Since November 3, a group has been walking the 560 km from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, to highlight the damage being caused by feral horses. The walk is nearing its end! Join the walkers on the final day – 9th December (or the 8th depending on weather forecast) – from Charlottes Pass or Thredbo to celebrate the end of the walk and add your voice to the call to reclaim Kosci from feral horses.
We all know that ski resorts have a large environmental footprint. As Outside magazine recently noted, ‘with sprawling mountainside villages, water-guzzling snow machines, and high-powered chairlifts, it’s no secret operating a ski resort can be a dirty business.”
Here in Australia some resorts have taken small steps to reduce their impact, but its still fairly dismal when you consider their overall operations. Outside have recently listed the best 10 US-based resorts when it comes to environmental responsibility. While the bigger resorts that come with having a much larger population have greater financial capacity to change their operations, these examples do provide some ideas for any resorts here who are serious about taking their environmental and climate responsibilities seriously.
Conservation group Forest Conservation Victoria have announced that they have established a blockade of logging operations on the southern slopes of the Baw Baw Plateau. The area contains many large trees which provide critical habitat for threatened native wildlife.
On the 3rd November, a group of bushwalkers will start a 35 day walk from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, to highlight the damage being caused by feral horses.
If you live in Sydney, please consider attending the ‘send off’ as they leave for Kosci.
Saturday Nov 3 at 9am.
Colorado-based ski resort Aspen recently launched a new activist campaign, called Give A Flake, which invites skiers and non-skiers alike to speak out against climate change inaction. It has a number of online tools that help people to easily contact their elected officials and pressure them to act on climate change.
Under the banner of ‘Protect Your Passion. Join the Movement’, Aspen says ‘Sometimes caring about an issue isn’t enough. You have to do something. It’s time to turn our concern about climate change — and yours — into action’.
USA residents can use the Give A Flake website to find out where the elected officials in their area stand on climate change. Then, via Twitter, users can tweet at their local leaders with images and statements that Aspen Skiing Co. has already curated.
Now they’ve taken another step, by inserting campaign postcards into outdoor magazines. The idea is that people will then send these to key politicians, urging them to act decisively on climate change issues. As the mid term elections in the USA get closer, more and more people, organisations and businesses are encouraging people to get out and vote (Patagonia have even taken the unusual position of endorsing two candidates).
The outdoor recreation community is huge. The outdoor recreation industry is equally large, employing many thousands of people and generating billions of dollars of economic activity each year (the Australian ski industry alone generates more than $1.8 billion a year and employs more than 18,000 people).
Yet the outdoor industry, taken as a whole, remains curiously silent on key issues like park protection, threats to wild areas and climate change. There are a few standouts, like Patagonia, but generally they’re missing in action on the key issues of our time.
Not so in the USA, where the election of the anti environment Trump administration has radically heightened the already active outdoor sector. With the mid term elections happening soon, which will have enormous implications for the balance of power in both houses of federal government (and hence Trump’s ability to implement his negative agenda), the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has launched an impressive #VoteTheOutdoors campaign to mobilise people concerned about climate and protecting wild nature.
The Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO), based in far east Gippsland is hosting a citizen science survey over the Melbourne Cup long weekend in November (November 3 – 6, 2018).
“You will learn from the dedicated and passionate ecologists and activists at GECO whose citizen science campaign is saving forests from logging. We’ll be based in and around Goongerah, including surrounding high conservation value and old growth forests, and the iconic Kuark forest”.
Auden Schendler is well known to many skiers and riders as being a key figure in snow industry efforts to move towards sustainability. He is the Vice President of Sustainability at the Aspen Snowmass resort in Colorado.
Just before the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C report was released, Auden co-authored an opinion piece in the New York Times with Andrew P. Jones. Given Auden’s pivotal role in the snow community, I thought it was worth sharing some excerts from it here which underscore the political challenge we face if we are serious about resolving the ‘climate problem’. The full article is available here.
On Oct 13 Clycle 2018 will leave Federation Square in Melbourne, with the plan to cycle all the way to Canberra via the Australian Alps.
Clycle 2018 is described by the organiser as a ‘non-charity’ bike ride. The idea is that instead of pledging money, supporters pledge ‘actions’ that will help to fight climate change. This is an unsupported trip so riders need to be fit and competent in remote areas and able to ride long distances (they expect to average 80 – 100 kilometres a day).
The organiser Peter Foot says “I’m riding a bicycle from Melbourne to Canberra, a distance of 1000km, whilst carrying an inflatable elephant. I’m doing this to bring attention to the climate crisis (the elephant in the room), and to start conversations about this most pressing of issues. It’s the largest threat to our way of life, yet it is rarely discussed in the media, or in polite company, and I want to change this.”
Grand Departure: 9am, Saturday 13th of October, Federation Square Melbourne.