National Forest Foundation Board Honors Companies for Conservation

national-forest-foundation-honorsOFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – VAIL, Colorado—Apr. 26, 2008—The National Forest Foundation (NFF) – a nonprofit dedicated to caring for America’s National Forests – will honor two Colorado companies for their leadership in conserving and enhancing our forests. On Saturday, April 26, at The Arrabelle, the NFF will recognize Coors Brewing Company and Vail Resorts for making conservation a priority and for their commitment to engage communities in natural resource stewardship.

Coors Brewing Company has a long-standing environmental commitment that focuses on protecting the forests’ most precious resources – clean, fresh water – by improving water quality in the communities where they work. Early on, Coors established itself as a forerunner in recycling, reducing waste and using alternative fuels. Last August, Coors teamed up with the NFF to host a Friends of the Forest® Day volunteer event on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. More than 40 Coors employees, family members and friends came out to install erosion control structures, build buck and rail fence, and plant wetland shrubs and grasses. The day was so successful that Coors has stepped up again this year with a generous donation to support another FOF Day project to continue restoring the Clear Creek watershed here in Colorado.

Vail Resorts is a company that is dedicated to supporting and partnering with the local communities where they work. This commitment extends to the natural environment that makes their locations so special. Vail Resorts has long supported conservation projects that protect and enhance watersheds, wildlife habitat, forests and outdoor recreation resources. Today, Vail Resorts operates the largest on-mountain recycling program of any ski resort in North America. For the second year in a row, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, Vail has engaged five of its mountain resorts in the NFF Ski Conservation Fund. Vail guests contribute $1 per season pass, online lift ticket transaction, and for each room night at Vail’s Colorado and California lodges in support of community-based conservation projects. In the short time since the program’s inception, Vail has generated guest contributions totaling $551,000 that has been matched by $275,500 from the NFF for projects to restore and improve their neighboring National Forests in Colorado and California.

“The NFF builds its work from the strength of community engagement in caring for the forests and watersheds that enrich all of our lives,” said NFF President William J. Possiel. “It’s only fitting that we honor two companies that exemplify leadership in supporting the spirit of citizen- and community-based conservation, such as Coors Brewing Company and Vail Resorts.”

The NFF will be in Vail April 25-26 for a Board of Directors meeting. NFF Board Chairman David Bell will present the awards during Saturday evening’s reception, and U.S. Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell – an ex officio member of the NFF Board – will attend the event.

Also in attendance will be Eagle County Commissioners Arn Menconi, Sara Fisher, and Peter Runyon, as well as Town Council member Mark Gordon, representing Mayor Dick Cleveland.

The National Forest Foundation is a Congressionally-designated nonprofit organization, dedicated to engaging Americans and communities in the conservation and stewardship of our National Forests and Grasslands, all 193 million acres. To become a Friend of the Forest, learn about recreation and volunteer opportunities on our National Forests, and to participate in our Tiki Barber Earth Day Campaign, visit www.becomeafriend.org.