Conservation & Advocacy

Conservation & Advocacy

All posts

Conservation Currents | Smoky Summers and Shorter Ski Seasons

Few have directly witnessed the insidious change that our warming climate has wrought on the Pacific Northwest. Those who have seen the impacts are often outdoorspeople who have been intimately connected with the land for decades, watching as it slowly morphs under the pressure of a changing climate. Pat O’Brien is one of those people. Read more…

Olympia Stewardship: Spring & Early Summer 2021

Olympia Mountaineers have been busy this year! We're back in full force now that COVID-19 restrictions have loosened, and our hard work has already made a big impact. Read about two recent projects branch members undertook, and get inspired for your own stewardship day this season. Read more…

How Do You Recreate in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest? Share Your Data

Do you hike, climb, bike, hunt, picnic, or otherwise spend time outdoors in Washington? We need your help! Our partners are working to help the US Forest Service improve their data collection related to visitor use in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Information about outdoor recreation is critical for maintaining and advocating for recreational opportunities on public lands. Read more…

Announcing the Tacoma Program Center Net-Zero Energy Project

The Mountaineers made a commitment to reduce our organization’s carbon footprint as part of Vision 2022. Since 2018, we have made significant progress in reducing the carbon footprint of Mountaineers buildings, including installing a solar panel system at our Seattle Program Center and replacing over 500 lightbulbs in four buildings with LED retrofits. Now, The Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee is excited to announce the Tacoma Program Center Net-Zero Energy Project.  Read more…

The Mountaineers Testifies Before Congress

We were incredibly honored to bring The Mountaineers mission and priorities to a national stage last week. Conservation and Advocacy Director Betsy Robblee was invited to testify before a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on increasing access to the outdoors by improving the federal recreational permitting process. We’ve been working for years on legislation to improve the current inefficient, unpredictable recreational permitting system, and were grateful for the opportunity to share our ideas with Congress.  Read more…

Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home Lauches June 1

Braided River author Lynda V. Mapes has traveled across the West Coast to give voice to the region’s orca whales, iconic to the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful—but ecologically imperiled—marine ecosystem. In this excerpt, she travels to OrcaLab in British Columbia, where passionate and determined volunteers are led by founder Paul Spong. Located on Cracroft Point, above Johnstone Strait in British Columbia, they have been documenting the daily lives of the more robust northern resident orca pods since 1970. Read more…

Climate Change Speaker Series Recap

During Earth Month, the Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee hosted a Climate Change Speaker Series to help our community learn more about the climate crisis. Mountaineers members and a Mountaineers Books author shared insights about how climate change will affect our world, our wild places, and our lives. The events were well attended and participants asked great questions of the presenters.  Read more…

Great News for the Outdoors in Washington State’s Budget

This winter, we shared our funding priorities for outdoor programs in Washington’s state budget. Hundreds of you took action to share those priorities with your state legislators - thank you! We’re excited to report that outdoor recreation and conservation received strong support from the Legislature this session.  Read more…

BeWild with Graham Zimmerman: Global Adventures of an Imperfect Advocate | May 13

Join us on Thursday, May 13 for a virtual presentation from outdoor athlete, creative, and climate activist Graham Zimmerman. Read more…

Conservation Currents | The SOAR Act: Reimagining our Federal Permitting Processes

Teaching kayak self-rescue on a bleary Northwest day. Practicing crevasse rescue with a “fallen climber” twice your size. Encountering surprise sleet and snow on a backpacking trip. Of the many challenging situations they encounter, navigating federal permitting processes is one of the few that make our volunteer leaders groan. Read more…

Find New Ways to Give Back this Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, Mountaineers! There are so many ways to celebrate this marvelous planet that we inhabit. Being a good steward of the environment is a great way to show that you care, and if you need some specific ideas of things you can do in the coming weeks, we’ve got you covered. Read more…

How We’re Reducing Our Carbon Footprint: Offsets

The Mountaineers made a commitment to reduce our organization’s carbon footprint as part of Vision 2022. In the Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee’s last blog post, we wrote about electric vehicles and some things to think about if you’re considering purchasing one. In this blog, we introduce you to carbon offsets. Read more…

We Are Puget Sound Photo Exhibit Launches at The Seattle Aquarium

Just in time for Earth Day, a new photo exhibit from Braided River is launching in celebration of the stunning Salish Sea. Read more…

Why We Need a Bold Investment in the Forest Service

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the Forest Service manages some of our most spectacular natural landscapes and favorite places to hike, ski, climb, and camp. But even as the popularity of outdoor recreation increases and climate change intensifies, funding for the Forest Service and other land management agencies has decreased.  Read more…

New Wilderness Pooping Course

Everybody poops... but not everyone knows how to poop in the wilderness in an environmentally friendly way. The Mountaineers are addressing this challenge with a new course launching April 1, 2021, just in time for summer: Wilderness Pooping.   Read more…

Join Us for a Climate Change Speaker Series

The Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee is excited to announce a Climate Change Speaker Series to help our community learn more about the climate crisis. Climate change is an issue that’s on many people’s minds, but it can be overwhelming. In this series, you’ll learn from Mountaineers members and authors about our current climate reality, new science about thawing permafrost, and how climate change will affect the local PNW landscapes we love. Read more…

GAOA Funding Gets to Work in Washington

Last year, the outdoor community celebrated the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), the most significant federal conservation funding bill in decades. This historic victory was the result of years of work by The Mountaineers and many of our partners in the conservation and recreation community.  Read more…

How We’re Reducing Our Carbon Footprint: Electric Vehicles

The Mountaineers made a commitment to reduce our organization’s carbon footprint as part of Vision 2022. In the Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee’s last blog post, we discussed transportation and a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. In this blog, we dive deeper into electric vehicles (EVs). Read more…

Action Alert! House to Vote on Wild Olympics and Public Lands Protections

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will take up a lands package which includes additional protections for the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act here in Washington State. This bill will protect over 126,000 acres around the Olympic National Park where we hike, camp, and explore. We need your support to get this important bill passed this year! Read more…

Action Alert! Advocate for the Outdoors in Washington State’s Budget

Every two years, the Washington State Legislature passes a budget that funds state operations like education, human services, transportation, and public lands. Lawmakers are currently negotiating this year’s funding package. The Mountaineers is working with other conservation and recreation groups to advocate for funding for our state land management agencies and outdoor programs. Now more than ever, our state public lands need sufficient funding to ensure sustainable and equitable access to the outdoors.  Read more…

Borrow gear and get outside with The Mountaineers Gear Library!

Since 2018, The Mountaineers Gear Library has supported youth, lending out everything from cross-country skis so students can glide under snow-covered trees to tents for camping on the Peninsula. While these trips have been successful, we believe our gear can do more. Read more…

Become a Trailhead Ambassador

We’re excited to announce Trailhead Ambassadors, a new program launching this summer to help promote responsible recreation and environmental stewardship in the Snoqualmie Corridor area. Volunteer Trailhead Ambassadors will serve as a welcoming entity at popular trailheads along the I-90 corridor and help educate and empower trail users. The program is currently recruiting volunteers.  Read more…

Speak up for Wilderness and Recreation in the Enchantments

One of Washington State’s most beloved wild places - the Enchantments, located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness - could be impacted by a proposal to replace an aging dam. The Washington State Department of Ecology recently announced plans to replace the Eightmile Lake Dam in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The plans raise concerns about appropriate actions in a protected wilderness area and impacts on recreation. Read more…

What a New Congress and a New Administration Means for Public Lands

Outdoor advocates enter 2021 with a vastly different federal landscape to navigate than we saw in 2020. With a new Congress and a new Administration, we have exciting opportunities to protect our public lands, outdoor experiences, and climate. Here is a summary of some of the key changes that will affect our work to conserve the public lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond: Read more…

Join Mountains to Sound Greenway for an MLK Day of Service

On January 18,  the Foothills Conservation Committee is collaborating with Mountains to Sound Greenway to sponsor a day of service in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day. This is a great opportunity to get outside and provide cleanup to the parks and public lands that we all love, use, and recreate in.  Read more…

Conservation Currents | At Capacity: Getting outside in the age of COVID-19

Like many aspects of our lives, 2020 has been a roller coaster of a year for public lands. During the initial weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, public lands in Washington State closed as a result of Governor Inslee’s ”Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Read more…

2020 Recap: A Year in Review

The Mountaineers is an incredible community of adventurers, students, instructors, advocates, and leaders. As we close the door on 2020 and look ahead to 2021, we reflect on our core values and how they’ve guided us through the past nine months of this pandemic.  Read more…

Outdoor Alliance’s Adam Cramer on the Outdoor Advocacy “Superpowers” of The Mountaineers

For almost six years, The Mountaineers has been a proud member of Outdoor Alliance, a nonprofit organization that unites the voices of outdoor enthusiasts in order to protect the human-powered outdoor recreation experience and conserve America’s public lands. Our membership in Outdoor Alliance amplifies our ability to weigh in on national policy issues and bring regional issues to national attention. Read more…

The Arctic Refuge at 60: An Excerpt from “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land”

This December marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and  for nearly 20 years, our conservation imprint Braided River has been publishing stunning books about this special place. These books serve as the visual foundation for advocacy campaigns to protect the Arctic from oil and gas development, climate change, and other threats. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is under imminent threat of oil and gas leasing as soon as January 2021 by the federal administration (learn more at Protect the Arctic and make your voice heard).  Read more…

This Unicorn Didn’t Come Along By Accident

This year, something incredible happened. Amidst the immense challenges facing our country, a polarized Congress came together to pass a bill called the Great American Outdoors Act. Some called this once-in-a-generation conservation funding bill a “unicorn” - a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation.  Read more…