Conservation & Advocacy

Conservation & Advocacy

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Trail Talk | As Goes the Caribou

One of the most beautiful and wild places on the eastern seaboard, the Chic-Choc Traverse was placed on Peter Potterfield’s 25 Classic Hikes of North America with good reason. In May 2000, my wife Heather and I did a recon trip to Quebec’s Chic-Choc Mountains in the 200,000-acre Parc National de la Gaspésie. Three months later we returned to backpack the 50-mile Chic Choc Traverse – one of the most stunning stretches of the International Appalachian Trail. We were hooked. Read more…

Eating Healthy & Caring for Community during COVID-19: Join Thursday's web event

Spring has sprung and so has the growing season at local farms--all in the wake of the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. The #WeArePugetSound book and campaign has been promoting different ways that people can show up to protect our environment in the Salish Sea. But we know a healthy environment requires healthy communities too. Read more…

We Can’t Go Outdoors, But We Can Still Protect Them

It feels strange to agree with a rule and yet hate it: recently, following closures of National and State Parks across the U.S., Washington and Oregon indefinitely shut down access to 24 million acres of established outdoor recreation areas. Although I’d already ceased my own outdoor activities outside Seattle city limits in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic—and fully support the decision to close public lands—the finality of this announcement is heartbreaking.  Read more…

Introducing The Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee

Conservation has been an important part of The Mountaineers since its beginning. From advocating for the creation of national parks and Wilderness areas, to protecting current threats to our public lands and teaching Leave No Trace principles, The Mountaineers has ignited its members to stand up for our wild place. Today, much of the good work from the past is in jeopardy due to what is arguably the greatest threat to our natural world as we know it: climate change.  Read more…

Action Alert! Support Full Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

A week ago, the Senate introduced a once-in-a-lifetime public lands funding package called the Great American Outdoors Act that includes permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This package gives us an incredible opportunity to permanently better fund our public lands. Join us in telling Congress to support full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to support our public lands long-term. Read more…

Hit the Trail With a Day Hiking Course - Begins March 30

With spring around the corner, we want to help you get ready to hit the trail with the Olympia Branch's new Day Hiking Course! Are you new to hiking, or haven't been out in a while? Do you wonder about gear, clothing, or backpack weight? Want to get better acquainted with our local area? This course is for you!  Read more…

Action Alert! Help the Protecting America's Wilderness Act Pass the Senate

Earlier this month the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act passed the US House of Representatives. This incredible Act includes the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, protecting over 100,000 acres around the Olympic National Park where outdoor enthusiasts, including Mountaineers, hike, camp, backpack, and more. Read more…

Olympia Conservation Stewardship Development Meeting - Feb 27

According to Olympia Mountaineer Jim French: "as Mountaineers, we may have been the first to see changes in our environment and they have been catastrophic. The signs aren't good. Well, the smart gambler says, 'let's not take that chance. Maybe we should be doing something.'" Read more…

Action Alert! House to Vote On Wild Olympics Protections

Tomorrow, the US House of Representatives will take up an incredible lands package, Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, which includes additional protections for the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act here in Washington State. The act will protect over one hundred thousand acres around the Olympic National Park where outdoor enthusiasts, including Mountaineers, hike, camp, and more. We need your support to get this important bill passed in Congress! Read more…

Action Alert! Defend the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA)

The current administration recently announced a plan to rewrite the rules for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that would greatly limit public participation and environmental considerations during project proposals and reviews. Read more…

Citizen Science: White-Tailed Ptarmigan, Ghost Birds of the Winter Cascades

Washington is a haven for birders, and yet we still have huge gaps in our understanding of some of our most iconic wildlife. Take the White-tailed Ptarmigan for example. Many of you have likely spotted ptarmigan in the Cascades in their summer plumage, blending in with their rocky alpine habitat, but reports of these beautiful birds in their all-white winter plumage are few and far between. As a result, our knowledge of White-tailed Ptarmigan winter habitats in the Pacific Northwest are meager. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Conservation and Advocacy, Together

In the six years I’ve served as The Mountaineers Conservation and Advocacy Director, I’ve watched our community come together time and again to speak up for the places we hold dear. Together, we’ve enjoyed a number of successes, and suffered a few setbacks. Threats to our public lands, including the climate crisis, are mounting, and as someone whose life has been formed by adventuring in nature, I am concerned about what our planet will be like for future generations. Read more…

Saying Goodbye to Conservation & Advocacy Director Katherine Hollis

For more than six years, Katherine Hollis has been leading our conservation and advocacy efforts. She's transformed the way we engage in national policy issues, served as an influential and highly-respected voice on important regional work, and has engaged our Mountaineers community in many critical conservation efforts. In January, she'll be leaving The Mountaineers, and we're so grateful for the incredible impact Katherine has made while she was here.  Read more…

We Drank Straight From the Lake!

Do you remember when you first fell in love with the outdoors? As the middle of five children growing up on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire in the 70s, I was encouraged to play outside all day. The water was so clean that we drank straight from the lake. I realized from a young age the importance of having close access to the outdoors for body and mind. Read more…

The Mountaineers Joins the Public Lands Pledge

Love for our public lands and waters is the heart of our Mountaineers community, and we work to protect these landscapes and make them accessible to everyone. We encourage you to join us and many other outdoor enthusiasts across the country in signing the pledge to protect national public lands and waters. Read more…

Field Notes From An Arctic Climate Photographer

The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science, and Race to Save the World introduces the scientists and students studying Arctic permafrost and what it contains: a vast store of ancient carbon, more than four times the quantity found in all of today's forests, a ticking carbon bomb releasing carbon dioxide and methane as the permafrost thaws. Through Chris Linder's stunning photographs, we meet the people and processes at work across remarkable Arctic landscapes from Siberia to Alaska's Y-K Delta.  Read more…

Action Alert: Defend the Roadless Rule and the Tongass National Forest

Perhaps you remember us sharing information about the Roadless Rule previously – it’s an important (and lesser-known) tool that protects wild landscapes on US Forest Service lands. As outdoor enthusiasts, we know our community cares about both conservation and recreation, and the Roadless Rule is vitally important for both. Right now the Forest Service wants to hear what you think about their proposal to exempt the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the Roadless Rule. Read more…

Opt To Act This Black Friday

Since 2015, REI has closed its stores on Black Friday, paying their employees to #OptOutside instead. At The Mountaineers, we couldn't love the idea more. Our employees have always enjoyed the day after Thanksgiving as a vacation day, and two paid stewardship days each year to take care of their favorite places to play. We believe going outside is not just good for your health - but good for your soul.  Read more…

We Are Puget Sound

 The following is excerpted from  We Are Puget Sound, a new book from Mountaineers Books conservation imprint, Braided River.  We Are Puget Sound highlights the ways in which we are affected by and dependent on this body of water—the beating heart of the region. Read more…

Public Lands Day: A Recap

September 28, 2019, was National Public Lands Day - a newly-minted state holiday in Washington, through the unanimously-passed House Bill 1449, which we were proud to support. This day offered outdoor  enthusiasts and members of The Mountaineers fee-free access to our federal public lands, and in the spirit of the day some spent their time giving back to the places they love.  Read more…

Lightly on the Land: The Magic Behind a Well-Built Trail

Those of us who build and maintain trails don’t want you to know what we’ve done. We’re eager for you to hear birds, see mountains and forests, feel the wind in your face, and safely reach your destination. We want you to drink in the backcountry so completely that you barely notice the tread rolling beneath your boots. Read more…

A Hiker's Guide to Trail Architecture

Whenever you set out on a trail, take time to appreciate its construction. A a complimentary piece to "Lightly on the Land" published our summer 2019 magazine, here we share some key trail features to look out for courtesy of stewardship expert and Mountaineers Books author Bob Birkby: Read more…

Cocktails for Conservation - A Recap of Our September Rooftop Party

It's always risky to plan an outdoor autumn event in the Pacific Northwest, but our daring paid off on September 25 because we couldn't have asked for better weather. Our Cocktails for Conservation event ran from 5-9pm, giving each attendee exclusive access to Mountaineering Club's rooftop bar and a complimentary drink. Read more…

Action Alert!: Recreation Legislation Update

This past week, two pieces of legislation that we’ve helped shape and advocated for – the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act and the Recreation Not Red Tape (RNR) Act - had a hearing in the House Committee on Natural Resources. Hearings like this are important steps for a bill to move through the legislative process to eventually become law. The goals of both bills include reducing friction in the permitting process without compromising environmental considerations or the experience of non-commercial public lands visitors. Read more…

A Week of Public Lands Advocacy in D.C.

To further The Mountaineers core value and strategic priority of advocacy, we occasionally head to the other Washington to advocate for public lands on behalf of our community. This past week in D.C. proved to be a productive and inspiring few days with colleagues from the outdoor recreation and climbing community! Read on to get the highlights from this whirlwind week.  Read more…

'The Big Thaw' Sneak Peek: New Book Tells Visual Story of Thawing Permafrost

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Robert Max Holmes' essay in The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science and a Race to Save the World, an October 2019 release from our conservation imprint Braided River. (And save the date: Max Holmes and photographer Chris Linder will present at our Seattle Program Center in November.)
Read more…

Cocktails for Conservation Rooftop Party - Sep 25

Earlier this summer we hosted a lively summer kick-off party at Mountaineering Club for 200 of our members and supporters. We’d now like to invite you back up to the rooftop for another party – this time in support of The Mountaineers critical conservation and advocacy work. Read more…

Caribou Rainforest: From Heartbreak to Hope

Few know that hidden in the lower 48 states is a rainforest where mountain caribou live. For the past few years, Washington biologist, outdoorsman, and photographer David Moskowitz has been studying these animals on the cusp of extinction. Following is an excerpt from his new book, Caribou Rainforest, published by Mountaineers Books. Read more…

Help Expand Our Conservation Education & Advocacy Impact

The hard truth is that public lands legislation is complicated, victories can be slow, and our public lands are chronically underfunded. The threats to these places are becoming increasingly urgent, and our ability to respond to issues – and thus create space for you to engage – is limited by staff capacity and funding. In order to provide more opportunities for outdoor recreationists to learn about and understand the issues facing our public lands and become an even stronger voice for threaten landscapes, we need to bring on a staff position focused on public lands advocacy and engagement. To make sure we not only keep our footing on this precarious ground, but also find ways to play offense and not just defense, we need your help.  Read more…

The Public Lands Heist: What's Happening In 2019

We have been talking about the public land heist – an effort to transition national public lands to other entities and effectively take the ‘public’ out of public lands – for a number of years now. While the heist has moved from direct attempts to sell off public lands to focusing on new approaches that devalue these landscapes, the increasing threat is still here: our national public lands are under attack. We updated you on some important pieces of the heist in 2018, and celebrated some of the work being done to stop it. Read on to learn about what the  Public Lands Heist looks like in 2019. Read more…