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Bend, Ore. – 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:
â€¢Protect 128,000 acres of Wilderness and 80 miles of rivers on Oregon’s Mount Hood
â€¢Designate 250,000 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness
â€¢Secure Wild and Scenic River designation for 440 miles of streams in Wyoming’s Snake River headwaters
â€¢Prohibit new oil and gas leases on 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range
â€¢Protect 92,000 acres of public land in West Virginia and Virginia
â€¢Protect more than 600,000 acres of Wilderness in California’s Eastern Sierra, White Mountains, and desert regions.
â€¢Preserve the Badlands and Spring Basin, 40,000 acres of desert wilderness in Oregon
â€œThis package of bills represents a nationwide conservation agenda,â€ said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. â€œOur members understand that protected public lands are important to the future of the outdoor industry.â€
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.
â€œWe hope Congress takes action on this historic legislation before the elections,â€ said Sterling. â€œEach provision in the bill has broad, bipartisan support, which voters will appreciate.â€
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.
â€œWe have invested our members’ dues heavily in these conservation efforts, and hope to show an ROI by the end of the year,â€ said Sterling.
Trip participants were Brook Shinsky (The North Face), Megan Waterman (Osprey), Deanna Kavanaugh-Jones (The Forest Group), and Sterling.
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 $6.5 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 38 million acres of wildlands; 26 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.