economic well being. We have forged our careers in this special industry, and they provide us with a lifestyle that is the envy of many.

It is our companies, which all of us here define, who give their financial support to fund The Conservation Alliance and the Alliance supports an amazing ecosystem of grassroots organizations fighting THE good fight on behalf of all of us.  If we as individuals can make a one-time contribution or  multi-year pledge to the Alliance's endowment,  there is the opportunity for us to create a situation where 100 percent of the our company's annual giving goes NOT to operating budgets but instead  to the environmental groups battling to save those last iconic places on earth.

So let me share and merge two inspiring quotes that crystallize why we should act and why YOU must act. 

The first is from the 1970's author of the Whole Earth Catalog and futurist, Stuart Brand.

Stuart wrote:

"Natural systems are priceless in value and nearly impossible to replace, but they are cheap to maintain.  ALL you have to do is defend them... "

And because we know the "ALL" in "defend" is spelled in bold capitals, I am combining his insightful words of wisdom with a call to activism by the well known anthropological author Margret Mead who wrote:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

May all of you here this morning, rise up and take your proper place as a "not so small group of thoughtful committed citizens" just as those, in the small, defiant, grassroots conservation groups are doing that The Conservation Alliance supports.

It is a lasting legacy that you can leave for your children and this industry.

 

To The Arctic: Fighting for this is essential.

January 25, 2012 by Serena Bishop
Florian_ToTheArctic

                                                                                                     Photo: Florian Schulz                          

"My connection to the environment is something very emotional; it comes from the heart for me especially now that I have become a dad."

Last Friday morning, Florian Schulz, wildlife photographer and passionate conservationist, spoke at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Staying true to the Breakfast's moto, Arrive Tired, Leave Inspired, Florian moved us all with his words and his images.

"I hope we can keep this planet the way it is for a while longer.... Fighting for this is essential."

Chris Kasser, writing for Elevation Outdoors, caught up with Florian directly after the breakfast and posted his interview here.

To learn more about the efforts to Save The Arctic and ways to take action, visit the Alaska Wilderness League here.

The Conservation Alliance 2011 Anuual Report is Now Online!

January 24, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Check out our new PAPERLESS Annual Report for a summary of the great year we had in 2011.

In 2011, we contributed more than $1 million to conservation organizations, and our grantees delivered nine important conservation victories. Read all about it!

Click the link below to view, download and share The Conservation Alliance 2011 Annual Report. Enjoy in the celebration of success of our members and grantees!

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market: Get Inspired, Travel to the Arctic + Score Awesome Swag!

January 23, 2012 by Serena Bishop

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

We're excited to welcome photographer Florian Schulz as he transports us To the Arctic through breathtaking photos, and grab your hockey stick, we're revving up for the best ever Canadian Cup for the Conservation Alliance and don't miss The North Face happy hour with special guests Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin... and as always, bring some extra cash to pick up some sweet swag for your friends back home and yourself — and support the Alliance to boot!

 

 

VICTORY! Secretary Salazar Protects 1.1 Million Acres around Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining

January 10, 2012 by John Sterling

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced yesterday a 20-year moratorium on new uranium mining on 1.1 million acres surrounding the Grand Canyon. The Conservation Alliance funded Grand Canyon Trust for their campaign to win this moratorium. Congratulations to Grand Canyon Trust and all of the organizations that worked so hard to preserve the integrity of one of our most special National Parks!

 Click here for the full story from the Los Angeles Times.