Conservation Blog

Conservation Blog

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Why the Arctic? Braided River’s Legacy of Alaskan Arctic Impact Publishing

For nearly 20 years, our conservation imprint Braided River has published stunning multimedia books about the wildest places in North America. In particular, the western Arctic and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have been a special focus. Award-winning books like We Are the Arctic and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land have been used by senators, grassroots groups, and Indigenous tribes to help people experience this remote corner of the world through images and stories, and be inspired to protect it. Read more…

Trip Report: Successful 4th Annual Olympia Mountaineers/WTA Stewardship Weekend

Over the weekend of August 29-30, our Olympia Branch Stewardship Committee co-sponsored Wynoochee Trail maitenence activities in partnership with Washington Trails Association. I sat down with Ginger Sarver - a Stewardship Leader, 4-time Super Volunteer, and the Event Organizer - to hear more about the impact of this fun weekend. Read more…

Share Your Forest Use Data - Help Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

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…

National Public Lands Day - Sep 26

National Public Lands Day is an important day to celebrate. Established in 1994, it is the largest single-day volunteer effort generated around preserving and connecting with nature. It not only celebrates the connection of people to green spaces, but it also encourages and inspires environmental stewardship. While we adjust to our “new normal,” it’s important that we continue to support our public lands and waters. Demands on land and water are a continual threat to the spaces we cherish and value. Read more…

Introducing “Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home”

The Mountaineers are proud to call Puget Sound home. From the towering glaciers and old growth forests of Mount Rainier to the stunning waters and diverse wildlife of the Salish Sea, our home is a special place. The natural beauty and adventure of these wild places inspires us to not only enjoy our special spaces but fight for their protection for future generations. That desire for preservation is centered within our core value of conservation. From the mountains to the sea, we are dedicated stewards of our backyard and beyond. Read more…

What Does the Great American Outdoors Act Mean for Washington?

On August 4, 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) was signed into law. This historic victory was the result of years of work by the conservation and recreation community, including The Mountaineers. What does the Great American Outdoors Act mean for Washington state and the places we love to explore? The answer is both “a lot” and “we’re not quite sure yet.” The Mountaineers will be working hard over the coming months to make sure that communities and outdoor spaces in Washington maximally benefit from this new infusion of funding.  Read more…

How We're Reducing our Carbon Footprint: Food

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 the carbon footprint of our buildings and what we’re doing to reduce that footprint with things like LED lighting and solar panels. This month we’re excited to talk about another area where The Mountaineers, and most of us, can reduce our carbon footprint: food. Read more…

Impact Giving | When Passion and Purpose Align

It’s always a joy to visit with someone who speaks passionately about the things they love. For Helen Cherullo, her passion is books. Helen’s love is about more than a simple bound text; it’s about imagery and place-based storytelling, and how their subsequent ripple effects move communities to act. Read more…

SOAR Act Advances in U.S. House

This week, we're thrilled that legislation we've been working on for over six years - the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act - passed out of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Next, the bill will head to the House floor for a vote. That means we're one step closer to fixing the current inefficient, unpredictable recreational permitting system that creates barriers for people to experience the outdoors through outdoor programs like The Mountaineers. Read more…

Mountaineers Books 60th Anniversary

Over the past sixty years, Mountaineers Books has built something incredible. Beginning with a single book, written and produced by volunteers, we have grown into a world-leading outdoors publisher with over 650 titles in print and nearly 17 million books sold since 1960. Today we sell books in print, online, and on-demand, around the world and in a dozen languages. Mountaineers Books are nearly as well traveled as Mountaineers members. Read more…

Great American Outdoors Act Passes Congress - Set to Become Law!

Your voice made a difference! The Great American Outdoors Act just passed the House with an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. Next, it goes to the President’s desk and is expected to be signed into law. Read more…

Action Alert! Keep Up the Momentum for Wild Olympics

Earlier this year, the House passed the 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 bill would protect over 126,000 acres around the Olympic National Park as Wilderness where outdoor enthusiasts, including Mountaineers, hike, camp, climb, and more.  Read more…

Conservation Currents | A New Home for Our Goats: The Mountain Goat Translocation Plan

The Olympic Peninsula is one of the most incredible natural landscapes in the world, offering unrivaled opportunities to experience nature in its primal form. Biogeographically isolated in the Pacific Northwest, it’s been protected from the degradation that accompanies industry and population growth, becoming a popular destination for hiking, scrambling, climbing, paddling, and more. Read more…

How We’re Reducing Our Carbon Footprint: Mountaineers Buildings

Worldwide, buildings contribute a significant portion of the global COemissions through heating, cooling, and electrical use. Here at The Mountaineers, we own several old event centers and lodges. While these spaces support our  community-focused mission, they contribute a fair share of our organization’s CO2. That’s why, after we pledged to reduce The Mountaineers carbon footprint as part of  Vision 2022, the Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee focused our sights on The Mountaineers buildings first. From installing solar panels on the roof of the Seattle Program Center to replacing over 500 light bulbs with LED retrofits, Mountaineers volunteers have helped reduce our organization’s impact on the environment.  Read more…

Speaking Up Regarding the Incident in Forks

On June 3, 2020, a multiracial family was harassed, intimidated, and trapped by intentionally felled logs over the road in a public forest camping area near Forks. Fortunately, other local residents and high school-age youth were in the area and had tools to clear the road, and sheriff deputies escorted the family safely back to the highway.  Read more…

Action Alert! Help Pass the Great American Outdoors Act

The Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act, a historic bipartisan bill to fund parks and public lands. The legislation includes measures The Mountaineers has spent years advocating for, including finally ensuring full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as well as establishing new funding to restore and maintain public lands.  Read more…

Finding Family in the Passenger Seat: A Car-Free Journey to Community

“Hiking is free. As long as you have shoes and an Orca card, you can go anywhere.” Read more…

The Braided River Story: Activating Conservation Impact for Public Lands

Since its earliest years, Mountaineers Books titles like The North Cascades (1964) and The Alpine Lakes (1971) have influenced the creation of national parks and protected wilderness areas through images and stories. But in 2003, something incredible happened. Read more…

Action Alert! Now is the Time to Invest in Public Lands

It’s a cliche (and a Joni Mitchell song) that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. For many of us, the COVID-19 public land closures have reminded us how much we value access to our wild places. We’ve gained a new appreciation for neighborhood parks and trails, and have also realized how access to green space near home is a privilege many people don’t have. The coronavirus crisis has vividly demonstrated the importance of the outdoors to our mental, physical, and spiritual health.  Read more…

Conservation Currents | Underfunded: Why Our Public Lands Need Your Help

One sunny summer weekend in 2019, Becca Polglase was driving with three friends to the Dingford Creek Trailhead for a brisk day hike. As they wove through the forest, the conversation flitted between adventure goals and gear, eventually landing on the topic of public lands. Her friends lamented closures, access limitations, and much-needed maintenance. “You know”, Becca said, “permits are confusing, roads are bad, and trailheads aren’t being serviced because of a lack of funding.” Read more…

All 2019 Braided River titles are Nautilus Award winners!

Braided River, the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books, is proud to announce that out of more than 550 entries, all four of their 2019 titles were awarded Nautilus Awards. The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science, and a Race to Save the World (Braided River, 2019) was also named the Grand Award Winner, which accompanies a $2500 grant award for the author and photographer.  Read more…

Introducing The Mountaineers Statement on Climate Change

Since its earliest days, The Mountaineers has been committed to conservation and stewardship of wild places. That’s why we created our Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee, tasked with helping make sure that The Mountaineers and Mountaineers Books are doing our part to address the global climate crisis.  Read more…

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…

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…