activism, inspiration & insight


What’s happening and where. How to get involved. Profiles.

some favourites –

a new grassroots movement to change the way ski areas are run

“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

“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”.

For the full announcement, check here.

Protect Our Winters
POW 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.
We believe that to really effect things, consumer behavior needs to change and that the power of an actively participating and united community can have a direct influence on climate change, now and for generations behind us”.
Check them here.

For details on the new Australian chapter, also check here.

They were established by the legendary snow boarder Jeremy Jones. Check his rant about coal mining in Alaska here.


‘Don’t Ski Coalbird’ Boycott

Snowbird is a well known ski resort in Utah

It has recently become embroiled in controvesy because Snowbird owner and outspoken advocate for environmental sustainability, Dick Bass, is investing in Alaska’s largest proposed coal strip mine. According to activist group Peaceful Uprising,  it will destroy the local salmon fishery and contribute to quickly advancing climate catastrophe. It says that the the coal mine is “environmentally barbaric and a glaring hypocrisy for Bass”. Peaceful Uprising is leading a campaign to boycott Snowbird, putting pressure on Bass to disinvest in the Chuitna Coal Mine.

The campaign is largely based on asking people who normally ski at SkiBrid to refuse to do so, until Bass announces he will disinvest.
Details here.

Quit Coal

Quit Coal is the awesome climate campaign at Friends of the Earth in Melbourne.

Quit Coal is a Melbourne-based collective which campaigns against expansion of the coal industry in Victoria. We believe this is important because building new coal infrastructure locks in decades of dirty, old technology, when we should be moving towards clean, renewable energy.

Six Degrees: non-violent direct action in the campaign against coal use in Queensland.

Still Wild, Still Threatened (working to protect Tasmania’s southern forests)

image: upper florentine Valley - Kip Nunn

The Just Transition tour.

End mountain top removal (USA)

This is an inspiring campaign from the States. Mountaintop removal is a radical form of coal mining in which entire mountains are literally blown up — and it is happening in the ‘States on a scale that is almost unimaginable.

Also check out Mountain Justice.
Tree Fight.
Tree Fight is an initiative to inform the public of the plight of the whitebark pines of the Greater Yellowstone Area in North America, and to search for solutions to prevent their extinction. These high elevation forests are at grave risk from pine beetles, who are killing trees as a result of warmer winters, possibly caused by global warming.

Check their website here.

the Acropolis & Geryon, TAS


Where would we be without inspiration? Who are our elders out bush and also in the movement? What sustains us? Where do we find hope? Profiles, raves, insights.

Mountain Journal Interviews.
These are interviews with a range of folks who have made their home in the mountains or who generally have an obsession with the Australian High Country.

some groups & sites that inspire me:

Clean Ocean Foundation
If you’re one of those strange people that like your water in liquid form, you might want to get involved with the COF. Details here.

Patagonia’s environmental activism.

take to the hills!
Take to the Hills! is a Douglas, Arizona based project that collects clothing, food, water, blankets, building supplies, medical supplies, school supplies and other items then delivers them directly to communities in the Sierra Madres, Sierra Alta, Rio Sonora and other regions of northern Mexico.

The Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition
The SACC produces an annual report card on  how US-based resorts manage environmental issues, in order to help skiers and snowboarders get a more accurate and easy to understand picture of the environmental impacts of their favorite ski area’s operations.
The Ski Area Environmental Report Card is a non-industry, independent mechanism that gives all outdoor and mountain recreational users, a way to assess the environmental performance and policies of their favorite ski areas and resorts. By making eco-friendly business choices, you can encourage the improvement of environmental business policies and practices.
The report cards outlines the worst and best 10 resorts and  the following categories:
* Habitat Protection
* Protecting Watersheds
* Addressing Global Climate Change
* Environmental Practices and Policies.

Sweetgrass productions: What can you say, this site has amazing images of skiing, boarding and ‘no boarding’ from Hokkaido.

Wend magazine. From Portland, Oregon, a nice and visually superb outing into the terrain of adventure, inspiration, travel and activism.
Wild magazine. Australia’s own backpack adventure magazine, now close to its 30th year.

Winter dreaming: I couldn’t count the number of times that I have hunkered down on a hot summer’s evening and watched the opening and closing sequences of this visually stunning celebration of telemark skiing in the Australian Alps. If those scenes don’t inspire you, unplug the life support now!

Winter Wildlands Alliance
The US-based Winter Wildlands Alliance is “the first and only national organization of its kind for human-powered snow sport enthusiasts and winter wildland conservationists. Our aim is to ensure a safe, quiet, tranquil experience for every winter wildlands adventurer, now and always”.

The Range Life. Not totally sure what this is about (mostly just getting out in it in the Pacific NorthWest, North America, BUT the current images of whitewater kayaking are out of control.

burnt snow gums, Bogong High Plains, VIC

Hot spots/ current campaigns


  • A ‘skyway’ on Mount Buffalo?

[June 2010]
The Alpine Shire in north eastern Victoria is proposing a plan for a chairlift to the top of Mount Buffalo, one of the state’s most significant national parks. If successful, this project would have a significant and negative impact on the iconic reserve and set a worrying precedent for major new developments within the national park estate.

There are details and an action alert here.

  • Hazelwood actions 2010

In early October 2010, several hundred people descended on the Hazelwood power station – one of the dirtiest and most polluting in the ‘developed’ world – for the second annual community rally.

This year they ‘built’ a mock solar thermal power station to show whats possible with the technology we already have.

Photos from Friends of the Earth here.

The Switch Off Hazelwood site is here.

  • Get Reflex out of our forests (VIC)

Launched in February 2010, this consumer awareness campaign is calling on the Maryvale Mill, and parent company Nippon Paper to cease purchasing logs from high conservation value forests, water catchments and threatened species habitat to the east of Melbourne. The power of paper retailers, suppliers and consumers is vital in telling the company that our forests are more important than logging for paper.

Details here.

The alternatives are there – It is time to develop an Australian wholly-recycled and plantation-based paper industry.

  • the Radioactive Exposure Tour is on again – an adventure with heart

Friends of the Earth is hosting the annual Radioactive Exposure Tour from May 14-23, 2010. Since the 1980s, these tours have exposed thousands of people first-hand to the realities of ‘radioactive racism’ and to the environmental impacts of the nuclear industry.

After travelling from Melbourne to Adelaide then heading north to the SA desert, we’ll visit BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine at Roxby Downs, the largest uranium deposit in the world. Friends of the Earth is currently working on a campaign to have the SA Roxby Downs Indenture Act repealed.

the 2009 tour

We’ll watch sunset over Lake Eyre and see the Mound Springs – oases which are fed by the underlying Great Artesian Basin and host unique flora and fauna. Hopefully we will get to spend time with Arabunna elder Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Co-President of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance.

We’ll hear first-hand accounts of the British nuclear bomb tests from Maralinga veteran and whistle-blower Avon Hudson (also a Co-President of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance). We’ll learn about ongoing WMD proliferation risks arising from the uranium mining and export industry.

After stopping for a swim at Coward Springs, we’ll head east and camp in the beautiful Gammon Ranges and visit the not-so-beautiful Beverley uranium mine. This mine uses the in-situ leach uranium mining method, which leaves underground aquifers polluted with a toxic cocktail of radionuclides, heavy metals and acid.

We’ll visit the magnificent Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and hear about the current struggle to prevent uranium mining there, and we’ll camp in the Sanctuary and in one of the beautiful gorges further south.

Participants get to experience affinity groups, consensus decision making, desert camping and vegetarian, communal cooking while travelling to some of the most beautiful and ecologically significant environments in Australia.

For further details, check here.

Lake Eyre, image: Jessie Boylan


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