News from our member organizations

Recent Victories Show Momentum for Fighting Wildlife Trafficking

News from Conservation International - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 8:00am
On World Wildlife Day, learn how this important issue is finally getting the recognition it needs.

Over 125 Groups Urge President Obama to Protect Bees and Other Pollinators from Pesticides

News from Beyond Pesticides - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 9:01pm
(Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2015) Over 125 conservation, beekeeping, food safety, religious, ethnic and farming advocacy groups are urging President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take swift and meaningful action to protect honey bees and other pollinators from toxic pesticides. Groups, including Beyond Pesticides, raised their voice through a letter sent in […]

Washington Bike Summit: Featured Speaker Martha Roskowski

“There are bike lanes, and then there are bike lanes. The best have something the […]

The post Washington Bike Summit: Featured Speaker Martha Roskowski appeared first on Washington Bikes.

Partial Victory as Hershey’s Announces Move Away from GMO Ingredients

News from Beyond Pesticides - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 9:01pm
(Beyond Pesticides, March 2, 2015) Amid growing consumer backlash, Hershey’s has announced first steps toward moving to non-genetically engineered (GE) ingredients in its chocolate. The news comes in response to tens of thousands of Facebook posts, emails, and telephone calls from consumers who took part in a campaign calling on Hershey’s to move to non-GE […]

On Lobby Day, Hikers from 26 Districts Champion Outdoor Access, Trail Funding

News from Washington Trails Association - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:05pm

Working for trails isn't limited to log-outs and gravel-grading. Sometimes, in order to serve our favorite places, hikers have to trade their boots for a business suit.

On Tuesday, more than 60 hikers from all over the state joined us in Olympia to tell legislators why funding for trails and equitable access to the outdoors are critical issues for Washington.

Investing in Washington’s trails and public lands benefits nearly every resident of our state: 90 percent of Washingtonians walk, hike or climb each year in our state’s great outdoors.

Fostering the next generation of hiker advocates

We want to show hikers that advocacy is an easy -- and incredibly important -- way to protect the trails they love. So, we began the day with some advocacy training and a conversation about what our elected leaders can do about issues affecting outdoor access.

In addition to the many adult advocates, this year's lobby day also featured the largest group of youth advocates we've ever had!

Almost a dozen future-voters joined us for a day of meetings with their elected officials. They ranged from seasoned youth trail volunteers to families to an environmental club from Granite Falls High School.

Funding the outdoors: ‘It’s not about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about a great idea.’

A great idea. That’s how Senator Kevin Ranker (D-40) described putting an advisor focused on outdoor recreation in the Governor’s office. The bill (SB 5843) Ranker was discussing would also fully fund the No Child Left Inside program, which provides grants for outdoor education and outdoor recreation programs for youth.

Senator Ranker was also joined by Senator Linda Evans-Parlette (R-12) and Representatives Steve Tharinger (D-24) and J.T. Wilcox (R-2) at a briefing in support of the bill.

WTA advocates made up more than half of the 90+ citizens who signed on in support of the bill at a hearing held Tuesday.

We also spoke to legislators about other priorities for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts:

  • Expanding the outdoor recreation economy in Washington state with SB 5843.
  • Strong funding for Washington State Parks through the operating ($159 million) and capital ($91.6 million) budget requests.
  • $97 million for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, the amount outlined in the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition’s budget request.
  • Washington Department of Natural Resource’s requests for recreation funding: $6.9 million – Sustainable Recreation; $2 million – Teanaway Community Forest; and $3.1 million – Natural Areas Program.
How you can speak up for trails

The legislative session is in full swing now and with bill deadlines quickly approaching, we need you to contact your elected officials.

You can continue to be involved by:

With your support, we will make sure all Washingtonians have equal access to trails.

The hiker advocates gathered at Olympia's sundial in front of the capitol building before meeting with legislators.

BLM Resource Management Plan Misses the Mark, Puts Mesa Verde National Park at Risk

News from National Parks Conservation - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:03pm
Statement by Vanessa Mazal, Colorado Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association

More than 20,000 People Stand Up for Desert Wildlife, National Parks

News from National Parks Conservation - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 10:10am
Comments on DRECP Call for a Cleaner Path towards Renewable Energy Future

Making the Links: February 2015

News from Conservation International - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 8:00am
Our new blog series explores the links between people and nature that news stories are leaving out.

NRDC Sues EPA to Force Action on Monarch Butterflies

News from NRDC - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:00pm
WASHINGTON (February 27, 2015)—The Natural Resources Defense Council today accused the Environmental Protection Agency of dragging its feet on efforts to save the imperiled monarch butterfly and filed suit to force the agency to act.

New Research Links Bee-Killing Insecticide to Monarch Butterfly Deaths

News from Beyond Pesticides - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 9:01pm
(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2015) New research from the University of Minnesota presents some of the first evidence linking the bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids to monarch butterfly deaths. The study finds that milkweed plants, which monarch butterflies need to survive, may also retain neonicotinoids from nearby plants, making milkweed toxic to monarchs. Monarch population […]

Summer Break is Coming: Apply to Join a Youth Volunteer Vacation Today

News from Washington Trails Association - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 4:10pm

Want to go camping and hiking with a group of teens from all over Washington? If you're a high school student between the ages of 14 - 18 and you love to be outdoors, try a Youth Volunteer Vacation with Washington Trails Association this summer.

Along with exploring gorgeous places, WTA will teach you how the trails you love to hike on came to be. During the day, you'll learn all about building and maintaining hiking trails in safe, teamwork-oriented environments. In the evening, you can look forward to awesome food and fun times in camp with your crew and your crew leaders.

We're taking applications on a rolling basis, but there are still plenty of trips with room on them. See the ones listed below to find out where you could be spending a week of your summer.

#girlpower: building trails in Mount Rainier National Park

Join a bunch of awesome ladies as you work on a gorgeous trail near Washington's most famous mountain. You'll be working on a trail WTA has a long history with. The Glacier Basin Trail is a place WTA has spent a lot of time on, and with views like this, it's not hard to see why we love it so much.

>> Apply now to go on the Glacier Basin Youth Volunteer Vacation.

Work for a week with a group of awesome ladies in one of Washington's most beautiful parks. Photos from WTA archives, Glacier Basin by David Hagen.

#adventuretime: hiking to ridiculously gorgeous worksites

Don't forget your camera for this one. The PCT at Indian Pass is renowned for its beauty, and the less well-known North Fork Skykomish Trail has beautiful, sweeping panoramas. Andrews Creek, in the Pasayten Wilderness, suffered wildfire damage last year, but burned stands of trees are conducive to wildflowers, and the contrast of black tree trunks against bright wildflowers make for great #latergrams.

>> Apply now to go on one of these adventurous trips.

Join a youth volunteer vacation today to get some great backcountry shots this summer. Photos by Martha Willard, Jon Lee, and WTA archives.

#luxury: glamping at trailheads across the state

OK, so it's not quite glamping, but for these trips, base camp is at the trailhead, which means you can bring a few more items to make camp more cozy. You'll still be hiking to the work site every day, but all you have to bring is your day pack and lunch.

In the North Cascades, the North Fork Sauk River trip will have you relaxing in lush greenery, while at Tiffany Lake you'll be in the rolling Pasayten Wilderness, camping and working along a trail that boats a glittering alpine lake and brightly colored wildflowers.

>> Apply now to enjoy a luxurious base camp on one of these trips.

Join a frontcountry youth volunteer vacation and enjoy a luxe campsite. Photos from WTA archives.

#diy: woodworking in the forest

If you love DIY projects or crafting's your thing, one of these trips would be a great way to expand your set of skills. We'll be building trail structures in the Olympics this summer, and you'd have the opportunity to help!

The Wynoochee Lakeshore trip will be replacing handrails on a bridge in order to keep hikers safe, and the crew at West Fork Humptulips will build a puncheon (basically a low bridge over a boggy section of trail).

>> Apply now to get those DIY skills in shape on the Olympic Peninsula.

Get carpentry experience and flex those skills on our youth volunteer vacations on the Olympic Peninsula this summer. Photos from WTA archives.

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Learn more about WTA's Youth Volunteer Vacation Program

Watch a short video about past volunteers' experiences on Youth Volunteer Vacations.

More Resources

Call for New Trails in Clark County Parks

News from Washington Trails Association - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 3:20pm

Clark County residents, would you like more hiking and walking trails like the Camas Lily field at Lacamas Park, the Cedar Loop at Whipple Creek, or the new Vancouver Lake trail being built by WTA volunteers?

The Clark County and the Parks Advisory Board are working together to update the long range plan that would guide the purchase of land for parks, trails and other recreation facilities. Your input will help shape the plans priorities.

Make your voice count by taking the parks survey, writing a letter or attending one of the open houses below.

A pen and Pulaski: they both help build trails

Join WTA in advocating for access to high quality trails that connect people of all ages and abilities to the natural world; trails that offer opportunities exercise, relaxation and active transportation. The pen and keyboard can be just as mighty as the shovel and Pulaski when it comes to building new trails, so speak up in the survey or with a letter!

County residents can participate by taking an online community survey that will help set priorities and determine how limited resources are spent. The survey takes only about 5 minutes to complete.

Attend an open house

In addition, three open houses have been scheduled on the long-range parks plan:

  • 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3 La Center Community Center, 1000 E. Fourth St.
  • 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4 Camas-Washougal Fire Station 42, 4321 N.W. Parker St., Camas.
  • 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 5 Three Creeks Community Library, 800-C N.E. Tenney Road.

Tell BPA to fulfill its energy efficiency commitments

News from NW Energy Coalition - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 2:40pm
Your help is needed to bolster Bonneville Power Administration’s commitment to energy efficiency. BPA is examining energy efficiency financing issues as part of a supplemental budget process and has floated two troublesome proposals: one to cut $10 million from the efficiency budget over the next rate period; the other to shift from capitalizing energy efficiency to expensing it. BPA needs to hear from stakeholders throughout the region that both of these ideas run counter to the region’s best interests.

2014 National River Cleanup Photo Contest Winner!

News from American Rivers - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 7:00am
Lisa Cochran, Cinncinnati OH, Ohio River Sweep | Jerry Schulte

Let’s give a big round of applause from our computer screens to Lisa Cochran, everyone who pitched in to help plan, and all of those who volunteered at the 2014 Ohio River Sweep for winning the 2014 National River Cleanup Photo Contest!  The Ohio River Sweep is one of the longest lasting cleanups we see in the country. Let’s learn about how they got their start.

Prior to 1989, Jeanne Ison, the Public Information Manager of ORSANCO (Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission) was sampling the Ohio River downstream of the Cincinnati area, with fellow ORSANCO staff. While sampling, Jeanne was disturbed by the volume of trash and debris that had collected along the shoreline. This litter unnecessarily contributed to a belief that many people in the Ohio Valley held that the Ohio River was “dirty” and polluted. ORSANCO had been working to improve the water quality of the Ohio River for 50 years at that time, but this belief was prevalent among many people. To address the litter problem and bring people to the shores of the Ohio River to see the water quality first-hand, Jeanne Ison decided to coordinate a cleanup event.

The first year of the Ohio River Sweep covered a 150 mile stretch of river from Cincinnati, Ohio to Ashland, Kentucky. The cleanup has grown and in 2014 covered 3000 miles of shoreline along the Ohio River and its tributaries across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois and engaged 17,000 volunteers!

In 2015 Ohio River Sweep organizers plan on hosting over 100 cleanup sites and distributing 17,000 t-shirts, 1,000 posters, and 20,000 trash bags!

It’s time to start planning your river cleanup for 2015! Register with National River Cleanup here and use our Organizer’s Handbook for a step-by-step guide to organizing your event!

China’s one-year ban on ivory imports is a big step forward – but more reform is needed

News from NRDC - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:00pm
NEW YORK (February 26, 2015) — In an important recognition of the role Chinese citizens’ appetite for ivory has played in helping to fuel the slaughter of African elephants, Chinese officials today announced a one-year ban on African ivory carving imports, effective today. A brief statement on the State Forestry Administration said it would halt administrative approval for ivory imports until Feb. 26, 2016.

Emergency Use of Bee-Killing Pesticide Approved for Florida Citrus

News from Beyond Pesticides - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 9:01pm
(Beyond Pesticides, February 26, 2015) Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted Florida citrus growers an emergency exemption to use the bee-killing pesticide clothianidin to control Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a pest that causes “citrus greening,” a devastating citrus plant disease. Clothianidin, which is not currently registered for use on citrus, is part of a […]

Idaho Statesman guest opinion: Idaho needs a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

News from NW Energy Coalition - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 1:59pm
Ken Miller of Snake River Alliance eloquently makes the case for a greenhouse gas reduction plan in Idaho. Miller points out that so long as Idaho utilities burn coal, their customers will be on the hook for inevitable regulatory costs. If Idaho doesn't create its own emissions reduction plan, the state will face legal costs and the federal government may write the plan instead. Ken Miller will be one of our featured panelists at the NW Clean & Affordable Energy Conference May 29-30 in Boise.