The Cleanest Line

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    « December 2009 | Main | February 2010 »

    Freedom To Roam and Oceans As Wilderness: Eye On Aquaculture

    Salmon_farming-BC Today's post is by Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassador, Topher Browne, who has dedicated his energies to the protection of salmon for two decades. Says Topher, "A species that requires not one but two entirely separate ecosystems would seem a dubious proposition. The transition from fresh water to salt water and back again . . . requires some fairly elaborate plumbing within the salmon or steelhead. This adaptation is unnecessary in species of fish that do not migrate to the sea. Activism on behalf of anadromous species is a real bang for the environmental buck. As salmon and steelhead lead a bipolar life, you can focus your efforts in both fresh and salt waters. If something is wrong at any stage of their life cycle, the fish will let you know." Today, Topher's letting us know a few things about Atlantic Salmon, and why it makes sense to choose wild:

    They lie glistening on beds of frozen crystals in the great food halls of North America and Europe. Bland and lifeless eyes regard busy shoppers as they push their carts in front of polished displays. Their silver-scaled bodies—plump yet strangely devoid of muscle—advertise the healthful benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and the singular bounty of the sea. Atlantic salmon, the king of fish and the food of kings, is on sale for three dollars a pound.

    Although reared in the ocean, these salmon live a life behind bars. They are raised in cages along the coasts of the United States, Canada, Chile, Scotland and Norway. They are genetically modified to accelerate their growth and liberally dosed with antibiotics and pesticides to mitigate the spread of rampant disease and parasites. They are fed a diet of ground-up fish containing chemical dyes to give their flesh a rosy hue. Some of their tribe escape through holes in their cages and enter rivers where they compete with wild salmon. It’s an old story—greed, disinformation, a willful disregard for the health of our most sensitive and bounteous ecosystems—and one that is unlikely to be told as the butcher hands you a carefully wrapped filet.

    [A British Columbia Salmon Farm, photo courtesy of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. ]

    Continue reading "Freedom To Roam and Oceans As Wilderness: Eye On Aquaculture" »

    Sounding Off for Ocean Activism

    Josh Berry, environmental director for Save the Waves Coalition and the man behind All Points South, just released a new video with Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd) and Dave Rastovich (Surfers for Cetaceans) sounding off on the continued need for ocean activism. The video also features surfing from Timmy Turner, Ramón Navarro, Brett Schwartz and Patagonia ambassador Keith Malloy.

    [Soundings via YouTube. Video: Josh Berry for Save the Waves. Music: Kapakahi]

    After last week's heavy rains here in Ventura it's easy to relate to Rasta's statements about tasting, smelling and feeling the sea on your skin, about being sick when the ocean is sick. For years now, health agencies in Southern California have issued a blanket statement when it rains: stay out of the ocean for 72 hours because of pollution caused by runoff. And pollution is just one of many problems our oceans are facing.

    Please consider supporting Save the Waves and their crucial work. We'll be sharing more from them in the not-so-distant future. Captain Watson's Sea Shepherd organization also needs help as they deal with the aftermath of getting rammed by a whaling ship.

    Wrong Turn

    PCT_badge The photographs that appear in our catalogs have long been a source of inspiration. Very rarely, however, they can give the wrong impression. The Patagonia Heart of Winter 2010 catalog contained a photograph (p. 38) of illegal mountain bike use on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

    The Pacific Crest Trail is open to foot and horse travel and closed to all motorized and mechanized (bike) use for its entire length. Patagonia regrets this oversight and strongly supports the environmental stewardship for which the rule exists, and the "Rules of the Trail" developed by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails.

    Many of us in the company enjoy mountain biking. We understand the contentiousness surrounding access issues, but we also respect the rules of Wilderness and the rights of hikers on the PCT. Please ride on open trails only, respect trail and road closures, and ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail.

    There's plenty of space out there for all of us. Enjoy.

    Backyard Corridors: Do you see evidence of climate change affecting animals in your area?

    Pika-WilliamCGladishWhile humans debate the degree, extent and (still) the mere existence of climate change, scores of species are left to deal with its realities. We don't all live at the seething edge of a major wildlife migration route, but many of us have observed subtle changes in the behaviors of the animals that live (or used to live) in our Backyard Corridors. In these changes lies a message; thus our question for this week: 

    Do you see evidence of climate change affecting animals in your area?

    Please share your observations in the comments on our blog, The Cleanest Line, or on Patagonia’s Facebook page. Author and wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick offers this take on some of the changes taking place in his back yard as a result of global warming:

    Rationalization is an overwhelming human force. Once you form opinions, your mind works overtime, often subtly and even subconsciously, to select information that supports your biases while ignoring or purposefully giving less weight to observations that threaten to prove you wrong. Hey, I think I just described the cult of Climate Change Denial. But that wasn't the point I wanted to make. In fact, I set out to admit that I'm probably biased the opposite way, believing that climate change is happening. I'm pretty sure that global warming is real and potentially devastating to the ecosystems we know and depend upon. Consequently, I'm that much more likely to interpret what could be ordinary variation in weather cycles and wildlife activity as evidence of an overheating planet. I find myself in a constant struggle to tell hints and hunches and unusual sightings -- anecdotal stuff -- apart from the kind of solid information that someone could test and verify.

    I'm a wildlife biologist, but I'm not trying to play the cautious scientist here. I'm just trying to be honest. So I'm not going to tell you that what I report below is due to climate change, only that it sure looks like it might be. After all, I live in the Montana Rockies and spend most of my outdoor time in nearby Glacier National Park, home to 150 glaciers when founded in 1910. The reserve now has no more than a couple dozen and is expected to lose its last one within the next 15 years or so. Having watched great, grinding landforms of ice blue as lapis lazuli shrink in a relatively short time to pieces that barely qualify as dirty snowfields, I'm not too sympathetic to arguments that climate change is strictly tree-hugger propaganda.

    [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 "Backyard Corridors: Do you see evidence of climate change affecting animals in your area?" »

    Waypoint Namibia Now Available on DVD

    WaypointDVDfront In September, we featured a post about a new film from Patagonia Climbing Ambassador Majka Burhardt and filmmaker Chris Alstrin, Waypoint Namibia. Burhardt and fellow Patagonia Ambassador Kate Rutherford rallied climber Peter Doucette, photographer Gabe Rogel, and Alstrin to round out the crew they would need for their month-long trip to Africa's second-least-populated country, where they encountered unexpected remoteness, crushing heat, great climbing, and - as they'd hoped - Namibia's Himba people. 

    The film is now available on DVD, and 5% of the proceeds from the sale go to help fund Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation Trust, an organization that strives to improve the lives of rural people by diversifying the socio-economy in Namibia’s communal areas to include wildlife and other valuable natural resources.

    To reach Namibia's incomparably remote climbing destinations, Burhardt, Rutherford, Doucette and their crew drove washboard roads for days on end in search of undiscovered climbing. Along the way, they met Namibia's Himba people, tested their mettle in extreme heat and worked their way (somewhat accidentally) up a new route on the Orabeskopf face of the Brandberg Massif, Namibia's highest peak. A slide show of the trip is available with caption in the Tin Shed.

    The DVD is available for purchase off of Majka's site. This short features highlights from the full-length video:


    Waypoint Namibia Short from Majka Burhardt on Vimeo.

    If seeing the video at home isn't enough, try to catch Majka and Waypoint Namibia as they make the rounds with the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival. With over 50 showings coast-to-coast between now and May 1, you can find a date and venue near you. View the complete tour schedule for a list of showings.

    Yosemite Dispatches with Ron Kauk: Learning to Walk Again

     El_Cap_Jan_2010_3

    Climbing and yoga are often compared for their ability to transport us into the moment. In today's dispatch, Ron touches on both disciplines and another activity that connects them.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Learning to Walk Again"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - music: "Chuya" by Sus Corez)

    Return to Balance: A Climber's Journey is available through the Ansel Adams Gallery.

    ["A few days ago, enjoying the base of El Cap during our ongoing storm." Photo: Ron Kauk]

    Welcome Tommy Caldwell, Patagonia's Newest Climbing Ambassador

    TC All of us at Patagonia are thrilled to welcome our newest climbing ambassador, Tommy Caldwell, to the family. And we at The Cleanest Line can't wait to share some of Tommy's stories with you in the coming days. Until then, check out the formal press release below and an extremely informal video after the jump.

    TOMMY CALDWELL JOINS PATAGONIA’S AMBASSADOR TEAM

    One of America’s Most Adept All-Around Climbers Joins Patagonia as Climbing Ambassador

    Ventura, CA – January 19, 2010.  Patagonia, Inc., the outdoor apparel company, announces today that American climber Tommy Caldwell has joined the company’s impressive group of ambassadors. Tommy will work with Patagonia to help develop and hone the company’s product line with an emphasis on functionality, durability, and minimal environmental impact. Tommy joins Steve House, Timmy O’Neill, Sonnie Trotter, Lynn Hill and other well-respected climbers in his move to Patagonia.

    “We are so pumped to have Tommy joining our ambassador program,” notes Kristo Torgersen, Patagonia’s athlete liaison and grassroots marketer, ”We have always held the greatest respect for his genuine and innately humble character in light of his unparalleled climbing accomplishments. It’s refreshing.”

    Continue reading "Welcome Tommy Caldwell, Patagonia's Newest Climbing Ambassador" »

    Backyard Corridors: Does Your Area Have Any Wildlife Corridors?

    Buffalo_2 Freedom to Roam wants to preserve and protect big wildways for large animals. The "preserve" part of that statement reminds us that wildlife corridors exist already and that leads into our question this week:

    Does your area have any wildlife corridors?

    We'd love to hear from you on our blog, The Cleanest Line, or on Patagonia’s Facebook page.

    Building and maintaining corridors often requires a lot of creative thinking as bestselling author Ted Kerasote reminds us. [All photos: Ted Kerasote]

    Rethinking The Fence

    I’ve always likened the ninety-person village in which I live to a rock in a river. Kelly faces the Tetons, between Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge, and the Gros Ventre Wilderness. We split the currents of elk and moose, deer and bison, antelope and wolves, lions and coyotes and bears.

    Continue reading "Backyard Corridors: Does Your Area Have Any Wildlife Corridors? " »

    30% Off Sale & New for Spring

    Short but sweet today. I want to make sure you all know about these two events...

    30% Off Sale at Patagonia.com

    There's a 30% Off Sale on now at Patagonia.com and participating Patagonia Retail Stores.

    New for Spring at Patagonia.com

    And our New for Spring gear is available now as well. Enjoy!

    Dirtbag Diaries: Fueled by Strawberry Jam - The Year of Big Ideas 2010

    Big_ideas_2010 The Dirtbag Diaries kick off 2010, and your weekend, with their annual Year of Big Ideas episode (2008, 2009). Do you have aspirations for the new year? Becca Cahall takes the mic today for an episode that's full of great goals:

    Ski filmmaker Nick Waggoner knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to be a skier of the diehard variety. There were two obvious hurdles. First, he lived in New York City. Second, he was 11 years old. He found a way to make it work and before he was legally behind the wheel of a car, he was squeezing adventure out of skiing. In the last decade, his passion for skiing evolved into a passion for making films about skiing, but his approach has remained the same. Today, we bring you another Year of Big Ideas -- a time to turn daydreams into concrete goals. Professional athletes, weekend warriors, and full time dreamers present their goals for 2010.

    Download "Fueled by Strawberry Jam - The Year of Big Ideas 2010"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Head over to the Dirtbag Diaries for information on the music from today's podcast. You can also connect with the show via Twitter and Facebook. Fitz's new Web TV show, The Season, is due to begin at the end of the month.

    Fittingly, I just watched Nick Waggoner's latest film, Signatures, again the other night. I love how the lines Taro Tamai draws inspire me to both strap on my snowboard and paddle out for a surf. He calls his brand of riding "snowsurfing" and for good reason. The trailer for Signatures can be viewed in the Tin Shed; visit Sweetgrass Productions or Patagonia.com to pick up your copy.

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2010 Patagonia, Inc.