Today's Lession: Working Together.
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Expedition Survival Tip

When climbing a mountain, remember reaching the summit is only half the battle. Coming down requires equal energy and focus.

Big City Mountaineers Supports Public Lands

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

For Big City Mountaineers to be effective, we like to say that our program relies on “people, partnerships and places”. Our people are, of course, our volunteer mentors. Our partnerships are the youth agencies we engage to recruit the kids and our corporate sponsors who help us outfit our expeditions. And, the places are the awe-inspiring landscapes we conduct our expeditions. These three elements have blended together for 27 years to provide over 40,000 nights under the stars for kids that lack the access and opportunity to do so on their own.

We visit amazing places such as Yosemite, Mt Hood, the Eagle Cap Wilderness, the Boundary Waters, the Flat Tops, the White Mountains and Olympic National Park. Coast to coast, we are utilizing federal public land to accomplish our mission. We believe visiting these places serves as a catalyst for change – giving kids the place and space they need to build self-confidence, empathy, self-efficacy, resilience and a better awareness of their own personal strengths.

Unfortunately, as of late, these places are under threat. 2017 has already seen several bills in Congress that would sell off public lands to state or private interests and the current administration is considering reversing the designation of some National Monuments established more than 20 years ago. Moreover, we are seeing smaller, more subtle attacks hidden in non-germane legislative packages that would gut funding undermine management and strip protections for our public lands and waters.

Last week, BCM was proud to join the Outdoor Industry Association for their Capitol Summit to advocate on behalf of our nation’s public lands. Of course our public lands need to remain accessible with adequate funding to ensure our programs are successful year in and year out. But, our nation’s outdoor recreation infrastructure must remain the envy of the world so that we become a stronger, healthier and more prosperous country. 142 million American outdoor enthusiasts and international travelers enjoy our public lands every year. Our public lands are foundational to the health of the outdoor recreation economy which is responsible for $887 billion in direct consumer spending and 7.6 million American jobs.

BCM was born from the outdoor industry. Our founders and earliest champions were lovers of the outdoors and business leaders who saw the nexus between public lands access, the outdoor industry’s success and inspiring the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Our public lands give our kids the chance to take in an endless mountain view, the joy of catching a fish, the wonderment of the Milky Way over their heads and the space to connect with a caring adult mentor. BCM will continue to work with OIA and other partners to advocate for the protection of our public lands by telling the powerful stories of connection we are creating in these iconic places every year.

Sincerely,

Bryan Martin

Executive Director, Big City Mountaineers