The Cleanest Line

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    Why Minnesota Can’t Afford Mining Near the Boundary Waters

    By Adam Fetcher

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    Patagonia has supported the work of Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters through grant funding, our employee environmental internship program, retail store events, product donations and an invitation to attend the 2015 Tools for Grassroots Activists Conference. You can read our past coverage on The Cleanest Line here and here. To learn more about how you can get involved, visit savetheboundarywaters.org.

    Growing up in Minnesota, I took the lakes for granted. To me, living in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” meant summers at the cabin—waterskiing, fishing and family time on the dock. The lakes I knew were surrounded by houses and roads, and I remember falling asleep most nights to the gentle but persistent hum of motorboats wafting across the glassy water. (Almost as persistent as the hungry mosquitos buzzing around my ears at bedtime.) Even through the noise, I slept peacefully in the cool Northern Minnesota breeze.

    Above: Paddling toward shore, ready for a swim in the late afternoon. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota. Photo: Adam Fetcher

    Continue reading "Why Minnesota Can’t Afford Mining Near the Boundary Waters" »

    Save the Blue Heart of Europe: The Balkan Rivers story

    By Ulrich Eichelmann

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    The Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe is known for its Mediterranean beaches, past wars, corruption, ethnic conflicts and, to insiders, Slivovitz and ćevapi—the plum schnapps and traditional minced-meat dish of the region. Stories about the area are plentiful, but I want to tell you a different story—a story about beauty, diversity and uniqueness, and an imminent threat in disguise.

    It is a story about the rivers between Slovenia and Albania, which are the most intact on the entire continent. Wild rivers with extensive gravel banks, spectacular waterfalls, deep canyons, crystal clear streams full of fish, large alluvial forests where rare eagles nest, even karstic underground rivers. But, most amazingly, almost nobody knows about them. They’re a hidden treasure in the middle of 21st century Europe.

    Above: Vjosa River, Albania. Photo:Roland Dorozhani  

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    B Corps Unite to Bring Rooftop Solar to 1,500 Homes

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    Led by Patagonia and Kinaʻole Capital Partners, LLC, a first-of-its-kind group of five certified B-Corporations have come together to create a $35 million tax equity fund that will make the benefits of solar power available to more than a thousand U.S. households. The new fund uses state and federal tax credits to direct Patagonia’s tax dollars for residential development of affordable, efficient Sungevity solar energy systems.

    The new fund builds off a similar, successful endeavor between Patagonia and Kinaʻole that was created to purchase 1,000 rooftop solar systems in Hawaiʻi in 2014. Now reaching the mainland United States, this transaction brings together five B Corporations (B Corps): Patagonia as the tax equity investor; Kinaʻole as the fund manager; New Resource Bank and Beneficial State Bank as lenders; and Sungevity, Inc., as the project developer. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

    Above: Kohl Christensen installs a residential solar system for Kinaʻole Capital Partners. Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Photo: John Phaneuf

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    Taking Bearings on Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting

    By Louisa Willcox

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    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced its plans to remove Endangered Species Act protections from the Yellowstone grizzly bear. Patagonia along with many other environmental NGOs and citizens are taking a stand against this ruling and demanding continued protections for this iconic population of grizzly bears in our Nation’s first National Park. Grizzly bear activist and expert, Louisa Willcox, explains why delisting would be a historic mistake. Photo: Steven Gnam

    Grizzly bears have an interesting way of focusing our attention. They tend to illicit different reactions from different people. In grizzly country, the snap of a twig or the sight of an elk carcass strikes fear in some and excited anticipation for ot hers. With grizzlies around, our experience of nature is heightened. Every year visitors from across the world flock to Yellowstone National Park to see grizzly bears and other wildlife species. Grizzlies hold an immense amount of value, not just from tourist dollars but to many they hold spiritual and cultural significance. This is why the current debate about whether or not endangered species protections should be removed from Yellowstone’s grizzly bears matters to everyone.

    Continue reading "Taking Bearings on Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting" »

    New National Monuments Inspire Visitors and Bolster Communities

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO

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    When I first moved to Los Angeles, my friends took me on a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I had never been in a desert landscape and had no idea what to expect. I thought I’d find it boring. But I can only describe that first trip as a spiritual experience. I’d been meditating for years in some of the most beautiful places in the world, but nothing compared to going deep into the desert, surrounded by prehistoric rock formations, Joshua trees, abundant wildlife and stripped down, elemental landscapes. I thought then how glad I was that Joshua Tree was a national park and I hoped the surrounding landscape would be found worthy of protection and preservation for all generations to come. 

    Now, President Obama has officially recognized new California desert national monuments—known as Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains—totaling 1.8 million acres. These lands signify and solidify this region’s place as one of America’s truly remarkable—and now truly valued—landscapes. That’s good news for all of us; the people who look to these lands for recreation and relaxation; the desert towns that will develop into gateway communities for these national landmarks; and the wildlife that migrate through and live in the desert.

    Above: Amboy Crater, part of the Mojave Trails National Monument in California. Photo: Bob Wick, BLM

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    Terry Tempest Williams and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists

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    For over twenty years, Patagonia has organized a Tools Conference, where experts provide practical training to help make activists more effective. Now Patagonia has captured Tools’ best wisdom and advice into a book, Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement, creating a resource for any organization hoping to hone core skills like campaign and communication strategy, grassroots organizing, and lobbying as well as working with business, fundraising in uncertain times and using new technologies.

    Above: Pages 208-209 feature Giovanni Jance photos of ghost deer at the Seneca Army Base and the beginning of a story by Terry Tempest Williams entitled “Ghost Deer.” Photo: Tim Davis

    Throughout Tools for Grassroots Activists are inspirational thoughts from acclaimed activists, such as Bill McKibben, Dave Foreman, Annie Leonard, Terry Tempest Williams and Brock Evans. To celebrate the release of the book, we’re sharing audio clips from the keynote speeches these activists gave at past Patagonia Tools Conferences. Today we’ll hear from Terry Tempest Williams. 

    Continue reading "Terry Tempest Williams and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists" »

    Chuitna: More Than Just Salmon on the Line – Watch the full film for free and take action!

    By Paul Moinester


    Watch Chuitna - More Than Salmon On The Line. After a successful run on the film tour circuit and dozens of local screenings, we're thrilled to share this short film with you for free. Video: Trip Jennings


    Stop a Massive Open-Pit Coal Strip Mine on the Chuitna River

    Take_action_largePlease join the fight and help Judy, Larry, Terry and the Tyonek defeat the Chuitna Mine. All it takes is a few keystrokes and mouse clicks. Watch the film and share it on social media. And take action today at American Rivers by telling Alaskan officials to protect the Chuitna’s important habitat. Then, like the Facebook page or text “Salmon” to 313131. You will be notified when it’s time to speak up again.


    The Biggest Salmon Fight No One’s Heard Of 

    The 40-minute bush plane flight from Anchorage to Alaska’s Chuitna River watershed is like a journey back in time. As the tires grip the gravel of the tiny outpost runway, you are thrust into a wild world teeming with life and vibrant rivers overflowing with salmon. It’s a world like my Pacific Northwest home used to be, before we dammed our rivers, logged our forests, and destroyed our salmon runs.

    Continue reading "Chuitna: More Than Just Salmon on the Line – Watch the full film for free and take action!" »

    Bill McKibben and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists

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    For over twenty years, Patagonia has organized a Tools Conference, where experts provide practical training to help make activists more effective. Now Patagonia has captured Tools’ best wisdom and advice into a book, Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement, creating a resource for any organization hoping to hone core skills like campaign and communication strategy, grassroots organizing, and lobbying as well as working with business, fundraising in uncertain times and using new technologies.

    Above: Pages 52-53 of our new book feature a Robert Van Waarden photo of a climate change protest in 2009 and the beginning of an essay by Bill McKibben entitled “Leaderless.” Photo: Tim Davis

    Throughout Tools for Grassroots Activists are inspirational thoughts from acclaimed activists, such as Bill McKibben, Dave Foreman, Annie Leonard, Terry Tempest Williams and Brock Evans. Leading up to the release of the book, we’re sharing audio clips from the keynote speeches these activists gave at past Patagonia Tools Conferences. Today we’ll hear from Bill McKibben. 

    Continue reading "Bill McKibben and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists" »

    Dave Foreman and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists

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    For over twenty years, Patagonia has organized a Tools Conference, where experts provide practical training to help make activists more effective. Now Patagonia has captured Tools’ best wisdom and advice into a book, Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement, creating a resource for any organization hoping to hone core skills like campaign and communication strategy, grassroots organizing, and lobbying as well as working with business, fundraising in uncertain times and using new technologies.

    Above: Pages 232-233 feature a Tim Davis photo of a gray wolf at the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center and the beginning of a story by Dave Foreman entitled “The Dancing Planet.” Photo: Tim Davis

    Throughout Tools for Grassroots Activists are inspirational thoughts from acclaimed activists, such as Bill McKibben, Dave Foreman, Annie Leonard, Terry Tempest Williams and Brock Evans. Leading up to the release of the book, we’re sharing audio clips from the keynote speeches these activists gave at past Patagonia Tools Conferences. Today we’ll hear from Dave Foreman. 

    Continue reading "Dave Foreman and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists" »

    Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center – The greenest commercial building in the world

    By Charles Clark & Jacqueline Sussman, Patagonia Seattle

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    “… after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
    a functioning cog in some great machinery,
    serving something beyond me.”
                 –Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues

    On a far from average Wednesday, we arrived to work at Patagonia Seattle for a morning meeting led by brand responsibility analysts, Paul Hendricks and Logan Duran, from the Ventura headquarters. Reviewing the multiple types of environmentally responsible materials in our products (e-fibers), the use of third-party auditing for environmental performance standards and our ongoing environmental campaign efforts is a valuable reminder that our company is in a higher league of environmental responsibility.

    Above: The Bullitt Center in Capitol Hill, Seattle. All photos by Charles Clark and Jacqueline Sussman.

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