From our origins in 1894, Mazamas have had a long record of conservation and preservation. This continues today. The 2001 membership survey results showed that 80% of our membership believe that the Mazamas should be active in conservation and environmental issues. With this in mind, the Conservation Committee strives to increase our visibility and influence within the community as well as in our own organization.
What do we do?
- We take an active role in conservation issues.
- Through conservation grants and affiliations, we support efforts and activism by other conservation organizations.
- We recognize outstanding conservationists within the Mazamas with the Montague Bowl award.
Mazamas Conservation Goals and Strategies
- Actively advocate for the protection and management of natural areas to preserve, restore, and enhance healthy ecosystems.
- The Mazamas maintains awareness and track conservation issues.
- The Mazamas gives input to current conservation decisions when possible.
- Organize cooperative conservation efforts with other community groups and coalitions.
- Further scientific inquiry and understanding of ecosystems which may include: grants, guest lectures, outing experiences and possibly in conjunction with the Research Committee.
- Maintain direct communication with elected officials and land managers.
- Educate our members so they can actively advocate for conservation issues.
- Members incorporate conservation activities and practices into their own lifestyle.
- Promote education and outreach to encourage stewardship and reduce impact to the environment.
- The Mazamas will become a carbon neutral organization in its facilities and practices.
Each year the Conservation Committee awards grants to Northwest organizations working to preserve our natural heritage. Application instructions, past recipients, and more are available here.
Forever Forests Seminar
The Conservation Committee hosted the Forever Forests seminar on April 2nd, 2009 at the Mazama Mountaineering Center. This event was organized together with CRAG Law Center to provide an opportunity for Mazamas and the public to learn about forest ecosystem health directly from four scientific experts. A follow-up weekend field session with the scientists allowed participants to snowshoe the Tilly Jane trail and learn first hand about the impact of the 2008 Gnarl Ridge fire on Mt. Hood.
Mazama Tree Planting Project
On March 7th, 2009, the Conservation Committee along with the National Forest Foundation and Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation hosted the Mazamas Friends of the Forest Day. Over 50 volunteers planted trees along the Salmon River, completing a restoration project to re-establish Chinook and Coho salmon habitat, build new riparian forest land, and sequester carbon.
In cooperation with other outdoor and conservation organizations, the Mazamas supported recent evolving wilderness legislation introduced by our representatives in Congress. The combined effort ultimately resulted in the signing of Omnibus Public Lands Management Act by President Obama on March 30th, 2009, protecting over 200,000 acres in Oregon including areas around Mount Hood, Copper Salmon, Soda Mountain, Spring Basin and the Badlands.
Cooper Spur Expansion
The Conservation Committee has been actively involved in opposing the proposed expansion of the Cooper Spur ski area on the north side of Mount Hood.
The Conservation Committee is working in cooperation with the Portland State University Department of Geography and Geology in documenting the shrinking of the glaciers of the Cascades. The Mazamas have donated proceeds from the Melting Mountains Conference held in April 2007 to PSU for aerial photography documenting the impact of global warming on glaciers in the Cascades.
Melting Mountains Conference
On April 14th, 2007 the Conservation Committee hosted the Melting Mountains Conference focusing on the impact of climate change on our mountains’ glaciers and the Pacific Northwest. We learned what is being done and what more can be done, both by government and by us in our own personal lives. We extend our thanks to the speakers, volunteers, sponsors and the attendees for making this such a great conference.
Chasing Ice Presentation and Panel Discussion
On Friday, October 4th, at 7:00 PM, the Conservation Committee is sponsoring a showing of James Balog’s award-winning 2012 documentary, Chasing Ice, at the Mazama Mountaineering Center, 527 SE 43rd Ave., Portland. In 2005, National Geographic sent James Balog to the Arctic to photograph evidence of our changing climate. Within months Balog conceived of the Extreme Ice Survey, a revolutionary new approach that used time-lapse cameras positioned on glaciers around the globe to record changes to the world’s vulnerable glaciers. In terrifying and beautiful images, these time-lapse photographs depict the dramatic and drastic erosion and disappearance of ancient, enormous glaciers. After the film, you’ll have the opportunity to hear a panel of glacier experts comment about it, and respond to audience questions.
The Mazama Conservation Committee works with the following organizations through council approved activities including writing letters of support and participation in coalitions. We support selected organizations with conservation grants and with membership subscriptions: