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Monday, August 11, 2014

Why Protecting Wilderness Matters


-->By Washington Wild TIPS Intern Evelyn Newman

We all have our own predisposed notions of the world. When we are young our minds are molded by those around us; our parents, our mentors. The ideas and beliefs are others, not ours.  It is not until we are older that we truly start understanding the world for ourselves.  
I first became concerned about our planet at the age of twelve. I always knew about global warming and deforestation, but it didn’t really hit home for me until such time.   
During that point of my life, I was obsessed with Orangutans. I can’t exactly explain why I felt such a powerful connection to them. Maybe it is the fact that they are so human like in their emotions and actions; Orangutans share roughly 97 percent of our DNA. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that there are now less than 6,600 left in Sumatra, and less than 54,000 in Borneo (www.orangutans-sos.org). It is thought that these amazing creatures are to become the Great Apes to go extinct; I felt like it was my duty as an individual to protect them.

By concerning myself with protecting Orangutans, I unknowingly propelled myself into the bigger picture of protecting the wilderness. It made me realize how much the planet offers us and how I couldn’t stand idly by and watch it degrade. Washington Wild is trying to stop that very thing.

Washington Wild is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protect and restore wild lands and waters in Washington State through advocacy, education and civic engagement. By educating, empowering and mobilizing our communities, Washington Wild builds powerful grassroots networks that help protect wild lands throughout the state.  Washington Wild is the only conservation organization for Washington State and since our founding 1979, we have protected over three million acres of wilderness.

Though Washington Wild is a locally focused organization, their mission can still be understood on a larger global scale. My time with the organization and seeing the work they do to protect our wild lands and waters in Washington state has shown me that we cannot keep living the way we live without consequences, that something has to be done to better our future. Washington Wild is making this happen.

Friday, May 30, 2014

First Annual Brewshed Alliance Pub Crawl Was a Huge Success!

Washington Wild held its first annual Seattle Beer Week pub crawl on May 15, 2014, with Brewshed®
WA Wild Outreach Coordinator with Mike Hale of Hale's Ales
Alliance partners, Peddler Brewing, NW Peaks Brewing and Reuben’s Brews. At nearly 40 people, the event was a resounding success! 


Beer lovers and wilderness fans alike turned out for the “crawl” through the breweries of our Ballard Brewshed® Partners. Participants ranged from out-of-towners who were happy to get a walking tour the Seattle brewery scene, to beer aficionados and aspiring brewers such as those from Flying Lion Brewing Company opening this summer in Columbia City, to longstanding successful pioneers of the local brewing industry in the state, such as Mike Hale of Hale’s Ales.

Beer and cake!
Others, like Evan Escamilla, saw the opportunity as a trifecta of fun: support a good cause, drink beer with good friends and celebrate a birthday! (This definitely called for cake.)

He said, “For myself and many of my friends, [the pub crawl] was our first exposure to the organization. I'm hopeful that some will remain active and consider donating or participating in a Brewshed® pub crawl again in the future. Thank you for being a great cause.”

We started at Peddler Brewing Company with discounts and cake.  Then we moved to NW Peaks Brewing where owner Kevin Klein created a specialty brew in honor of Washington Wild, and we ended at Reuben’s Brews where some crawlers shut the place down.

All three breweries have been enthusiastic supporters of Washington Wild’s efforts to educate the
These pub crawlers are opening Flying Lion Brewing this summer!
public on the direct link between the protection of Washington’s water sources and the protection of the state’s high quality beer.  Haley Woods of Peddler Brewing Company recorded a testimonial this month that summarized the valuable partnership between Washington Wild and Peddler that ran on the Seattle-based radio station KEXP.

Haley stated, “Breweries might be a nontraditional ally in conservation, but we’re a completely natural one.  Like all brewers, Peddler Brewing Company is highly dependent on clean water, because clean water makes better beer. [Washington Wild’s] work to protect headwaters in wilderness also protects downstream water quality.”

The Washington Brewshed® Alliance continues to grow in momentum and popularity.  Our Outreach
Crawlers enjoying a beer at Peddler!
Coordinator Lyndsay Gordon whose job allows her to combine her two passions in life – beer and wilderness conservation – is working around the state to engage Washington brewers and their patrons in joining the Brewshed® Alliance and supporting the work of Washington Wild. The Brewshed® Alliance currently consists of 16 breweries and two beer community partners and still growing.

If you missed the pub crawl in May, you can more than make up for it by attending Washington Wild’s Brewshed® Beer Festival on Thursday, July 31, at Hales Ales in Fremont. With our Brewshed® Alliance brewery partners pouring at the event, this is an event for beer lovers that is not to be missed, so get your tickets today! We will have a raffle and other surprises to come.  To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the upcoming Brewshed events, sign up to receive the monthly update. Email Lyndsay Gordon at Lyndsay@wawild.org.

 
The crowd ends the evening at Reuben's Brews.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Save the Dates for Summer Fun with Washington Wild!

Seattle got an exhilarating sneak peak of summer this week with a couple days of 80-degree temperature highs. The shorts and sunglasses came out, moods soared with the temperatures, and we started thinking ahead to Washington Wild’s summer calendar of events. And many of them involve drinking beer and exploring Wilderness.

Brewshed® Alliance Happy Hours

June: As if you needed another excuse to visit to Leavenworth this summer, Icicle Brewing Company is hosting a Brewshed® Happy Hour on Friday, June 6. Grab those lederhosen and join Washington Wild for some tasty, locally crafted beer!

July: Hang out in Greenwood (just blocks from where all the magic happens at Washington Wild headquarters) for Brewshed® Happy Hour at Naked City on Thursday, July 10! It is patio weather (everyone knows it stops raining in Seattle on July 5), and Naked City has one of the best beer-drinking patios in the city!

August: We are back in Ballard at NW Peaks for our August Brewshed® Happy Hour on Thursday, August 14! Mountain-themed craft beers, anyone? How about an Ingalls Ginger or a Challenger IPA?

Hope you can join us for one or all of these Brewshed® Alliance Happy Hours this summer. A dollar per pint goes toward Washington Wild’s work to preserve wild lands and waters. Come out, get a pint, talk with us about the direct connection between Wilderness and river protection and beer.



Summer Hikes

Dust off the hiking boots, it’s ALMOST that time of year again! Summer hiking season! Washington Wild staff and volunteers had so much fun last year taking people out to see and experience firsthand the places we work to protect. From the Grey Wolf Trail on the Olympic Peninsula to the Pratt Connector Trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, we hosted a hiking series that hosted expert hikers, novices, kids as young as four years old and even one that was led by a team of pack goats!

Stay up to date on our 2014 Summer Hiking Series by signing up to receive our e-newsletter and checking our FB page and website for updates. Join us, get outside and learn about the wild lands and waters for which Washington Wild is working to secure permanent protections.




BEERFEST: July 31

That’s right. I said, “BEERFEST”, in all caps so you know it’s a big deal. Washington Wild is holding its first Brewshed® Alliance Beer Festival on Thursday evening, July 31st, at Hales Ales in Fremont! The festival will feature the crafts of our wonderful Brewshed® Partners!  More information to come soon, but if you are interested in learning more about the event and/or volunteering please contact our Outreach Coordinator, Lyndsay Gordon, at lyndsay@wawild.org.

So there you have it. There are plenty of ways to get involved with Washington Wild this summer, and more opportunities are on the way. And, don’t forget to sign up for our Brewshed® Alliance Ballard Pub Crawl on Thursday, May 15! We hope to meet you soon on the trail or in a taproom. 

Andy Porter Photography

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bainbridge Island Brewshed Connecting Generations through Wilderness

Taproom at Bainbridge Island Brewing during the Brewshed® Happy Hour.
A Reflection: By Lyndsay Gordon, Washington Wild Outreach Coordinator

On February 27, the Washington Brewshed® Alliance visited Bainbridge Island Brewing, giving Washington Wild an opportunity to reach a more remote portion of our membership.  The Brewshed® event at Bainbridge Island Brewery allowed us to meet with the community.  We were thrilled to have both members and volunteers come out and join us for a few pints and support both the Washington Brewshed® Alliance and our conservation work.   The event successfully updated people on the Wild Olympics bill in Congress, raised money for our conservation work, engaged members and continued to build Brewshed® relationships.

View of Bainbridge Island from the ferry with the Olympic Mountains in the background.
 However, this event offered even more to me as an individual than it did as Washington Wild’s Outreach Coordinator.  It gave me a reason to visit the community my dad grew up in and the island he grew up on for the first time in my life.  I have lived in Washington State all my life, but only one of my parents grew up here.  My mom is from Colorado, and despite the distance, I saw her childhood home at a very young age. Until the Brewshed® Happy Hour for Washington Wild last month, I had never even set foot on Bainbridge Island, let alone seen the house my dad called home as a kid.  This event gave me the excuse that I apparently needed to call him up and ask him to finally show me around the beautiful island community where he grew up.

View of the Olympic Mountains from my Dad's childhood home.
My dad went to college in the seventies and has rarely been back to the island since.  In that time, the community and the physical structures have changed dramatically, but some aspects of the island are still the same.  There are still beautiful stretches of forest along the sides of the road, but his high school was replaced by a superior building.  The house he grew up in is still standing, but the lot next door that used to be a park is now someone’s home.  The most striking part for me that remains, however, is the view from my father’s childhood living room.

When I was growing up, my dad would often mention the view from the home he grew up in, and his voice would be wistful as he lost himself in the picture it brought to mind.  It took him over 25 years to show me, but he frequently mentioned wishing that I could see it -- because only then would I understand.  He described how the sunset would sparkle off the water at low tide and how, as kids, they’d chase after the light in the muddy shallows close to shore.  He spoke of the mountain in the distance that towered over the water as a constant backdrop, almost like a guardian.  I have an overactive imagination, but when I was standing there looking at the Olympic Mountains across the water, I realized even my imagination couldn't capture what his words tried to describe.  He grew up with a view that can hardly be captured in pictures or words.

Staring out across the water at the breathtaking mountains with blue herons flying overhead, the inter-generational aspect of Washington Wild and all other conservation organizations truly struck me.  Since my dad left the island, so much had changed about this small island community.  Now there is a lavish shopping center, small homes like his have been taken down and replaced with bigger ones, vacant lots are now occupied, a closed off bunker area is now a park, and of course, the island now has its very own high-quality brewery.  But one thing was the same.  The wilderness across the water was still there, providing the beautiful and breathtaking view. 

I go backpacking with my father annually, so we have shared some amazing experiences in beautiful landscapes together.  But this was different, because I was seeing something that enchanted him regularly as a child.  For once I could actually see what my father’s eyes saw as a child, quite literally.  That astonishing landscape-view of a mountain over the water that defied both words and pictures was part of my family history.  For the first time, sharing a view of nature was truly between generations, because the view was from my dad’s life before I existed, yet it became part of mine in that shared moment.  In that shared experience we communicated between generations.
Board walk during Lake Ozette hike on the Olympic Peninsula.  This trip was a week later and displayed the wilderness.  On this trip we saw deer, elk, blue herons, oyster catchers, bald eagles, and a fox in addition to the beautiful forest and coast.
Wilderness, like that across the water from Bainbridge Island on the Olympic Peninsula, is the legacy we leave behind for future generations.  By permanently protecting over 100,000 acres of Wilderness, the Wild Olympics bill, if passed, will protect the opportunity for parents to share with their kids the amazement they also felt as a child.  It’s not just about protecting Wilderness for the next generation, but also to protect a way of connecting between generations.  What humans build we regularly take down, the buildings get remodeled and replaced.  However, the Wilderness we protect today will still stand connecting generations through time.
Great Blue Heron on the coast.



                

Monday, January 6, 2014

Brewsheds Starting Strong in 2014!

Washington Wild's Washington Brewshed® Alliance is starting off strong for 2014!  It should be a great year for the Brewshed® Alliance as it continues to take shape.  We have several plans to expand the Washington Brewshed® Alliance initiative for both our brewery partners and our beer loving members.  If you are interested in getting added to an event and update list specific to the Washington Brewshed® Alliance please contact our Outreach Coordinator, Lyndsay at lyndsay[a]wawild.org to be added to the electronic mailing list.
January 30th from 4pm - 9pm (open to close!) at Peddler Brewing
1514 NW Leary Way, Seattle, WA 98107
Peddler Brewing LogoThe first Brewshed® event of the year is back to one of our already supportive brewery partners!  We filled the room last time and really enjoyed both the beer and the folks at Peddler and are aiming to do all that yet again.  Come back out and visit them with us again.  As usual, $1 per pint will be donated to Washington Wild, but this time it is graciously for their entire open to close of that Thursday.

February 27th is Bainbridge Island Brewing from 5:30-7:30pm
9415 Coppertop Loop NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Bainbridge Island Brewing LogoWe are excited to be adding new Brewing partners to the Washington Brewshed® Alliance starting with Bainbridge Island Brewing in February.  Bainbridge Island Brewing recommends folks take the 4:40pm ferry over for the event.  There are easy public transit options from the ferry to the brewery on the way there, however, the way back may involve carpooling or other means of transportation to the ferry.  We will keep you posted as we organize further for transportation.  Come out and see an absolutely beautiful part of Washington State and enjoy some absolutely fabulous beer (you know it will be worth the trek)!  All pints bought during the two hour event will earn Washington Wild a $1 donation.  
March 20th is back to Reuben's Brews
1406 NW 53rd St #1A, Seattle, WA 98107
Reuben's Brews Logo

Again we are excited to be meeting up again with our partners from 2013 and carrying the initiative forward into 2014.  If you didn't make it out the first time, or if you did, join us this time at this small, family owned brewery in Ballard.  Cheers to, as they say, bloody good beer!  All three events will be donating $1 per pint sold during the event time to Washington Wild!  So cheers to good water making even better beer!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Brewshed Updates!

Big News! 

Washington Wild has adopted a Brewshed® Alliance logo, courtesy of designer Kate Hourihan. Kate entered Washington Wild’s Brewshed® logo contest and then patiently worked with us to make it absolutely perfect.

A bit more about Kate:
Kate has worked as graphic designer for almost three years and has a background in Fine Arts. She has a strong passion for all things outdoors, particularly backcountry skiing. Her favorite "wild" place in Washington is anywhere on Mt Rainier or Mt Baker- as long as skis are under her feet. Kate feels there is no better way to end a long day in Washington's beautiful backcountry than with a cold local brew. This contest was right up her alley! You can learn more about Kate on her website katehourihan.com

Thank you to all of the designers who entered the Brewshed® logo contest!


BREW Seattle

Washington Wild will be joining the crowd at the inaugural BREW Seattle beer tasting event on November 14th to talk up our Brewshed® project. Hosted by Seattle Magazine, this event will showcase 21 breweries at the forefront of the local indie brew boom. Tickets are on sale here.
When: Thursday, November 14th 6:00-9:00pm
Where: AXIS in Pioneer Square, 1st Avenue South


Brewshed® Happy Hours

Brewshed® Happy Hours are going strong! Every month we partner up with a different Washington microbrewery to highlight the fact that our State’s clean water makes delicious beer. In October we met a super crowd at Black Raven Brewing Company in Redmond and we’re tremendously grateful to them for hosting us.

Brewshed® Happy Hours on Tap:

Kulshan Brewing Company  
Date: Sunday November 3rd
Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Kulshan Brewing Company (2238 James Street, Bellingham, WA 98225)

Fremont Brewing
Date: Thursday December 12th
Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Location: Fremont Brewing (3409 Woodland Park Ave N Seattle, WA 98103)

$1 for every pint sold during the Brewshed® Happy Hours is donated to Washington Wild for watershed protection work!

Many thanks to those who've joined us for a pint at a Brewshed® Happy Hour over the past year - the Brewshed® project is gaining momentum because of you!

Last but not least...

Check out the sweet Brewshed write-up on the Washington Beer Blog!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Scenery at Mt Adams Wilderness: Backpacking to High Camp

Trail to High Camp
This post is comes to you from a Portland, OR teen, Jayson S.  Jayson submitted the powerful narrative, photos, and video below as part of Washington Wild's Youth Voices program.  We have no doubt that Jayson is poised to be a positive influential force in the conservation and recreation worlds (or, heck, wherever he chooses to end up) and we hope that he continues to explore wild places and share his stories. 

From Jayson:

I am a 16 year old High School student from CCS in Portland, Oregon. I value good education. I am an outdoor enthusiast and love hiking in Washington State, including the South Cascades, Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, Olympic Mountains, Enchantment Lakes, and the North Cascades. I am in full support of wilderness designation of the Dark Divide as well.

During the summer of 2013, I went camping with my family and friends to Takhlakh Lake, in the beautiful South Cascades of my favorite state, Washington. I compiled a video to show to others the scenic beauty found at the Mount Adams Wilderness.
Link to video: Beautiful Scenery at Mount Adams: A Spectacular Hike To High Camp 


Why I think Mount Adams needs protection:

Windswept High Camp below Mt Adams
Mount Adams, one of Washington great volcanoes of the Cascade Range, is often left in the background behind its more well-known neighbors, Mount Hood, St. Helens, and Rainier.  This is most likely because Mount Adams is apparently located just a little too far east of any major population centers, like the Seattle-Tacoma and Portland-Vancouver metro areas.  Nevertheless, Adams is a very impressive mountain, and I believe it ranks with volcanoes all around the world.  Adams stands at 12,281 ft, making it the second highest mountain in the Cascades north of California; and, when measured in terms of eruptive volume, it is the second biggest volcano in the Cascade Range, second only to California’s Mount Shasta.  Adams is characterized by brilliant, colorful, flower-filled meadows that even rival the famous wildflower displays found at Mount Rainier.  Mount Adams is the source of many tumbling creeks and waterfalls, and dense, old growth forests on it's gentle, lower slopes.  Numerous varieties of species of wildlife call this mountain their home, and many of these animals are endangered too.



Mount Adams, undoubtedly a trophy of the Pacific Northwest, a spectacular icon towering over its surrounding landscape, looks like long ago it should have received national recognition, yet apparently only about a third of Mount Adams’ entire volcanic bulk is safe inside the protective boundaries of the Mount Adams Wilderness Area.  I would like to see in future years that the Mount Adams Wilderness be expanded to include some highly important and critical areas to hikers, the flora and fauna, and the source of clean water sources surrounding the mountain.  What I hope to see in the future is that some of the high-elevation, old growth forested areas directly to the north of the mountain around the lower Adams Creek, Takh Takh Lava Flow, Green Mountain, and Potato Hill be permanently protected.  I also hope to see that the Mount Adams Wilderness boundary be expanded all the way down to Forest Road 23; and a separate section of wilderness protecting the (already heavily logged) Sleeping Beauty Peak area.  Let’s not forget the High Lakes Area centered around Takhlakh, Horseshoe, Olallie, Council, and Chain of Lakes, which I believe should be designated officially as the "High Lakes Scenic Area," thereby recognizing its scenic nature critical to recreational activities, including camping, hiking, boating, wildlife viewing, berry picking, and fishing.  One other concern is the vast old growth forests on the southern slope of the mountain, already impacted by logging, insect infestations, and forest fires---the most recent, the Cascade Creek Fire, burned over 20,000 acres of old growth, beetle-infested trees and subalpine forest up to the timberline level, adding on to the previous 6,000 acre Cold Springs Fire in 2006 that burned the south side as well.  The south side is very special---the “Big Tree” is a huge ponderosa tree, one of the biggest trees of its type in the world. It has a diameter of seven feet and stands at a lofty 202 feet tall.


Probably the best step in moving towards the future protection of this mountain is allowing people better access to exceptionally scenic areas that they might otherwise never see. (i.e. the east side, or “The Gap.”  Seeing pictures is one thing, but when someone sees it with their own eyes, they will end up caring for it with a much stronger vigor and passion.  So building more trails within the Mount Adams Wilderness, such as exploring key areas around High Camp and that lake just above it, Adams Glacier-Lewis River Meadows, Crystal Lake, as well as trails exploring the incomparable and rugged east side of the Mountain, within the Yakima Nation Mount Adams Recreation Area, and building short viewpoint hikes along the upper Lewis River area would be a huge benefit to not only thousands of hikers who hike Mount Adams every year, but also it would help pave the way for future projects, making it a great step forward in the current, and future advancement of environmental protection on Washington’s second tallest volcano, Mount Adams.


Peaceful Mt Adams reflection
Here are some photographs I took, found at my photo gallery:
http://fluttershyismagic.deviantart.com/gallery/ 

Thank you for taking your time to read this. Thank you, and have a wonderful day!



Acknowledgements
Jayson was inspired by a map pamphlet, Washington's Mount Adams Area Map (c)2001, by Darryl LloydLearn more about Mr. Lloyd's work here: http://www.longshadowphoto.com