Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. has committed $50,000 to The Conservation Alliance Legacy Fund. With the climbing manufacturer's gift, The Conservation Alliance has raised more than $2.6 million in contributions and commitments. That total includes $700,000 raised after the campaign was announced at the January Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

The Conservation Alliance Legacy fund is an endowment that, once fully funded, will provide a permanent source of operational funding for the organization. The Alliance launched the campaign in January with $1.9 million in initial commitments from The North Face, REI, Merrell, Dansko, Patagonia, CamelBak, and former board president Menno van Wyk.

 "Since its founding in 1989 The Conservation Alliance has proven to be an ever more important source of critical funding for local groups that are fighting for the future of the natural systems that are so integral to our humanity," said Peter Metcalf, co-founder and CEO of Black Diamond. "Black Diamond was founded, in part, for very similar reasons. It is a true pleasure for the employee owners of Black Diamond to be able to make this $50,000 pledge to the Legacy Fund."

Since January, additional commitments have come in from Eastern Mountain Sports ($500,000), Tom and Sonya Campion ($100,000), Waypoint Outdoor ($10,000), The Forest Group ($5,000) and the Gracie Charitable Foundation ($25,500).

"With these recent commitments, we are on track to meet our $3.5-million goal by August 2009, our 20th Anniversary," said Executive Director John Sterling. "Our members have risen to a steep challenge because they want The Conservation Alliance to be a permanent force in the outdoor industry."

The Conservation Alliance was founded in 1989 as an all-volunteer organization with no operational expenses. Since adding staff in 2004, Alliance membership has more than doubled, and annual contributions to conservation projects has increased from $360,000 to $900,000.

"We've proven that with a modest investment in operations, we can make a much greater contribution to the conservation of our wild lands and rivers," said Sterling. "With the Legacy Fund, we will ensure that our members' annual dues always go into our grant fund."

The Conservation Alliance will continue to meet with member companies to solicit contributions to the Legacy Fund. At the same time, the Alliance encourages individuals in the outdoor industry to make gifts.

"With roughly $900,000 to go toward reaching our goal, we plan to pull out all the stops," said Sterling. "The Conservation Alliance is a community of companies and individuals, and we want everyone to play a role in ensuring our future."