Co-op Donating Up to $350K to Save Skaha

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Brent Nixon, Acid Test 5.12a, Great White Wall, Skaha Bluffs, BC.

Brent Nixon, Acid Test 5.12a, Great White Wall, Skaha Bluffs, BC.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), the major Canadian outdoor retailer, will donate up to $350,000 CAN to help preserve Skaha Bluffs, the superb crags and unique ecosystem near Penticton, British Columbia. MEC announced this week that it would make a $250,000 grant to the Land Conservancy, a British Columbia preservation group, to help buy a 750-acre parcel of land that will guarantee permanent access to Skaha. In addition, the cooperative has announced that it will match members’ contributions to the Land Conservancy’s Skaha fund dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000.

Access to Skaha has been threatened by real estate development at the base of the cliffs, jeopardizing not only the climbing but also the wildlife that makes its home in the area. The Land Conservancy has negotiated temporary access to the crags for 2007, as well as an option to purchase the key parcel of land that would secure permanent access. When this initiative was launched, about $1 million CAN still needed to be raised. The purchase must be completed by June 30.

The $250,000 grant from MEC follows its announcement last week that it had joined the One Percent For the Planet initiative, in which companies pledge to donate 1 percent of their annual revenues to environmental stewardship (www.onepercentfortheplanet.org). In MEC’s case, that will amount to around $2.25 million CAN in 2007.

To make a donation to the Skaha preservation effort, visit https://secure1.conservancy.bc.ca/donate/appeals/donate.asp?id=W-00013A. To join MEC and have your contribution matched, visit www.mec.ca.

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