Conservation & Advocacy

Conservation & Advocacy

All posts

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…

Protecting the Olympics: Salmon, Cedar, Rock & Rain

For tens of thousands of years, humans have thrived and strived alongside the natural world, protecting it for future generations of life. While protecting the forests, mountains, and coastlines of the Olympic Peninsula was one of The Mountaineers first conservation priorities, Native peoples have stewarded the lands, waters, and wildlife of the Olympic Peninsula since time immemorial. Today, Olympic National Park is at the center of a much larger ecosystem: a wild circle of rivers that encompasses ancient old-growth forests, pristine coastal expanses, and jagged alpine peaks, all possessed of rich biodiversity. Read more…

Walking the Walk: Action Beyond Land Acknowledgement

Mountaineers programs occur on the traditional lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes. As we continue to grow our practice of land acknowledgment, we must also honor the histories, stories, and wisdom of the Indigenous peoples who have been living here since time immemorial. We’re partnering with Sacred Lands Conservancy, an Indigenous-led non-profit with strong ties to the Lummi Nation, to produce a series of educational pieces on the importance of mindful recreation and how we can develop deeper connections to the histories of our natural places. Read more…

Impact Giving | More than Breakfast and a Bunk

Every weekend this winter, tens of thousands of people will flock to the Cascades to play in the snow. The mountains come alive with the bustle of snow plows, ski lifts, and resort infrastructure catering to locals and tourists alike. And if you look closely, adjacent to the hubbub at three popular recreation areas, you’ll find vibrant and warm pockets of Mountaineers community. Read more…

An Evening of Advocacy 2023 Recap

The Mountaineers has a long and rich history as a regional leader advocating on behalf of the natural world, and our successes would not be possible without the persistent action and dedication of our whole community. Thanks to all of our donors and sponsors, we raised more than $25,000 to support our Conservation & Advocacy program. We also had 100% participation in our Conservation Pledge, where attendees committed to deepen support for conservation education, public lands stewardship, and advocacy engagement. Read more…

Celebrate National Public Lands Day 2023 Through Stewardship

Fall is here, and that means a new season of outdoor adventures on Washington’s parks, trails, and wildlife areas. Each September, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers across the country celebrate our public lands by getting outdoors - from local green spaces to the backcountry - in observance of National Public Lands Day (and month). This year the Biden administration added a little extra flare to the 30th anniversary of National Public Lands Day by proclaiming this September National Wilderness Month as well.
Read more…

This Land: An Indigenous Perspective on Land Acknowledgment

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 first blog from her, written in collaboration with SLC’s Julie Trimingham, which unpacks the practice of land acknowledgment and how we can acknowledge the land in a meaningful and impactful way. Read more…

An Evening of Advocacy - Sep 21 2023

The Mountaineers has a long and rich history as a regional leader in conservation, education, stewardship, and advocacy efforts, and we need your help to continue moving the needle on conservation education, stewardship, and advocacy.   Read more…

How to Recycle Empty Fuel Canisters

Tired of the growing pile of empty fuel canisters collecting dust in your garage? Recycle them at United Recycling! Follow the guidelines below to drop off your recycling. Read more…

We Can Do Better: Mindful Recreation in Light of Perseid Viewing Damage at Mt. Rainier

A recent trip to Mount Rainier National Park during the Perseid meteor shower offered a stark reminder of how important it is to adhere to mindful and low impact recreation practices. I spent my professional career working to protect and restore public lands, and that evening was frustrating, frightening, and heartbreaking. I want to encourage all members and volunteers to increase outreach to our community – and especially non-members – on the ethical use of natural places and proper etiquette when there. Read more…

How LWCF is Helping Conserve the Central Cascades

Earlier this month, we celebrated the three-year anniversary of the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). GAOA is already making a difference on the ground for Washington’s public lands and the transformational recreation opportunities they provide. In fact, GAOA funding is powering current public lands projects in Washington like the Stevens Canyon Road improvements in Mount Rainier National Park, as well as several trail improvements in the Mountains to Sound Greenway. Read more…

2022 Impact Report: Strengthening Our Voice as Advocates

With the recent release of our annual impact report, we're celebrating all that donors and volunteers made possible through The Mountaineers in 2022. 

For more than 100 years, The Mountaineers has connected people in the outdoors. I’ve had the honor of building relationships with Mountaineers near and far, young and old, daring, mindful, good-humored, and passionate. I’ve been a student, colleague, mentor, and team member. And in each of these roles, I have deepened my relationship to the place that is my home. In fellowship and visitation, I have put down soggy Northwest roots and learned to love more corners of this wild and amazing planet than I ever knew existed. Read more…

Get to Know Deloa Dalby, Foothills Conservation Committee Chair

Deloa Dalby has been the Foothills Conservation Committee Chairperson since its inception in 2019. With her experience as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mountains to Sound Greenway, she had just the right skills to establish a committee responsible for administering conservation, advocacy, restoration, and educational programs under the auspices of the Foothills Branch.  The Committee charter is organized under the CARE acronym for conservation, advocacy, restoration, and education. Read more…

Protecting Old Growth and Mature Forests

When was the last time you experienced the majestic natural splendor of one of Washington’s ancient forests? Groves of old fir, cedar, or hemlock trees towering above a trail, with thriving biodiversity below, can connect us to a different time in history. Old growth and mature forests can be found throughout Washington state, drawing Mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts from all over to Olympic National Park and other outstanding recreational opportunities among these ancient forests like the North Fork Sauk River Trail on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Read more…

Help Shape a More Sustainable Future for The Alpine Lakes Wilderness

The stunning natural beauty and rewarding backcountry experiences offered by the Alpine Lakes area of the central Cascades have inspired Mountaineers for generations. Our members hiked and climbed here before it was designated as a Wilderness area, and advocated for its protection as Wilderness in 1976. We even published a book that was instrumental in persuading President Gerald Ford to protect the Alpine Lakes, and we were involved in the successful campaign to expand the Wilderness in 2014. Read more…

Mountaineers Conservation Director Appointed to Northwest Forest Plan Advisory Committee

One of the ways we advocate to protect public lands and the outdoor experience is by engaging in federal land management processes like the Northwest Forest Plan. Read more…

Wildfire’s Growing Impact on Recreation in Washington

The growing impact of wildfire on Washington's lands, waters, and communities increasingly affects our outdoor experiences. Warmer temperatures mean drier summers and more severe wildfires. Larger, more intense wildfires are occurring more frequently, resulting in forest closures and unhealthy smoke that impacts our health and obstructs our views. As we grapple with these challenges, it’s important to better understand how the wildfire crisis is playing out in Washington and how we as outdoor enthusiasts can advocate for critical solutions. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Fran Troje

Fran Troje, a beloved Mountaineers member, steadfast conservationist, and founder of our Foothills Branch, passed away on June 18, 2023. A force of nature and a force for nature, she was tirelessly dedicated to advocating for the protection of the natural world and the preservation of our special recreation spaces. She embodied our mission to the fullest – volunteering her time to teach others how to recreate safely while giving back to the lands and waters she so dearly loved. She was 92. Read more…

Did You Know | Responsible Fun in the Sun: Algal Blooms and You

Did you know that algae are one of the oldest life forms? They’ve been producing an estimated 30-50% of the Earth’s net global oxygen for the past three billion years and can be found throughout the world on snow, fresh water, salt water, and even animals. Nearly all life owes its existence to this small but mighty organism. Read more…

Speak Up About Mount Rainier's Reservation Plan

Note: The comment period for the draft visitor use management plan is now closed. We'll continue to update our community as this process develops. Thank you for your interest and engagement in this important issue.

Last month, we shared that Mount Rainier National Park is proposing to implement timed-entry reservations. The Nisqually to Paradise Corridor Draft Management Plan proposes several options for a new timed-entry reservation system to access popular areas of the park during the peak summer season. The Park is seeking feedback from the public before they make their final decision. The deadline to submit comments to the park is June 26. Read more…