Conservation & Advocacy

Conservation & Advocacy

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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.
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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…

Conservation Currents | Engaging Mountaineers Youth in Conservation

How many national parks are there in Washington? Why is Washington nicknamed the Evergreen State? When visiting wilderness, what should you take home with you? Read more…

Trip Report: North Cascades National Park Field Tour

From challenging alpine climbs like Forbidden or Sahale Peak to strolls amongst towering cedar trees, the North Cascades National Park Complex has always been a compelling destination for Mountaineers programs and members. Visitors of all ages are drawn to the North Cascades for its natural beauty, rugged terrain, and wilderness experiences. Read more…

Olympia Branch Conservation & Stewardship Committee Recognized with Forest Service Volunteer Award

The Olympic National Forest draws Mountaineers from all over the region year-round to hike, camp, and experience the natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula. To harness our member’s passion for giving back to the natural world, our Olympia Branch has built a strong partnership with staff at the Forest Service. This partnership has led to many opportunities for members to give back through volunteer trail maintenance and outreach in the Olympic National Forest.
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Speak Up for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness: Eightmile Lake Dam Replacement Update

In January 2021, we shared how the effort to replace the dam at Eightmile Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness could bring negative impacts to the Wilderness area and the world-class outdoor recreation opportunities it provides. Read more…

Donations protect the outdoor experience

Next weekend an estimated 22.6 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…

Big Changes Proposed for Mount Rainier National Park

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

In response to increased visitation during the peak summer season, Mount Rainier National Park recently proposed significant changes to how people access the park. The Nisqually to Paradise Corridor Draft Management Plan proposes to implement a timed-entry reservation system for popular areas of the park. This proposal could dramatically change how Mountaineers programs and members access places like Paradise and Sunrise. Read more…

Mount Rainier Winter Access Update

As the highest and oldest road access for winter recreation in Washington, the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park offers an unparalleled outdoor experience and is integral to Mountaineers programs. This 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 who expressed concerns about the closure. Read more…

New Public Lands Investments Secured in 2023 WA State Budget

State-managed public lands like Deception Pass, Blanchard Mountain, and Mount Si 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 bills and funding requests that improve conservation and recreation at the state level. Year after year, Mountaineers continue to speak up for the state parks and recreation areas we love. Read more…

Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado

For 6 million years the Colorado River has flowed 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. But in just a few decades, overallocation of water resources, climate change, and megadrought have altered the great river. In Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado, a new book and campaign from Braided River - the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books - conservation photographer and author Dave Showalter shares stories from seven years of hiking, biking, rafting, and adventuring through the watershed. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Tacoma Goes Green

Like most major Mountaineers achievements, reducing the carbon footprint of our Tacoma Program Center (TPC) became a reality thanks to the passion and drive of our volunteers. Read more…

Olympia Branch Challenges You to Give Back through Stewardship

Mountaineers members play a hands-on role in protecting, restoring, and maintaining the lands and waters of our region. The practice of stewardship brings Mountaineers together from across branches and activities to care for the places where we recreate so that they continue to thrive for future generations. Read more…