Osprey Packs, KEEN Footwear, Northwest Rafting Co., and Peak Design are the winners of The Conservation Alliance Outstanding Partnership Awards for 2019. The award recognizes companies who provide meaningful support to Conservation Alliance grantees working to protect wild places throughout North America. This year’s winners helped conservation efforts in California, Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands and Nehalem River, Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.
All Conservation Alliance grantees were invited to nominate member companies for recognition. Conservation Alliance grantees submitted 13 nominations highlighting outstanding partnerships with different companies. Each nomination described how the company engaged in a meaningful partnership to help the organization succeed in its conservation work.
“We were impressed to learn about the support our members are giving to these organizations,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “This award is designed to highlight these outstanding partnerships, and inspire other members to work with conservation groups in their communities.”
Friends of Cedar Mesa (FCM) nominated Osprey for supporting the group’s effort to protect the greater Bears Ears region by creating a customized day pack to be sold at the Bears Ears Education Center, sponsoring FCM’s largest annual event, engaging customers in social media, sending representatives to D.C. to advocate and providing volunteers to do hands-on work. Friends of Cedar Mesa is the local organization that played a key role in establishing the original 1.85-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument.
“Osprey Packs has stepped up in a huge way to protect their world-class backyard,” said Friends of Cedar Mesa’s Josh Ewing. “The company doesn’t just make excellent products, it takes responsibility for helping protect the places their customers use for adventure and inspiration.”
KEEN Footwear received nominations from Save the Boundary Waters (SBW) and Wild Salmon Center (WSC). KEEN provides support to both organizations by raising awareness and inspiring activism. SBW is working to cancel copper mining permits adjacent to Minnesota’s Boundary
Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and WSC is working to protect Oregon’s Nehalem River as a state scenic waterway.
“KEEN is helping to make sure decision makers hear about this issue from people all over the country,” said SBW’s Samantha Chadwick. “Our wonderful partners at KEEN deserve recognition for their great work to protect the Boundary Waters and other storied outdoor places in America. “
Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) nominated Northwest Rafting Co. for taking actions to support its Owyhee Canyonlands Campaign, including: authoring Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor; meeting with elected officials in Washington, D.C. and Oregon; attending town halls and public rallies; and providing public comments on land use planning for the Owyhee region. ONDA is working to protect millions of acres in Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands—the largest undeveloped, unprotected swath of public lands remaining in the lower 48.
“Northwest Rafting Co. is a catalytic leader that goes beyond providing a splash-and-giggle rafting experience to standing up for our public lands, waters and wildlife,” said ONDA’s Corie Harlan. “They introduce thousands of people to some of our most special, wild places, like Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands, and use the inspiration and connection to place to transform their customers from passive observers into informed conservation advocates.”
California Wilderness Coalition (CalWild) nominated Peak Design for connecting them with a visual storyteller through their “Give A Shot” program, and for becoming a CalWild business member. CalWild is a longtime grantee that helped protect 543,815 acres and 77 river miles in the California Desert earlier this year.
“I really appreciate how Peak Design took their commitment to our work seriously,” said CalWild’s Dup Crosson. “Peak Design has shown they will back up their ethos with action. In my mind they are an ideal partner!”