The Cleanest Line

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    Wildlife, Climate Change and the American Clean Energy Act

    Pika-WilliamCGladish In June, we offered up some information about the Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill - aka. the American Clean Energy and Security Act, HR 2454. As we stated in that original post, our hope was to make our readers aware of the valuable protections the bill included for wildlife corridors. Our on-going environmental campaign, Freedom to Roam, is focused on exactly that: preserving critical migration corridors so wildlife can have freedom to roam. The ability to migrate freely is key to the survival for much of our country's wildlife.

    The original post touched off quite a debate, and gave rise to questions about our support of Waxman-Markey. Our Environmental Editor is here with some responses to those questions and an update about where we are in our fight for Freedom to Roam.

    Because Patagonia is a business, and must remain one, we of course care about jobs, the cost of energy and the future, most important, the future as it relates to climate change. We think that 1) the weight of the evidence is that climate change is occurring and will get worse, 2) it will have enormous impacts on fish, wildlife and natural ecosystems, and 3) the policy response to this challenge set forth in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, HR 2454, (Waxman-Markey) is encouraging and consistent with Patagonia's call for the establishment and protection of migration corridors for animals, the focus of our current environmental campaign: Freedom to Roam. That's what our original blog post regarding Waxman Markey was all about. (click the link below to keep reading)

    [Photo: From The Wilderness Society website, A pika, which is a species threatened by global warming, in the wild. Photo by William C. Gladish]

    Continue reading "Wildlife, Climate Change and the American Clean Energy Act" »

    Shape Your Own Alaia Tomorrow at Patagonia Cardiff

    [Video: Korduroy/Patagonia Alaia Shaping Tutorial from Cyrus Sutton on Vimeo.]

    The alaia-shaping classes with Jon Wegener & Cyrus Sutton will take place on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at Patagonia Cardiff. Please call (760) 634-9886 if you're interested in attending. Classes will be about 40 minutes long and are scheduled for 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. If you can't make the class but still want to shape your own alaia, visit Wegener Surfboards to order a paulownia wood blank.

    Our thanks go out to Cyrus Sutton for putting the video together. Cyrus has a new Web site,, that's officially launching next week. It will feature webisodes about DIY culture -- how to make your own surf wax, board bags, art, skateboards, as well as how to compost, recycle, etc. It will be geared mostly towards ocean-orientated folks at the start but there's potential for much broader audience. We'll keep you updated as the site matures.

    Backyard Adventures: Little Wild Places

    Santa Rosa Plateau 03 Today's Backyard Adventure was one we almost missed. It surfaced recently in an unexpected folder - no doubt the result of a botched drag-n-drop. We're happy to have found it and would like to offer the author our apologies, and readers, his submission. It's a nice reminder of why we started the Backyard Adventures series in the first place.

    TCL reader Greg Russell lives in Riverside, CA and teaches biology at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. He's grown up in the West and, as a result, has been within reach of wilderness most of his life. Our call for your backyard adventures reminded him of an essay he'd seen in an old Patagonia catalog. Says Greg, "It made me look at the concept of 'wild' in a whole new way, and now, as a father, I want to instill that in my son."


    The message of Ernest Atencio's "Little Wild Places" has stuck with me since I first read it in a Patagonia catalog years ago. As a teenager hungry for Big Adventure, I had failed to see the wildness present in my own backyard. After reading that essay, it was if reptilian scales had been peeled from my eyes. For the first time, my backyard came alive with wildlife—horned lizards, orioles, finches, robins, kestrels—and a stone wall to boulder on, even if it did take a little imagination. It was enough to fill my soul with hope and contentment. Big Adventure, I found, was anywhere you were willing to look. 

    Since then, I have graduated college, gotten married, earned a Ph.D., become a father, and purchased a home in urban southern California. As I sit here looking out my window on a January day, I am reminded to look for the beauty and Big Adventure in those Little Wild Places. If I were to go in my immediate backyard, I could show you where to find alligator lizards, or show you the group of jays that lives in the pine tree next door.

    [Owen & Stephanie Russell at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve near Murrieta, CA. Photo,  Brent Deschamp]

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: Little Wild Places" »

    At Patagonia

    You’ve seen our catalogs, our Web site and perhaps some press about Patagonia. For those of you who have never actually seen Patagonia (and I’m imagining that’s most of our customers and friends), here are some photos from and around our headquarters in Ventura.

    [View all or have a look at Patagonia Ventura from space. Photos: Jim]

    For a tour of our Reno Distribution Center, check out localcrew's previous post "Just Happy to Be Here."

    FREE SWIM Wins Patagonia-Sponsored Film Award

    Free Swim We received this update from Dr. Jennifer Galvin, a filmmaker and environmental health expert whose work recently received a Patagonia-sponsored award for its focus on Ocean Sports. Congratulations to Dr. Galvin, reelblue and Swim to Empower.

    The world’s leaders in environmental conservation, ocean filmmaking and wildlife photography came together for the Blue Ocean Film Festival , held in Savannah, GA from June 10 – 14, 2009. The event honored Dr. Sylvia Earle with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Ocean Advocacy, and awarded numerous filmmakers for their achievements. I’m proud to announce that the film FREE SWIM won the Patagonia-sponsored “Best of Ocean Sports” award granted to the film that “is most effective and innovative in relating ocean sports stories or competitions to conservation and appreciation of the oceans.”

    FREE SWIM is a 50-minute documentary film about the paradox of islanders not knowing how to swim.  Taking place on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas we follow a group of kids as they overcome their fears, gain confidence and reconnect with their environment by learning to swim in open waters. With fresh memories of a friend drowning and the conflicts of growing tourism, for these kids it’s not just about floating, but gaining new skills for their future.

    Continue reading "FREE SWIM Wins Patagonia-Sponsored Film Award" »

    Nose Riding with Fletcher Chouinard Designs Surfboards

    BT_tire_marks_2 Great things are happening over at our sibling surf site Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD). Besides hand-shaping some of the lightest and strongest surfboards in the water, they're blogging on their homepage, sharing photos at Flickr and publicly answering customer questions about all the boards in the FCD quiver. While not quite as intimate as working with a shaper in person, the Q&A format on each FCD board page allows potential board buyers to first see what others have asked, then get answers to their own questions about how well a particular model might work based on the rider's build, experience, intended wave type and preferred riding style. Finished boards can then be shipped around the world.

    One of the benefits of this type of interaction is the feedback you get from satisfied customers. This letter was received back in June [Photo courtesy of FCD]:

    I picked up a BT longboard from you last summer, and it's been a great addition to my surf experiences (it's been all over California with me, and even made it to El Salvador with me last fall). Last weekend, as I was getting changed after my session at the Huntington Beach Pier, I had placed my board on the ground behind my van in the parking lot. Although there were many available parking spots, some guy decided he wanted to park right next to me, and drove right over the nose of my board (in a 3/4 ton Dodge pickup no less).

    Aside from the gut wrenching noises that it made - I am pleased to attest that it came out fine - literally without a scratch. Amazing. No pressure dings or cracks of any kind.

    Thought you might be interested, and I doubt anyone in their right mind would ever willingly subject their board to a test like this. I have two other FCD boards (8'6 Tri and a Munoz) and this just proves to my sense of value that you get what you pay for. I honestly believe that any other board would have been crushed, and I'd be one less board in the quiver.

    Thanks for making a beautiful, bomber product.

    A customer for life,
    - XXXXX

    Hit the jump to watch a video about board-building process at Fletcher Chouinard Designs, right here in Ventura, California.

    Continue reading "Nose Riding with Fletcher Chouinard Designs Surfboards" »

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