December 14th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Travel Tuesday: Make a Bucket List

As we’re speeding to the close of 2010, a lot of folks are starting to think about the last year — the adventures, the people and many times what they’ve missed out on. While these memories usually fuel the New Years resolutions of the next year, why not take some time to think about your bucket list? Yep, we’re talking about that list of things you want or need to do before you die.


November 24th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Know a River in Need? American Rivers is Accepting Nominations for 2011’s Most Endangered Rivers™

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American Rivers campaign America’s Most Endangered Rivers™ works with local partners, elected officials, media groups and concerned citizens to protect rivers through awareness and action. 2010 marked the program’s 25th year of fighting to save our country’s most threatened rivers.

Via American Rivers:

American Rivers’ successes in our river protection and river restoration efforts would not have been possible without the help of our many supporters With your support, we can continue our work on projects such as dam removal, restoring flood plains, conducting river cleanups, ensuring a clean, safe and reliable water supply, and fighting to secure wild and scenic river designations.

For a list of 2010’s America’s Most Endangered Rivers™  and to submit your nominations for 2011, check out http://www.americanrivers.org/our-work/protecting-rivers/endangered-rivers/.

November 19th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Speak Up for The Land and Water Conservation Fund

Glacier National Park. Photo by Trey Ratcliff.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been protecting our wild places since 1965.  Now, with Congress back in session, the time is right to voice support for permanent funding for the LWCF.

Via The Nature Conservancy:

Support legislation now before the U.S. Senate that guarantees permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund — the U.S. government’s key program for protecting land and water…

The program is authorized to receive up to $900 million a year. But despite an increase in energy production, funding for land and water protection has been low and unpredictable — diverted elsewhere by Congress…

Some of America’s most important natural areas are supported by the Fund:

  • National parks and forests such as the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest
  • Working farms and ranches
  • Fish and wildlife refuges
  • Neighborhood parks
  • Beaches and land around rivers and lakes.

And the program also benefits people — through ensuring clean water supplies, supporting jobs, reducing the cost of firefighting, and protecting the great outdoors for wildlife and recreation.

Let your Senator know you support legislation for land and water conservation.

October 15th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Friday Round-Up: Bikes, Water and Taking Action

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. Since we were so excited for the launch of our bike blog last month, we decided to continue with that theme for all of October. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!


Today is Blog Action Day — an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. This year’s topic is water.

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. And we think that’s something worth talking about. Since we’ve observed Fridays this month to talk about bikes, we thought we could combine the two…


October 6th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

The Epic Migration of Endangered Snake River Salmon

Chinook salmon jumping at Dagger Falls on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho. © Neil Ever Osborne

More than 900 miles.

That’s how far Snake River salmon swim to reach their spawning grounds. Not only that, they climb 7,000 feet in elevation too. All to return home and continue the cycle of life, a process that’s imperative given their classification as an endangered species.

But because the federal government has refused to take the steps necessary to ensure their protection, those 900 miles are a never-ending fight for survival.

Take Action to Save Them.

Later this fall, in conjunction with EP, Save Our Wild Salmon will be releasing a film that follows the journey of the critically endangered Snake River salmon, as these fish who migrate farther inland and higher than any other fish on Earth, making their way from the waters of southeast Alaska to the cold, wild rivers of Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley.

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via Save Our Wild Salmon’s blog

September 22nd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Power to the People: Power in the Pristine

In the United States, we have built one dam a day every day since Thomas Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence. That’s a lot of dams. We’ve dammed the most majestic and powerful rivers running through our country for the sake of energy, irrigation for industrial agriculture and transportation to name a few. And today, we’re seeing dams come down. They’re an aging infrastructure — no longer worth the cost of keeping them. But the change is coming slow… We’re still a long way off from recovering our rivers and wild places from the missteps of our past.

In Patagonia — half a world away — instead of working to restore their rivers, they’re fighting to save them from getting dammed in the first place. Patagonia, a beloved place in the hearts of many in the outdoor industry, is fighting to stay wild.

With alternatives energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and more, the damming of rivers seems outdated — “it’s old technology”. Hydropower may not emit carbon emissions, but the power sure isn’t “clean”. Think of how many rivers we’ve dammed — how many species we’ve pushed to extinction, how many communities we’ve flooded or cut off from their rivers and how many people have lost their way of life because of it.

What’s at stake in Patagonia? Two pristine rivers dammed by 5 proposed dams, 2,400 km of forest clear-cut and road switchbacks blasted into the canyon to make way for the world’s largest transmission line. This project would destroy the people in Patagonia.

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“I think it’s the overall loss of wilderness that we’re talking about here,” Osprey athlete Timmy O’Neill said.

So why should we care? Because it’s not just about the rivers in Patagonia. It’s about the rivers in our backyard. We, as people, have the power to make a change. And it starts now. There is power in the pristine, and we’ve got to stand up for it.

Learn more about protecting Patagonia’s rivers: http://rioslibres.com/.

July 14th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Capturing the Story of the Snake River’s One of a Kind Salmon

iLCP photographer Neil Osborne at Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho. © Emily Nuchols

From ConservationNEXT and Save Our Wild Salmon:

Sometimes you’ve got to get on the ground. Get dirty, muddy and immerse yourself in a story…

That’s exactly what International League of Conservation Photographers’ photographer Neil Osborne did to tell the story of Snake River salmon. Tripods in the Mud (TIM) is an initiative of the iLCP that helps partner professional photographers like Neil with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue.

Snake River salmon swim more than 900 miles inland and climb almost 7,000 feet to reach their spawning grounds — the highest salmon spawning habitat on the planet , and the largest and wildest habitat left in the continental United States. These one of a kind salmon travel farther and higher than any other salmon on Earth.

So how do you make people care? And get them to act? Give them beautiful and provocative images to tell the story.

Save Our Wild Salmon and the International League of Conservation Photographers have joined forces to tell the story of the Snake River’s one of a kind salmon and the place they call home.

July 8th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Thoughts on Sunbeam Dam

The Salmon River is the longest undammed river in the continental United States.  But it wasn’t always that way.

In 1910 Sunbeam dam was erected on the Salmon above its confluence with the Yankee Fork. The dam was built to supply cheap power to gold mining operations along the Yankee Fork. The dam supplied power to stamp mills and dredges for just over a year before the mining operation went bankrupt and closed.

A historical marker adjacent to the river claims that the Idaho Department of Fish & Game contracted demolition of the dam in 1934.  However, locals know a different story. Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus wrote in his memoir, “A party or parties unknown ran a dynamite-laden raft into Sunbeam Dam. The dam blocked the annual salmon run. The party or parties unknown were never caught, a fairly unusual circumstance in this thinly populated country. But history was against them.”

Crumbling remains of the dam still cross half the canyon while the river flows freely against the southern bank. Many people consider these remnants a blight on an otherwise pristine river but every time I see the corpse of Sunbeam Dam I smile. The ruins serve as a reminder that Idaho’s salmon are more precious than gold. They’re priceless.

Any Idahoan will tell you that the Salmon River and its namesake salmon runs are two of the things that make Idaho special.  I grew up playing and fishing along the banks of the Salmon and now I work for an organization called Idaho Rivers United protecting and restoring Idaho’s rivers and native fish.

I like the story of Sunbeam dam because it offers a lesson from our history and vision forward to the future.

June 30th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

In the Shadow of Glen Canyon Dam

Rios Libres, a team of passionate and talented folks from the Southwest who are fighting to “keep Patagonia wild”. © James Q Martin

by Chris Kassar

6,170 miles. This is the distance between Flagstaff, Arizona and Puerto Bertrand, Chile — the town closest to the source of the Rio Baker. This creates a formidable gap (the equivalent of driving from Boston to San Diego and back) between where many of us live and the rivers we are fighting to protect. Why then, are five folks from Flagstaff and two from Colorado so damned concerned about a river and a watershed that are so far from home?

The simple answer is this: we believe rivers should flow freely — from source to sea — as nature intended. But, there’s more. We are also motivated by the missteps made in our very own backyard. We live in the shadow of Glen Canyon dam —  aka “America’s most regretted environmental mistake” and we constantly grapple with ‘what could have been’ if this place had not been lost. This dam stands as a beacon, reminding us of a past heartbreak and calling us to action in order to prevent others.

The Baker, one of Chile’s wildest and most voluminous rivers is threatened by the power of big business. © James Q Martin

The lessons we have learned from the tragedy at Glen Canyon have made many of us in the Southwest unwilling and unable to stand by and allow the same mistakes to be made again, even in remote regions that are thousands of miles away. Despite the geographic distance between where we lay our heads and Patagonia, our connection to these rivers is strong and the need to stand up for them remains close to our hearts.

Recently, a few members of the team re-visited Glen Canyon Dam bringing with them newfound knowledge and experience as a result of our trip in Chile.

Luminary writer, Craig Childs standing in the shadow of Glen Canyon Dam. © James Q Martin

June 11th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Thousands March in Chile Against Dams in Patagonia


Please take action to keep Patagonia wild!

Last Saturday, June 5, thousands of people in Chile marked the annual International Day for the Environment (el Día Internacional del Medioambiente) with a nationwide day of action and marched against dams in Patagonia.

This is the second time in less than a year that a nationwide action has been organized against the development of mega-hydroelectric projects in Patagonia.



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