Boundary Waters, Oregon Scenic Waterways, Others See Preservation Through Conservation Alliance Grants

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Photo of South Kawishiwi River by Brad Carlson

Another generation may have just found canoeing with their dad in the Boundary Waters a childhood rite of passage, thanks to The Conservation Alliance mailing out checks totaling $800,000 to 21 organizations working to protect wild places and waterways throughout North America this year.

You’ve probably heard of them, as the group has awarded more than $20 million to grassroots organizations working to protect wild places across North America through 580 grants; helped to protect more than 50 million acres of wildlands; protected 3,102 miles of rivers; stopped or removed 30 dams; designated five marine reserves; and purchased 13 climbing areas since its inception in 1989.

Conservation Alliance membership includes more than 210 businesses that care about protecting wild places for their habitat and recreation values. Each member company contributes annual dues to a central grant fund.

By a vote of these members, The Conservation Alliance made donations to 21 grassroots conservation organizations as follows:

Alaska Wilderness League – Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign: $50,000

California Wilderness Coalition – Northwest California Mountains and Rivers, and Central Coast Wild Heritage Campaigns: $50,000

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-Quebec – Magpie River Protection Campaign: $35,000

Climbing Resource Access Group of Vermont – Bolton Dome Conservation Campaign: $40,000

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness – Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Campaign: $25,000

International Mountain Bicycling Association – Protecting Montana’s Gallatin Gateway: $20,000

Methow Valley Citizens Council – Methow Headwaters Campaign: $40,000

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance – Chaco Protection Campaign: $40,000

Northeast Wilderness Trust – Eagle Mountain Campaign: $40,000

Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness – Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters: $50,000

Ohio Environmental Council – ReCreation For All Campaign: $40,000

Oregon Wild – Oregon State Scenic Waterways Campaign: $35,000

Outdoor Alliance – Protecting North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures Campaign: $45,000

Sierra Club of BC – Securing Permanent Protection for the Flathead River Valley Campaign: $20,000

The Wilderness Society – Gunnison Public Lands Initiative: $45,000

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership – Safeguarding Montana’s Wild Backcountry Campaign: $30,000

Trout Unlimited – Montana – Rattlesnake Creek Dam Removal: $40,000

Trust for Public Land – Catamount Community Forest Project: $40,000

Ventura Land Trust – Walker-Hearne Ranch Acquisition Project: $40,000

Virginia Wilderness Committee – George Washington National Forest Project: $25,000

Winter Wildlands Alliance – Northern Sierra Management Planning Campaign: $50,000

“We identified and funded some great conservation projects during this funding cycle,” said John Sterling, executive director of The Conservation Alliance. “Our members stepped up in a big way to support this important work.”

Four of the 21 organizations received funding from The Conservation Alliance for the first time: Montana Trout Unlimited; Virginia Wilderness Committee; Ventura Land Trust; and Ohio Environmental Council.

South Umpqua River courtesy of Oregon Wild

Included in this round of grants are: four private land acquisitions; four Wilderness and Wild and Scenic river campaigns; four agency management planning projects; four projects that seek to protect land and water threatened by energy development; two river projection campaigns, one climbing area acquisition, one dam removal and one wild land protection campaign. Collectively, these projects seek to protect 7,194,360 acres and 928 river miles.

“This grant gives us the needed capacity to mobilize skiers, riders, winter mountaineers, snowshoers and all of us who love our public lands in winter to speak up for the protection of 4.7 million acres of at-risk winter landscapes on the five Sierra Nevada forests currently embarking on winter management plans,” said David Page, Advocacy Director for Winter Wildlands Alliance.

Each project funded during this grant cycle was first nominated for funding by a Conservation Alliance member company. Conservation Alliance member companies also play a key role in determining which organizations receive funding.

Photo courtesy Montana Trout Unlimited, Rattlesnake Creek, by Rob Roberts

“Our member companies understand that funding conservation work is more important now than ever,” said Sterling.

The Conservation Alliance is an organization of like-minded businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas. Membership in the Alliance is open to all companies who care about protecting our most threatened wild places for habitat and outdoor recreation. For a complete overview of each grant, visit conservationalliance.com/seasons.