Conservation Alliance Meets Keen Footwear $120,000 Challenge

The Conservation Alliance has recruited 24 new member companies since February, 2005, meeting a challenge from Keen Footwear to raise $120,000 in new member dues in one year.

Contact: John Sterling 541-388-4845
Kristin Carpenter

Conservation Alliance Meets Keen Footwear $120,000 Challenge
Alliance recruits 24 new members in one year; Cloudveil tips the scales

Bend, OR, March 16, 2006 – The Conservation Alliance has recruited 24 new member companies since February, 2005, meeting a challenge from Keen Footwear to raise $120,000 in new member dues in one year. Keen offered to match the first year's dues of any company that joined the Conservation Alliance over the past year. Those dues and Keen's match have gone directly into The Conservation Alliance's grant fund to support conservation organizations working to protect wild places throughout North America.

“Keen Footwear offered us a steep challenge, and we met it,” said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. “We are ecstatic about the growth of the Alliance. Our members are showing that the outdoor industry understands the importance of protecting the wild places where customers recreate, and wildlife thrives.”

The Conservation Alliance used Keen's challenge throughout the year to help convince companies to join the Alliance. Entering the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in January, the Alliance was still $20,000 shy of the goal. At the show, Keen offered to triple the first year's dues of any company that joined during the show. That was an offer Cloudveil could not refuse.

“We were on the verge of joining, and the Keen offer put us over the top,” said Jeff Wogoman, Director of Marketing for Cloudveil, whose $10,000 contribution to the Alliance leveraged an additional $20,000 from Keen.

“The Conservation Alliance gives us the opportunity to support a range of effective conservation groups at a level that we could not do on our own,” Wogoman said. “By adding our annual dues to those of our peers in the industry, we are showing that there is strength in numbers.”

The Conservation Alliance has budgeted to contribute $500,000 in 2006, up from $435,000 a 38 percent increase in two years. The Alliance credits much of that increase to Keen's leadership.

“Keen Footwear challenged our industry to make a stronger commitment to conservation, and the industry has responded.” Sterling said. “Our shared environment has never been more threatened, and outdoor companies are standing up for our wild places.”

Bobbie Parisi, Keen's VP of Marketing concurred: “Keen is committed to balancing great product with a commitment to conservation. We're thrilled that The Conservation Alliance has met the challenge we put forth. In the end, we all benefit when a group like the Alliance brings our industry together for a great cause.”

In addition to Cloudveil, Keen matched the first year's membership dues of the following companies: Ailin, LLC; Babbitt's Backcountry Outfitters; Black Diamond Equipment; Boulder Incentives; Broudy Donohue Photography; Dong-In Entech; Ex Officio; Horny Toad Activewear; Howa Design; Kristin Carpenter Public Relations; Mercury Advertising; MoonFoto; Mountain Equipment Co-op; Nikwax; Osprey Packs; Outdoor Industry Association; Outdoor Research; Retailers of the Outdoor Industry; Sanitas Sales Group; Teko Socks; Tibetan Trader; Vasque; and Yakima.

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 $4.7 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 34 million acres of wildlands; 25 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