FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2012
Contact: Rebecca Silver, Sierra Club
America the Beautiful: While You Were at War
Sierra Club takes military personnel on expedition through Glacier National Park to study climate change and learn about the environment in the country they served
(SAN FRANCISCO – September 5,
2012) – Sierra Club Mission Outdoors, in
partnership with Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), introduced eight United States
military veterans to climate change exploration through a seven-day excursion in
Glacier National Park in Montana. The climate reconnaissance team
was led by OIF
veteran and Sierra Club Mission Outdoors Director Stacy Bare, EIS Director and
filmmaker James Balog and world class
mountaineer and The North Face athlete Conrad Anker. The expedition took place August 11 – 18 and was filmed for a
documentary to be released next year.
Military veterans have a unique perspective on what it means to protect, preserve and defend the nation. Participants were selected by the Sierra Club based on combat and service experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other US conflicts. A hands-on outdoor experience, the group set out to explore whether or not climate change is taking place by taking ice measurements and core samples, and mapping fast-disappearing glaciers. However, due to an unexpected excess volume of snow, they instead focused on comparing their observations to data collected in 2006. The group also climbed a major peak along the Continental Divide.
“As service members, we fought for our land, our waterways, and our environment, as much as we fought for anything else,” said OIF veteran and Sierra Club Mission Outdoors Director Stacy Bare. “This mission solidifies the relationship between serving our country in uniform and protecting the land.”
“It was a privilege and an eye-opening experience to guide a team of veterans through Glacier National Park,” said Conrad Anker, The North Face athlete. “Climbing involves a heavy dose of trust and team work, and it was a cathartic experience for everyone on the mountain. The vets clearly enjoyed being part of a small team in a challenging, non-combat situation. Hopefully more vets will get outdoors and find solace in the land they fought to defend.”
“This trip was a combination of leadership, science and camaraderie all wrapped up in a nice outdoor setting,” said Tyree T., OEF and OIF veteran. “I gained more of an appreciation of the outdoors and learned lessons that I can share with friends and family.”
Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors is committed to creating opportunities for those who served our country and their families to experience the freedom of the land they defended. Time spent outside is advantageous to veterans healing and reintegrating at home; veterans will also rediscover the beauty of our country’s open spaces and wild places.
The North Face, Veterans Expeditions, and Black Diamond contributed significant gear, funding, and outdoor expertise to the expedition.
To read more about the origins of the trip, please visit the Sierra Club Mission Outdoors blog.
Still photos will be available upon request
the Sierra Club
Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, we are 1.4 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet. Read more at http://www.sierraclub.org
About Mission Outdoors
Through direct programming, public education and advocacy, Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors program combats the growing divide between America and the outdoors by increasing opportunities for all to improve their overall well-being by exploring and enjoying the natural world. Mission Outdoors is comprised of four programs, Building Bridges to the Outdoors, Local Outings, Inner City Outings and Military Families and Veterans Initiative. Read more at http://www.sierraclub.org/missionoutdoors.