Kitsap Branch Blog Posts

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Family Playtime At Kitsap Forest Theater

Last spring, I saw The Wizard of Oz at the Kistsap Forest Theater. When the first notes of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” hit, I was floored at the depth and talent coming out of the young woman singing. Everyone in the show impressed me, but the person playing Dorothy was so young and yet so professional. Where did she get her training, I thought? Where did she get her confidence to be on stage in front of hundreds of people? I learned a lesson I’ve learned many times in The Mountaineers: never underestimate the skill and dedication of volunteers. Yes, the Kitsap Forest Theater is run entirely by volunteers and is a part of The Mountaineers. Read more…

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


The U.S. Forest Service is proposing significant changes to its National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) regulations. NEPA is one of the U.S.’s foundational environmental laws that charges land management agencies to evaluate the environmental and possible social and economic impacts of a proposed action, as well as ensuring that the public has the opportunity to review and comment on proposals. NEPA is our voice to how our public lands are managed. Read more…

Action Alert! SOAR Act

You’ve heard from The Mountaineers a lot over the years about the need to improve federal public lands permitting processes so more folks can get outside on public lands in an organized group setting. We’re excited to say that legislation that we helped to shape - the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act - has been introduced in both the House and Senate. We are stoked to see a bill that will help fix the current inefficient, unpredictable recreational permitting system, removing barriers that keep groups from getting outside. Read more…

Action Alert! Dedicated, Full Funding Needed for the Land & Water Conservation Fund

Hailed as America’s best conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been vulnerable to a lack of funding and re-authorization from Congress. This past March, LWCF was permanently reauthorized, meaning this important conservation and recreation program will be around for the long haul. However, this does not actually guarantee it will receive funding every year. Since being established over 50 years ago, more than half of its intended funding - over $22 billion - has been diverted for other, non-conservation purposes. Read more…

Day Hiking 101

Hiking is a great way to appreciate our lush forests, mountains, and rivers in the Northwest, especially if you’re just starting to explore the outdoors. Learn about how to choose gear, select hikes, practice trail etiquette, and more, to make the most of your time on the trail.   Read more…

Equity & Inclusion Update: Committee Charter, Working Group Sessions, & Resources

At The Mountaineers, we believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. We aspire to offer outdoor opportunities for ALL, and have assembled a board-chartered Equity & Inclusion (E&I) Committee to direct our strategy, priorities, and resourcing to make progress on this goal. We have recently completed our committee charter, and are planning our next town hall style listening session to gather your feedback and share some of the results of our committee work. Read more…

Essential Eligibility Criteria & Service Animal Policy

The Mountaineers values diversity – including persons with diverse abilities – in its programs. While we do not specialize in integrating persons with disabilities into our programs, we encourage people of all abilities to consider participating in Mountaineers programming. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Gardner's Purpose: 49 years of service with the Kitsap Forest Theater

The Mountaineers’ Kitsap Forest Theater is one-of-a-kind. Attendees take a winding, quarter-mile path through lush woodlands sprinkled with wild rhododendrons. At the trail’s end, almost as though designed by the forest itself, the theater rises from the greenery. Giant firs surround terraced seating, moss-covered bark forms theater wings, verdant ferns serve as footlights, and sunlight shines through the tree canopy to create spotlights. Read more…

How To: Facilitate Good Group Decision Making

Yosemite, September 1998. Marie, Andrew, and I are standing at a trail junction in northern Yosemite National Park, unable to decide which trail to take. We've had a spectacular week of high country, off-trail rambling in beautiful, high basins. Now we're making our way back to Tuolumne Meadows on-trail. The plan was to go left at this junction and do two more days of hiking through a valley none of us have visited. Now that we're at the junction, we realize we have the option to go right and make it back to the car this evening. Tempting. Read more…

Facilitated Access Permitting: What Mountaineers Leaders Need to Know

The complex landscape of permitting rules and regulations can be difficult to navigate as a Mountaineers leader. To help make things clearer, we've created a series of pages describing the various permit processes pertaining to Mountaineers activities, all organized by land manager. Read more…