News

MEC, KEEN Canada and CPAWS Raising Money to Protect Threatened Habitats

weekforthewild

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and KEEN Canada are working with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) to raise money during “WEEK for the WILD,” a campaign to increase awareness of species and risk, and the need to protect their threatened habitat. MEC and Keen each pledged to contributed up to $2,000 in matching donations to help raise money for the campaign.

The featured habitat for the woodland caribou is Yukon’s Peel Watershed, a project funded four times by The Conservation Alliance. The woodland caribou was once found everywhere in North America, but today they are confined primarily to Canada’s northern Boreal Forest. The Peel Land Use Planning Commission recommended protecting 80% of the Peel Watershed, allowing for careful development of the remaining 20%. CPAWS is encouraging the government to adopt this plan in order to permanently protect this watershed, a critical habitat for the woodland caribou.

If CPAWS meets the $4,000 fundraising goal, the CEO’s of both MEC and Keen Canada will dress up as CPAWS mascots on Halloween, the last day of the campaign.  We are proud to see these members working with CPAWS on this creative campaign, and we look forward to posting photos of Bou the caribou and Baleen the humpback whale.

Success: Eagle Bluff Climbing Area Acquired

Eagle Bluff, ME  Photo: RW Estela

The Access Fund announced the final acquisition of Eagle Bluff, a crag in central Maine with more than 130 cracks and sport climbs, bouldering and hiking. They worked with a local climbing coalition to raise the $100,000 necessary to acquire this popular recreation area. The Conservation Allinace grant awarded to the Access Fund in our Summer 2014 funding cycle brought this project across the finish line.

Climbers have been enjoying the granite cracks of Eagle Bluff since the late 1960’s. In the mid-1990’s, climbing access was threatened when the property was listed for sale.  A local climber, Donald Nelligan, purchased the property at that time. When he passed away in 2013, the fate of Eagle Bluff was unclear.  The Nelligan family closed public access due to liability concerns and immediately sought to sell the property. Together, Access Fund and Clifton Climbers Alliance raised the necessary funds to acquire Eagle Bluff.  CCA is prepared to assume stewardship responsibilities for Eagle Bluff to ensure this area is properly managed for future generations to enjoy.

Since our inception, The Conservation Alliance has helped acquire 10 climbing areas in North America.

Guest Blog: Faces of the Skeena

Andrew Stegemann, the Community Involvement Manager at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), spent five days on the Skeena River in British Columbia.  We’re pleased to share Andrew’s story about this sacred place and the local community working to protect it.

The Conservation Alliance has funded the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition to support their efforts to permanently protect the Skeena River watershed.  Thank you, Andrew, for giving us an inside look at this special place.

I visited the Skeena River in northwestern BC to find out what it takes to look after a wild place. On my journey, I discovered that a healthy river is more than just water, trees and fish. It’s also people. – Post by Andrew Stegemann, MEC Community Involvement Manager

The Skeena River is what a wild place should look like. Its water and banks are filled with all five species of Pacific salmon, moose with six-foot-wide antlers, and countless lumbering bears pouncing on the fish brought to them by the river. And it’s not just wildlife that finds safe harbour in this rainforest, but numerous communities as well.

In September, I travelled part of the Skeena’s length and met the people who call it home. Since 2008, MEC has granted $238,916 to this beautiful area as part of our commitment to keep space for adventure in all our lives. The people I met spoke about their loyalty to the region, how they’re taking care of it, and how they can keep the great river they rely on pure and whole.

These are the faces of the Skeena.

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The Skeena is the second longest river in BC, beginning high in the coastal mountains and spanning 570km. It’s also one of the longest undammed rivers on the planet, and one of the top sport fishing destinations in the world. (more…)

A Record 1,089 Volunteers in 2014

Photo: Eli Reichman

It’s been a busy year for The Conservation Alliance! We just wrapped up our most successful Backyard Collective event series since its inception in 2008. Spirits were high, and everyone left the events with an immense feeling of accomplishment. It’s always great to see the amazing work of our grantees, and convening our member companies leads to an amazing sense of camaraderie and celebration of the collective impact we are able to have as part of The Conservation Alliance.

Backyard Collectives bring together member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action. These events allow us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty; doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards. Projects include trail work, invasive species removal, and other creative projects that make a difference in local communities and ecosystems. The BYC program brings together members of the Conservation Alliance community and illustrates firsthand the benefits of conservation efforts and the larger work of The Conservation Alliance.

The Conservation Alliance organized seven Backyard Collectives in 2014, bringing together over 1,000 member company employees, 39 member companies and 36 nonprofits, (more…)

Introducing the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Obama signing the proclamation at 1:35 PM, October 10, 2014.

Just moments ago, President Obama permanently protected 346,177 acres by designating the San Gabriel Mountains Nation Monument.

“I have permanently protected three million acres of lands for future generations, and I am not finished.” said Obama, prior to signing the proclamation.  “We have a responsibility to be good stewards to these landscapes”.

This is the 13th National Monument designated by President Obama, and we are confident that this will not be his last.  Our members contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to monument campaigns in recent years, and we look forward to celebrating more successes in the coming months and years.

Breaking News: New San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Coming Soon

Sheep Mountain in San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, CA Photo: Laurel Williams

 

News broke today that President Obama will designate 346,177 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains as our nation’s newest National Monument on Friday. The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is located in Southern California’s Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests. 17 million people in the greater Los Angeles area will be within a 90 minute drive from the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, making it one of the most accessible monuments in the country.

This monument follows a 14-year campaign lead by San Gabriel Mountains Forever, a coalition of organizations working towards the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument designation.  Members of The Conservation Alliance funded one of the organizations working on this campaign, California Wilderness Coalition, with two grants totaling $60,000. We are proud to celebrate this success with CWC and all of our members.

Congresswoman Judy Chu introduced legislation in June to establish the San Gabriel National Recreation Area, but that bill has become stuck in a Congress incapable of moving most legislation, no matter how broadly supported. President Obama has demonstrated a willingness to designate national monuments to protect places where Congress fails to act.

We applaud President Obama for using his authority specified under the Antiques Act to designate this monument. We urge him to continue using this authority and leave a legacy of protected wild places for future generations to enjoy.

Backyard Collective: Bend, OR

Photo:  Eli Reichman

Planning an event in the high desert in late September is risky. The day before the Bend Backyard Collective, Mother Nature left a dusting of snow on Mount Bachelor and the Three Sisters Wilderness. Thankfully, this didn’t stop fifty people from local member companies and grantees from joining The Conservation Alliance staff for a day of stewardship in our backyard.

This was the biggest Bend Backyard Collective event to date, thanks to our local members; Ruffwear, Hydroflask, and Quickfeat; and local grantees; Oregon Wild, Deschutes Land Trust and Oregon Natural Desert Association.

We partnered with Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) for a day of clearing brush and debris from a new trail in the Deschutes National Forest.  After just a couple hours, the group had successfully cleared one mile of trail!  Enjoy this photo album documenting our morning of trail work and fun.

This wraps up another successful season of Backyard Collective events.  Thank you to all of our members and grantees who participated, and to Brook Hopper for bringing everyone together in Seattle, the Bay Area, Portland, Boulder, and Santa Barbara.

Photo: Eli Reichman

 

Photo: Eli Reichman

 

Photo: Eli Reichman

Summer 2014 Grant Announcement

Little Pine Wasatch, UT  Photo: Noah Howell

We are pleased to announce the results of our Summer 2014 funding cycle. We have contributed $800,000 to 23 organizations in the USA, Canada and Mexico. In 2014, we awarded a record $1.55 million in grants to organizations working to permanently protect wild places. Many great conservation opportunities lie ahead, and we’re pleased to be able to support these important initiatives.

Summer 2014 grantee projects include; a climbing area acquisition, wilderness campaigns, monument campaigns, river protection projects, dam removals, and more!

We’d like to thank all of our members for supporting our grant program through their annual membership dues. We’d also like to thank the members who nominated organizations and participated in the voting process.

Here’s a complete list of the grantees and projects we supported in the Summer 2014 Grant Cycle:

Click here to learn more about how your company can become a member and participate in our funding process.

Obama Protects 408,000 Square Miles of Ocean

Pew Charitable Trust

President Obama used the Antiquities Act today to permanently protect almost a half million square miles of ocean by expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. This increases the total percent of highly protected ocean territory in the US from 6% to 15%.

Learn more about this important ocean habitat and the significance of this designation from our friends at Pew Charitable Trusts.

Signed into law in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt, the Antiquities Act gives the President the authority to permanently protect public land without the support of Congress. The Antiquities Act has been used over a hundred times since it’s inception. Obama used it in May to create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Monument in New Mexico, a project that received over $100,000 from The Conservation Alliance.

While we didn’t fund the Remote Islands Marine National Monument, we applaud the President for using this authority to expand these fragile and important marine reserves. We encourage President Obama to continue using the Antiquities Act to designate more National Monuments. It is important to our economy and to the 140 million Americans that recreate in the outdoors every year.

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