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A Conservation Alliance grantee, the California Wild Heritage Campaign (www.californiawild.org), has scored a major conservation victory in California. The Alliance and individual member companies played an active role in the Campaign’s effort to secure Wilderness designation for 273,000 acres of federal land on the state’s North Coast.
Congress passed the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, and President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law any day. Four years in the making, the bill will permanently protect special places including the Lost Coast, the King Range, and additions to the existing Siskiyou and Yolla Bolly Wilderness areas. It also designates 21 miles of the Black Butte River as Wild and Scenic.
â€œWe are thrilled that Congress acted to save these very special lands for their habitat and recreational values,â€ said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. â€œOur member companies, many of which are based in California, benefit when lands are added to the Wilderness Preservation System.â€
Conservation Alliance members played an active role in the effort to protect Wilderness on the North Coast. Several companies â€“ including Mountain Hardwear, Wilderness Press, Patagonia, and Adventure 16 — featured information about the campaign in their catalogs and retail stores.
The Conservation Alliance also organized three trips to Washington DC on which business representatives spoke to Congressional offices about the economic value of Wilderness in California. Companies that participated in DC trips are Patagonia, prAna, Wilderness Press, Mountain Hardwear, The North Face, Atlas Snow-Shoe, and Marmot.
â€œConservation Alliance members were among the most effective voices that advocated for new Wilderness on the North Coast,â€ said Traci Sheehan, Campaign Director for the California Wild Heritage Campaign. â€œOur elected officials were truly impressed that so many businesses cared so deeply about conserving our wild places.â€
â€œWilderness is an important part of our business, and of the California landscape,â€ said Devaki Murch, Marketing Coordinator for prAna, who participated in two trips to Washington in support of the legislation. â€œIt’s encouraging to see that outdoor businesses can have a positive impact on the effort to save Wilderness.â€
About the Conservation Alliance:
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of outdoor 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 companies representing all aspects of the outdoor industry, including manufacturers, retailers, publishers, mills and sales representatives. The result is a diverse group of businesses whose livelihood depends on protecting our natural environment.
Since its inception in 1989, the Alliance has contributed more than $5.3 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 35 million acres of wildlands; 25 dams have either been stopped or removed; and the group helped preserve access to more than 16,000 miles of waterways and several climbing areas.
For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF GRANTS
1. Alaska Wilderness League: Arctic Refuge Campaign to secure permanent protection for the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
2. Greater Yellowstone Coalition: Wyoming Range Campaign to protect up to 700,000 acres in the Wyoming Range from proposed oil and gas development.
3. Carolina Climbers Coalition: Laurel Know Acquisition Campaign to purchase and protect Laurel Knob â€“ a granite climbing destination in North Carolina and its surrounding forest and wetlands.
4. Northeast Wilderness Trust: Wapack Wilderness Campaign to purchase the 1,700-acre Wapack Wilderness in southern New Hampshire.
5. Colorado Environmental Coalition: Rocky Mountain National Park, Brown’s Canyon, and Gunnison River area Wilderness Campaigns to secure permanent protection for wildlands in three areas in Colorado.
6. American Whitewater: Headwaters of the Little Tennessee Campaign to restore several headwaters rivers in the Little Tennessee River Watershed.
7. Deschutes Basin Land Trust: Skyline Forest Campaign to purchase and protect a 33,000-acre forest adjacent to public lands in the Cascade mountains of Cenral Oregon.
8. Nevada Wilderness Project: Southern Nevada Wilderness Campaign to secure permanent protection for 200,000 acres of federal land in Southern Nevada.
9. Forest Guardians: Wild Forests, Wild Waters Campaign to protect streams and rivers within 1.7 million acres of roadless national forests as Outstanding National Resource Waters.
10. Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society: Nahanni Forever Campaign to protect the 9.6 million-acre South Nahanni Watershed in Canada’s Northwest Territories.