As part of The Conservation Alliance’s community grassroots efforts, the organization and its member companies will hold the first Backyard Collective event of 2011 tomorrow, Thursday, April 7th. The Alliance and employees from Deckers, Horny Toad and Patagonia will partner with Los Padres Forest Watch, to tackle a large trash cleanup project in the Los Padres National Forest.

“The Backyard Collective event provides a perfect opportunity for Patagonia employees to get out, volunteer, and get their hands dirty supporting local conservation initiatives,” says Casey Sheahen, CEO of Patagonia.  “Our partnership on the event with other local Alliance members, Deckers and Horny Toad, sends an important message that companies can accomplish more by working together to protect our community's natural resources.”

The Conservation Alliance is a non-profit organization whose members consist of outdoor industry companies that fund conservation organizations.  The Conservation Alliance and its member companies strive to connect individuals in the outdoor industry with the work of environmental organizations that receive their financial support.  The Backyard Collectives provide individuals with opportunities to take action in support of conservation and gives people a venue to get their “hands dirty” for the sake of conservation.

“We are inspired by where we work–by the water and the wilderness that surrounds us,” says Angel Martinez, chairman and CEO of Deckers Outdoor Corporation.  “Participating again with the Backyard Collective helps us further our commitment not only to our local community but to the larger outdoor community, and it's a privilege to participate again this year.”

The event will feature a clean-up of a informal shooting site in the nearby Los Padres National Forest, a 200-million-acre landscape that stretches from the Big Sur Coast in Monterey County to the western edge of Los Angeles County. The volunteer clean-up take will take place on April 7, 2011 from 9 a.m – 12 p.m.  The volunteer effort will be followed by an after party with refreshments, food catered by Woody’s BBQ, and beverages provided by New Belgium Brewing Company.  The event will also feature a volunteer fair at which Conservation Alliance grantees and local environmental organizations will share information on their current conservation initiatives.

The Los Padres Forest Watch is a community-based nonprofit organization that is leading efforts to protect the Los Padres National Forest and other public lands along California's Central Coast. The organization received Conservation Alliance funding in 2010 to build support for new Wilderness designations in the forest.

“The Los Padres National Forest is one of our community’s greatest treasures, providing wildlife habitat, clean water, and endless outdoor opportunities for fun,” says Suzanne Feldman, conservation coordinator for Los Padres Forest Watch.  “We’re grateful to be partnering with the Backyard Collective in a day of giving back to the forest; these are public lands and we all have the responsibility to make the national forest a better place for everyone.”

“Thanks to the Conservation Alliance and this Backyard Collective initiative, we have an annual opportunity to get together with our friends and colleagues from the outdoor industry as neighbors and community stewards,” says Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad. “Guaranteed to have fun, share ideas, meet new people and come home fully satisfied in having tackled a project together to help do the right thing.”