Getting Green Done (credit: Auden Schendler)
The speaker for the bi-annual The Conservation Alliance breakfast was Auden Schendler from the Aspen, Colorado. Schendler is the VP of sustainability for the Aspen Ski Corporation, but has also taught school, cooked burgers, insulated trailers, led adventure travel outtings, built goose nest in Alaska, sorted junk for an auction, and hitchhiked around U.S. His presentation was on 'Gnomes & Brook Trout' that led off with a bit of family history that began when his 8-year old son asked for a garden gnome.
The author of Getting Green Done was often hilarious but also deadly serious---that everyone has a role and responsibility to play in climate change. Using examples from family, work, and recreation, Schendler encouraged his outdoor audience of manufacturers, retailers, and their employees to envision efforts to proactively address this existential threat. His reflections on sustainability received a standing ovation from the filled-to-capacity room of TCA attendees.
The Alliance managers also used the meeting as an opportunity to detail what the organization had accomplished in 2016. TCA membership comes from manufacturers and retailers in the $600 million outdoor industry whose dues go directly to support field conservation projects. In 2016, their project achievements included: protecting nearly 5.5 million acres as national monuments and preserves; saving 19 free flowing river miles; removing or halting 2 proposed dams; the designation of 5 marine reserves; and the purchase of 1 climbing area. The Executive Director of the Alliance spoke to the need for vigilent efforts to continue working for protection of public lands for everyones benefit, particularly as newly elected state and federal officials may not be as concerned about conservation and climate matters. Individuals can help by directly supporting the Alliance but the organization has also created a new approach for anyone to receive updates of on their projects. You can do so by phone texting: OUTDOOR to 52886.
What better way to begin 2017 than by supporting people who work 24/7 to accomplish such real results. There is much more conservation and sustainability work ahead.