The Conservation Alliance


Conservation Alliance Blog

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.


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

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 ( 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 ( 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.


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



Black Creek Outfitters

Appalachian Outdoors

Alpine Shop


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