ConservationNEXT Backyard Collective Makes an Impact on Local Forest

40 Volunteers from Ruff Wea, Inc and Bend Based Member Companies Get Their Hands Dirty for Conservation
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Bend, Ore.,– ConservationNEXT, the outreach arm of The Conservation Alliance, held a Backyard Collective stewardship project in Bend's Skyline Forest on Tuesday. Forty employees from Conservation Alliance member companies, Ruff Wear, Inc. and QuickFeat International, participated in trail building, garbage removal, and invasive plant removal in the Bull Springs area of Skyline Forest. The event was the either and final Backyard Collective in 2010.

The Backyard Collective was organized with the Deschutes Land Trust, who identified the volunteer projects and provided volunteer crew leaders. In addition, the event featured a “environmental fair” that provided local conservation organizations, The Deschutes Land Trust, Oregon Natural Desert Association, and 1000 Friends of Oregon, the opportunity to share information about their work with the day's volunteers.

Brad Chalfant, Executive Director of The Deschutes Land Trust worked alongside volunteers and was impressed with work completed on Tuesday. “The Deschutes Land Trust has been working since 2005 to protect the big private timberlands on the east side of Oregon's Cascades mountains. It's been an uphill battle, since most people assume these lands are national forests and not at risk of development. The Conservation Alliance has helped us create a voice for these lands before they get broken up and sold off for development. Together we've made real progress and in the last year have seen the creation of Oregon's first new state forest in 40 years. However, there's a lot more work to do and the Conservation Alliance's Backyard Collective just gave us a great new trail to help educate citizens, legislators and funders to create the momentum to make Skyline Forest a reality and permanently conserve another 66,500 acre of threatened forest.”

Next year's Backyard Collective Schedule will be set in first months of 2011. If you are interested in participating in a Backyard Collective in 2011, please contact The Conservation Alliance at info@conservationalliance.com.

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 $8.3 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 49 million acres of wildlands; 28 dams have either been stopped or removed; and the group helped preserve access to more than 17,000 miles of waterways and several climbing areas.

For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com.

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