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Conservation Alliance Blog

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  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 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 Partner for Advocate Week in Support of The Conservation Alliance

October 09, 2012 by Serena Bishop

Patagonia Footwear and 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

Visit 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


A presentation by Cheryl Strayed

Thursday, January 24th, 2013


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