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Top 10 Endangered Rivers in the US

April 17th, 2013

Photo: Pete McBride

For more than two decades American Rivers has released its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers. American Rivers released the 2013 list today, and the river at the top—the most endangered river in the nation—is the mighty Colorado.

As Americans we are lucky to have this river in our proverbial backyard. But our demands on the river’s water now far exceed its supply, leaving the river so over-tapped that it no longer flows to the sea. A century of water management policies and practices promoting wasteful water use have put the river at a critical crossroads.

Take action here.

Read more…

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Expose Yourself to Winter: Backcountry Film Festival is Accepting Submissions!

March 15th, 2013

The annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival is an outright celebration of human-powered winter adventure. What’s more, it honors environmental preservation while working to showcase the pure beauty of non-motorized recreation. And to put the cherry on top, the Backcountry Film Festival expressly promotes the work of grassroots filmmakers who tell these inherently awe-inspiring stories.

If you spent the winter months playing in the snow, now’s the time to submit your footage of it because the 9th annual Backcountry Film Festival is now seeking entries! Here’s are the requirements for — as well as process of — submitting your quality footage:

Your film should be short—no longer than 30 minutes—and tell a thought-provoking, interesting story of backcountry, nonmotorized recreation or environmental preservation. Your film should take place during or otherwise relate to the winter. We’re open minded about what kind of films we’ll show:
documentaries, fiction and experimental films are welcome.
The Film Festival premieres in Boise November 2013 and travels during the winter months to more than 100 locations worldwide.

Submissions must be in DVD format. Your submission must be received in our Boise office by September 15

Mail package to: Winter Wildlands Alliance, Attn: Shelley Pursell
910 Main Street, Suite 235, Boise ID 83702. Contact Shelley Pursell at
spursell@winterwildlands.org or 208-343-1630 for details.
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Streams of Consequence

March 7th, 2013

The above clip is the trailer for a film called Streams of Consequence, which has been described as “a solution-based film that addresses the hard questions that remained unanswered in Rios Libres’s first film: “What does an alternative energy model look like?” “How do the Chileans feel about it?” and “Could Chile become a global leader by gaining energy independence via green technology?” Here’s the full scoop on how this film came about:

In summer 2010, photographer James ‘Q’ Martin and conservation biologist Chris Kassar started an organization called Rios Libres. The organization uses multi-media to join the fight to protect the wild lands of Patagonia from proposed dams that threaten two of the most pristine rivers in one of the world’s most spectacular regions. Last April, Q traveled south once again and landed in the thick of some of the largest anti-dam protests the country has ever seen. He captured historic footage of the protests, then spent nine weeks traveling the length of the country talking to gauchos, scientists, activists and the public in search of answers.

While the conversations Q captured while in Chile last April continue, the hope is that Streams of Consequence will serve to raise awareness and support those conversations here.

The film premiered at the 2013 Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival and will continue to show across the country via Wild and Scenic, other film festivals and grassroots screenings. Check it out here and be sure to let us know what you think!

Thanks to Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line for posting!

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{worthWild}: Grand Canyon

March 1st, 2013

Today, The Conservation Alliance is proud to announce the release of Grand Canyon, the fourth video in its worthWILD series. This film in particular tells the story of the Grand Canyon Trust’s successful effort to convince the Interior Department to impose a 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims on one million acres of land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. This ban now provides long-term protection for this pristine National Park.

Behind it all lies the Grand Canyon Trust, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Colorado Plateau. Throughout the process of establishing the protection necessary, the Trust successfully led a coalition of concerned citizens and residents, local and national organizations, and advocates of the National Parks to protect the Grand Canyon from the threats of new uranium mining. The Conservation Alliance funded the Trust’s campaign in 2010, two years into the project.

This film and the Grand Canyon itself depict how these diverse stakeholders’ collaborative efforts resulted in Interior Secretary’s Ken Salazar implementation of a 20-year moratorium on new uranium mining on 1.1 million acres surrounding the Grand Canyon.

“The Trust’s campaign to secure a favorable decision was greatly enhanced through a powerful strategic alliance with national conservation organizations and their members as well as with businesses such as those supporting The Conservation Alliance and Save the Colorado campaign,” said Roger Clark, Grand Canyon Trust Program Director.

“Grand Canyon Trust did a terrific job protecting the Grand Canyon watershed from new uranium mining,” said Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling. “We’re proud to have supported this effort, and are thrilled to tell the story in this short film.”

Produced by Alexandria Bombach’s Red Reel Video, Grand Canyon is the fourth documentary the Conservation Alliance has produced as part of the worthWild series launched in 2012. Four additional films will be made in 2013.

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Winter Outdoor Retailer & a WILD Conservation Alliance Breakfast

January 11th, 2013

The cold, dark month of January is plodding along after the madness of the holidays and a New Year Celebration. And that can only mean one thing, Winter Outdoor Retailer is nearly upon us again! The show kicks off with an all mountain demo on the 22nd, and the trade show will take place from January 23rd through the 26th. Of course, we’ll be there to showcase our brand-new packs and innovations, roosting at  Booth #5011. We hope to see you there!

We’re excited for the show as always, but we’re also stoked to announce that this OR, The Conservation Alliance Breakfast will welcome the incredible Cheryl Strayed, author of the incredibly powerful memoir WILD, which details Strayed’s journey as a 22-year-old solo-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Strayed will present on Thursday, January 24th from 7 to 9 a.m. at The Marriott, Salons F-I in Salt Lake City. This is a breakfast you won’t want to miss, and we hope to see you there!

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Climate Change to Dent Ski Industry $12.2 Billion?

December 14th, 2012

Alison Gannett is a World Champion Extreme Freeskier, founder of The Save Our Snow Foundation and an award-winning global cooling consultant who has spent her life dedicated to solutions for climate change.

While I’ve been working to save our snow from climate change for over 20 years, superstorm Sandy was still a huge wake up call for me. One of the biggest problems for us global warming geeks is that “it” was always happening to someone else, usually thousands of miles away in a third world country. My skiing travels certainly made it more real for me as glaciers and snowfields I had skied just a few years ago disappeared forever in just five years or so. But the impact of Sandy hit close to home, so to speak.

For years, arguments have passed back and forth regarding what “safe” amounts of carbon dioxide emissions that we could emit might be. A recommended 80 percent reduction by 2050 was often seen as the only sensible way to keep extreme weather at bay, save our snow, and keep low-lying countries above water. Yet this was often regarded as too extreme and unreasonable to reach. While at Copenhagen in 2009, I watched the U.S. delegates actually argue for a one percent reduction over 1990 levels, while most of the rest of the world argued about 80 percent not being sufficient. McKibben’s recent speaking tour, along with a demonstration of actual higher-than-projected-emissions, are now showing us on path for a 7-14 degree temperature increase. Considering a two degree increase is most likely to put many countries under water and most ski and snowboard resorts out of snow, we now need to really skip the baby steps and focus on real and meaningful reductions.

This all doesn’t have to mean doom and gloom and crawling into a cave – I’ve happily reduced my energy use and carbon footprint in half in the last several years – all while saving money and increasing my quality of life. We are able to do this, but it means that we have to get real with reductions and stop being so damn nice about it. Forget recycling and driving your Prius; What is your carbon footprint and can you cut it to three tons from 40? This is going to involve some hard choices for all of us. In 2001: I gave up heliskiing; in 2005: my snowmobile; and in 2010: my ski pass. Each one involved tears and temptation, yet in the end I believe I am happier and healthier.

All of this leads me to another report I read this week, this time from Protect Our Winters (POW) and the National Resources Defense Council. It’s called the Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States. So often, folks tell me that we can’t afford to implement changes in our lives due to the economy, yet (as this report shows) it is the very economy that will suffer the greatest in a world with super wacky weather such as droughts, floods or a combination thereof: super storms. Yet until now, no one has ever attempted to put a financial figure on the losses that the winter sports communities might incur, or the amount of jobs that might be lost. While skiing and snowmobiling contribute $12.2 billion dollars and 600,000 jobs to our national economy, the numbers from the state of Colorado alone are staggering; a $154 million in revenue could be lost due to the impacts of climate change.

“In order to protect winter – and the hundreds of thousands whose livelihoods depend upon a snow-filled season – we must act now to support policies that protect our climate, and in turn, our slopes,” wrote study authors Elizabeth Burakowski and Matthew Magnusson of the University of New Hampshire.

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Celebrate Winter With The 8th Annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival

October 21st, 2012

Here in Colorado, we’re celebrating the first snow fall of the season and we’re excited to watch our mountains turn white in the coming weeks… yes, yes, it looks like winter is upon us and once again the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival
is answering the call. Wax those skis, tune those boards and gather your friends! There is no better way to celebrate the fun and beauty of winter than with a true celebration of winter played and lived, as told thru the seven unique films in the 8th annual Backcountry Film Festival.

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The Next in MoveShake: Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

September 27th, 2012

MoveShake is a series of films that tells personal stories of movers and shakers creating positive change in the world around them. Follow MoveShake on Facebook to catch all of the updates on new installments and more.

In the latest MoveShake installment, Alexandria Bombach of Red Reel tells the story of Gregg Treinish, founder of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC). ASC is an organiztion that works to change the way that people spend their time outside while creating “an army of citizen-scientists” who can gather the information necessary to prove to decision makers that the right management choices must be made.

Last week, the MoveShake crew went grizzly bear tracking in the Tabacco Roots in Montana. Turns out if solid evidence of grizzlies in the area is found, there could be stronger protection of this beautiful area. What’s more, this week ASC is taking inner-city kids from West Oakland middle school to the Desolation Wilderness for pika monitoring with their Osprey-donated packs! The photos here are just a sneak peak from the latest MoveShake installment, but the upcoming film will certainly be worth waiting for. In the meantime, check out more images from the grizzly tracking expedition here.

And don’t forget to check back here for the upcoming MoveShake film that tells the story of Gregg and ASC!

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Alisson Gannett Fights to Save our Snow

September 20th, 2012

Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett seemingly wears a million hats. She’s not just a Champion Big Mountain FreeSkier, accomplished ski mountaineer and Environmental Scientists; she’s also a pioneer in the movement to reduce our global carbon footprint and, most importantly, she works hard to save what she loves most: winter.

Our friends at Grist  recently wrote up a story about Alison’s inspiring eco-efforts, and it goes something like this:

At first blush, Alison Gannett’ssacrifices in the name of fighting global climate change don’t seem all that sacrificial. In 2001, the world champion extreme freeskier gave up helicopter skiing. She sold her snowmobile in 2005. Several years ago, she rejected a lucrative contract with Crocs because of the shoe company’s questionable environmental practices. (She kept her contract with the more sustainable Keen Footwear.) Just recently she turned down a photo shoot in the Alps because the flight over the pond was too much for her carbon footprint to bear.

Go ahead, roll your eyes. (Oh muffin … no heliskiing??) Then take note: Gannett walks the walk when it comes to living green. She and her husband grow their own food on an earth-friendly farm, and she’s battled to bring sustainable eats to residents in her rural corner of Colorado. Gannett has also leveraged her personal experience into a business that helps individuals and corporations — including a few of her athletic sponsors — reduce their energy consumption by up to 50 percent.

Of course that’s just a tidbit of where Alison’s coming from. You can read the full inspiring story via Grist here!

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Summer Outdoor Retailer 2012: Osprey’s List of Booth Events + Promotions

August 1st, 2012

It’s that time again… Outdoor Retailer Summer Market kicks off this Wednesday and we’ve got a great line-up of events and giveaways for you! Here’s our down and dirty list of events…

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