In this photo: Osprey's Megan Waterman, Forest Group's Deanna Kavanaugh-Jones, Conservation Alliance's John Sterling and North Face's Brook Shinsky take a moment out of lobbying on the Capital steps.
Osprey joined forces with outdoor industry partners, teachers, business people, sportsmen, and conservationists in training and lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill as part of Wilderness Week, September 8 – 12, 2008. Osprey’s Returns Manager Megan Waterman joined a group of three Conservation Alliance members in Washington DC, talking to members of Congress about the importance of a proposal to protect more than 2 million acres of public land (http://conservationalliance.com/UserFiles/File/OPLMA08.pdf).
The Conservation Alliance foursome, which included representatives from the Forest Group, North Face and the Executive Director of CA, spent two days in meetings with 13 House and Senate offices to show support for a legislative package that includes more than 150 public lands bills. The following areas are in the proposal:
The benefit to having the Conservation Alliance group participate in Wilderness Week is that we have a different message than most environmental groups. We have an economic message. We tried to show each legislator that securing open space benefits the economy by growing businesses that rely on the outdoors.
The proposal is scheduled to go to the Senate floor for a vote the week of September 22. If it passes, it will then be up to the House to consider the legislation before Congress adjourns in early October to prepare for the November 4 election.
"We hope Congress takes action on this historic legislation before the elections," said John Sterling, the CA Executive Director. "Each provision in the bill has broad, bipartisan support, which voters will appreciate."
"I thought the highlight of the trip was hearing Colorado Senator Ken Salazar speak about efforts to designate public lands and the lessons he learned which he could impart to the group." said Waterman. Meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s advisors was another memorable experience, "They shared a lot of information on the reality of how a bill makes its way through Congress to become law."
In this photo: Colorado Senator Ken Salazar addresses the group
Speak up! Contact your Senator or Representative on an issue that you care about—it does make a difference! Check out ConservationNext and join: http://conservationnext.com/