It’s not often that we can collectively give back to the one thing in our lives that fuels our passion and provides us an escape from reality, Nature. Let’s face the facts, between all of our daily obligations and our personal pursuits, time is stretched thin and we’re just grateful for any spare moments we can spend making memories in the outdoors. As an individual, you can figure out small and unique ways to give your thanks to mother-nature for all that she has provided you, yet joined by hundreds to provide that same gratitude can be remarkable.
The Backyard Collective is an event, organized by The Conservation Alliance, at which those who have dedicated their lives to outdoor stewardship and those who love the outdoor pursuits can come together for the same reason. We at Osprey value this event because although we help others pursue outdoors by providing them highly innovative gear; this is our chance to return our appreciation to the outdoors for all that it has taught us and provided us.
Founded in 1989 by outdoor industry businesses including REI & Patagonia, The Conservation Alliance began with the mission to increase outdoor industry support for conservation efforts. In other words, the businesses making gear and apparel for use in the outdoors by outdoor enthusiasts committed to protecting the wild places enjoyed by their customers. The Conservation Alliance today is made up of 185 outdoor industry companies (Osprey Packs is a proud member!) that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations, specifically community-based campaigns focused protecting on threatened wild habitat — preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Since inception in 1989, Conservation Alliance funding has helped save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,825 miles of rivers; stop or remove 26 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas. In 2014 to-date, The Conservation Alliance has awarded a record $1.55 million in grants.
The Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective events further connect members of the alliance with the outdoors by bringing together member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action. via The Conservation Alliance:
These events allow us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty; doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards…The BYC program brings together members of the Conservation Alliance community and illustrates firsthand the benefits of conservation efforts and the larger work of The Conservation Alliance.
The Conservation Alliance organized seven Backyard Collectives in 2014, bringing together over 1,000 member company employees, 39 member companies and 36 nonprofits, to accomplish an amazing amount of work including trail building and maintenance, tree planting, invasive species removal, habitat restoration, and flood debris removal. Each event included a volunteer fair, allowing volunteers to learn more about local nonprofit organizations and projects they can get involved with in their local community.
On September 19th, we were joined by almost 200 people at the 2014 Backyard Collective in Boulder to reconstruct trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park that were drastically affected by the mud-slides of 2013. The year of 2013 was a rough one for the front-range of Colorado. Record-breaking mudslides and fires took their toll on our State and National parks, depositing debris in small streams and channels that have altered countless trails.
Our team of 7 volunteers drove a total of 16 hours from Southwest Colorado so that we could partake in this event. To hear about an environmental tragedy in the local news and to see the results of it are two entirely different experiences. To listen to the State Park Ranger explain the effects of what these mudslides did to the trails, such as diverging streams and bringing down trees, was a point in which I realized that we as a community, as a collective effort, were responsible for the reviving the trails and areas that we are so fortunate to enjoy.
That day, 175 volunteers showed up with the same idea and enthusiasm. The collective energy of these outdoor enthusiasts was contagious and inspiring. We all went to work, reviving 4-6 large areas of the State park. We worked side-by-side, complete strangers, yet all with the same commitment.
I am personally honored that my company and our employees, have always valued the outdoor experience above all. The Conservation Alliance provided a unique experience for both our 7 volunteers and the 164 others that joined us that day. Although our individual actions may have been small such as clearing steams and trail work, our collective effort will provide outdoor memories for those to come.
If you would like to be a part of collective effort to protect and conserve our outdoors, be sure to check out the campaigns and grassroots organizations funded by the Conservation Alliance or any of the other non-profit organizations that participated in the Boulder Backyard Collective, including:
998 Exhibiting Brands. 21,814 Total Expo Attendance. 4 days of Outdoors Industry Good Times.
In addition to being the tradeshow “where the latest technical innovations of outdoor gear are found,” Outdoor Retailer could be described as one giant summer camp for any and all retailers, brands, nonprofits, athletes, activists and organizations related to the Outdoor Industry. For Outdoor Industry companies, this tradeshow allows us to come together twice a year (once in summer, once in winter) and connect — whether it’s putting a face to the the person we’ve been emailing for months or seeing our local retailer friends again. It’s a time when people from all over the world gather at the Salt Lake City Salt Palace, take a look at the innovative gear coming out next season and celebrate what brings us together: the outdoors! And while we always have a blast at OR, this summer’s show isn’t going to be just another tradeshow for us — we’re celebrating our 40th Anniversary with our industry friends, partners, retailers and fans alike!
Attending OR August 6-9? Be sure to visit the Osprey Booth (#5010) to see our Spring 2015 product line — we’ve got some exciting new packs and gear debuting at the show! Make sure you don’t miss a beat by checking out the Show Overview , Event Schedule, and Education Schedule.
And if you’re not able to attend (OR isn’t open to consumers, unlike the majority of the events we attend!) you can get a sneak peek of gear debuting at the show and follow the day-to-day news with outlets like the OR Show Dailies and The Gear Junkie (whose Summer OR gear preview features our Spring 2015 Atmos AG!) as well as following the #ORshow hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. We’ll be posting behind the scenes updates on the Osprey Packs Twitter and Instagram feeds — be sure to follow us for the latest!
If you’re heading to the show for your 1st, 2nd or 40th time, you probably know that there’s never a shortage of activities, parties, panels & events, but because this just so happens to be our 40th Anniversary summer show, we want to make sure you know about some special Osprey Packs events you won’t want to miss:
$40 Spring 2015 Escapist 25– All Proceeds Donated to the Conservation Alliance: We’re proud to be longtime supporters of the Conservation Alliance, an incredible nonprofit that for 25 years has been engaging Outdoor Industry businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. Osprey will be offering our Spring 2015 Escapist 25 (Retail $125) for $40. All proceeds from the sale of this pack (which won’t be available at retailers until Spring 2015!) will be donated to The Conservation Alliance.
Leave No Trace “Great Gear Giveaway”– Make sure you make your way to the Leave No Trace booth as they will be giving out one of the best prizes at OR! The Great Gear Giveaway happens on Wednesday 8/6, Thursday 8/7 and Friday 8/8 of the show and includes 6 boxes of gear filled with an assortment of gear from 20 Leave No Trace partners!
Osprey Packs 40th Anniversary Happy Hour– Free beer and amazing pints provided by Klean Kanteen? We could stop there, but that’s not all! Join us from 4:30-6:00 on Wed. 8/6 and we’ll also have fresh Osprey Packs swag and a very special musical appearance that will surely have you groovin’ during the Happiest of Hours! Come enjoy a beer in a commemorative 40th Anniversary pint, get your Wilderness Ranger Cookbook signed by USFS Ranger Ralph Swain and get in on great giveaways!
The Conservation Alliance 25th Anniversary Party– We’re not the only ones with a milestone anniversary to celebrate at this OR! The Conservation Alliance turns 25 this year, and we are celebrating their tireless dedication to uniting our industry and protecting the wild places we love! The Conservation Alliance is throwing a party to celebrate with their friends & supporters, featuring music from Osprey favorite The Infamous Stringdusters, on Thursday August 7, from 6-10 p.m. at The Lot (115 S. West Temple), directly across the street from the main entrance to the Salt Palace.
Ragnar and OIWC Relay Challenge Presented by Outdoor Retailer — This Friday, August 8, 6am-10am at The Pavilions, relay teams of three will pound the pavement on this 3-mile, out and back course. Come out to cheer on Osprey’s teams – or even better sign up and help us build another team!! Support the work of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) who provide advocacy, education and resources for women in the Outdoor, Bike, and Snow Industries.
Check out this ZigZagging interview from last OR show with Osprey Founder, Mike Pfotenhauer! Here’s to a great show!
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It’s that time again… Outdoor Retailer Summer Market kicks off this Wednesday and we’ve got a great line-up of events and giveaways for you! Here’s our down and dirty list of events…
Amongst, cherry blossoms blooming a month early due to unseasonably warm weather, The Conservation Alliance board and staff recently convened in Washington D.C. for a day of education on conservation issues followed by a day of advocacy on the Hill. While a portion of our board has been strongly involved in advocacy over the years, we have increased our commitment to involve our entire board with this important aspect of our work.
Over the past 18 months or so, there has been an unprecedented amount of legislation that if passed, would directly compromise and roll back protection of our public lands. First there is H.R. 1505, otherwise known as the “National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act”. This act would put all federal lands within 100 miles of the Canadian and Mexican borders or any U.S. coastline under the control of Homeland Security. Thus any protected areas in this scope would no longer be subject to any protection — think Olympic National Park, Glacier National Park, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Great Lakes and Boundary waters and so on.
As an outdoor company, our roots are set deep in our wild lands. Our favorite places to hike, ski and climb are the very places that inspire us to create our packs. With Summer Outdoor Retailer madness upon us, we’re psyched to be a supporting member of the Conservation Alliance. The Alliance is a is a group of outdoor industry companies that give back to the outdoors by disbursing its collective annual membership dues to grassroots conservation groups.
Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we’ve hit the ground running into 2011, we figured there was no better theme than “taking a leap”. So all month we’ll be highlighting people, organizations that are going for it — leaping, diving and running as fast as they can to live this life. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
We’re still digging ourselves out of Outdoor Retailer withdrawals, but we managed to pull together a list of a few of our favorite things from the show…
You really “Like” us! Thanks to everyone for spreading the Osprey love over the last few weeks to push us over 10,000 Facebook fans. To celebrate, we brought together a few of our favorite things to share with all of you at Outdoor Retailer: Timmy O’Neill, beer and trucker hats. Take a gander at some of the fabulous shots from our party in the gallery below… More here. Have any shots of your own from the party or OR? Share them on our Flickr page!
Giving back to our wildlands. It wouldn’t be OR, if we didn’t do something to give back to the very places that form the bedrock of our industry. We’re proud to have joined dozens of other Conservation Alliance member companies in raising more than $40,000 for the Alliance. All of which will go directly to protecting the wild places we love.
We also joined Winter Wildlands Alliance for a packed showing of the Backountry Film Festival. It’s hard not to be inspired after watching such awesome films that celebrate the human-powered experience to the max. Excited to be a part of the movement. Keep an eye out for screenings near you!
And finally, thank you to REI for naming Osprey Packs your 2010 Vendor of the Year in the Camping Division! Lots of love and gratitude to REI and Outdoor Retailer!
Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we’re smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, we figured there was no better them than giving. So all month we’ll be tipping you off to cool organizations, initiatives and campaigns that could use some of your holiday dollars. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
3 Peaks 3 Weeks
Chris Kassar, a member of Osprey cause Rios Libres, is a month away from her 3 Peaks 3 Weeks expedition that will take her and 11 other women to the top of Mt. Kenya, Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness to address environment, education and health in Africa. She’s got less than $2,000 to get to her goal. Chris is paying her way on the expedition, so all proceeds go directly to the cause! Help out by donating here.
Passports With Purpose
Give back this holiday season to protect the outdoors by donating to Conservation Alliance. 100% of your donation to the Alliance will go directly into the grant fund to support organizations working to protect special wild lands and waterways throughout North America. Learn more here.
Sometimes you’ve got to get on the ground. Get dirty, muddy and immerse yourself in a story…
That’s exactly what International League of Conservation Photographers’ photographer Neil Osborne did to tell the story of Snake River salmon. Tripods in the Mud (TIM) is an initiative of the iLCP that helps partner professional photographers like Neil with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue.
Snake River salmon swim more than 900 miles inland and climb almost 7,000 feet to reach their spawning grounds — the highest salmon spawning habitat on the planet , and the largest and wildest habitat left in the continental United States. These one of a kind salmon travel farther and higher than any other salmon on Earth.
So how do you make people care? And get them to act? Give them beautiful and provocative images to tell the story.
Save Our Wild Salmon and the International League of Conservation Photographers have joined forces to tell the story of the Snake River’s one of a kind salmon and the place they call home.
We’ve mentioned the Flathead River Valley a few times here on the Osprey blog. One of North America’s wildest places, it’s one that we certainly believe in protecting and we were happy when in February an official ban was placed on mining and energy operations in the area.
Now there’s even more good news coming from this beautiful place. At the recent G8 and G20 summits, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper deliberated over B.C.’s precious Flathead Valley. According to an official White House statement, “They discussed how relevant U.S. and Canadian agencies, including the U.S. Department of the Interior and Environment Canada, working with representatives of the Province of British Columbia and the State of Montana, could support this understanding and could help ensure the sustained protection of the Flathead River Basin.”
Because of the deliberations, there’s an international conservation agreement in the works for the American and Canadian Flathead River watershed. That means the potential for a National Park in the area. Which we whole heartedly support!
To learn more you can check out Flatheat Wild.