Conservation & Advocacy

Conservation & Advocacy

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Outdoor Rec Economy Generates $887 Billion

 The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA)’s new economic report calculates that outdoor recreation produces $887 billion in direct consumer spending, supports 7.6 million American jobs, and contributes $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue each year. To put the numbers in perspective, the report finds that every year, American consumers spend more on outdoor recreation than they do on pharmaceuticals and fuel, combined. Read more…

Overused Vantage Toilet Needs Our Help

Four years ago, the Northwest climbing community funded a vault toilet at the Frenchman Coulee climbing area (better known as Vantage) in Central Washington. This toilet has helped to alleviate human waste issues and was widely heralded as a huge success. Some would argue, it's  too successful. Read more…

Celebrate Earth Day April 22

Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22, and we have se several ways for you to show your appreciation for Mother Earth this weekend. Join us for a stewardship activity, and please help us champion our low impact skills while you’re getting outside! Read more…

Pay It Forward by Giving Back

I often head to the backcountry to escape the madness of civilization. In nature, I see order, purpose, and reason. In cities, I often see chaos, confusion, and conflict. There’s nothing like a walk in the woods to rejuvenate a tired, tormented and tried soul. There’s nothing too like an invigorating hike to help validate my existence and place in the world. And while I need the natural world for my sanity and sanctity; the natural world very much needs me and other like-minded folks to help keep it from being compromised, abused, and lost forever. Read more…

Two Key Washington State Public Lands Bills Advance in Senate

A bill to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area and another to safeguard the Methow Valley from mining made it out of Senate committee hearings. The action brings two treasured Washington landscapes one step closer to being recognized and protected. Now, the many champions of these lands and waters will call on Congress to pass the bills into law.  Read more…

Senate and House Introduce Arctic Refuge Wilderness Bills

Today, 40 senators led by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and a bipartisan group of representatives led by Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) introduced bills in the Senate and House to designate the Coastal Plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. Read more…

The Mountaineers Go To D.C.

If you’ve seen our Legislative Trail Map, you know about the concerning legislation related to our national public lands. We headed to our nation’s capital early this month to connect with lawmakers and land managers about issues affecting the places where we play. In all honesty, it was hard to approach the trip with much optimism given the mounting threats to our wild placesRead more…

Senators Cantwell and Murray Re-introduce Methow Headwaters Act

The campaign to safeguard the Methow Valley from mining continues to fire on all cylinders. On March 7, Senators Cantwell and Murray introduced the Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2017The bill would provide a permanent legislative solution to mining threats in the region. As the bill moves through Congress, the campaign is also working with land managers to secure a temporary 20-year mining ban. Both processes are critical. Here’s what you need to know and how you can help: Read more…

Conservation Currents | Getting Your Hands Dirty With Satisfying Stewardship

There's something about digging in the dirt. I always know my kid's had an especially good day when he’s in outfit number three or there's dirt in his ears. As adults, or even young adults, our dirt ‘play’ changes significantly. I hike and climb and get dirty that way for sure, but there's something about getting dirt under-the-nails through good, old-fashioned dirt digging and rock moving. I started participating in trail-work events as a way to give back to the places I played. And kept doing it in part because it because it was so satisfying to see what impact a group of volunteers could make in a day’s work, and in part because it continues to be… simply fun. Read more…

Creating Ideal Trails and Protecting Wildlife Habitats

As longtime hikers and explorers who think a lot about trails in the Cascades, the article “Trails Loved to Death?” by Craig Romano in the November/December 2015 edition of Mountaineer magazine really got our attention.  Read more…

Protect BLM Lands: Public Planning Process Under Threat

UPDATE: This went to the President's desk and was signed, repealing BLM Planning 2.0. 

Planning 2.0 opened a whole new level of public participation, creating a more transparent process that would have given lots of opportunities for the people who love public lands to shape how those lands are managed. Read more…

Grizzly Bear Restoration Options Available for Comment

The National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are seeking public comment as they evaluate options for grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades. Read more…

Mount Rainier National Park Will Accept Online Reservations Requests in 2017

On March 15, Mount Rainier National Park will begin accepting reservation requests for wilderness camping and climbing permits, including overnight trips on the Wonderland Trail. You may remember that last year a power failure downed the park's online system, forcing all reservations to be made on a first-come, first-served basis. This year it's all systems go for online reservations! Read more…

Methow Update: Mining Suspended, Public Input Needed

We asked, and our land managers listened. On Friday, December 30, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a two-year segregation notice that temporarily protects 340,000 acres of the Methow Valley from future mining claims. The action blocks the proposed copper claim overlooking the town of Mazama for two years, providing us with a critical period to make the case for the long-term protection of the Methow Valley. Read more…

The Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music And I'm Not Happy About It

There’s nothing like that rush of exhilaration you feel upon cresting a high ridge bursting with wildflowers and surrounded by snow-capped craggy peaks. You stand upon your heavenly perch and gaze out with utter astonishment on how breathtakingly beautiful the natural world is; from the glistening glaciers before you to the fluttering butterflies among a carpet of brilliant blossoms below you. With senses completely overloaded, who among us hasn’t felt the urge to twirl amid the lupines and pull a Julie Andrews?  Read more…

Trail Maintenance Opportunities to Help You Give Back

Our Everett Lookout and Trail Maintenance Committee (LOTM), a “get it done” group that maintains historic fire lookouts and trails and participates in events like National Trails Day, is a great community for anyone looking to get outside and make a difference. In the coming months, 30-year member and stewardship rock star, Louie Coglas, will offer several opportunities to give back to our wild places. Open to anyone who wants to participate! Read more…

House Rules Change Devalues Our Public Lands

The 115th Congress spent the first day of its new session making it easier to sell off our public lands. On Tuesday evening, Congress passed a “rules package,” which contained a provision [Section 3(q)(1) of H.Res. 5 (p. 35)] allowing lawmakers to transfer federal lands to the state without accounting for the economic ramifications. Read more…

Mountaineers Books Amplifies Voices for The Arctic

On December 20, 2016, 115 million acres of the Arctic Ocean were protected when the US and Canada issued a Joint Arctic Leaders Statement launching actions to sensure "a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem, with low-impact shipping, science based management of marine resources, and free from the future risks of offshore oil and gas activity.” This action protects the wild Arctic Ocean ecosystem. Read more…

Bookmarks | A Wild Idea

One of the stories from The Wild Edge that resonates strongly with me is from Baja California, of gray whales approaching boats and trusting people to touch their bodies and stroke their newborn calves. People who experience these intimate encounters with whales describe them as among the most stirring moments of their lives--a connection of heart and spirit. Read more…

Inslee’s Budget Proposal Backs Recreation and Conservation

Last week, Governor Inslee released his proposed 2017–19 operating, transportation and capital budgets. In addition to the proposal’s primary focus – fully funding basic education – the budget demonstrates a strong commitment to conservation and recreation.  Read more…

Overused Vantage Toilet Needs Our Help

As it turns out, if you build it, they will poop. A lot.

Three years ago, the climbing community rose up to fund a pit toilet at the Frenchman Coulee climbing area - better known as Vantage - in Central Washington. Now, those same voices are calling for a second toilet to meet the growing needs of the popular climbing destination. Read more…

Take a Vacation for Conservation in Alaska

Small yacht cruise specialists Discovery Voyages will be donating one-hundred percent of the trip fees for a 5 day/4 night voyage in Alaska's Prince William Sound to Braided River, our partner nonprofit organization focused on protecting wild places in western North America.  Read more…

REC Act Signed into Law

Yesterday, the recreation community, Congress, and President Obama came together to make history. With the passage of Outdoor REC Act, the recreation economy – and the billions of dollars, millions of jobs, and invaluable public lands it encompasses – will be counted as part of the national Gross Domestic Product for the first time.  Read more…

Polly Dyer, Mountaineer and Conservation Visionary, Passes Away at 96

Today, if you go to Olympic National Park, you can head to the Valley of Rainforest Giants, where you’ll find some of the oldest, largest trees in the world. Among them stands the legacy of another giant: Polly Dyer, a long-time Mountaineers member and conservation visionary, integral to protecting wild places on the Olympic Peninsula and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Read more…

Thankful for the Wild Places Where We Play

At The Mountaineers, we live and breathe the outdoors. It’s our passion. We love it all - from the big picture beauty to the tiny details: the elevation gain of an alpine lake trail, the training regimen to bag a new summit, the nuances of the latest travel management plan. Read more…

How To: Implement Low-Impact Recreation Skills

At The Mountaineers, we've believe venturing into the outdoors is an essential piece of the human experience. It's important to implement low-impact recreation skills to keep our wild places as sanctuaries for the human spirit. Read more…

Inspiring Future Leaders

The first ever Northwest Youth Leadership Summit was held Saturday, October 22, 2016 at our Seattle Program Center. Working with more than 30 partner organizations, we brought together 120 youth from around the PNW for a day of leadership and learning, plus we enjoyed a surprise visit from Sally Jewell! Read more…

How To: Reduce Your Backcountry Bathroom Use Impact

At The Mountaineers, we've believe venturing into the outdoors is an essential piece of the human experience. It's important to implement low-impact recreation skills to keep our wild places as sanctuaries for the human spirit. Read more…

How To: Reduce Your Backcountry Camping Impact

At The Mountaineers, we've believe venturing into the outdoors is an essential piece of the human experience. It's important to implement low-impact recreation skills to keep our wild places as sanctuaries for the human spirit. Read more…

Native American Sacred Sites Audit

We wanted to make sure that our Native American neighbors know we respect and care about potential concerns  with our members' outdoor activities on culturally-important locations. We reached out every tribe in our state and learned of no such conflicts.  Read more…