Juniper Ridge was born out of our love of wilderness and a fierce longing to protect wild places. We believe that finding connection with nature is also about finding connection with parts of ourselves. Ultimately, this connection is what leads to preservation. Every Juniper Ridge purchase you make helps to support those efforts to protect the few remaining truly wild lands of our backyard: North America’s West Coast. Every year, we eagerly donate 10% of our profits or 1% of sales, whichever is greater, to those organizations dedicated to protecting our wilderness.
Our monetary donations are only a part of our efforts. Rather, we feel we can make a greater impact through the megaphone of social media. For example, last year we used our (limited) social media clout to play an instrumental role in protecting 330,000 acres of coastal wilderness in Northern California with the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. We grabbed the attention of news crews from Sacramento and the Bay Area, who came out to the proposed wilderness area to interview us onsite. Through the collective magic of social media, the news stories went viral. Shortly after our news feature ran, President Obama used his signature to declare the area a national monument. These titles, “National Monument” and “National Park,” are important because they’re essentially forever.
Conservation efforts and presidential declarations matter because they buy us time to take care of the stunning ancient biodiversity we’ve inherited as stewards of this land. By acting now, at this point in humankind’s evolution, we can get a head start on these wild lands before we ruin them irrevocably. This work is vital in North America, where the demands of our modern world are wreaking havoc on wilderness. We have an opportunity, unique in the world, to protect the tiny slices of wild land not already developed. It gets our hearts pounding because these wild places are the wellspring of our company and they’re our most beloved thing in the world.
Aside from our own motivation to protect what’s important to us, protected biodiversity translates to insurance against climate change. Evolution and adaptation have given these landscapes flexibility. When we disrupt that adaptation, it dooms millions of years of evolution and survival. Biodiversity is beauty and love in itself. It is our belief that we can afford to keep this world fairly wild and help it thrive.
If we’re going to talk the talk, we need to also walk the walk. A lot of companies keep their donations and community outreach as vague as possible, using phrases like “a portion of our proceeds” to provide padding to their policies. We took inspiration from Patagonia’s 1% for the Planet initiative and chose to get specific with our promise: Juniper Ridge donates 10% of profits to organizations protecting our wild lands.
We’ve donated over a quarter of a million dollars since starting this business. In the beginning, we donated small checks of $100 or so. While always grateful, conservation groups tended to be a little underwhelmed by our pocket change. These days our checks are in the thousands of dollars and it’s starting to have a real impact.
Our strategy for 2016 centered around countering the conservative shift in national politics by supporting groups that are developing or implementing specific new legislation. Here’s the breakdown of how our donation money was allocated in 2016:
Friends of Cedar Mesa in Utah
Advocates for over 2 million acres of wilderness that President Obama may still sign into law.
Friends of Gold Butte in Nevada
Management stewards for recently protected wilderness in Nevada.
Ventana Wilderness Alliance
Ongoing trail maintenance and wilderness protection for the Big Sur area from one of the nation’s most engaged and effective wilderness management groups.
Pacific Crest Trail Association
Stewards for the trail that ties all of the West Coast’s prime wilderness areas together, from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.
California Wilderness Coalition
This group has been working tirelessly on the central coastal wilderness designations totaling over half of a million acres, due to manifest in legislative form in 2017.
Save Our Wild Salmon
Salmon restoration is one of the keys to protecting entire ecosystems from Big Sur to Southeast Alaska!
The Conservation Alliance
One of our favorite partners and main advisors on where to most effectively allocate our conservation money.
Although a little outside of our West Coast focus, we were moved to weigh in on the extensive efforts of these loyal water protectors with a donation.