We are proud that The Conservation Alliance continues to grow as the outdoor industry further recognizes the importance of protecting wild places for their habitat and recreation values. In 2017, our membership’s commitment to conservation was put to the test as the Trump Administration and Congress launched unprecedented attacks on the US public lands system. We responded by contributing an all-time high $1.816 million to 50 conservation organizations. That means that our 210 member companies pulled together like never before to fund the most effective conservation projects in North America. As we entered 2017, we recognized new political threats to our wildlands and waters, and launched a new advocacy program designed to educate and engage our members on public lands issues. We also built our Public Lands Defense Fund, a new grant program that empowers us to make emergency grants to defend the integrity of the public lands system. By collecting annual membership dues from outdoor industry companies, and granting 100 percent of those dues to organizations working to protect specific wild lands and waterways throughout North America, and supplementing those grants with business advocacy, we brought outdoor industry voices and resources to bear on important efforts to protect and defend our wild places. Here are the highlights from 2017:
- We contributed $1,559,000 to 38 organizations working to protect and restore North America’s wild places.
- We granted another $257,000 from our new Public Lands Defense Fund to efforts to defend national monuments and core environmental laws, and to prevent the transfer of public lands to states or private ownership.
- Our grantees delivered eight important conservation victories that: protected 157,034 acres of land and 112 river miles; acquired one climbing area; removed one dam; and prevented the sale of 82,500 acres of public land.
- We added 35 new members.
- We added $50,000 to The Conservation Alliance Legacy Fund, an endowment to provide a permanent source of operational funding for the Alliance. And we withdrew $150,000 from the Legacy Fund to help cover our operating budget.
- We added seven members to our Leading Edge program, which gives individuals the opportunity to make significant contributions to The Conservation Alliance.
- Through our advocacy program, we engaged our members in efforts to protect and defend our public lands and other special wild places.
- We organized nine Backyard Collective events, on-the-ground stewardship projects designed to give employees of our member companies the opportunity to volunteer for our grantees.
It is our honor to serve as a connecting point between the outdoor industry and the conservation community. We look forward to another exciting year in 2018.