OIA and The Conservation Alliance Announce Joint Seminar at ORSM08

OIA and The Conservation Alliance will present a special seminar at ORSM08 to provide outdoor industry leaders the opportunity to discuss how the industry's companies and individuals can help develop the next stewards of the outdoors.
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Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and The Conservation Alliance announced today a collaboration to present a special seminar to provide outdoor industry leaders the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with two of today’s leading voices in the conservation field and discuss how the industry's companies and individuals can help develop the next stewards of the outdoors.

The seminar, moderated by Steve Rendle, CEO of The North Face, will feature panelists Larry Selzer, president of The Conservation Fund and John Flicker, president of the National Audubon Society. The panelists will share examples of programs that introduce youth to the outdoors, allowing them to explore and develop an appreciation for wild lands and waterways and the creatures that inhabit them. The seminar will also include a Q and A with the audience.

"The outdoor industry needs to build appreciation for all outdoor places – from iconic wild lands like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the 1/8-acre restored lot in Brooklyn," commented Larry Selzer, "Both are powerful and important in engaging people in the outdoors and developing future stewards of the environment. To motivate urban children to visit and relate to Yellowstone National Park is a gigantic leap. We need to start small and take many steps to bring them along."

Mr. Selzer is president and chief executive officer of The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in metropolitan Washington, D.C. The Conservation Fund protects the nation's legacy of land and water resources in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, public agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. Through land acquisition, community initiatives and leadership development, The Fund and its partners demonstrate sustainable conservation solutions emphasizing the integration of economic and environmental goals. The Fund has protected more than six million acres since 1985. Mr. Selzer currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Bird Conservancy and the Wildlife Habitat Council.

"When it comes time to make hard choices, people fight to protect the things they really value. Conservation will only work if people care about and value nature," said John Flicker, "We have learned over the years that direct experiences in nature are the best, if not the only way for people to gain a genuine and lasting appreciation of the environment we share with birds and other wildlife. The outdoor industry plays a crucial role in making those experiences accessible and enjoyable for more people."

Since John Flicker became president of the National Audubon Society in 1995, the organization has expanded its influence and effectiveness as one of the nation's preeminent environmental organizations.

One of Flicker's passions and a key priority for Audubon is connecting people with nature, whether they live in urban, suburban or rural areas. To achieve this goal and as part of Audubon's effort to engage broader and more diverse audiences, John Flicker has overseen the addition of over two dozen Audubon Centers, including 10 in urban areas such as Los Angeles and Brooklyn. He envisions each Center as the environmental equivalent of a local library, serving as a community resource for enjoying and learning about nature, and a hands-on laboratory for building environmental stewardship.

"The health of our wild lands is intertwined with the health of our children, our industry and our country," commented Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA, "It is up to us as an industry to do our part to not only ensure these areas are healthy for future generations to enjoy but to make sure we are introducing today's youth to the joy and wonderment of the outdoors."

"We are pleased to be working with OIA to help bring these leaders in conservation to Salt Lake City to share their learnings with us," remarked John Sterling, executive director of The Conservation Alliance. "North America's wild places are at risk, and our industry can play a meaningful role in preserving these areas for their habitat and recreational values by working together to develop our future stewards of the environment."

The seminar will be held Saturday, August 9, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Downtown Marriott in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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About Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous, Outdoor University, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to http://www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.

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.

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, go to http://www.conservationalliance.com.

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