Back in September, I was invited to the Outdoor Industry Association’s annual Rendezvous conference. The last session of the conference was to be an information session from surrogates representing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s respective camps, to explain what their candidate would do for our industry, my industry where I make my living. Clinton was represented by Senator Mark Udall. Donald Trump’s surrogate never showed up.
I’m angry, because the policies that are to be enacted are in direct contention with the industry that I’ve devoted my life to. It affects climate, the use of public lands, manufacturing, and diverse group of races and ethnicities who are my friends, fellow bloggers, and peers. I refuse, however, to wallow in ‘What could have beens’ and ‘What may be’s’. In the next four years, the outdoor industry, our industry, is going to face challenges, from climate change to land rights, that are going to shape the future of our open spaces.
The task of protecting our open spaces, which helps feed tourism, local economies for entire towns, and creates jobs, has been denied and ignored by the now fully conservative Congress, and it is now up to the public to protect where we play. The following is a list of organizations dedicated to the conservation of parks and climate. Support is needed now more than ever, and we will not stop fighting for our lands, our energy, or our climate.
Protect Our Winters – Worldwide advocacy group of over 130,000+ supporters to bring attention to climate change by highlighting the economic advantage of the outdoor sports industry.
Outdoor Alliance – Washington DC-based organization lobbying for responsible management of public lands by uniting the outdoor recreation community under a single voice.
Outdoor Industry Association – Organization which promotes the economic and business benefits of the outdoor industry while supporting the conservation and protection of public lands.
The Conservation Alliance – Organization to engage the outdoor industry to protect wild lands for their habitat and recreational purposes. They have been responsible for the protection of 45-million acres.
Access Fund – Advocacy group to protect America’s climbing lands. In 2015 alone, the Access Fund was responsible for the rescue and preservation of 229 individual climbing areas.
Sierra Club – Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been America’s grassroots environmental organization, historically crucial in passing the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Endangered Species Acts.
American Hiking Society – Organization that helps protect hiking trails, natural areas, and the environment.
American Alpine Club – Storied American Mountaineering Club established in 1902. It’s mission is to band together climbers to promote conservation, have respect for where we climb, and provide a unified voice.
Winter Wildlands Alliance – Dedicated to the promotion and conservation of winter lands. Responsible for the protection of over three million acres of public lands.
Camber Outdoors – Paving the way for women’s equality in the outdoors, from the business side to the backcountry.
Latino Outdoors – Advocating for more Latino influence in the outdoors by connecting Latino communities with outdoor spaces as well as supporting proper conservation and stewardship of public lands.