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What We’ve Done

  • Since 2007, Protect Our Winters has re-invested over $900,000 in initiatives that engage and mobilize the snow sports community. Here is a list of the some of our most notable accomplishments:

    -Took 17 pro athletes, industry brands and resort partners to Capitol HIll in October, 2013 to discuss the EPA’s carbon standards with members of Congress.  In one day, we met with 11 Senators.

    -Launched the “POW Riders Alliance,” an organization of 60 professional snow sports athletes committed to fighting climate change.  This program gives each athlete a platform to amplify their activism to students, sponsors, fans and media, unifying the message from the professional snow sports athletes under a single voice.

    -Hand delivered a letter to the White House, signed by 75 professional athletes, urging President Obama to take action on climate and clean energy.  The event was covered in over 50 media outlets, including Rolling Stone.

    -Led “Athletes For Action” an initiative during the 2014 Sochi Olympics with Olympian Andrew Newell and 105 Olympians asking world leaders to “recognize climate change by reducing emissions, embracing clean energy and preparing for a commitment to a global agreement in Paris in 2015.”  The effort garnered over 10 million media impressions and was covered in major media such as USA Today, Weather.com and through athlete-penned op-eds such as this.

    – Launched the Hot Planet/Cool Athletes educational program in partnership with The North Face, giving pro athletes a platform to speak to high school students about climate change and inspire them to become the next generation of climate leaders. Since 2011, we have met over 27,000 students at 55 schools nationwide. See the program trailer here.

    -Produced “Momenta” a full length documentary focused on the coal exports in the Pacific Northwest.  The film, premiering in Fall 2014, chronicles the shipping of coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to various proposed ports in Washington and Oregon.  See the trailer and more info HERE.

    – In partnership with the NRDC, launched a comprehensive report called “Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the US”.  The first ever of its kind, it details the economic impact of a low-snow winter in key winter sports dependent states.

    -Launched a Twitter Blizzard, an easy tool for constituents to send direct tweets to the Senators and Governors, asking them to support the EPA’s carbon standards initiatives.

    – Launched the POW7 Pledge, a list of seven of the most effective things any individual can do to fight climate change.  The date, the pledge has been taken by 5,000+ individuals online, at events, etc. and was named “The Best Green Action Plan We’ve Ever Seen“, by Grist.  We partnered with The North Face at the 2012 X Games to invite people to confess to their “climate sins” and then take the POW 7 pledge to clean up their carbon footprint.


    -Launched the Coal Kills Snow program, a grassroots effort to raise awareness of dirty coal in our mountains and wilderness areas, taking action against specific mines and coal fired power plants such as the proposed Chuitna coal mine in Alaska, The Hayden & Pawnee plants near Steamboat, CO and the proposed Belllingham, WA deepwater port.



    -Created the “Drop In and Vote” campaign in partnership with Surfrider Foundation, with professional snow and surf athletes, to address the voter turnout issue in 2012 and remind the action sports community to get out and vote.

    – Lead annual delegations to Washington, DC with pro snow sports athletes such as Gretchen Bleiler, Chris Davenport and Jeremy Jones to meet Congressional leaders and urge them to support clean energy legislation.

    – Delivered a sign-on letter in that asked Senators to support the EPA and it’s ability to regulate CO2 as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. The letter was signed by over 500 professional athletes, corporations and snow sports enthusiasts.

    – Worked with the NRDC to send over 2,000,000 total comments to the EPA supporting the 2012 carbon pollution rules.

    – Produced Generations, a short film to contextualize climate change’s effects on the winter sports community. 200,000+ views/downloads, 24 film festival showings, 150 grassroots film premieres, broadcast airings,

    Spanish/Japanese language translation, extensive global media coverage. Watch.

    – Installed solar panels on three schools in UT, WY and VT, helping to educate students and teachers on the
    functions and benefits of solar electric power.

    – Led a snow sports coalition to Washington DC to premiere Generations on Capitol Hill and meet Senators and Congressmen in advance of the Senate vote on climate change, urging them to support clean energy legislation.

    – Kicked off the Sixty Days campaign in March, 2010. Enabled our supporters to see where their Senator stood on climate change and to easily send a letter to urge them to support clean energy. To date, 3,000+ targeted letters have been sent to Senators from throughout the global winter sports community.

    – Distributed multiple op-ed pieces to over 60 U.S. mountain community newspapers, authored by professional athletes, highlighting climate change’s potential effects on local mountain community economies. Read one HERE

    – Funded sustainably produced film, My Own Two Feet. Held film premiere fund raising events to support local climate change initiatives. Over $75,000+ raised and distributed to 35 community programs.

    – Grant to Utah Clean Energy, an organization that advances renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy technologies in Utah and the West.

    – Grant to the Office of Resource Efficiency to fund the development of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and bio-diesel power throughout the Gunnison, CO valley.

    – Grant to Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies to fund the Senator Beck Basis climate change indicator study.

    – Grant to Mountain Riders/France to help fund their resort clean up and educational efforts in the French Alps.

    – Grant to SASS/Argentina to help fund recycling efforts in Bariloche, Argentina

    – Grant to the Wolf Ridge Environmental Center to support the development of a climate change curriculum,
    to be distributed to teachers in 2010.

    – Grant to the Park City Foundation to fund Park City Green, a community climate change website, providing citizens and businesses with innovative and engaging ways to measure and improve their carbon footprint.