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Information on National Park Entrance Fees increase to $70 Comment period closes November 23, 2018

$70 to visit Grand Canyon?  There is a 30 days comment period underway right now where the public (and that means you) can weigh in on a significant entrance fee proposal that would affect a number of national parks including Grand Canyon. See this link for details and to access the website for submitting comments. https://www.nps.gov/…/1…/10-24-2017-fee-changes-proposal.htm

Will lower income and under-served populations be priced out? Shouldn’t national parks be affordable and accessible to everyone?  But how do we pay for the massive maintenance backlog that exists in our national parks?  Our parks belong to ALL Americans, not just those who visit them, and our administration should be boosting park budgets, not cutting them. Congress should also support the bipartisan legislation introduced specifically to address the NPS maintenance backlog — the National Parks Legacy Act (HR 2584 and SB 751) which is currently pending.

Also, please read these related blogs from our good friends at the National Parks Conservation Association:

https://www.npca.org/articles/1669-administration-proposes-massive-park-fee-increase

https://www.npca.org/articles/1508-sens-warner-portman-introduce-bipartisan-legislation-to-address-national

“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for some families to visit,” NPCA president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.”

 

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Mount Everest Biogas Project wins UIAA Mountain Protection Award

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UIAA News Release.
22, October 2017
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UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD WINNER
MOUNT EVEREST BIOGAS PROJECT

HEALING THE HUMAN IMPACT ON EVEREST

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Mount Everest Biogas Project was announced as the overall winner of the 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award during the UIAA General Assembly in Shiraz on Saturday 21 October.

The United States-based project is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that has designed an environmentally sustainable solution to the impact of human waste on Mt. Everest and other high altitude locations. The Mount Everest Biogas Project (MEBP) is the fifth winner of the annual Award joining projects from Ethiopia, Tajikistan, Nepal and France.

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“The Mount Everest Biogas Project is a deserving winner of the Award,” explained UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President Dr Carolina Adler. “Waste in the mountains is a real problem that calls for implementation of solutions to address and test it under often very challenging environmental and social conditions.”

Stephen Goodwin, member of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, a vice-president of the Alpine Club (UK), and one of the Award assessors, added: “The Mount Everest Biogas Project project perfectly meets the aims of our Commission in that it is clearing up the waste of mountaineers and trekkers in an iconic location. There are multiple benefits for the “downstream” Sherpa population (notably less polluted water) and providing the project proves a success this technology can be applied to other high altitude mountain locations where climbers and/or trekkers have created a waste disposal problem.”

For the Award winners themselves, this is recognition for seven years of intense work and development towards helping resolve the major issue of ‘what to do with human waste in an extreme environment’. Garry Porter, one of the project’s co-founders, explains the potential benefits of winning the Award: “The Mountain Protection Award is a huge morale boost to our volunteer team members because it acknowledges their efforts in addressing a solution to the issue of human waste in mountains. The prestige of an endorsement by the UIAA will provide a major boost to our fundraising effort.”

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Video: Garry Porter, Mount Everest Biogas Project on winning the Award

MEBP: PROJECT BACKGROUND

Mt. Everest boasts a massive climbing industry, with hundreds of climbers making the trip up the Khumbu Valley each year. This tourism, which has led to significant financial gain for the Nepalese, has also left a trail of human waste that has given way to environmental and public health concerns.

MEBP proposes to use an anaerobic biogas digester to treat the human waste, and outlines the project management solution to do so. The biogas digester will eliminate dumping of solid human waste at Gorak Shep and destroy pathogenic fecal coliforms that threaten the health of the local communities – lessening the impact of the tourism industry on a mountain that is sacred to the Nepalese. Initiated in 2010 in affiliation with Engineers without Borders and Architects without Borders, the MEBP system technology has been designed and tested and the team has brought the project to construction-ready. Groundbreaking is planned for spring 2018 and an operational date slated for winter 2019.

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“We have strong support from the Nepalese organizations along with the Gorak Shep tea house owners,” adds Porter in relation to the project’s next steps. “Our engineering and architectural design is sound: and we have high confidence in it. It is now time to put theory to test.”

Each year, thousands of climbers and support staff populate Everest Base Camp for several months during the climbing seasons, producing approximately 12,000 kg of solid human waste. In 1991, the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (“SPCC”), was created with the responsibility for protecting the environment of Mt. Everest. Since then, SPCC has developed waste management strategies for the removal and disposal of human trash. However, there has been no viable solution of how to deal with human waste. The current practice is to pack it down to the nearest teahouse village of Gorak Shep from base camp in barrels and dump the waste into open pits, just above the flow of the Khumbu Glacier that feeds the lower valley. The untreated waste in these unlined pits poses a danger both to the environment and to the public health of the Sherpa people who live in the region.

The Mt. Everest Biogas Project will address this environmental and health hazard in a sustainable manner and serve as a model for other regions that must deal with similar waste problems at high-altitude, regardless if it is caused by climbers or local communities. When implemented, MEBP will: eliminate the dumping of solid human waste at the teahouse village of Gorak Shep; reduce reliance on burning wood or yak dung for heating and the resultant respiratory and ocular health risks; reduce deforestation of the areas limited wood resources; and reduce risk of water contamination by fecal coliform. The system will convert waste into methane, a renewable natural gas, and a reduced pathogen effluent.

With funds raised through the MEBP, this project will build the first operating biogas digester in a cold climate. Once the biogas digester is established and running in the Khumbu valley, the design will be made available to the public so that other similar mountain climates in need of a sustainable waste management system can use this design in their own replications.

“The fact that this is an all volunteer design team compounded the challenge,” explains Porter. “Everyone on the team believes that they can make a difference, but they all have a “real life”: a demanding job, family and friends and a life outside of work. My previous experience in program management did not prepare me for the necessity of nudging, coaxing and sometimes pleading to keep the project moving forward. And yet, some of these same volunteers have spent seven years on the project. We could not have done it without their time and talent.”

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This human element of teamwork and commitment has been crucial to the project’s success and Porter’s advice for aspiring projects is to: “Find the best people who truly believe in what you are doing and never ever give up. Provide the vision of what you want to achieve and let the team members use their talents to achieve it. There will be many obstacles along the way, but the people you meet will all share the same vision. The mountains with which our planet has been blessed must be protected and preserved.”

Further details on the MEBP can be found both on the dedicated nominee page and on the official project website.

The UIAA thanks the MP Award and Assessment Team for their commitment and expertise throughout the course of the 2017 Award.

Application for the 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award opens in March 2018.

* All images and video courtesy Mount Everest Biogas Project

22 NOMINEES: 2017 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD

Argentina: Mujer Montaña
Mountains for Life; Cordillera Blanca, Our Ecological Footprint

Argentina: Project Aconcagua
Implementation of human waste disposal measures at base and high altitude camps

Austria: Alpine Pearls
Supporting environmentally friendly travel

Azerbaijan: FAIREX
Less In, More Out

Cambodia: Wildlife Alliance
Community-based ecotourism in the Cardamon Mountain Range, Cambodia

Colombia: Fundación Edenes de Colombia
Acceso a paraísos de Colombia (Access to Colombia’s paradises)

Colombia: Project Cordillera
Connecting adventure tourism with high mountain communities and local efforts to protect the environment

Croatia: Zagreb Speleological Union
Clean underground

International: Biosphere Expeditions
Mountain protection worldwide through citizen science and volunteering

Iran: I.R Iran Mountaineering & Sport Climbing Federation
Waste Management, Education Mountaineers and Cultural Affairs in Damavand

Ireland: Help the Hills
Tallaght: ‘Gateway to the Dublin Mountains’

Italy: Fondation Grand Paradis
I.T.E.R – Imaginer Un Transport Efficace et Responsable

Italy: Giroparchi
Discovery journey of the areas of the Gran Paradiso and Mont Avic parks

Italy: Paraloup
La Montagna che Rinasce (The Reborn mountain)

Italy: Rê.V.E. – Grand Paradis
A network of electric vehicles

Italy/Philippines: La Venta Esplorazioni Geografiche
Support for sustainable eco-tourism in Puerto Princesa underground river (Palawan, Philippines)

Latin America: Acceso PanAM
Managing human waste in advance base camps in Patagonia

Lebanon: Mount Zayan
Environmental education and accessible trails for eco-tourists

United Kingdom: Community Action Nepal
Post-earthquake recover programme in Nepalese mountain communities

United States: Clean Climbing on Denali
The removal of all waste

United States: Mount Everest Biogas Project
Environmentally sustainable solution to the impact of human waste on Mount Everest and beyond

United States: Wilderness Rock Climbing Indicators and Climbing Management Implications
Health of the climbing system as a part of wilderness character in National Park Wilderness

Further details: Mountain Protection Award
Contact: mountainprotection

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2017 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD PAST WINNERS

2013 – Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area, Ethiopia
2014 – Pamir Horse Adventure, Tajikistan
2015 – KTK-BELT Studio, Nepal
2016 – Mountain Wilderness, France
2017 – Mount Everest Biogas Project, United States

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

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UIAA OFFICE
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 23, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828news

http://mteverestbiogasproject.org/about-us/

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UIAA News Release – Final Calendar 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing season

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2018 UIAA ICE CLIMBING CALENDAR CONFIRMED
From Domžale to KirovPrepare your crampons, sharpen your ice axes and hone your figure 4s. The 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing calendar has now been finalized with competition commencing on 2 December in Domžale, Slovenia and closing three months later with the World Cup finale in Kirov, Russia. Ten different countries will host events with in excess of 400 ice climbers expected to take part in the season.“The new season promises to be bigger than ever with a number of exciting competition formats and a chance for ice climbers to test themselves in a number of challenging international, continental and youth events,” explains Carlos Teixeira, President of the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission.

The pinnacle events are the five World Cup competitions organized as part of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. The iconic dome of Saas Fee hosts the opening event before a leg in another popular European destination, Rabenstein. Back-to-back competitions in Asia will be held in Beijing, home to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games – an event the UIAA is targeting for ice climbing’s entry into the Olympic programme – and in Cheongsong, South Korea shortly before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games start in PyeongChang. Kirov will host the World Cup showdown where the identity of the male and female winner of the World Tour will be announced. The current champions are HeeYong Park (pictured below) and Hannarai Song of South Korea in lead; Vladimir Kartashev and Ekaterina Koshcheeva of Russia in speed.

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The 2018 season, partnered by The North Face Korea, introduces the European Tour with three different events held before the end of January and a final one at the end of February. Non-European athletes are eligible for these competitions which also provide an opportunity for those new to the sport and U16s. The third event of the season in Champagny/Pays des Ecrins will play host to an international combined test event where a new combined lead and speed format will be introduced. Meanwhile, youth athletes will take centrestage in Malbun, Liechtenstein during the annual World Youth Championships.

An Athlete’s Guide will be available shortly together with the 2018 Rules and Regulations. Details on livestreaming, how to follow the events and the UIAA’s production plan will be confirmed in due course.

The full calendar:

2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Saas Fee (Switzerland) – 18-20 January, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Rabenstein (Italy) – 25-27 January, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Beijing (China) – 2-4 February, 2018 (dates TBC in coming days)
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Cheongsong (South Korea) – 9-11 February, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Kirov (Russia) – 2-4 March, 2018

UIAA Continental Championships
Asian Championships, Cheongsong (South Korea) – 9-11 February, 2018**
European Championships, Kirov (Russia) – 2-4 March, 2018**
**Part of World Tour event

2018 XXIII Olympic Winter Games
PyeongChang (South Korea) – 9-25 February

UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships
Malbun (Liechtenstein), 5-7 January

European Tour
European Cup Lead Domžale (Slovenia) – 2 December, 2017
European Cup Bratislava (Slovakia) – 9 December, 2017
**European Cup Champagny/Pays des Ecrins (France) – 11-13 January, 2018
**Please note this event comprises the International Combined Test Event
European Cup Oulu (Finland) – 24-25 February, 2018

To discover more about the UIAA and Ice Climbing please visit:
http://theuiaa.org/ice-climbing

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The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

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bbc6fbb5-59ce-447d-b3a4-41f55d634d8c.png
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UIAA OFFICE
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 23, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828
news

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SIA (Snowsports Industry Association) is Hosting Town Halls Across the US

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SIA is Coming to You – Save the Date!

Join us for a winter sports town hall including SIA updates, the latest research, and some great discussion sessions hosted by SIA and select industry partners.

SIA is hitting the road to come visit you, talk about the state of the industry, the industry, recent SIA updates and to engage with our stakeholders and members for great discussions. The success or our industry and SIA is based not only on consistent communications with our membership and stakeholders, but being a good listener as well. We want to provide the best outreach and information to you personally, so please join us.

We look forward to catching up with you soon – more details to follow!

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2017 SIA Town Hall Dates:

Denver – Oct 11
Chicago – Oct 20
Toronto – Oct 26
Portland – Nov 3
Boston – Nov 10
Snowsports Industries America
Copyright © 2017 Snowsports Industries America, All rights reserved.
Snowsports Industries America ContactsOur mailing address is:

Snowsports Industries America

PO Box 680850

Park City, UT 84068

Add us to your address book

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Paddlesports Retailer, Madison Wisconsin, What a tradeshow should feel like?

I’ve just finished day one at the Paddlesports Retailer Tradeshow going on now in Madison Wisconsin. It is fantastic. I’m seeing old friends, many I’ve not seen for twenty years. I’m seeing boats that are beautiful and handcrafted that have disappeared from other tradeshows. I’m looking at accessories I did not know existed.

Over the past fifteen years the Paddlesports Industry has felt abandoned by the Outdoor Retailer Summer Tradeshow. During that period, the number of retailers attending Summer OR have continually dropped. This past show, there were probably about a dozen, but I did not count.

There are over 100 exhibitors here. People and products that I had forgotten about. An industry, paddlesports, with a big beating heart that loves water and helping people enjoy the water.

It is a feeling that I’ve not felt at tradeshows for a while, since Outdoor Retailer before it left Reno, NV. When people were excited to attend a tradeshow and looked forward to it. Maybe I’m being nostalgic or dreaming of days long gone and memories are always better than reality. But it just seems….

It is a little laid back, no one rushing down the aisles but that is possibly because you can get around easily, it is small. Larger than OR the first year it was at the Nugget in Reno, but still small. But everyone has a smile on their face. Everyone is happy to be here, and its a tradeshow.

I’ve seen orders being written. I’ve seen people showing lines after the beer came out. I’ve seen people working and product being bought.  I can’t remember the last time I saw an order being written at a tradeshow other than in the Bison Designs booth at OR.

Walking from my hotel in Madison this morning I found myself walking with a retailer. OR came up and he said he had never attended OR. I asked why. He said timing, I would lose thousands to take time off when OR is held and I can’t afford it.  Unsolicited by me. He was also a small Wisconsin retailer.

At the same time, I’ve not seen buyers form the big retailers like REI, etc., It’s a shame. If you believe that paddlesports is what shows up at OR, you are missing out on 90 exhibitors and their products you have not seen. Sure there is overlap, exhibitors, big ones, who attended OR and are here. However I think that is an indication of their support of the idea, rather than a fear of not being here.

The feelings I describe seem to be mirrored by everyone I have talked to at the show. No guarded answers on how things are going, how do you think this will work out or will you come back. All the answers were “this is great, awesome and yes.” People are happy here, people are taking orders and “writing paper” and paper are planning on attending the next one.

The paddlesports manufactures here like the association with other manufacturers in a small exhibit hall. It gives them the opportunity to learn and to shine. Several said it was nice to realize again, they where part of a larger industry.

This show would not have happened with out Darren Bush of Rutabega’s and Sutton Bacon of Nantahala Outdoor Center. Darren’s relationship in the community and knowledge of how conference center’s work, along with and I’m guessing his name and signature brought the show to life.  Sutton Bacon rounded up the hitters to sign on the dotted line to attend.

Are there issues, you bet. You can’t get everything you need here.  The other accessories that a paddlesports shop needs are not going to be here. No stoves (well one stove at the Point 65 booth by Liberty Mountain, no tents, no sleeping bags. None of those things that add up to more dollars spent at a store.  And a lot of those manufacturers are not going to be able to split and do two or more shows. Someone is going to have to give and I suspect, like always it will be the retailers. However if the money item is boats for a retailer, the draw, then this tradeshow is where those retailers need to be.

I was not really thinking of attending, but so many people asked me about the show at OR or told me they were going, I figured it was a Can’t Miss opportunity. I was right.

I’m glad I’m here. I fly home tonight and now wish I had more time to walk and talk the show, to spend more time with old friends, to meet new friends and to enjoy the paddlesports industry.

A little rambling, but an honest evaluation of 24 hours at a new Paddlesports Retailer Tradeshow in Madison.  Thanks Darren & Sutton the team you created to put this together.

Jim

 

 


Snowsports Industries America is hosting Ski Mechanic Workshops

NEW SIA Ski Mechanics Workshop Launches September 21st!

SIA is excited to announce the development of a new educational program and format to update and replace the traditional Ski Mechanics Workshop (SMW). This new, user-friendly program has taken all of the best elements of the traditional SMW and puts it online so SIA can reach a larger audience of shop owners, managers and employees using an engaging, effective and affordable tool in a self-paced environment. This modern approach to information exchange and knowledge transfer will enhance SIA’s efforts assisting the suppliers and retailers with education and collaboration.

We can’t wait to share it with you!

Want more information? Email us here!
The new SMW site will launch in phases over the next 9 months with the first phase launching in September in time to train up your staff for winter. This phase will focus on Risk Management and will provide a comprehensive training on Customer Assessment/Work Ticket Documentation, Pre-Installation/Tool Use & Care, Component Inspection, Binding Installation, Release Value Selection, System Inspection/Trouble Shooting, Release Test, final Documentation and Dispatch, as well as, Post Accident Report.

Future Phases will include back shop service training for tuning, waxing and retail floor product sales training and matching as well as diving into AT and Snowboard modules.

We are dedicated to improving, so please provide SIA feedback on this new learning platform.

Copyright © 2017 Snowsports Industries America, All rights reserved.
Snowsports Industries America ContactsOur mailing address is:

Snowsports Industries America

PO Box 680850

Park City, UT 84068

 


The ASTM is voting on new terminology for terrain park jumps.

If you manage a ski area or work in the terrain park you MUST know about these changes.

The easiest way to get them is to become a member of the ASTM. The cost is only $75.00 per year to get involved. Although this may seem a little like ransom, it costs to find out how you are going to be affected, look at it from the perspective of it costs $75.00 to become involved and help your industry.

The only way you can access the information or vote is to be a member of the ASTM.

If you don’t the consequences could be dire.

The new description of a terrain park jump identifies twenty (20) different parks of a jump. If you are describing a jump on the
witness stand, you want to make sure that the term you use to describe a part of the jump is fully understood and defined to all the people involved.

The vote on these changes ends August 31, 2017 so get involved now:  Terminology Of Snow Sport Freestyle Terrain Park Jumps WK51845 PDF (368K)

Do Something

If you are in the ski industry, join the ASTM now!

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

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