SNOW Guide Editor’s Report

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Protect Our Winters on our warming earth

By Diane Rudholm

Photo at right: Diane Rudholm, Managing Editor

Close your eyes and imagine the best snow day of your life. Maybe you were hucking cliffs with friends, snow-tubing with family or sipping coffee while snow drifted outside.

For me, the memory is being out for a ski by myself near Twisp, Wash. The world seemed to be made of quiet snow and sunlight and endless mountains. And there is no question in my mind that calm solitude is an experience worth keeping around for future generations.

It’s almost impossible to go a day without hearing about climate change and the warming earth. Winter as we know it could very well disappear, taking our best snow-day memories with it.

That’s where nonprofit Protect Our Winters (POW) comes into the picture.

CEO and world-renowned big-mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones started POW in 2010 with a mission to “engage and mobilize the winter sports community to lead the fight against climate change [through] educational initiatives, advocacy and the support of community-based projects.”

To that end, POW has partnered with some of the world’s most well-known snow-sport athletes, brands and organizations and created initiatives like the Riders Alliance and POWSEVEN to help people learn about climate change and become effective stewards of our planet.

The Riders Alliance is a group of high-profile skiers and snowboarders who are taking the lead in environmental education and advocacy. Of the almost 50 members, 12 are from Northwestern U.S. and B.C., including Pep Fujas of Ashland, Ore. and Ingrid Backstrom of Seattle, Wash.

POWSEVEN is an online program that asks participants to take seven simple pledges each month to raise awareness and change human activities that have been shown to affect the earth’s climate. Steps include writing to elected officials, keeping up with news about climate change, talking about sustainability with businesses and reducing your carbon footprint.

In 2012, POW opened its first regional chapter, which serves the Pacific Northwest. Located in Seattle, the chapter has had a special focus on local coal export issues in Bellingham and Vancouver, Wash.

If you’d like to learn more about POW and its partners, go to www.protectourwinters.org

Climate Change Resources

www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate
www.thinkprogress.org/climate/issue
www.wunderground.com/climate
www.grist.org
www.goodguide.com

Diane Rudholm is the managing editor and social media coordinator of OutdoorsNW. She enjoys downhill and Nordic skiing but could probably be convinced to hop on a snowboard. Send email comments to Diane or @OutdoorsNWmag.

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