Protect Our Winters Newsletter Issue: #10

March, 2010

In January, Protect Our Winters was invited by US Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) to screen our short film, “Generations” at the US Capitol. Joined by Clif Bar’s Elysa Hammond, Steve Jones of TGR and Liz Burakowski, a PhD Student in Earth Science at UNH, the screening was held in the US Capitol theater and received hearty applause
among a theater of Congressmen, aides, staff and local environmental leaders.

The next day, our group met with numerous lawmakers and staff largely from US mountain states who are also leaders on climate change and in key positions on the Hill to influence the direction of this issue.
Together, we shared our experiences, illustrating first-hand how climate change has had
direct effects on the winter sports culture and the $6 billion winter sports industry, while discussing what the winter sports community could do to help push a new clean energy policy forward through the Senate.

WE HAVE SIXTY DAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:  The failure to reach a new climate policy has huge implications on us, the global winter sports community. Besides jeopardizing the winter season that fuels our passions, continued loss of snow will exact a significant economic toll on the mountain communities that have developed alongside US ski resorts. From Maine to California, hotels, restaurants, hotels, shops and thousands of other small businesses all rely on the draw and the economic inputs of snow sports to maintain their vibrancy and welfare.

So to us, climate change is serious business. And the message we heard on Capitol Hill was clear: our Senators need to hear from us now.The winter sports community has a huge voice and for a bill that could be decided by one or two votes, holdouts will make all the difference. The general opinion is that any new climate change legislation needs to be passed by the Senate within the next sixty days or we run the risk of losing any momentum gained, and witnessing a very different future.

We launched the “Sixty Days” campaign in response to the message we heard on the Hill.  It make it very easy to see which Senator is supporting clean energy, who is not and who is still undecided – and easily send them a note.
Please take just a minute to contact your Senator here now, letting them know how important a new, clean energy economy is to you.  Click here: 60DAYSTO.ORG

Protect Our Winters (POW) is proud to announce our most recent corporate partners:
The North Face, Vans, Volkl, Teton Gravity Research, Absinthe Films, Rip Curl,
Tactics Board Shop and Spark R&D.  Thank you for your generous support!

Protect Our Winters has partnered with The Sierra Club to prevent the construction of a massive coal mine in Chuitna, AK, just forty miles from Anchorage. PacRim Coal, which is co-owned by developer/entrepreneur Dick Bass, has applied
for the permit to construct the mine, which would be the second largest open-pit coal mine in North America. Ironically, Dick Bass also owns Snowbird Ski Resort which has a stellar environmental record, winning the 2007 NSAA Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence by a ski resort.

PacRim Coal plans to unearth 300 million metric tons of coal and ship the coal to China. Coal burned in China, or anywhere else for that matter, affects the global climate and air quality. Burning the Chuitna coal could release 54
million tons of carbon dioxide into the environment annually – the equivalent of 45 million cars. “The first step in reducing climate change is to stop digging the hole. Stopping  this project is the one of the single most important climate change issues we’re dealing with now”, said Jeremy Jones.

Please help us put pressure on Mr. Bass to re-think this investment and continue with the positive environmental legacy he started with Snowbird.  Visit the No Bass Coal website HERE
and sign the petition.

The winner of the custom Völkl Gibson Les Paul guitar was announced at SIA last month: Robert Matthews, owner of the Rogue Ski Shop in Medford, OR.  Robert bid $6,100 for the one-of-a-kind guitar which was then donated in its entirety to Protect Our Winters by Marker-Völkl USA. The Völkl guitar is a black Les Paul Custom featuring graphical elements from Völkl’s newly redesigned Gotama ski model.

Many, thanks to Chris Adams of Marker-Völkl for coming to us with this amazing idea and for the generous contribution to Protect Our Winters.  If anyone is ever in the Medford, OR area, stop by the Rogue Ski Shop where the guitar is on permanent display – “permanent” until Bob decides to go on tour that is…

Clif Bar is deeply engaged in sustainability initiatives throughout their company while taking the lead in climate change solutions for the entire sports community. As we all know, transportation is one of the biggest contributors to global warming – nearly 30%, according to the EPA.  But did you know that by making small changes to how we get to and from the mountains can make a big difference? Hop on over to the CLIF Bar’s Save Our Snow website:

Get all sorts of tips and tricks to cool your drive. Join an SOS carpool, hop on the SOS Greasebus or find a ski shuttle in your area – three ways to get you to the mountain while helping protect the planet. While you’re at it, take a virtual road trip with the pros, like Jeremy Jones, as they show off the eco-friendly changes they make to their own winter adventures.  It’s all about putting you and your friends one step closer to protecting our winter playgrounds.
Watch the SOS video here: SOS Video

And don’t forget about the SOS iPhone app. It’s free and can help you make an informed choice about where to ski or snowboard (and where to find the best pow). DOWNLOAD IT HERE

As a member of Protect Our Winters, your contribution will be re-invested in programs that help fight climate change – such as supporting renewable energy projects, community-level initiatives, activism and educational programs that teach students about the importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility. Please consider joining us, it is our responsibility to build a collective effort to protect the lifestyle we love. To join POW, please click HERE