The Conservation Alliance and Keen Footwear announced the second year of a partnership that will help the Alliance increase outdoor industry support for protecting wildlands and rivers throughout North America.

Keen has committed to contribute $200,000 to The Conservation Alliance in 2006. The vast majority of that donation is a $139,000 challenge grant to match the first year’s dues of any company that joins the Alliance this year. The remainder of the support will help cover the Alliance’s operational costs for the year.

“For the second consecutive year, Keen Footwear is coming through in a big way for The Conservation Alliance,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of the Alliance.

Keen offered a $120,000 challenge in 2005, which the Alliance met by recruiting 24 new members in less than one year. By meeting that challenge, the Alliance increased its 2006 grant budget to an all-time high $500,000.

“More Conservation Alliance members means more funding to conservation organizations, and more protected wild places,” Sterling said. “We’re grateful to Keen for understanding the importance of building outdoor industry support for conservation.”

Keen’s contribution to The Conservation Alliance is part of the company’s commitment to conservation.

“We have enjoyed spectacular growth and are pleased to be able to give something back to the wild places that are important to our customers and our employees,” said Bobbie Parisi, VP of Marketing at Keen. “The Conservation Alliance proved last year that they can turn our support into a sharp increase in membership.”

To answer Keen’s challenge, The Conservation Alliance has launched a comprehensive new member recruitment campaign. The effort features a new board subcommittee focused on recruitment and marketing.

“We think many companies have not yet joined the Alliance because they’ve never been asked,” said Sterling. “That’s about to change.”

The Conservation Alliance aims to increase membership such that it contributes $1 million annually, nearly double the current level.

“We have a long way to go, but with partners like Keen, and with a growing commitment to conservation within the outdoor industry, we’ll reach our $1 million goal,” said Sterling.