This post is officially about a month late, but well, here we go.
On May 10th, I had the pleasure of attending a reception as part of Climb the Hill, a lobbying event organized by the American Alpine Club and Access Fund. A number of professional climbers and skiers with these organizations had a number of meetings with lawmakers, lobbying in support of public land conservation among other important issues. Access Fund posted information about the event online and I had the awesome chance to attend the reception.
The issues as outlined on www.climbthehill.org
The Importance of Public Lands to Climbers
The Antiquities Act and Bears Ears National Monument
A Strong Recreation Economy
Funding for Land Management Agencies
Smart Energy Policy on Public Lands
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Improved Facilitated Access to Public Lands
It was incredible that these amazing athletes could take time out of their busy schedule to come to DC and fight for what they believe in.
This is the crowd of people I belong with! Speaking about your passion while also making a difference!
I was so happy to be there, to be in the same room as these athletes, and to here about the work they are doing to support public land access.
Alex Honnold talking about his love and support for the Yosemite Valley.
One of my biggest role models in the outdoor industry wasn’t up on the stage for the reception, but in fact he was sitting just a few seats away from me.
Brody Leven is a professional skier and climber who also spends much of his time supporting “environmental stewardship, public lands advocacy, and avalanche education.”
Brody is sponsored by a number of outdoor companies from Black Diamond, Garmin, GoPro, as well as many others.
I met Brody at the Climate March last spring while he was in D.C. marching with Protect Our Winters.
Brody Leven is a role-model to me. He’s extremely reflective about his outdoor pursuits, and connects them to important issues in our society. Although he is getting sponsored to climb or ski, he’s really doing so much more for the sport. He has met with the Outdoor Industry Association, met with lawmakers in DC, met with lawmakers in Utah, and has spoken at public events in support of curbing climate change, and to keep our public lands public.
Well this kind of made my week…
So while everyone else was trying to get a selfie with Alex Honnold, I asked Brody if he had a moment to talk. I told him how much of a fan I was, and how important I think his work is. I very much think he isn’t getting enough credit for his environmental activism. But Brody is a very humble person, and told me he was happy not to be the center of attention all the time.
I was expecting Brody to chat with me for 5 minutes or so. But no, he spoke with me for nearly 45 minutes.
I told him all about my trip to South America and some of the climbs I had done. Let’s just say being called a badass by one of your role models is a pretty incredible feeling.
We talked a lot about what we can do to support environmental activism. As skiers, climbers, and hikers, how can we protect the lands we care so much about.
Brody talked about the important analogies of climbing.
“If climbing was just going up a rock, than I wouldn’t do it.”
And that was when Brody and I really connected.
- Environmental stewardship
And the list goes on and on.
Brody is making a difference using his passion and outdoor experience, why can’t I?
I already know why I should make i difference.
I have a passion, and I’d like to share it with others.
I can’t explained how thankful and happy I am for Brody to sit down and chat with me. He gave me plenty of ideas and tons of inspiration. He told me to keep writing and sharing my outdoor experiences with others.
I also had the opportunity to talk with others supporting public lands conversation. It definitely was empowering for me to speak with others much older with me that have been working on these issues for a number of years.
Brody encouraged me to keep writing and keep sharing. So that’s why I’m writing this now.
As many of you know, I’m heading to the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO to study environmental sciences with a focus in climate and policy. As I continue to advance my outdoor pursuits I will also continue to advance my pursuits to support public lands, curb climate change, and bring awareness to the incredible world around of us.
And from one public land owner to another, here’s what YOU can do.
-Urge your representative to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Here is some information about the impact the LWCF has had on Maryland.
(From the Climb the hill website.)
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of our nation’s most successful conservation tools, but—without action from Congress—this popular, bipartisan program will expire in September. The LWCF was created in 1965 with $900 million authorized per year for the acquisition of land and water to protect natural treasures, with an emphasis on recreation. Funds can be used to acquire federal land, as well as land for state or local governments through the State Matching Grants program. LWCF funds have been used to purchase or improve well over a dozen climbing areas, and the program has proven to be a critical way to improve our public lands system.”
-Call your congressional representative to oppose the National Monument and Creation and Protection Act. The title is misleading, this bill would demolish the Antiquities Act.
–VOTE!!! MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!!!
Primaries are coming up soon. Support candidates that are committed to following the guidelines of the Paris Agreement. Although it has been a year since Trump pulled out of the Agreement, a number of leaders across the country are “filling the void.”
There are plenty of ways to get involved with environmental activism. These are just ways to begin. Before the Maryland Primary I will do a ‘guide’ to environmental issues close to home.
Thanks for reading!
Go take a walk outside!