$110,000 Awarded to Nine Organizations Defending Public Lands

Photo: Tim Peterson

The Conservation Alliance Board has approved nine emergency grants to support organizations working to defend our public lands. The grants, totaling $110,000, come from our new Public Lands Defense Fund.  We have awarded a total of $145,000 in grants from this fund in 2017 and plan to disburse at least $185,000 before the end of this year.
We established the Public Lands Defense Fund in January 2017 with contributions from Patagonia, The North Face, Arc’teryx, GU Energy Labs and Ibex Outdoor Clothing. Together, these four companies have committed $185,000 this year to support efforts to defend the integrity of our public lands. The Conservation Alliance board of directors awarded the following Public Lands Defense Fund grants last week:

Organization Project Amount
Earthworks Grassroots Campaign to Defend NEPA  $       7,500
Friends of Cedar Mesa Strategic Defense of Bears Ears National Monument  $     20,000
Friends of Nevada Wilderness Gold Butte National Monument Defense Campaign  $     10,000
Grand Canyon Trust Defending Bears Ears National Monument  $     10,000
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Defense Campaign $     15,000
Outdoor Alliance Navigating the New Public Land Heist  $       5,000
Soda Mountain Wilderness Council Defending the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument  $     10,000
The Wilderness Society Defending Our National Monuments in California and Arizona  $     17,500
Western Environmental Law Center Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Defense  $     15,000

Seven organizations received funding to respond to President Trump’s executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all national monument designations larger than 100,000 acres from the past 21 years. Going back to 1999, The Conservation Alliance awarded 25 grants, totaling $765,000, to 13 different conservation organizations whose work was instrumental in protecting 10 of the national monuments included in the review.
Every organization that received funding for national monument defense is a former grantee of The Conservation Alliance. These organizations used Conservation Alliance funding to help designate the national monuments, and now will use Alliance funding to defend them.
“We opposes any effort to change the boundaries of existing national monuments through executive action. These monuments protect landscapes with important recreation, cultural, and habitat values,” said John Sterling, executive director of The Conservation Alliance. “We invested in the designation of these monuments, and we are proud to be in a position to fund the groups working to defend them.”
In addition to national monument defense,  we awarded grants to Outdoor Alliance for its effort to oppose the transfer of federal lands to states and public lands to private ownership, and Earthworks for its effort to defend the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).