News

Conservation Alliance Testifies for Rogue River Protections

Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling testified on September 11 before a Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives in support of legislation that would protect the tributary streams of the Lower Rogue River in Oregon under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The Oregon Treasures Act of 2008, introduced by Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio, would designate 143 miles of rivers in the Rogue watershed as Wild and Scenic. The protections would safeguard the streams from any dams or diversions, and would prohibit logging within one-half mile in either direction of the streams.

"The Conservation Alliance supports the effort to secure new protections for the Rogue River because it is good for business," said Sterling in his testimony. "The Rogue is an iconic recreation destination, and the Oregon Treasures Act will protect the entire watershed of the Lower Rogue."

The Rogue is among Oregon's most beloved rivers, and is one of the premier fishing and boating streams in the county. Congress recognized this fact in 1968 when it included 84.5 miles the Rogue River as one of the first eight units of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Whitewater boating on the Wild Rogue supports 225 jobs, and generates $14 million in total economic output.

The Conservation Alliance made a grant to Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center in 2007 to help the organization build local support for new protections for the Rogue. That grassroots organizing motivated Rep. DeFazio to introduce the Oregon Treasures legislation.

"These watersheds are threatened by proposed logging," said Sterling. "We know that the Rogue watershed has greater and more long-term economic value for recreation than for timber."

 

Micah Wolf “One By One” Video: Nice Work Ben Moon!

Conservation Alliance member Ben Moon recently produced a music video for musician Micah Wolf. The song and video focus on the proliferation of trash dumping in our oceans. Great song, great video. Check it out!

Conservation Alliance Members Storm DC

A group of four Conservation Alliance members traveled to Washington DC to talk to members of the Congress about the importance of a proposal to protect more than 2 million acres of public land and more than 1000 miles of rivers.

Representatives from The North Face, Osprey, The Forest Group, and The Conservation Alliance spent two days in meetings with 13 House and Senate offices to show support for a legislative package that includes more than 150 public lands bills. Included in the package are proposals to:

  • Protect 128,000 acres of Wilderness and 80 miles of rivers on Oregon's Mount Hood
  • Designate 250,000 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness
  • Secure Wild and Scenic River designation for 440 miles of streams in Wyoming's Snake River headwaters
  • Prohibit new oil and gas leases on 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range
  • Protect 92,000 acres of public land in West Virginia and Virginia
  • Protect more than 600,000 acres of Wilderness in California's Eastern Sierra, White Mountains, and desert regions.
  • Preserve the Badlands and Spring Basin, 40,000 acres of desert wilderness in Oregon

 

"This package of bills represents a nationwide conservation agenda," said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. "Our members understand that protected public lands are important to the future of the outdoor industry."

The proposal could go to the Senate floor for a vote the week of September 22. If it passes, it will then be up to the House to consider the legislation before Congress adjourns in early October to prepare for the November 4 election.

"We hope Congress takes action on this historic legislation before the elections," said Sterling. "Each provision in the bill has broad, bipartisan support, which voters will appreciate."

Before these wildland-protection campaigns took legislative form, The Conservation Alliance supported local, grassroots organizations for their efforts to demonstrate that the places should be protected. Whenever possible, the Alliance supplements funding with efforts by our member companies to voice business support for conservation efforts.

"We have invested our members' dues heavily in these conservation efforts, and hope to show an ROI by the end of the year," said Sterling.

Trip participants were Brook Shinsky (The North Face), Megan Waterman (Osprey), Deanna Kavanaugh-Jones (The Forest Group), and Sterling.

GREAT NEWS: Court Curtails Snowmobile Use in Yellowstone

 

Winter Wildlands Alliance reports the following on their effort to limit winter motorized recreation in Yellowstone National Park:

"A federal court ruled today that the Bush Administration's decision authorizing snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park violates the fundamental legal responsibility of the National Park Service to protect the clean air, wildlife, and natural quiet of national parks, including Yellowstone, for the benefit of all visitors. The court found that the Administration authorized snowmobile use despite scientific conclusions by the National Park Service that its decision would result in significant increases in noise and unhealthy exhaust, which disrupt the experiences of visitors, and traffic that harms Yellowstone's wildlife, including bison."

Click here to read the full press release.

Endurance Athlete raising money and awareness for The Conservation Alliance

Endurance athlete Terri Schneider will be one of 30 invited athletes who will participate in Racing the Planet: The Last Desert, November 24-December 4, 2008. And she will be running to raise money for The Conservation Alliance.
 
As the windiest and most frigid continent, Antarctica is the largest desert in the world. The Last Desert adventure will begin in Ushuaia, Argentina where athletes will travel two days by ship across the perilous Drake Passage. For 6 days and a total of 155 miles they will run at several locations on Antarctica and its outlying islands.

Note from Terri:

For most of my life I've sought adventure, physical duress and travel to far off wild places and the virtue that comes with these types of life choices. I've also witnessed the fragility of the planet and my time to give back is long overdue.  For my inaugural fundraising efforts I'll be raising money for The Conservation Alliance and it feels great!   I'll be running 155 miles on one of the harshest continents on the planet – Antarctica.  "I'm psyched at the prospect of running in Antarctica to raise funds to support the wild places YOU love back home. Help me support this critical cause (and get a well deserved tax deduction)!"

Join me! for Racing Antarctica, my fundraiser for The Conservation Alliance.

To follow Terri's adventure, check out http://terrischneider.net/events/html/antarctica.html

SNEWS posts podcast of Conservation Alliance Breakfast speaker: Bill McKibben

Bill McKibbenRenowned writer and global warming activist electrified the audience at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast in August. McKibben spoke passionately about the threats of global warming, and offered hope by focusing on the efforts of his new organization www.350.org.  As always, our friends at SNEWS produced a podcast of the speech, which you may check out at http://www.snewsnet.com/cgi-bin/snews/12764.html. Check it out if you missed the breakfast, or if you want to hear it again!  Thank you to Michael Hodgson and James Mills at SNEWS for their work in capturing our Breakfast speakers presentations.

Help protect Chilean Rivers

Hello NEXTers,

Pascua River photo: Gary HughesI just participated in International Rivers' letter writing campaign to protect the Baker and Pascua rivers in Patagonia, southern Chile from 5 large hydroelectric dams.

You have the chance to help protect Patagonia, too.  This is another opportunity for your voice to be heard.  As a collective, many voices standing together, ConservationNEXT will make an impact.  Be sure to check out the Action Alerts posted to NEXTers to get involved and speak up about other pressing issues.

You can find more information at the following links:

1) http://internationalrivers.org/en/latin-america/patagonia 

2) http://www.internationalrivers.org/en/action

3) http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Rivers/16387505591

Best,

Krissy

Obama v. McCain on the Environment

A lot of people have asked me for details on both Barack Obama and John McCain's positions on the environment. In an election year, it can be difficult to get a straight answer on anything. In my fairly limited experience, an Administration's impact on the environment and our public lands is largely determined by the people the President appoints to key positions at EPA, Interior, and the land management agencies (BLM, Forest Service, Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service). It's too early to tell who these appointees might be, but Greenwire recently published a good account of who is advising the respective campaigns on environmental issues. Check it out.

http://www.earthportal.org/news/?p=1569

 

Alliance Member Speaks Out for Badlands Wilderness

Rod Bien, owner of Pandora's Backpack, a retail store in Bend, OR, and Conservation Alliance member company, joined other business leaders in Bend to talk about the economic benefits of Wilderness designation for the Badlands. The Badlands is a 30,000-acre wildland near Bend that Alliance grantee Oregon Natural Desert Association is working to protect. Nice work, Rod! Check it out:

http://kohd.com/page/37889

 

CONSERVATION ALLIANCE REPORTS 12 NEW MEMBERS SINCE WINTER MARKET

Twelve outdoor industry companies have joined The Conservation Alliance since the January OR Show. With a steady increase in membership, the Alliance now boasts 160 companies.

The new members are: Backcountry.com; Chuckanut 50K Race; earcomm; Eco-X, Inc.; Headsweats; Hotwax Media; Naukabout; Quick Feat International; Repreve by Unifi; Schoeller Textil, USA; Solstice; and The Active Marketing Group.

Each company joins at a time when the Conservation Alliance is focused on recruiting as many industry companies as possible. Each member company pays annual dues into a central fund, and the Alliance donates those funds to grassroots conservation organizations. The Alliance is on track to donate $900,000 in 2008.

"Threats to our wild places continue to grow," said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. "It's great to see outdoor businesses stepping up to support the conservation efforts that are important to our industry."

Building on a partnership launched in 2005, KEEN Footwear will match the first year's dues of any company that joins the Conservation Alliance in 2008. With the new additions, KEEN has thus far matched $403,900 in new member dues since June, 2005.

New members include manufacturers, retailers, factories, mills, endurance races, and public affairs agencies.

"Our community of conservation-minded companies continues to grow," said Sterling. "Together, we will save the wild places so important to outdoor customers."

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