The Conservation Alliance has organized a group of outdoor business leaders to travel to Washington DC to urge
Congressional representatives to protect Alaska¹s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from proposed oil drilling. Representatives from Montrail, Patagonia, Timberland, Zumiez, and Kennan Ward Photography will visit Capitol Hill
offices on November 8 and 9, 2005 as Congress nears a final decision on the drilling proposal.

The trip is being conducted in partnership with the Alaska Wilderness
League, a recent Conservation Alliance grantee. The goal of the trip is to
show that oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge would despoil a spectacular
recreational destination, and compromise important habitat for a range of

“Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not the answer to
our energy problems, and it makes no economic sense,” said Conservation
Alliance president Menno van Wyk, CEO of Montrail, Inc., and a participant
in the trip. “I look forward to telling members of Congress that outdoor
businesses do not support this proposal.”

Outdoor industry companies have been outspoken on this landmark issue. In
March, more than 30 companies contributed their logos to an ad that ran in
Roll Call, the Capitol Hill daily, calling on Congress to protect the
19-million-acre wildland. Earlier in the year, the Outdoor Industry
Association released a policy statement opposing the proposed drilling. In
September, the Conservation Alliance contributed $100,000 to two
organizations working to protect the refuge.

“Few conservation issues have unified the outdoor industry like this,” said
John Sterling, Executive Director of the Conservation Alliance. “We will be
visiting Washington at a key moment in the history of the Arctic Refuge
debate. We look forward to making a difference.”

Joining van Wyk and Sterling will be Patagonia¹s Jill Dumain, Timberland's
Betsy Blaisdell, Tom Campion of Zumiez, and Kennan Ward, owner of Kennan
Ward Photography.

Pro-drilling members of Congress have joined with the Bush administration to
insert the drilling provision in the budget package for 2006, rather than
face an up-or-down vote on Arctic drilling. Conservationists have criticized
the Administration's claims that Arctic oil will lower gas prices and reduce
US dependence on foreign oil. Government estimates show that it would take
until 2010 to deliver any oil. Further, the most optimistic estimates say
that Arctic oil would satisfy US demand for a mere six months.

“We plan to tell members of Congress that the Arctic Refuge has far greater
economic value as a protected landscape than as a terribly remote and
relatively minor source of oil,” Sterling said.