We see a lot of great photos throughout the week. So, we thought it was high time we started rounding up some of our faves each week and highlighting one on Friday to inspire weekend adventures. We call it the Osprey Round Up.
It’s Friday and the sun is shining in Colorado. Our friends up at 5Point Film Festival took a few hours off to raft on the Crystal River near Carbondale with local guides from Elk Mountain Expeditions. “We’re pumped to be stoked,” Sarah Kuck told us. We hope you all are too.
Last year, we watched photojournalist Pete McBride‘s film Chasing Water at 5Point Film Festival. We always had an idea of the dire straits on the Colorado River, but the images in the film and accompanying book made it impossible to forget. Our mighty Colorado River that cut the Grand Canyon, that flows powerfully through the western states has been pushed, pulled and sucked dry — so much that it rarely reaches the ocean.
With all of the bad environmental news bearing down on us, it’s important to stay inspired and motivated to keep fighting. That’s why we’re excited to support the Wild & Scenic Film Festival — the largest environmental film festival in the United States.
Wild & Scenic’s mission is to inspire people and unite communities to heal the earth — it’s a call to action. At Wild & Scenic, filmgoers are transformed into a congregation of committed activists, dedicated to saving our increasingly threatened planet. We show environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, Wild & Scenic both informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action. It’s also a time to celebrate
And if you need a bit of inspiration right now, here’s a few films to get you going…
“Your horse is a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will.” So says Buck Brannaman, a true American cowboy and sage on horseback who travels the country for nine grueling months a year helping horses with people problems.
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Dark Side of the Lens is one mans personal and heartfelt account of life as an ocean based photographer. This short film takes you on an eerie, stunning and moving journey amongst the epic oceanic grandeur of Irelands west coast.
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In the high desert of South America, winter takes hold, devouring bleached bones and abandoned shacks. Into these most inhospitable of lands, a handful of drifters emerge from the whiteout, ready to cast their lot on forsaken peaks both merciless and magnificent. Venturing beyond the frontiers of most mountain films, Solitaire is backcountry skiing forged in the tradition of Western cinema.
Fly fisherman Bruce McGlenn and Elwha Klallam Tribal member Robert Elofson describe the anticipation building for the largest dam removal project in history on the Elwha River in Washington. Set on a beautiful summer evening, McGlenn sets out in search of Elwha trout trapped between the two soon-to-be-removed 100-year-old dams.
by Chris Kassar via The Cleanest Line
Every time I kneel down next to a river – even if just for a moment – I swear I can hear it speak to me. I know this probably sounds crazy, but I also know I’m not the only one who hears wise murmurs rising from the ripples of wild waters. For many of us, the rhythm of a river can mesmerize our soul, capture our spirit and force us to really stop and listen.
The Baker River, nestled deep in the mountains of Chilean Patagonia, is no different. I spent weeks walking its banks, riding its waves, and crunching through the epic ice fields that feed it. I even floated over the exact spot where its journey as a river ended and it emptied into the sea – a feat in and of itself given that so many rivers, including my very own Colorado, no longer even make it all the way to the ocean. But, this trip from source to sea was much more than just a fun adventure. We – team Rios Libres – immersed ourselves in the landscape so we could arm ourselves with the knowledge needed to join the fight to protect Patagonia’s wildlands and the people who depend on them.
During our excursion, the mighty Baker spoke volumes and gave us a glimpse into what the world used to be like – full of untamed lands, untouched rivers, intact forests and people who depended on the land and each other to survive. Spending a month at the edge of the world was like traveling back in time to an age when things were simpler and nature remained largely unaltered by the trappings of man.
Unfortunately, the experience we had may not be available for future generations unless we raise our voices and speak for the river. Huge walls of concrete threaten to choke the furious turquoise flow of Chile’s most voluminous river, the Baker and its rugged sister, the Pascua. If allowed, big business will ruin pristine old-growth forests, destroy the gaucho culture and silence the beautiful sound of these waters only to replace them with the disheartening din of ‘civilization’ – bulldozers, power lines, reservoirs and dams… all to provide power for the destructive mining industry in the north.
But this doesn’t have to happen. Perhaps, if we could just sit and listen more carefully, we might hear the river speak and fully grasp the idea that it is more important to protect the river’s power than harness it. Chile has the opportunity to learn from mistakes made in the past; they can act as a model for the rest of the world by seeking alternatives that allow them to gain energy independence while still maintaining the character of Patagonia.
We’ve written about this in the past and our team made an award-winning film called Power in the Pristine that documented our source-to-sea adventure and highlighted the various threats to the region.
So why are we writing now? We’re writing because this fight is far from over and we need your help in giving this river and its people a voice once again. A lot has happened over the past year and it seems that the wild character of the entire region – which was once endangered – is now closer to extinction than ever before. The following video will catch you up on the issue. We hope it inspires you to read on and to act. The river speaks and so can you!
Synopsis of recent happenings: In May 2011, the government approved the dams. Tens of thousands of Chileans took to the streets in opposition and six weeks later, the Court temporarily halted all construction due to a pending appeal. This was especially significant since the Court was the only Chilean authority to challenge the project since its inception in 2008. However, in October, the Chilean appeals court ruled in favor of the dam project causing the volley to continue as opponents who want to protect this unique environment brought their challenge to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the project still requires a permit for more than 1,250 miles (2,000-km) of transmission line to carry the 2,750 megawatts generated from deep in southern Patagonia to the capital Santiago. Earlier this week (Dec. 5), HidroAysen – the company behind the dam project – released initial plans for the powerline and the environmental analysis will begin in March 2012.
Clearly, the fight to protect Chile’s pristine rivers and wildlands is not over; protests continue and polls show that over 74% of Chileans oppose the dams. This Saturday, December 10, thousands will return to the streets in Coyahique and other cities in Chile to show the government that they oppose this decision. If you cannot make the event in Chile, please show your solidarity by taking action through these groups:
- Rios Libres: Join the ‘virtual march’ to keep Patagonia Wild!
- NRDC: Tell Chile’s President to stop the HidroAysén project from destroying Patagonia (Learn more)
- International Rivers: Demand Democracy for Chile – NO to HidroAysén!
The river speaks and so can you!
For more info go to: www.rioslibres.com.
We’re working with American Whitewater to protect a river close to home — the Dolores River. But today, we’re pretty excited to celebrate with them on a momentous victory in the Northwest. Today at 1p.m. Mountain Time, Condit Dam’s de-construction will begin with a boom when crews blast a tunnel through the 95-year old, 125-foot dam.
via The Cleanest Line:
Boaters, flyfishermen, and long-time community members are looking forward to a White Salmon River that once again flows freely. Documentary film-maker Andy Maser is tracking the story of Washington’s effort in his beautiful “Year of the River” series.
This Saturday, work begins on the largest river restoration project in history. Over the next three years, crews will work on dismantling the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams on the Elwha — an action that will allow the river to flow freely for the first time in 100 years and restore 70+ miles of salmon and steelhead habitat. At 210 feet tall, Glines Canyon Dam will be the tallest dam ever removed.
And it gets better: next month, crews will blast the 125-foot tall Condit dam on the White Salmon River, setting the river free in a matter of hours.
While we may have to wait a few years to see salmon return and the rivers return to the wild rivers they were 100 years ago, this marks a huge change in momentum. Dams are being removed all over the country, with these three being the most significant of all. From all of us here at Osprey, thank you to American Rivers, American Whitewater and everyone who had a hand in these victories. It’s time to celebrate!
To get just a taste of the Elwha and why this restoration is so important, check out this beautiful short film by Andy Maser.
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Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. It’s August which means it’s time to take advantage of the last weeks of summer, and what better way than getting in the water? This month we’re all about swimming holes, waterfalls, ocean breaks and waterways of all kinds. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
It’s the last Friday in August… how are you going to spend it? Out on the water hopefully!
The first steps toward carbon freedom were canoe trips on the Bitterroot River near my home in Missoula, Mont., with my friend Nick and his dog Katie. This was necessity, not environmentalism: Nick had a car, but no canoe; I had a canoe, but no car; and we both had bicycles. Attentive scouting revealed a 13-mile stretch between small towns in which the Bitterroot was paralleled not only by Highway 93 but also by a bike path. En route by car to the put-in, we left our bikes at the take-out; then, after floating, we cycled back to retrieve Nick’s Isuzu to take us home. Katie ran between us. Given her tendency to hop in and out of the canoe, the bike shuttle offered more than good exercise and great views of the Bitterroot Mountains: It gave us a chance to dry off after three hours of splashing.
Still, it felt wrong to drive at all. Enter the packraft. Sold by Alpacka, a small family firm in Mancos, Colo., the best packrafts are extremely durable, ultra-lightweight inflatable rafts designed expressly for those who want to reach river’s edge on trail mix alone. The simplest craft weighs just over three pounds and deflates to the size of a couple water bottles — perfect for stuffing in a backpack or bike bag. Because the raft then expands to roughly 3-by-5-feet, paddlers can fit not only themselves but also their disassembled bikes inside.
Speaking of rivers, did you hear that an enormous underground river was recently discovered in the Amazon? The massive water system is thought to stretch for 3,700 miles across the Amazon basin with an average width of about 200 miles. Wow, pretty cool.
Busting out the canoe this weekend? Gear Junkie has the gear list of gear lists if you’re headed for Boundary Waters. Hint: it requires hammocks and espresso.
And just because it’s Friday, we’ll leave you with this photo from surf photographer Clark Little that’s sure to get you off your couch, into your car and out to the waves.
For 26 years, American Rivers has sounded the alarm on hundreds of rivers through our America’s Most Endangered Rivers report. By shining the spotlight and mobilizing the public to take action, we save rivers from urgent threats like pollution, mining and dams. The report emphasizes solutions to secure a better future for the rivers, their fish and wildlife and communities.
The ten rivers named as America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2011 highlight an issue of urgent concern to all Americans: clean water. It is vital to the health of our families and communities. Sixty-five percent of our drinking water comes from rivers and streams, but many of our rivers are too polluted to use.
America’s Most Endangered Rivers is more than a list. It is a call to action to engage concerned citizens in the fight to protect rivers. With public support, we can directly impact the fate of these rivers and save them for generations to come.
Do your part. Take Action here.
It’s no secret that we love wild salmon. We love ’em in the rivers, in the ocean and… on our plate. So, we’re definitely motivated to do what we can to save these iconic creatures. We’ve been supporting the folks at Save Our Wild Salmon (SOS) for years. The group has aimed their efforts at removing four outdated dams on the lower Snake River. Something we’re proud to support.
This week, SOS is teaming up with the Felt Soul Media for a fish fest of epic proportions in Portland, Ore. on April 14. If you’re anywhere near there, you don’t want to miss out…
If you can’t make it, take action here today!
POWER IN THE PRISTINE PREMIER
Saturday, January 15: Great Hall, Doors at 9a.m.
Patagonia, one of the last untouched places on the planet is under attack. Big business seeks to choke two of the region’s most pristine rivers with dams and plans to decimate unique forest ecosystems to build the longest powerline in the world. Led by pro athlete, Timmy O’Neill and writer, Craig Childs, Team Rios Libres journeys from the source of the Baker River to the sea and learns why we must act now to Keep Patagonia Wild.
Join Osprey Packs and James Q. Martin for pack giveaways and an update on the Rios Libres campaign to keep Patagonia’s rivers wild.
CELEBRATE WILD SALMON PREMIERE PARTY
Saturday, January 15: The National Hotel, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Connecting ocean and forest in the Great Bear Rainforest and tackling an epic migration from Alaska to Idaho’s mountains, salmon are an integral piece of our cultures, ecosystems, food security and global economies. But to save them, we have to protect their habitat and restore migration corridors.
Join the filmmakers of The Greatest Migration and SPOIL for a beer and take action to protect wild salmon and the people, places and wildlife that depend upon them. Sierra Nevada brews, photo projections from iLCP and gear giveaways from Patagonia and Osprey Packs!
Make sure to catch The Greatest Migration and SPOIL on the big screen too! See full Wild & Scenic Film Festival schedule here.