In 2007, pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones saw that more and more resorts he’d always counted on for good riding were closed due to lack of snow. Something was clearly going on, and he felt the need to act. But he couldn’t find any organizations focused on mobilizing the snowsports community on climate—there was a gap between the impacts that climate change was already having on our great escapes, and organized action to address it.
So Jeremy founded Protect Our Winters.
POW quickly brought on other concerned pro athletes, individuals, resorts, brand partners and passionate outdoor enthusiasts. Since then, POW has grown from a kernel of an idea into a worldwide network of more than 130,000 supporters.
This was the perfect group to give a national voice to the outdoor sports community, an industry that supports 7.6 million jobs and creates $887 billion in economic revenue. While the fossil fuel lobby may outspend environmentalists 20-1 in D.C., we share a passion that crosses party lines––a unique perspective that de-politicizes climate discussion––and an industry with an economic impact that can’t be ignored.
Our key formula for engaging upwards of 57 million outdoor sports enthusiasts globally? Relevance and authenticity. Though we dress up for meetings, in the end we are pro athletes, dirtbags and diehards; for us, the outdoors aren’t just a passion, but a way of life. That dirt on our shoes is authentic.
Right now, we have the luxury of worrying about how climate change might impact the outdoor industry. Right now, we get to help dictate the outcome rather than react to a foregone conclusion. But if we sit on our hands for the next two decades, we won’t be worried about powder days, tourism or having fun. We’ll be worried about the stability of our environment, our jobs and our economy.
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