Thursday, July 22, 2010

We have been busy...

In the past year The Mountaineers' has partnered with many local and national recreation and conservation organizations in our work to protect our outdoor spaces. During this time The Mountaineers:

Received National Forest Service Award for Community Awareness for our work on Watershed Health and Habitat Restoration (The Mountaineer - December, 2009)

Awarded the Forest Service's Rise to the Future Award for Community Awareness for our work on the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Act.
As a charter member of the Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative we worked to raise awareness and funding to repair 820 culverts that were blocking fish passage, improve 3,170 miles of trails, and fix 166 bridges. This worked helped restore 1,147 miles of stream habitat in addition to tens of thousands of acres of watershed nationwide.
Helped move legislation for the addition of 22,000 acres and Wild & Scenic River designation for the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (The Mountaineer - May, 2009)

Joined with wilderness-advocacy partners to bring the 22,000-acre expansion one congressional step from fruition
Two Wild and Scenic River designations for 40 miles of stream is included in the proposal
Kicked off "Conservation on the Ground" hiking series to investigate ("ground truth") proposed alternative motorized routes for the new Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Motorized Travel Management Plan (The Mountaineer - August, 2009)

Led 20 volunteers on "ground-truthing" hikes of proposed alternative routes to survey motorized incursion along proposed alternative routes that dead end at or intersect with trails in designated wilderness areas. Participants learned about threats to aquatic resources and sensitive plants and animals and other resource damage due to illegal motorized use.
Protected 9,000 acres along the borders of the Wild Sky Wilderness Area from resource and wildlife damage due to illegal off-road vehicle use (The Mountaineer - March, 2009)

Vigilant volunteer "ground-truthing" and yearlong participation on the Department of Natural Resources Reiter Foothills Advisory Committee resulted in the protection of 9,000 acres from motorized use in the swath of state forest trust land between two state parks and along the borders of the Wild Sky Wilderness Area.
Provided over 5,250 hours of leadership advocacy (January - December 2009)

Our volunteers partnered with other local and national conservation and recreation organizations to form powerful coalitions to advocate for wildlife, state parks, national parks, wilderness and Wild & Scenic River designations in Washington State. These volunteers researched public land use regulations, reviewed environmental impact statements for proposed projects on public lands and provided comprehensive comments for federal, state and local land managers. Volunteers attended public meetings, conferences and workshops, planned and hosted conservation events and fundraisers , organized hikes, wrote newspaper and magazine articles and just about anything you can think of to raise public awareness about conservation issues.
Saved Washington State Parks and Department of Natural Resources Lands from Closure (The Mountaineer - June, 2009)

Mountaineers volunteers and professional representatives in Olympia worked to secure funding solutions for huge gaps in the Washington State Parks and Department of Natural Resources recreation budgets. The budget gaps threatened closure of popular recreation destinations on our state lands. Working with our local partners, were able to dodge the bullet in 2009, but in October 2010 the new state budgets will be released and we expect serious shortfalls once again. We need your help to let our lawmaker's know that even in times of economic downturn recreational opportunities hold great value for our communities.
Empowered 43 environmental advocates through our Northwest Environmental Issues Course (January - March 2009)

Advocates earned independent-study college credit through our Northwest Environmental Issues Course on Climate Change. This course covered green house gasses and human influence, projected impacts on the Pacific Northwest, the science behind climate modeling, climate change effects on ecosystem services, calculating carbon footprints and green building as mitigation measures and action individuals can take to address climate change
Supported two individuals who became Leave No Trace™ Master Educators (March 2010)

These individuals are now certified to teach Leave No Trace™ ethics to at the trainer level for other non-profit trainers and have poised The Mountaineers Program Center to become a regional center for "master educator" certification.

The Thousand Skiers Project

The Thousand Skiers Project: Advocating for a Non-Motorized Recreation Area in the Wenatchee National Forest

Winter Wildlands Alliance is assisting our local partners through the Wenatchee Mountains Coalition to advocate for the designation of two non-motorized winter recreation areas in the Wenatchee National Forest. Please lend your voice to this important initiative.

Currently, little of the Wenatchee National Forest is protected for human-powered winter recreation. Winter access to wilderness areas is challenging and, sadly, illegal snowmobile activity prevalent. By designating non-motorized winter recreation areas for the Wenatchee National Forest there will be greater opportunity for quite winter recreation and in turn create a non-motorized buffer toenhance wilderness protection.

The Thousand Skiers Project, formed by the Wenatchee Mountains Coalition, hopes to generate one thousand letters and emails, from human-powered snowsports enthusiasts - in support of designating new non-motorized areas in the Wenatchee National Forest. Please take a moment right now to help achieve our goal.

These non-motorized winter recreation areas will be significant in size and include two separate contiguous areas along the pristine and unroaded crest of the Wenatchee Mountains. The western non-motorized area will include the higher elevation portion of Wenatchee Crest next to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The eastern non-motorized area will include the Wenatchee Crest from Blewett Pass (Hwy 97) to the Mission Ridge Road. These non-motorized winter recreation areas will offer backcountry snowsports enthusiasts multiple opportunities for short, long and overnight ski tours.

For more information click here and Get Involved by emailing or calling;

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
The Forest Plan Revision Team
215 Melody Lane Wenatchee, WA 9880

Sign your letter or email with your full name and place of residence so the Forest Service can verify you're a real person. And please Carbon copy the so we can track support.

Mountaineers North Cascades Book Project

The North Cascades

Everyone seems to be in agreement these days... the North Cascades represent a unique area of natural beauty and recreational opportunity that must be protected from development and other resource management threats. The economic stability of the rural towns around the North Cascades are now directly tied to the protection of these natural resources and the revenue generated from recreation-based business. Coalitions of local and national conservation, recreation, business and other organizations have been working on various proposals to promote conservation objectives and economic opportunities for the North Cascades. These proposals include completion of North Cascades National Park, Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River designations and public private partnerships to help promote sustainable, recreation based economies.

The Mountaineers to Produce a Book on the North Cascades
To support these efforts The Mountaineers and Mountaineers Books/Braided River have joined forces to produce a book about the North Cascades. Beautiful coffee table photographic books published by Mountaineers Books have been held up on the Senate floor, hand delivered to U.S. Presidents during legislative debates, and played an integral role in galvanizing people to become engaged in public policy debates.

The book will be part of a robust campaign that will include events, media, exhibits, and more—all based on magnificent images and stories of this iconic landscape. The Mountaineers will collaborate with numerous regional grassroots organizations, and plans to craft the book so it will be a useful media tool for the overall campaign.

While gorgeous works of art and important advocacy tools books like these are rarely money makers. With this in mind The Mountaineers is leading a donation drive to raise money to produce this book on the North Cascades. Contributions to this campaign help us doubly to reach our goal since every dollar donated up to $25,000 is generously matched by The Mountaineers. Please make checks out to Braided River- and be sure to put North Cascades Advocacy Book in the memo of your check. Publication will be in 2011 or 2012.

Donate now at

Monday, July 19, 2010

Public Input Sought on Salmon Program

The Tacoma News Tribune has an article about two public sessions this week (7/19) concerning a program that produces blackmouth chinook salmon in the Puget Sound.

Read more here.