Conservation & Advocacy

Conservation & Advocacy

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Over 5000 Trees and Counting: Our Commitment to Net Zero

Buildings contribute a significant amount to global CO2 emissions, and Mountaineers facilities are no exception. As an organization that cares deeply about healthy lands and waters, we have a unique obligation to aggressively reduce our impact on the environment and respond to the climate crisis. While we do this through public lands advocacy, stewardship, and low-impact recreation practices, we still emit thousands of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions through our operations. Throughout the development of our strategic plan, Adventure with Purpose, we consistently heard from volunteers and donors that we need to make faster progress toward reducing our organization’s carbon footprint. In 2020, we formalized our commitment to this important work through the creation of our organizational climate statement. Read more…

We Are All Treaty People: Part II

The Mountaineers is partnering with the Sacred Lands Conservancy, an Indigenous-led nonprofit with strong ties to the Lummi Nation, to produce a series of educational pieces on the importance of mindful recreation and how we can all develop deeper connections to the histories of our natural places. Tah-Mahs Ellie Kinley is a Lhaq’temish fisherwoman, an enrolled Lummi Nation tribal member, an elected member of Lummi Nation’s Fisheries and Natural Resource Commission, and President of the Sacred Lands Conservancy (SLC). We hope you enjoy this blog from her, written in collaboration with SLC’s Julie Trimingham, which shares more about tribal treaties of the Pacific Northwest - which allow us to live, work, and recreate on these lands and waters - and how we can all strive to uphold them today. - Conor Marshall, Advocacy & Engagement Manager Read more…

105 more donors needed to protect the outdoor experience

This weekend an estimated 23 million people will go camping across the US, and even more will get outside for the day to enjoy parks, forests, waterways, and other outdoor spaces. We love to see people enjoying the outdoors, and believe that each of us has a role in conserving the natural world—and the outdoor experiences we love—for future generations.  Read more…

Advocacy 101: Best Practices for Engaging With Land Managers

Public land management. While it may not sound like the most exciting subject, Mountaineers courses and programs depend on well-managed public lands and waters. From trail maintenance to wildfire protection, an effective land management plan is the foundation for a good day spent outside. That’s where land managers come in. Read more…

Virtually Trek Through Washington's Ecosystems With DNR Program Manager Joe Rocchio - May 16, 2024

What is biodiversity, and what creates it? What defines the ecosystems ranging from saltwater marshes to alpine tundra, and what species inhabit these areas?  Join the Seattle Naturalists for an engaging virtual exploration of Washington's diverse ecosystems, led by the Washington Natural Heritage Program Manager, Joe Rocchio.  Read more…

Join Our Spring Conservation Policy & Advocacy Update Event - June 4, 2024

As someone who cares deeply about the outdoors, you’re well positioned to be an effective advocate - it just takes a little training and knowing the best opportunities to engage. In addition to advocating on behalf of our community of more than 16,000 outdoor enthusiasts, The Mountaineers amplifies opportunities to leverage your voice to advance conservation and recreation policy and create new ways to deepen your engagement in our conservation work. Read more…

Did You Know: Using Crosscut Saws With The Mountaineers

 Have you ever wondered who builds and maintains the trails where you recreate, or who cuts the downed trees off the trails? We do. Read more…

We Are All Treaty People: Part I

The Mountaineers is partnering with the Sacred Lands Conservancy, an Indigenous-led nonprofit with strong ties to the Lummi Nation, to produce a series of educational pieces on the importance of mindful recreation and how we can all develop deeper connections to the histories of our natural places. Tah-Mahs Ellie Kinley is a Lhaq’temish fisherwoman, an enrolled Lummi Nation tribal member, an elected member of Lummi Nation’s Fisheries and Natural Resource Commission, and President of the Sacred Lands Conservancy (SLC). We hope you enjoy this blog from her, written in collaboration with SLC’s Julie Trimingham, which shares history and context about the regional tribal treaties that allow us to live, work, and recreate on these lands and waters. - Conor Marshall, Advocacy & Engagement Manager Read more…

Conservation Currents | Learn How to Advocate for Public Lands With Advocacy 101

It was a humid summer day in the other Washington, as I donned a sport coat and tie and met with fellow bird conservation advocates on Capitol Hill. As a budding conservation advocate, this was my first in-person lobby meeting – a short 15-minutes with a congressional staffer about a bill that would help make federal buildings safer for birds. Read more…

Action Alert! Keep Up the Momentum for the EXPLORE Act

As Mountaineers know well, land managers need new tools and resources to sustainably manage growing recreation on public lands in Washington State and across the country. For several years, The Mountaineers and our partners at Outdoor Alliance have been advocating for federal legislation that improves sustainable and equitable access to outdoor recreation, and we’re now one step closer to achieving a big win for the outdoors.  Read more…

How to Lead a Stewardship Activity

Caring for our public lands, waterways, and outdoor spaces through stewardship is a central component of The Mountaineers ethic. Many Mountaineers courses require completion of the Stewardship Credit badge to graduate, and our membership gives thousands of volunteer hours toward stewardship each year.  Read more…

Advocacy 101: Best Practices for Engaging with Lawmakers

You don’t have to be a skilled lobbyist or an expert advocate to make a difference for the lands you love. As someone who cares deeply about the outdoors, you’re well positioned to be an effective advocate - it just takes a little time and training. That’s where our recently-launched Advocacy 101 eLearning course comes in. Through Advocacy 101, you’ll learn the basics of advocacy and best practices for advocating for important conservation and recreation initiatives by engaging with lawmakers and land managers.
Read more…

Action Alert! Thank Lawmakers for Prioritizing Public Lands in the 2024 State Budget

State-managed public lands like Blanchard Mountain, Mount Si, and Tieton’s Royal Columns connect us to nature through the recreational activities we enjoy in all seasons. With Mountaineers programs and activities frequently occurring on state lands, each legislative session we advocate for priority bills and funding requests that improve conservation and recreation at the state level.
Read more…

Make Conservation Part of Your Mountaineers Experience With These eLearning Courses

ELearning plays a critical role in our community's efforts to teach and learn outdoor skills and build a shared culture of conservation. Three conservation-focused offerings on our eLearning management system, Coassemble, are some of the many ways we educate Mountaineers about conservation and cultivate stewards and advocates for the places we cherish.
Read more…

Impact Giving | Advocacy Training for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Mountaineers programs have always been infused with a conservation ethos. “Mountaineers don’t just love being outside, we love the outdoors itself,” wrote Betsy Robblee, Conservation & Advocacy Director at The Mountaineers. “We want to share the natural world with others and take action to protect the outdoor experience for future generations.” Read more…

Mount Rainier National Park Announces Timed Entry Reservations for Summer 2024

Note: The Park's timed entry FAQ webpage is the best resource with the most up to date information on how to visit Mount Rainier National Park  during summer 2024.

Last week, Mount Rainier National Park announced that many visitors will need reservations to access the park through popular entrances during peak hours this summer. From May 24 through Labor Day, most visitors entering through the Nisqually and Stevens entrances between 7am and 3pm will need to make an online or phone reservation ahead of time. Reservations will also be required at the White River entrance beginning July 3 and lasting through Labor Day.  Read more…

Speak Up for Climate-Resilient Forests

Note: this public comment period has closed. We'll keep our community updated on future developments in this process.

When the Pacific Northwest “Timber Wars” reached a boiling point in the early 1990s, federal agencies turned to scientists to find a solution. The result was the creation of the U.S. Forest Service’s landmark 1994 Northwest Forest Plan. For nearly 30 years, the plan has attempted to strike a balance between conservation and timber industry interests on federally-managed lands in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. But threats and pressures to our forests have changed dramatically since the plan’s inception. Wildfires have grown in intensity and range, and scientists and policy-makers have a better understanding of the urgent need to slow and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Read more…

New eLearning Course: Advocacy 101

The outdoor adventures made possible through The Mountaineers would cease to exist without conserved public lands and waters, climate-resilient landscapes, and sustainable recreational access. A critical component of adventuring with purpose is advocating to protect public lands, fight the climate crisis, and improve the human-powered outdoor experience. You don’t have to be a policy expert to make a difference for the lands you love. As someone who cares deeply about the outdoors, you’re well positioned to be an effective outdoor advocate - it just takes a little time and training. Read more…

Mountainfilm On Tour - Bellevue, "Big Green World," Jan 11

This year’s Bellevue Mountainfilm on Tour film program, Big Green World, highlights films on environmentalism, ecology, stewardship of our lands and wild places, adventure, and emotional engagement with the outdoors. Travel to places such as the rain forests of the Amazon Basin, the coast of Scotland, and the Baffin Islands of Nunavut. Don't miss the highline rope walk between two hot air balloons at 6,300 feet! Read more…

BeWild: Salmon, Cedar, Rock & Rain - Feb 15

The Mountaineers BeWild Speaker Series puts passion and adventure on center stage. Join us at BeWild with Salmon, Cedar, Rock & Rain: Washington's Olympic Peninsula contributors on February 15 to unlock inspiration, seek adventure, connect with nature, and work to protect the wild places we cherish. Read more…

Action Alert! Ask Congress to Improve Recreation on Federal Public Lands

Outdoor recreation is growing in popularity in Washington state and across the country, and land managers need new tools and resources to sustainably manage recreation on public lands. The Mountaineers and our partners at Outdoor Alliance have been advocating for federal legislation that improves sustainable and equitable access to outdoor recreation.  Read more…

Speak Up Now to Protect Access to Peaks and Canyons

Note, this public comment period has closed. We'll keep our community updated on future developments in this process.

For many Mountaineers students, the South Face of the Tooth in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is their first foray into the world of alpine climbing. Considering its close proximity to the Seattle area, wide ledges for belaying, and grippy holds, it’s no wonder that the South Face is a classic teaching space for our alpine programs. Unfortunately, our community’s ability to safely access critical teaching spaces like the South Face of the Tooth is in jeopardy due to recently released National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) proposals. Read more…

The New Plan to Restore Grizzly Populations in the North Cascades

Update: Federal land managers have released the final environmental impact statement, evaluating options for restoring grizzlies to the North Cascades. This is not a final decision, but rather an evaluation of the impacts of possible actions. We’ll keep our community updated on future developments in this process. Read more…

We Advocate Better Together: Donors Support Conservation Advocacy

When I first came to The Mountaineers, I was excited to be part of a community that values conservation the way I do. Mountaineers don’t just love being outside, we love the outdoors itself. We want to share the natural world with others and take action to protect the outdoor experience for future generations.  Read more…

Conservation Currents | Standing at the Intersection of Conservation and Outdoor Access

In July 2021, my wife and I navigated high-season crowds to Colchuck Lake on our first adventure in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, one of the most visited Wilderness Areas in the country. We arrived early and still had to park a mile from the trailhead. During the hike, we passed by throngs of other outdoor enthusiasts. Experiencing this bustle didn’t diminish the stunning views and thrill of wide-open spaces, but it did underscore the need to harmonize recreation with the protection of this beloved landscape. Read more…

Your Giving Tuesday Gift Doubled on Nov 27 & 28

When members like you give to support scholarships, you are saying that finances should not be a barrier to connecting with the natural world. The outdoors is for everyone, and scholarships can help lower one barrier to finding joy and belonging outside. Read more…

How the Great American Outdoors Act is Making a Difference for Washington’s Public Lands

Washington state has it all when it comes to outdoor recreation opportunities: an idyllic coastline, jagged peaks, and golden larches. But unfortunately, eroded trails, ancient bathrooms, washed out roads, and other challenges can prevent outdoor enthusiasts from experiencing the restorative power of our public lands.  Read more…

Investing in Solutions to Permit and Access Challenges

Picture this: you’re a small instructional group (SIG) leader for the Basic Alpine Climbing course with The Mountaineers. You've planned out all of your weeknight rope-tying and anchor-building clinics, and now you're excited to challenge your students with their first field trip on real rock. But all of your favorite teaching crags are already booked, The Mountaineers is out of permit days, and you can't find a location to run a trip. You may be the latest Mountaineer impacted by Washington’s cumbersome and inflexible public lands permitting systems. Read more…

Winter Access Expanded for Mount Rainier’s Paradise Area

The Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park offers an unparalleled outdoor experience and is an integral landscape for Mountaineers programs and activities. Last winter looked a little different on the mountain, as the Park restricted weekday access to Paradise through the Longmire gate. We heard from many in our community about the closure, and we shared your concerns. Over the last year, The Mountaineers and several of our partners have engaged with Park leadership around the decision to limit access for the 2022-2023 winter season. Read more…

Trip Report: Outdoor Alliance Washington Advocates for Public Lands and Recreation in D.C. - Oct 2023

Outdoor advocacy can take many forms: from virtual meetings and policy letters, to events with members of Congress. These individual advocacy actions build momentum over time to address challenges facing our public lands, climate, and outdoor recreation. Read more…