Protect Our Winters Announces Addition of Auden Schendler to Board

September 16, 2010

Los Angeles, CA 9/15/10:  Protect Our Winters (POW) is proud to welcome Auden Schendler as the newest member of its Board of Directors.  Schendler is the Vice-President of Sustainability at the Aspen Skiing Company and will be a major contributor to POW’s efforts to activate the winter sports community in the fight against climate change.

Previously a research associate in corporate sustainability at Rocky Mountain Institute, Auden has been a trailer insulator, burger flipper, ambulance medic, Outward Bound instructor, high school math and English teacher, freelance writer, and Forest Service goose nest island builder. An avid outdoorsman, Auden has climbed Denali, North America’s highest peak, and kayaked the Grand Canyon in winter. His writing has been published in Harvard Business Review, the L.A. Times, Scientific American and Salon.com, among other places, and his work has been covered in Businessweek, Fast Company, Travel and Leisure, Outside, and other media. Auden was named a global warming innovator by TIME magazine in 2006 and in 2007 he testified to Congress on the impact of climate change on public lands. He lives in Basalt, Colorado with his wife Ellen and their children Willa and Elias.

“Protect Our Winters has momentum. It’s cool. And it’s exactly the right idea: we’re going to solve climate change by mobilizing huge amounts of people who care. And skiers and riders care.” said Auden.

“We’re honored and and excited to have Auden be part of the Protect Our Winters leadership.
We need the best and the brightest on our team to help us engage the winter sports community against climate change and without question, Auden is that guy.”  said Chris Steinkamp, Executive Director of POW.

POW’s goal of uniting the winter sports community against climate change is reflected in its board membership.  Schendler joins Matt McClain, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Surfrider Foundation, Strick Walker, former CMO at 1% For The Planet and currently the Business Development Lead at IDEO and Christina Thomure, Director of Sustainable Operations at Grand Targhee Resort.
Since 2008, Protect our Winters has invested over $150,000 in over 25 community-based grassroots organizations, partnered with The Sierra Club to fight dirty coal and produced “Generations”, in partnership with The North Face and Teton Gravity Research. “Generations” is a short-film about climate change, resulting in over 150,000 downloads and led to the “60 Days” campaign, an online activism effort urging US Senators to support clean energy legislation.

About Protect Our Winters: Protect Our Winters is the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and local mountain communities. With over 25,000 supporters worldwide, POW re-invests contributions in educational initiatives, activism and supporting community-based initiatives that have tangible results.  For more information, visit protectourwinters.org

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Mountain Rider’s Alliance: A Grassroots Movement Changing The Way Ski Areas Are Run

September 10, 2010

A new paradigm is emerging in ski area management: one that’s globally-based, rider-centric, environmentally sustainable, sensitive to local needs, and skier-and-snowboarder-owned

Truckee, California – September 9, 2010 – Rising lift ticket costs, negative impacts on ski communities and the environment, and the desire to combat climate change have all led concerned skiers and snowboarders to form a global collaborative group, Mountain Rider’s Alliance (MRA).

MRA is a movement of snow enthusiasts who are dedicated to changing the ways ski areas are run. MRA’s mission is to create rider-owned-and-operated ski areas that are rider-centric, environmentally sustainable and sensitive to local cultural, social and economic concerns.

All MRA business decisions will be based on three principles. The first principle is operating and developing value-based, rider-centric ski areas that put skier and snowboarder needs and wants first. Secondly, all MRA projects will be environmentally sustainable by creating “ski-energy centers” that strive towards a zero carbon footprint by producing and selling alternative energy to local utilities as well as utilizing the best in green practices. The third element is to be socially responsible to the communities surrounding these mountain playgrounds.

To raise awareness about this new ideological shift in managing ski areas, Mountain Rider’s Alliance has launched a website, www.MountainRidersAlliance.com, and blog, www.MRABlog.com. MRA also has a Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter account, MtnRA.

As MRA identifies potential locations and develops a master plan, the Alliance will offer reasonably-priced investment shares to the global ski community to create true rider-owned resorts who will exercise their ownership rights for the long-term advancement of the sport and not short-term profit. MRA expects to announce the location of the first ski-energy project in December 2010.

Mountain Rider’s Alliance was founded in 2010 as a LLC, incorporated in Wyoming. MRA has established partnerships with like-minded nonprofit organizations including Protect Our Winters, SkiDUCK, Sustenator and Peace Pedalers.

For more information, visit the MRA website, or blog, or contact Mountain Rider’s Alliance directly at info@MountainRidersAlliance.com.


Pro Photographer Josh Campbell Organizes Auction for Protect Our Winters

July 26, 2010

As a supporter of environmental awareness and the amazing feeling of gravity-induced fun on skis, I am super excited to announce Art For POW. Pro photographer and Protect Our Winters supporter, Josh Campbell, organized the online art auction, with all of the proceeds being donated to Mother Nature’s-proponent-in-the-form-of-a-non-profit, Protect Our Winters.

Amazing work from artists such as: Trevor Graves, Tim Zimmerman, Aaron Draplin, Tyler Stout, Cole Barash, Mark Kohlman, Mike Paddock, Shawn Dumont, Shem Roose, Kari Rowe, Patrick Lennox Wright, Dennis Healy X R1, Timothy Karpinski, Danny Zapalac, Bud Fawcett, Dean “Blotto” Gray, Andrew Mutty, Adam Moran, Mike Arzt, Mike Basher, and Josh Campbell.

“I created ART for POW as an opportunity for artists in the snowboard community to give back to the earth and the sport that has brought us so much fun over the years,” said Josh. Every item in the auction has been donated, and all proceeds will go directly to Protect Our Winters.

The auction runs from today until 11:59 p.m. PST on July 31st. Click HERE to check it out, and please spread the word.







Protect Our Winters Expanding into Argentina to Assist Earth Friendly Projects

July 6, 2010

For pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones, his mission of helping Mother Nature began on the slopes outside of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Returning to his favorite place to ride sweet powder, he found it void of snow. Rock and grass was all that was visible where it should of been feet of compacted frozen water crystals.

He took it upon himself to dive more into the sad state of affairs he was witnessing and found that this great riding spot was continuing on a trend of less and less snow.

So, in inspirational form that is a personality trait of Jones, he took this experience and formed Protect Our Winters, a non-profit created to unite those that love snowboarding and skiing, so that the collective genius can help promote a healthy, sustainable future for our environment.

With the initial goal of assisting the environmental actions of North America and Europe, POW  is now going global with expansion into Argentina, as well as Australia.

I am honored to be a part of the newly formed Southern Hemisphere POW satellite team, and will be assisting the non-profit in both the Bariloche and Las Leñas areas.

7,000 vertical feet of Argentine wind, Las Leñas Valley

What does that mean exactly?

Well, POW is ready to help fund interesting projects in Argentina that help the environment.

If you or someone you know is involved with an Argentine environmental-friendly project that is in the making and needs a little financial assistance, please let me know and I will pass the information on to POW. Maybe a neighborhood that is trying to create a recycling plan…or a group that is doing litter education. If the movement assists Pachamama, than POW would like to help out.

To give you a little background, in North America POW created various ways to invigorate discussion about environmental protection. From an easy-access platform inspiring interaction between large non-profit foundations and the masses to education programs like Solar 4R Schools, POW is truly creating a global path for change.

Awhile back, I was able to sit down and talk with Jones about how POW is participating in expanding environmental awareness, the non-profits’ hopes on affecting the future, and his personal feelings on the issue of global warming.

Continue on for thoughts from the pro himself…

Jeremy Jones enjoying life, photo courtesy of Jeremy Jones

SM: Thanks so much for making the time.

JJ: No problem.

SM: When and why did you initially create POW?

JJ: It’s kind of a combination of things…I was expanding a product line called the Jones Experience, that has about a twenty different products in it and I wanted to give a percentage of sales back to the environment. I did some research and I talked to a friend at the surf rider’s foundation. I couldn’t really find what I felt was the right environmental foundation to give the money to and my friends and surfers were like you guys need something in the winter sports world to inspire and hopefully rally companies and other participants to help the environment.

That wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I wanted to write a check and be done with it, but after a couple of months I decided that this was something that’s important and something that needs to be done.

And I think probably the birth of my daughter had something to do with that as well with the belief that it is a long term problem, it’s something were we won’t see the benifits of our actions but our kids and our kid’s kids will see the benefit of our actions.

SM: There is nothing out there for the winter community?

JJ: I wanted something where every dollar raised went straight to slowing down global warming. There was good carbon offset companies and 1 percent for the planet, who we partner with now, but it kept coming back to us needing something that was targeting people…something that made people and companies go “I want to be associated with that foundation.” Other foundations out there didn’t have the same connection as we hope to have with POW. We work closely with these foundations that are established and they do an awesome job, it’s just that we are coming from a, as crazy as it sounds, a different marketing level.

And also what we do is focus, and we hope to do more of this, on cleaning up our mountains and our mountain towns, first. That is what we want to put focus on first.

SM: For sure, like Squaw Valley…I used to work at High Camp and it was amazing seeing what they were doing negatively to the environment?

JJ: Exactly. And we feel like we can be more affective this way and still use the great resources that are out there. We partner with a lot of these existing groups and we see where they work the best.

SM: So you basically bring all of the parts of the puzzle together?

JJ: Exactly.

SM: You have said that you saw major changes in snow at areas you were photographed riding, where did you see the biggest changes?

JJ: The most dramatic I saw was in Prince Rupert and up in Northern BC. I got to know the locals there. One day I went for a hike up at their local resort, it was mid February and it was all grass. I was talking to a skier that was 30 at the time and he said that this is where we all grew up riding and our average winter was 70 days a year and now were lucky if every couple of years we get to ski down this thing. And I was like, “Wow!” That is a lot of change in twenty years and it got me to thinking what is the next twenty years going to be like. So that was the most in-your-face-dramatic thing that I’ve seen.

photo courtesy of Jeremy Jones

SM: What are things that you have changed in your own life to help global warming?

JJ: I’ve looked closely at my own lifestyle and my life as a pro snowboarder.

One change, for instance, is I drive a forward Focus instead of a Dodge pick-up.

I don’t own a snowmobile anymore.

My house was built in the 1960’s, so I continue to change out into better windows and better appliances and better insulation, things like that, and that, actually, is an ongoing thing with my house. (laughter) It is still a summer cabin. It’s frustrating at times but I continue to try to get better with that.

And, fortunately, I live two miles from town so I’m riding my bike a ton in the summer because I’ve realized a lot of my trips are two mile trips so just trying to do those shorter trips on my bike.

And everything from house-hold products and that full gamut.

Those other changes were pretty easy. I continue now to make further changes…though these next changes will be harder steps, in the sense of we’re not on solar and or anything like that.

As a professional snowboarder…that’s been a harder deal. I am still doing a lot of flying, a lot of air travel. Using helicopters for access in Alaska…but I have eliminated my snowmobile use. I’m still traveling a lot, but like this year my shortest trip is two weeks long. Now that I know where I am going to be for the winter I have been able to cut down on my air travel.

One of the things that we are doing through POW is movies centered on hiking for turns. Our first film was called “My Own Two Feet”. It’s a movie based out of the Sierras. It’s a human powered snowboard movie and something that I put a lot of time and energy into because I feel that it is a great message, not only environmentally, but also as a great way to hopefully inspire people that great freeriding is only a short hike away. And if you want it, you can do it.

I have had movie parts in the past that are 70 or 80 percent hiking accessed but we never talked about that, so now people look at me and say, “…yeah right, if I had this huge heli budget I could do that too.”

In the past it is true that sometimes my three week time in Alaska wipes out the footy of us hiking around in the Sierras and Tetons. That’s something I want to change.

So doing stuff like that. I hope to do a lot more of that in the future.

I’m starting to find cameramen that are into going that extra mile and doing more foot-access stuff, but that’s not all happening over night.

But I’m starting to see change.

An example of that is this one film company that I am working with, Absence Films. I told them that I want to go and set up camp in Alaska and do, like, a three week trip where we hike in. I said that I feel that we could get some good stuff and in the fall they were saying “There is no way we can do that, that sounds gnarley.” And then I got a call from them and they said “Hey we want to do that and our riders are stoked to do something like that.”

photo courtesy of Jeremy Jones

I’m not going to walk away from Alaska and heli-accessed stuff, but this is something where I want to continue doing more and more of foot accessed stuff in Alaska. I would like to start splitting the time. I would like to put a portion of the time in to a long hiking trip, ’cause what I actually really enjoy is hiking what I ride.

That, to be honest, is the inspiration behind all of that, enjoying it from a personal level, and then of course it’s more environmentally friendly, but it is not like I’m out there saying “God I wish I was out here in a heli.” It’s more like “This is so sick and I’ve only gotten one run in today and I don’t care. It was a sick run.”

I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to start doing more hiking, that that would be the next phase of my snowboarding. And now I’m starting to activate that phase.

SM: What is the biggest way that we can help shift global warming, as a winter sport community?

JJ: I think that are a lot of simple steps that we have pushed, the ten simple steps, and they don’t seem like much. They’re everything from carpooling to changing the kind of light bulbs you are using. Basic stuff. It’s the idea that if everyone does that, then it makes a big difference.

If everyone curbs their carbon foot print by ten percent it is a big difference.

We’re not trying to get people to stop living their lives but just adapt. So there are the simple steps and then there are the other factors that I believe in: consumers have a lot of power, and when it is time to choose a new pair of skis or snowboard, it’s important to support those companies that are trying to do things differently. That can hopefully change the way that everything is made and manufactured.

SM: The Solar 4R Schools is a great program. How are the students reacting to this program?

JJ: Well, it’s a long process. We have three that are going in this summer. So unfortunately I have had little interaction. I got inspired because I went back to my high school, in Sugarloaf Maine, and did an environmental studies course with them so I have had some interaction with kids but specific set-ups we have put in, and I’m looking forward to, getting those up and visiting those classes.

SM: What would you like to say to the nay-sayers that believe that Global Warming is unsubstantiated?

JJ: Well, I don’t have the magic potion, if they don’t believe it, if all of the world-wide media attention hasn’t been able to cross them over, than I don’t think that I have the power to cross them over.

But I would say that it sure is a risky statement to say that it doesn’t matter, it’s not real, were not going to do anything about it. If they are wrong the results are pretty drastic where they should at least still be doing things environmentally friendly, whether you believe in Global Warming or not. It just makes sense.

I deal with the people that are nay-sayers and we have some great debates. But I always come back to, “How is getting sixty miles to the gallon bad?” How can you not embrace that? Or something like being off the grid with solar energy. They will always be out there. All of these environmental practices, a lot of them I should say, at least the technologies, are great whoever you are.

SM: Rossignol’s Evergreen Alliance program focuses on reducing their carbon footprint and conducting business in a more environmentally-friendly manner…their initiatives stretch across their company, retail partners and end-consumers and also influence their products is a great initiative. Do they plan on making any changes in the way boards and skis are made, being that there is a lot of plastic involved in making the snow tools?

JJ: Yeah. I’ve been working closely with Rossignol on that front and we have been able to make some quick, easy steps, like with recycled bases and were working on reclaim-sidewalls, trying to do bamboo topsheets. Those things have come pretty easy and this next step is going to take a lot more in the terms of investment to solve bigger issues with the product. So they are for sure and they are starting to and one thing I am trying to to do is…well, you see the ski world had kind of been in their own world and the snowboard in theirs…so I’m trying to get all the product managers together to pool our resources and, hopefully, bring out some real advances in environmentally friendly products.

The time tables for these are slow, it is easy to get frustrated but the fact that we are having these talks…if you look at it from a longer time line, then I do think we will have some great success.

SM: So snowboarder and ski companies are not necessarily working together for this cause, then?

JJ: No, they are separated. That is something that we hope to do with POW is create an environment where people can share environmental practices and that’s part of our phase two with POW.

SM: Is one being more receptive than the other?

JJ: No, well, we have had a little bit more success with the snowboard side but that, I think, is partly because I am in that world. But what communication we have had with the ski companies has been positive.

SM: That’s good because it doesn’t matter what the tool is.

JJ: Right.

SM: Snowmobiling is a definite addition to emissions. What are ways that snowmobilers can make a difference?

JJ: Primarily, it comes down to when you’re getting a new snowmobile, get a four stroke. There is a great difference between a four stroke and a two stroke emission. But other than that I would say that using the cleaner oils out there.

I’m not up on it now but there are oils and such out there that help keep emissions down, such as Blue Ribbon Oil or doing things like better air filters, things like that.

But for me, it wasn’t like I loved snowmobiling. When I was out there I just wanted to get to the boot pack as quickly as possible and get off the thing. It wasn’t like I gave up snowmobiling for the environment. Getting rid of my snowmobile, it was amazing how happy it made me. It was mainly because it was the last time I had to start the thing. (Laughter)

I wasn’t planning on it but I ended up having to start it up one last time and I like literally welled-up with tears thinking “Thank God its gone.” But that is totally from a personal level. I would always dread when I would get the call that we going out on the snowmobiles I would think “Uuuuh, I’ve got to go load my sled.”

SM: Where do you see POW going in the future?

JJ: Hopefully we will have a ton of manufacturers involved and a bunch of snowboarders and skiers as members. And hopefully, as we grow, we will become more powerful and be able to do greater things for the environment. Within the foundation, we continue to explore different options to better spend our finances and be a better help to the winter sports world on all levels.


Support the Environment by Speaking Up to Your Senator

June 8, 2010

The next couple of weeks are going to be a critical time for climate change in Washington.

Here is a quick update on some of the key events:

MURKOWSKI RESOLUTION
This Thursday is the first key test of US resolve on climate. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will introduce a “resolution of disapproval” that would undercut the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon pollution. If passed, the resolution basically says that carbon emissions aren’t dangerous and could sub-vent the EPA’s ability to hold accountable the largest carbon polluters down the road.

The general consensus is that the resolution won’t pass, and it most certainly won’t get through the House, but surprisingly, the vote has become a bellwether for the climate bill’s chances by showcasing which Senators are in favor of strong climate change policy and which aren’t.

A victory for Murkowski here could spell danger for a more comprehensive bill later on. The resolution needs 51 votes, to pass. If it breaks 45 votes, it’s trouble. If it breaks 50, it’s doom.

SENATOR REID TIMING
Also this week, Senator Harry Reid is polling other Democratic Senators about whether they want to move ahead with a climate bill this year. Obviously, with everything that’s happening the Gulf, its clearly evident that dependence on oil is a failed strategy and the longer that this discussion waits to take place, the more it risks never happening. It is up to us to tell our Senators to tell Sen. Reid “yes” on a climate bill this year.

The current bill, the American Power Act, was introduced by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman on May 12th. In short, the bill aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and then cut them by 80% by 2050. It would set limits beyond which polluters would have the option of trading credits or paying penalties within a fixed price range. Here are the details of the bill.

There are rumors about other bills currently being developed, but nothing concrete just yet.
Our main goal right now, is to make sure the debate begins this year.

THE FENCE SITTERS
Here is a list of Senators who, as far as we can tell, are still yet undecided about supporting clean energy. We need a total of 60 votes. Since 37 Senators have already indicated that they are planning to support strong climate change policy, we need 23 of these fence-sitting Senators to vote “yes” to pass climate legislation in the Senate.

Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
Max Baucus (Mont.)
Mark Begich (Alaska)
Scott Brown (Mass.)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Robert Byrd (W.Va.)
Maria Cantwell (Wash.)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Kent Conrad (N.D.)
Bob Corker (Tenn.)
Byron Dorgan (N.D.)
Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Judd Gregg (N.H.)
Mary Landrieu (La.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
George LeMieux (Fla.)
Carl Levin (Mich.)
Richard Lugar (Ind.)
Claire McCaskill (Mo.)
Robert Menendez (N.J.)
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Mark Pryor (Ark.)
Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.)
Olympia Snowe (Maine)
Arlen Specter (Pa.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Jon Tester (Mont.)
George Voinovich (Ohio)
Jim Webb (Va)

So, it’s go-time. Please send a letter to your Senators today, especially if they are on the list above. The time to do this is absolutely right now.

This is our moment to be be heard, and an opportunity to influence policy to protect something close to us for today, and for generations behind us.

Please click here to see where your Senators stands on the issue and to easily send a letter to them urging their support: www.60DAYSTO.org


Participate in the 60 Day Campaign for Clean Energy

March 5, 2010

As we mentioned before, in January Protect Our Winters was invited by US Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) to screen the POW 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, the POW 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, they shared their 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.

So in response, POW is calling on all those that love winter to come together in the next 60 days to voice their concern and desire for productive solutions to global climate change.

According to the Protect Our Winters newsletter, “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 or go to 60DAYSTO.org.

Whether the title is Global Warming, Climate Change or smog, the truth of the matter is, is that we need to work together in treating planet Earth with respect. We wouldn’t discharge toxins, throw trash or contaminate our own homes…so why are we doing it around the globe?

It’s time to come together and protect the environment, our children require it.


Snow Sports Coalition Visits Washington

February 3, 2010

Snow Sports Coalition Visits Washington to Discuss Implications of a Warming Environment

Generations, a short film about climate change and winter, viewed by Congress

Boulder, CO (Feb. 1, 2010)-Jeremy Jones, eight-time Big Mountain Snowboarder of the Year visited one of the most world renowned hills in the world, this time without a snowboard. On Wednesday, January 27, Jeremy Jones along with a coalition of winter sport filmmakers and industry representatives shared a new perspective on climate change with lawmakers on Capitol Hill: the economic, social and intangible values of winter.

Jones represented Protect Our Winters (POW), the environmental non-profit he founded in 2007 as a voice for the winter sports community in the climate change discussion. Jones was joined by Chris Steinkamp, Executive Director of POW, Steve Jones, Founder of Teton Gravity Research (TGR), Elysa Hammond, Director of Environmental Stewardship of Clif Bar and Elizabeth Burakowski, PhD student in Earth Science Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

The two-day agenda included a screening of Generations, a short film about climate change and winter released this fall by TGR and Protect Our Winters and sponsored by outdoor industry leader, The North Face. Generations discusses climate change through the perspectives of those for whom snowy winters have a deeper personal significance. Featuring former ski resort developer Bill Jenkins, climatologist Elizabeth Burakowski, and some of the world’s most accomplished ski and snowboard athletes, the film humanizes and contextualizes the debate on climate change by exploring the intrinsic value of snow to people across generations and cultures.

In addition to the numerous awards won by Generations on the film festival circuit, the film received hearty congressional applause Tuesday evening among a theater of Congressmen, aides, staff and local environmental leaders, after being introduced by Congressman Jared Polis. Following the screening, Jeremy Jones, Steve Jones, Hammond and Steinkamp hosted a Q&A on their experience with climate change in the field and how winter sports enthusiasts everywhere can be part of the climate change solution.

The coalition met with key lawmakers and staff largely from U.S. mountain states who are also leaders on climate change and in key positions on the hill to influence the direction of this issue. Together, they shared their experiences, illustrating first-hand how climate change has had direct effects on the winter sports culture and the $6 billion winter sports industry. Participants included Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), Representative Peter Welch (D-VT), Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA), and senior energy and environment staff for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). The members and staff that the group met with are all key players in the climate and energy debate, most holding senior positions and even chairmanships on the central committees of influence.

The film showing, combined with one-on-one meetings, provided the Capitol Hill community with a fresh perspective of climate change, through the eyes of those on the front lines.

“When we started production of ‘Generations’ with The North Face over a year ago, the goal was to communicate the climate change we all see every day, to as many people as possible. Being here on Capitol Hill a year later, talking with the individuals who are literally deciding how climate change will effect us for generations is one of the most important things I’ve ever done,” said Jeremy Jones.

“The perspective provided by “Generations,” and the teams in the meetings this week, provided valuable and often overlooked component of the climate change debate in Washington,” explained Congressman Jared Polis, (D-CO). “The ski industry is the lifeblood of my district and climate change is already taking a toll,” said Polis. “These athletes are on the front lines of this crisis, watching snow, ice and communities disappear all over the world. In sharing their story with Congress, they are sharing the stories of many communities who are all desperately watching their way of life disappear with the warming planet. While the loss of skiing isn’t the worst consequence of climate change, these individuals show us how we all stand to be personally affected by this global problem.”

Who is Protect Our Winters

Protect Our Winters (POW) is a tax exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to reversing the global warming crisis by uniting the winter sports community and focusing efforts towards a common goal of winter preservation. POW was founded in 2007 by Jeremy Jones, a professional snowboarder who is passionate about preserving winter sport industry and culture for current and future generations. Built on the snowsports culture’s inspired dedication to reversing climate change, POW has become an innovative leader in sponsoring effective renewable power, progressive environmental education, and organizing and enabling unique grassroots action.

Who is TGR

Teton Gravity Research (TGR) is one of the fastest growing brands in the action sports industry. Founded in 1996, TGR has produced 18 award winning feature length films, numerous television series for Showtime, NBC, Fox Sports, and Fuel TV, and is known for its cutting edge media and lifestyles clothing line. TGR films showcase the world’s top snowboard, ski and surf athletes including Jeremy Jones, Ian Walsh, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, and Seth Morrison. TGR is a proud member of 1 Percent for the Planet and strongly believes in protecting the environment in which the team works and plays. TGR’s online presence, TetonGravity.com, is one of the leading online destinations in the action sports industry.

About The North Face®

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

For more information, please contact:
CHRIS STEINKAMP, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
chris@protectourwinters.org | 303-815-2057 | http://www.protectourwinters.org


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