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Eddie Bauer Opens Voting for Conservation Alliance Grants
Posted on August 31, 2015

The dramatic Utah vista in what could become a the Bears Ears National Conservation Area or National Monument—an area that encompasses 1.9 million acres and includes Indian Creek, White Canyon and the San Juan River. Photo: Friends of Cedar Mesa

Conservation is a deeply ingrained value at Eddie Bauer and our brand is a proud member of The Conservation Alliance, a collective organization of outdoor businesses whose contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places so important to active, outdoor enthusiasts. A highly respected and highly successful effort, Conservation Alliance funds have played a critical role in protecting rivers, trails and climbing areas, as well as vast stretches of wild lands and wild forests throughout North America for the past 25 years.

Twice a year, Alliance members are enlisted to vote in an effort to select the list of proposals that will be awarded with a $50,000 Conservation Alliance grant, funding a total of $800,000 worth of projects that serve the greater nonprofit good of preservation, recreation, and restoration in our wild lands. The projects up for consideration are all worthwhile causes and it’s always a really, really tough decision.

So, as part of our say in this process, we’re opening up the voting to all Eddie Bauer fans, employees, and customers. With much discussion, we’ve narrowed down the list of worthwhile projects to our top ten and are asking you to decide how we will officially rank our preferred projects, which will ultimately help decide the causes that get funded.
We couldn’t pick them all, but we’re giving you the voting power to help us decide. Vote for your favorite project based on the voter’s guide below. All ten are good causes, but your vote matters, so log your choice on our official online voting page and please vote only once. —LYA Editor

Voting closes at midnight on Monday, September 7. The results will be announced by September 11.

Paddling the Boundary Waters, a vast 1.1 million acre preserve that holds 243,000 acres currently threatened by the federal mineral leasing program in Superior National Forest. Photo: NE Minnesotans for Wild.

The Candidates

 

An overview of the 22,000-acre Boreas Ponds area slated for potential preservation as part of the forever wild Adirondack Forest Preserve in northern New York. Photo: Carl Heilman

Organization: Adirondack Council

The mission of the Adirondack Council is to ensure the ecological integrity (clean water and air, extensive habitat, etc.) and wild character (solitude, scenic beauty, etc.) of New York’s six-million-acre Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Park is a patchwork of public and private lands, creating unique challenges and opportunities to create effective models for large-landscape conservation. We envision the Park with large core wilderness areas, clean water and air, surrounded by working farms and forests, and augmented by vibrant communities.

Project: Adirondack Wilderness and Eco-Tourism Campaign

New York State will complete the historic 65,000-acre land acquisition agreement launched in 2007, purchasing the final 22,000-acre Boreas Ponds parcel for the “forever wild” Adirondack Forest Preserve, and classifying 34,800 acres of new public lands and waters as Wilderness to protect habitat and provide for a range of motor-free recreation opportunities. A successful outcome of the Wilderness and Eco-Tourism campaign will be the Governor’s classification of the MacIntyre, Casey Brook, and Boreas Ponds tracts as Wilderness, with a commitment to managing these lands as motor-free and promoting eco-tourism so that gateway communities realize economic benefits from this new wilderness.

These forests, lakes and streams contain a wide range of habitats for fish and wildlife, as well as rare and endangered plant species. And they will provide new opportunities for activities such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, snowshoeing, and hiking. Especially exciting will be the new southern access to the High Peaks region. The approaches from the north and east are heavily traveled by people climbing Mt. Marcy, New York’s highest peak, and many of the other 46 peaks over 4,000 feet (the “High Peaks”). New access from the south and west will take some of the pressure off the trails that start near the towns of Keene and Lake Placid and provide new tourism opportunities for communities to the south.

The North Fork of the Nooksack River with the North Cascades looming, part of the 110 river miles and 35,000 acres of riverside lands up for preservation in the North, Middle and South forks of Washington's Nooksack. Photo: Thomas O'Keefe

Organization: American Rivers

Founded in 1973, American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. The Northwest Office seeks to preserve the region’s most valuable rivers through a variety of methods, including federal legislation, stakeholder engagement, community outreach, and sophisticated communications campaigns. By protecting the Northwest’s remaining wild, free-flowing waterways, we are helping conserve fish and wildlife, improve recreation opportunities, and boost quality of life.

Project: Wild Rivers of the North Cascades Campaign

The project seeks protection of 110 river miles and over 35,000 acres of riverside lands of northwest Washington’s upper Nooksack River system, which provides important habitat to threatened fish and wildlife species and boasts world-class recreation. Protecting the Nooksack River through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act–the strongest protection we can give to rivers–would permanently safeguard the Nooksack’s unique and treasured natural and cultural heritage. The North, Middle and South forks of the Nooksack, along with numerous tributary streams, form the upper Nooksack River system. This unique and beautiful river system is a true gem. Flowing west from the high snowfields and glaciers of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, and the Twin Sisters Mountain Range of the North Cascades to the sparkling, salty waters of the Salish Sea, the Nooksack River weaves its way through forests, farmlands, and several small communities.

The Nooksack is home to all five species of native Pacific salmon, steelhead, bull trout, bald eagles, black bears, mountain goats, and a host of other native fish and wildlife species that need intact wild places to survive. It is also the lifeblood of the local communities, which rely on the river for clean water to drink and to irrigate crops, as well as for tourism revenue from visitors drawn to its world-class whitewater boating, hiking, skiing, and other recreation opportunities. Yet the majority of the Nooksack River system remains unprotected from detrimental activities such as mining, harmful logging practices, and new dam construction.

Kayaking on East Arm of Great Slave Lake, which would be part of a massive new National Park Reserve in Canada's Northwest Territories. Photo: Mike Palmer

Organization: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

The society’s mission is to conserve the land, water and wildlife of the Northwest Territories for current and future generations, by working together with Northwest Territories residents, governments, communities and organizations. Nationally, the organization envisages a healthy ecosphere, where people experience and respect natural ecosystems. Their goal is that Canada will protect at least half of our public land and water, and manage our parks to protect the nature within them.

Project: Northwest Territories Thaidene Nene Protection Campaign

The establishment of Thaidene Neneas a combination of national park reserve and legislated territorial protected area, co-operatively managed by the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, Parks Canada, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. Over the past four years, the Society’s NWT Chapter and National Office have been conducting a successful public awareness campaign, in partnership with the First Nation government, to support establishment of a huge new protected area around and beyond the East Arm of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Now reaching the final stages of establishment, the campaign is seeking further funding to continue the successful work of building support for protecting this magnificent wilderness area.

Sunrise in McCullough Gulch in the Proposed Tenmile Wilderness—a small part of the Continental Divide Campaign to win landscape-scale protections for 60,000 acres in the central Rocky Mountains. Photo: John Fielder

Organization: Conservation Colorado

Conservation Colorado Education Fund is Colorado’s largest grassroots conservation advocacy group. The organization focuses on preserving Colorado’s spectacular public lands and rivers, clean air and clean water; ending the era of dirty fossil fuels and accelerating the transition to clean, renewable energy; mitigating the climate change crisis; and empowering citizens to protect the environment by engaging fully in the democratic process.

Project: Continental Divide Campaign

The Continental Divide campaign aims to win landscape-scale protections for conservation and recreation on 60,000 acres in Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains through legislation at the federal level, by partnering with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers and demonstrating strong support at the grassroots level.

The nonprofit’s efforts to secure protection for lands in Colorado’s popular White River National Forest over the past decade have built a groundswell of stakeholder support, and as a result, the newly christened Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act is now the state’s best candidate for a legislative lands victory. Recent victories like passage of the Hermosa Creek bill and designation of Browns Canyon National Monument have cleared the queue for the Continental Divide proposal, while showing that even in a tough Congress, a bipartisan bill with strong grassroots support can pass.

The dramatic Utah vista in what could become a the Bears Ears National Conservation Area or National Monument—an area that encompasses 1.9 million acres and includes Indian Creek, White Canyon and the San Juan River. Photo: Friends of Cedar Mesa

Organization: Friends of Cedar Mesa

Friends of Cedar Mesa envisions a future where the public lands in San Juan County—with all their natural, cultural and recreational values—are protected and respected. To achieve this goal, the nonprofit works to improve land management policies and protections, engage citizens in advocacy, educate visitors about respectful recreation, and effect positive change through research and service projects.

Project: Campaign to Protect Bears Ears

The campaign aims to celebrate permanent federal protection for the 1.9 million-acre Bears Ears cultural landscape via a National Conservation Area or National Monument designation by January 2017. The Bears Ears region in southeast Utah is arguably one of the most diverse and spectacular landscapes on earth. Outdoor enthusiasts know Bears Ears for its rock climbing (Indian Creek), canyoneering (White Canyon), river-running (San Juan River), and backpacking (Cedar Mesa and Dark Canyon). Yet the region’s value extends far beyond recreation. The Bears Ears cultural landscape is sacred to many Native American tribes and is home to more than 100,000 archaeological sites. Native American people continue to use the region for subsistence, ceremonies, and herb/medicine collection.

Friends of Cedar Mesa is working with a coalition of local conservation groups, Native American tribes, recreation communities, and regional/national environmental groups to secure permanent federal protection for 1.9 million acres of public land. A Bears Ears designation would take the form of a National Conservation Area (created by Congress) or a National Monument (designated by the President). The policies and resources that would come with a national designation would help save the Bears Ears cultural landscape from mounting threats from looting and vandalism, grave robbing, uneducated visitors, irresponsible motorized use, and extractive development. To date, 24 Native American tribes and Pueblos, hundreds of archaeologists, and the majority of San Juan County residents have expressed support for permanently protecting Bears Ears. Alliance support would help continue this momentum.

Hiking the Gallatin Crest, in what could become 250,000 acres of protected wildlife habitat and recreation lands on the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Peter Aengst

Organization: Greater Yellowstone Coalition

The mission of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition is to work with people to protect the lands, waters, and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem now and for future generations.

Project: Gallatin Range and Lionhead Mountains Protection Campaign

Final success for this campaign is new, long-term protections for critical wildlife habitat in Montana’s Gallatin Range (227,000 acres) and Lionhead Mountains (23,000 acres). The ultimate goal is to protect the last roadless mountain range adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, the wild Gallatin Range. Together with a small sister range, the Lionhead Mountains, the organization aims to protect approximately 250,000 acres through new administrative protections in the upcoming Custer Gallatin National Forest Plan.

The Gallatin Range and the Lionhead Mountains provide critical habitat for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s world-renowned wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep, wolverines and many other species. This area is also an important wild corridor between Greater Yellowstone and the Crown of the Continent ecosystem in northwest Montana. As important as the Gallatin Range is to the region’s wildlife, it is also Bozeman, Montana’s backyard recreation destination. Famous blue-ribbon fisheries like the Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers receive water from tributaries flowing down the shoulders of the rugged Gallatin Range, drawing anglers and boaters from around the world.

Hikers, ice climbers, mountain bikers, ATV enthusiasts, snowmobilers, backcountry skiers and more enjoy the varied terrain and spectacular settings found throughout the range. A key facet of the campaign to protect this critical piece of Greater Yellowstone is striking a balance on recreation management that keeps the landscape intact for fish and wildlife, while providing outdoor opportunities for local residents. Support from the Conservation Alliance will allow the Coalition to invest the necessary capacity and resources to reach the goal of protecting one of the wildest corners of Greater Yellowstone.

Paddling the Boundary Waters, a vast 1.1 million acre preserve that holds 243,000 acres currently threatened by the federal mineral leasing program in Superior National Forest. Photo: NE Minnesotans for Wild.

Organization: Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness 

The organization’s mission statement is to protect and preserve wilderness and wild places, to advocate for the protection of the Boundary Waters and the enhancement of its wilderness aspect, and to foster education about the value of wilderness and wild places.

Project: Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters 

The goal is the protection of the Boundary Waters through the withdrawal of 243,000 acres in the Superior National Forest from the federal mineral leasing program by President Obama before he leaves office in January 2017. The Boundary Waters—the most heavily visited wilderness area in the United States every year since 1964—is a breathtaking expanse of water, forest, and wetlands that covers 1.1 million acres of the Superior National Forest in Minnesota. The Boundary Waters appears on National Geographic Traveler magazine’s “50 Places of a Lifetime.” Every year, more than 250,000 people from all over the world visit the Boundary Waters to camp, canoe, fish, hike, snowshoe, ski, and enjoy its pristine beauty.

Aerial view of the British Colombia's Great Bear Rainforest, which includes 740,000 acres of traditional First Nations territory and Spirit Bear habitat up for potential preservation against logging and other industrial uses. Photo: Ashley Shields

Organization: Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Raincoast is a team of conservationists and scientists empowered by our research to protect the lands, waters and wildlife of coastal British Columbia. They use rigorous, peer-reviewed science and grassroots activism to further our conservation objectives. The organization calls this approach “informed advocacy” and it is unique among conservation efforts.

Project: Protecting the Great Bear Campaign

The partnership with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation and their Spirit Bear Research Foundation will allow them to directly, rapidly, and permanently protect an additional 740,000 acres of their traditional territory from industrial clear-cut logging in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest: the habitat of grizzly bears, spirit bears, and exceptional wilderness recreation. The overall goal is to secure new legal designation of key regions of Princess Royal, Swindle, and Sarah Islands as so-called Class 1 or Class 2 high-quality grizzly bear habitat on BC’s central coast, which becomes off-limits to logging and other industrial uses.

The expansive Lewiston backcountry, part of the 100,000-plus acres in eastern Montana that would be protected from future development and preserved for hunting and fishing access as a BLM Backcountry Conservation Area. Photo: Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Campaign

Organization: Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

The Partnership guarantees all Americans quality places to hunt and fish by uniting and amplifying our partners’ voices to strengthen federal policy and funding.

Project: Montana Backcountry Conservation Campaign

Work to protect at least 100,000 acres of wild, publicly owned lands in Montana from future development as Backcountry Conservation Areas in the BLM Lewistown Resource Management Plan. The Bureau of Land Management administers 245 million acres of public lands, including more than 75 million acres of pristine, undeveloped backcountry currently available for industrial development. Already, more than 40 million acres in the West are leased for oil and gas development, and millions more are being considered for industrial wind and solar energy development and energy transmission. Domestic energy production is important, but there are plenty of places where it can be done responsibly, and a few special places where it shouldn’t happen at all. The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) is leading a campaign to identify and advocate for the protection of backcountry public lands across the West that provide key fish and wildlife habitat and important outdoor recreation opportunities.

At the center of the TRCP’s campaign is a new Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administrative designation called Backcountry Conservation Areas (BCAs). Specific areas—important for wildlife habitat and dispersed recreation activities—would be designated as BCAs through individual Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and would be protected for at least two decades from transmission and pipeline corridors, surface use associated with conventional and renewable energy development, and the establishment of new motorized routes.

Public access at popular crags such as Black Wall, Peanut Gallery and Road Cut in the Donner Summit area is threatened but the campaign to keep Black Wall Open would keep climbing open at these sites. Photo: Courtesy of the Access Fund.

Organization: Truckee Donner Land Trust

The Trust works to preserve and protect scenic, historic and recreational lands with high natural resource values in the greater Truckee Donner region.

Project: Save Donner Climbing Campaign

Black Wall, Peanut Gallery and Road Cut, popular crags at a destination climbing area, have been in private ownership for decades. While the current owner has been “climber friendly,” or unaware of the extent of climbing on this private property, these climbing areas could be closed in the future. There is now an opportunity to ensure that these world-class climbing areas remain open forever.

The overall goals are to acquire the property and secure public access, build new access trails, and improve the overall experience of climbers and hikers, to keep Black Wall open to hikers and climbers who access the crag via sustainable trails, linking to the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails.

 Go vote early at our official online voting page. Voting ends Monday, September 7th.

Author: - Monday, August 31st, 2015
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