The Conservation Alliance* announced the recipients of its 2021 Outstanding Partnership Awards—Bank of the West, Grayl, and Obōz. The yearly award recognizes the organization’s member companies whose efforts directly support grantee organizations working to protect wild places in North America. 

All Conservation Alliance grantees are invited to submit nominations and The Conservation Alliance staff vote on the finalists. This year, grantees submitted 13 nominations from organizations based across the Western continental U.S., the Appalachian region of the Eastern U.S, and parts of Alaska and Manitoba, Canada.

“Our business partners are passionate about protecting natural places, and they are eager to find creative ways to support our grantees beyond their financial commitment,” said Josie Norris, grant program director, The Conservation Alliance. “These partnerships are connecting people to important landscapes that will benefit from having more vocal advocates.” 

  • Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) nominated Bank of the West — “Working with Bank of the West to elevate our Owyhee Canyonlands campaign was a delightful experience from start to finish. Their series of short films, “Guardians of the Owyhee,” conveyed the need to protect the Owyhee poetically and persuasively. Moreover, they were able to capture the many nuances of this campaign accurately, which is an amazing feat. Bank of West gave every organization involved in this project a superb set of communications assets to share on our own channels and amplified the story terrifically on their own. After publishing the Owyhee story and video on their blog, it was some of their best performing social content, securing over 26,000 unique visitors in just two weeks. ONDA is grateful for the additional attention for this campaign, which went well outside our usual audience, and we couldn’t be more excited to commend Bank of the West as truly outstanding partners in conservation.” 
  • Washington Wild nominated Grayl, a water purification and filter manufacturer, with the endorsement— “Over the past several years, Washington Wild’s relationship with Grayl and its co-founder Travis Merrigan has grown and deepened around our shared interest in protecting wild places, especially waters. After understanding the mission of Grayl to use hand-held technology to provide clean safe drinking water for travelers, researchers, and outdoor enthusiasts as they explore wildlands and waters, we worked together on our Spring 2018 newsletter. Grayl’s co-founder Travis Merrigan wrote a guest voices column talking about how the concept of Grayl water filters are inspired by the same role that intact forests and watersheds play in providing clean water in the wild. In 2021, Grayl supported Washington Wild’s work as an event sponsor for our Wild Night Out event and our photo contest. Grayl has also generously supported the organization with water filter donations for our annual auction and for organizational use and at least one fundraiser. On our website we are proud to honor Grayl as one of our community voices and corporate partners. We look forward to working with Grayl in the years to come to support our shared passion and interest in advocating for access to and the protection of clean water, healthy forests, and wild watersheds.” 
  • Greater Yellowstone Coalition nominated Obōz Footwear, stating “Obōz stands out because they reach out to us at least as often as we reach out to them. They consistently offer opportunities to increase our visibility, reach new audiences, and support us in any way we need. In particular, Obōz has taken a great interest in our work to protect the Gallatin and Madison ranges south of Bozeman, MT. This hotly contested landscape represents an extremely critical wildlife corridor for animals to move between Yellowstone National Park and the rest of the Northern Rockies. Yet, as local communities continue to grow at startling rates, these mountains are at risk of being loved to death. Having local partners like Obōz is a huge blessing as we push for permanent protections for this irreplaceable landscape after decades of work.”

*Members of The Conservation Alliance “support more than 50 grassroots conservation organizations every year through their membership dues, which go directly into the Alliance’s grant fund. In 2021, The Conservation Alliance awarded more than $2.2 million in funding to support conservation efforts to permanently protect land and water across North America. On top of its annual dues, many member companies provide additional support to The Conservation Alliance and its grantees through cause-marketing initiatives or direct involvement in the grantees’ work. The annual Outstanding Partnership Awards are one way for The Conservation Alliance and its grantees to give thanks and recognize their business partners.”