|Embrace the UP at the 9th Annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival
HCCA presents Backcountry Film Festival in Crested Butte
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (November 19, 2013) – In celebration of winter and human-powered pursuits, High Country Citizens’ Alliance
(HCCA) is happy to host the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival
, on December 13th
at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts.
Winter is full of ups and downs so why not celebrate winter and embrace the UP? It’s time to dust off the skis, pull on your parka, grab your ski buddies, and celebrate the fun and beauty of winter at the Ninth Annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival
. The ten unique films included in this year’s Backcountry Film Festival will inspire you to embrace the UP. The Backcountry Film Festival makes its world premiere November 1, in Boise, Idaho and then tours to more than 100 showings around the world.
All funds raised from the Crested Butte screening will go to support HCCA’s efforts to protect public land and wilderness in the West Elk Mountains for backcountry use. The event includes a raffle of this season’s best backcountry and ski gear.
This year’s films come from both renowned filmmakers who search backcountry corners across the globe, and grassroots filmmakers who take a video camera out on their weekend excursions. This year’s program includes:
- Valhalla from Sweetgrass Productions and winner of the 2013 “Best of Festival,” is the tale of one man’s search to rediscover the freedom of his youth.
- Trail Break by Powderwhore is a beautiful black and white portrait of deep powder skiing.
- Morning Rituals, is a day in the life of an undercover ski bum. Presented by Chris Dickey of Orange and Purple.
- Youth, from filmmaker Corey Rich, inspires us to pack up the kids and proves that backcountry skiing is a family affair.
- Bolton Valley is the story of how a small community fought to save their beloved ski area. Winner of “Best Conservation Film” award.
- Nokhoi Zeekh: In search of the Wolverine. Five Americans set off on a month-long ski expedition through northern Mongolia to document one of the world's most iconic but least-known winter species.
- Bigger Braver, filmmaker Luc Mehl turns the camera on a young female athlete who shares her insight into the courage and strength involved in seeking big mountain adventure. Winner of “Best Short Film” award.
- From filmmaker and storyteller Fitz Cahall at Duct Tape then Beer comes Strong. Capturing Roger Strong’s reflections about moving forward after a tragic avalanche.
- Poor Man’s Heli, skier Antoine Boisselier thinks outside the skin track and comes up with a new and unique way to the top of the mountain. From Mike Douglas at Switchback Entertainment.
- From filmmaker Jason Thompson comes Take the Ride, asking the question; “when you have a dream will you buy the ticket? Will you Take the Ride?”
Tickets are $10, and can be purchased in advance at Rumor’s Coffee and Tea House in Crested Butte or at the door. Raffle tickets are $5 for one ticket, $7 for two tickets, $10 for 4 tickets, and available at the door. Doors open at 7pm, screening starts at 7:30 pm.
Come embrace the UP with HCCA and Winter Wildlands Ninth Annual Backcountry Film Festival!
About Backcountry Film Festival:
The festival was created in 2004 to highlight Winter Wildlands Alliance’s efforts to preserve and promote winter landscapes for human-powered users. From a single showing in Boise that first year, the festival has grown to include showings in locations throughout the United States, Canada and overseas to Antarctica, Europe, Australia and Asia. Funds raised stay in local communities to support like-minded, human-powered recreation efforts and to raise awareness of winter management issues, avalanche training/safety and winter education programs. For more information on the Backcountry Film Festival and the tour please visit www.backcountryfilmfestival.org
About High Country Citizens’ Alliance:
HCCA is a non-profit conservation organization, founded in Crested Butte in 1977 to stop a molybdenum mine on Mt. Emmons, or as the locals call it ‘Red Lady.’ The 12,392’ peak, which rises directly from the historic town of Crested Butte, is the source of the town’s drinking water, the destination all-season backcountry pursuits, and the site of the longest running mine fight in US History. Today, HCCA’s environmental advocacy work encompasses protection of public lands, water and wildlife throughout the Gunnison Valley, including limiting natural gas and coal leases, protecting water quantity and quality in the Upper Gunnison River Basin, and advocating for fish, wildlife and recreational uses that are a way of life in the West Elk Mountains.
Made up of over 700 members, HCCA is the environmental voice of the Gunnison Country. For more information on HCCA or to become a member, please visit www.hccaonline.org
Join local non-profits in a spirit of cooperation as we celebrate World Water Week in the Gunnison Valley, September 1st
, 2013. World Water Week, happening annually in Stockholm, has been the focal point for the globe's water issues since 1991. Every year, over 200 collaborating organizations convene events at the World Water Week, to discuss water, energy and foodshed security, and call for greater collaboration across the globe.
With this year’s theme in mind, “water cooperation – building partnerships,” the High Country Citizens Alliance (HCCA), Coal Creek Watershed Coalition (CCWC) and Office for Resource Efficiency (ORE) is happy to host a week of events highlighting all that water provides us in the Gunnison Valley. We believe that by working together we are pieces of the puzzle coming together in support of our watershed.
For more information, visit www.coalcreek.org
, facebook.com/highcountrycitizensalliance, or contact Cassidy at Cassidy@hccaonline.org
Don’t miss the main event!
"Where there's water, there's life!" Community Feast and Water Fair
Wednesday, September 4th, 4:30 – 7:30 pm, Totem Pole Park. $10 suggested donation.
World Water Week events are happening all week!
- Enjoy a “progressive meal” under the stars, right in the heart of town, and find out how by working together, we can keep our streams, rivers and drinking water healthy and pure. Visit each non-profit booth for a component of the locally-sourced meal. Enjoy the acoustic melodies of local musicians, a water-inspired kids zone, as well as a "health of the watershed" update. Bring your own eating vessel, and a picnic blanket to share with friends. This is a zero waste event. Montanya cocktails will be on hand for purchase, as well as beer, provided by Acme Liquor. All funds raised go to local non-profit initiatives.
- Participating organizations: High Country Citizen's Alliance, Coal Creek Watershed Coalition, Office for Resource Efficiency, Crested Butte Farmers Market, 1% for Open Space, Mountain Roots Food Project, American Whitewater, Lake Fork Valley Conservancy, Western Hardrock Watershed Team, Upper Gunnison River Water Conservation District, Water For People, Trout Unlimited, Colorado Mesa University, Colorado Foundation for Water Education.
- People’s Fair: Join HiCCA for kids “creature projects,” draw, paint and act-out ” what lives on Red Lady – 10 – 4 pm
- Water Prana Flow Yoga: With Monica Mesa, Yoga for the Peaceful – 9 am?
- “Turtle: The Incredible Journey” Screening and craft: Old Rock Community Library, Crested Butte – 5 pm
- Youngsters Story Time: “Turtle Tuesday” with craft, Old Rock Community Library – 11 – 11:30 am
- Dine Out for Coal Creek: Last Steep Bar and Grill! – 5 pm
- Youngsters Story Time: “Rainbow Fish,” Gunnison Library – 10:30 – 11 am?
- Wonders of Water with the National Park Service: Grades 3-5, Old Rock Community Library – 3:45 pm?
- Community Feast and Water Fair: Totem Pole Park – 4:30 – 7:30 pm – $10 per plate/ beer and cocktails also offered.
- Wading in the Water’: Listen in on KBUT Community Radio – 9 am & 1:30 pm?
- Water Luminary Book Reading and Discussion: George Sibley of ‘Water Wranglers,’ Rumor’s Coffee and Tea House – 6 pm
- Youngsters Story Time: “My River” with craft, Old Rock Community Library – 11 – 11:30 am?
- Screening of Robert Redford’s “Watershed”: Popcorn and cocktails, Location TBD – 6 pm – $6 suggested donation
U.S. Energy’s "Accepted" Plan of Operations
May 2, 2013
U.S. Energy's Plan of Operations, dated April 12, 2013 - version "accepted by U.S. Forest Service.
Click Here to Download
HCCA Hires New Public Lands Director
March 12, 2013
High Country Citizens’ Alliance is pleased to announce that Alli Melton has been hired as its new Public Lands Director. Ms. Melton grew up in Fort Collins and although she left the state briefly for academic pursuits, Colorado has always pulled her back. “Colorado is my home, there’s something truly special about the Rocky Mountain air, landscapes, and communities. I am very fortunate that my work involves protecting and preserving what makes this area so special.”
As an undergraduate at Colorado State University, Ms. Melton was involved in a grass roots organization seeking to protect the northern front-range from in-situ leach uranium mining. “This experience taught me first hand that when communities unite they can achieve their goal of protecting their land, air, water, and health.” Ms. Melton received her Bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University in 2009 and her J.D. from Colorado Law in 2012. At Colorado Law, Ms. Melton focused on natural resources and environmental law in addition to interning for the Western Mining Action Project and the U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement, Compliance, and Environmental Justice.
Since graduating, Ms. Melton was admitted to the Colorado Bar, clerked as a Judicial Fellow for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica M. Márquez, and worked pro bono for the Western Mining Action Project.
“We hired Alli because she has a great foundation on the legal issues needed to protect this amazing area and has an excellent understanding of how to build support across the community.” Said Greg Dyson, HCCA’s Executive Director. Sue Navy, a HCCA board member also added that: “We are very fortunate to have found someone with Alli’s background and enthusiasm for our public lands conservation work. We know she will be an asset to the organization.”
Ms. Melton stated: “I am thrilled to be here in Crested Butte. I am looking forward to integrating into the Upper Gunnison River Basin community and exploring the beautiful landscapes that surround us. This community’s commitment to protecting Red Lady is inspiring and I am excited to become part of the effort to protect our land, air, water, communities, and lifestyles. As the Public Lands Director, I intend to work with various stakeholders to ensure our public lands are managed in a sustainable manner so they can be enjoyed by and inspire generations to come.”
Gunnison Sage-grouse habitat restoration project documentary
February 12, 2013
The Gunnison Climate Working Group is working to reduce the impacts of climate change, and to build resilience in riparian habitats in the Gunnison Basin. In fall 2012, The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, Western State Colorado University, along with landowners, partners and volunteers, built over 100 rock structures along streams at two sites.
Created by Claudia Strijek of Strijek Design
All North Fork Oil and Gas Parcels Removed From February BLM Lease Sale!
February 6, 2013
All North Fork Oil and Gas Parcels Removed From February BLM Lease Sale!
Agency Cites “Extensive Public Comments” in Deferral of 20,555 Acres
In a February 6th press release the BLM Colorado Office announced that it has decided to remove all 20 lease parcels in the North Fork Valley of Gunnison and Delta Counties from its February 14th oil and gas lease sale. This is a tremendous victory for the North Fork, including its communities, farms and ranches, wildlife, waters and public lands.
HCCA wants to thank all our members who took the time to write the BLM and elected officials urging the withdrawal of the nominated parcels. The agency noted the “extensive public comments” in justifying its action to withdraw all 20 parcels. Your input was critical in shaping the BLM’s decision!
For now, the beautiful public lands, bountiful orchards, abundant wildlife and clean waters of the North Fork are spared from tens of thousands of acres of new development. HCCA will continue to work with our conservation partners, agency staff and elected officials to ensure that the cherished landscapes of Gunnison County and the Upper Gunnison River Basin remain protected.
Coal Mining Threatens Colorado’s Mountain Backcountry
January 29, 2013
Gunnison County, CO
—Conservationists late yesterday filed an appeal with the Department of the Interior to halt Arch Coal’s plans to bulldoze, road, and drill the forests next to Colorado’s iconic West Elk Wilderness Area as part the company’s plans to expand dirty energy development on public lands.
Click here to read the full press release
U.S. Energy’s Plan for Mt. Emmons Would Dramatically Alter Crested Butte and its Backcountry
January 16, 2013
Crested Butte— After winning release of U.S. Energy’s Plan of Operations (PoO), High Country Citizens’ Alliance and the community can now see—for the first time—U.S. Energy’s specific plans for a mine on Mt. Emmons. According to the PoO, the proposed mine on Red Lady, as locals affectionately term Mt. Emmons, would: impact 10,000 acres of public land, require upgrading Kebler Pass to a two lane road, include pumping the Slate River, and necessitate dams on Upper Ohio Creek, Carbon Creek, and Elk Creek. “This proposal cannot be measured on a scale of anything the Gunnison Valley has previously experienced. Mining Red Lady would fundamentally alter the economy and lifestyle of Crested Butte. It would result in the loss of the scenic, recreation, wildlife, and water quality values we enjoy today,” said HCCA’s Executive Director Greg Dyson. The PoO outlines plans for mine sludge to be stored in tailings ponds at the western base of Whetstone Mountain, a 46,000 square foot mill building just off Kebler Pass Road, and an estimated 32 truck trips per day across the treasured scenic byway from the mine site to the North Fork Valley.
In addition, the PoO outlines very real impacts to water quality, but glosses over these concerns. HCCA’s Water Director Jennifer Bock points out, “We drink this water and we fish in these streams. U.S. Energy acknowledges that there is already acid mine drainage from the old Keystone Mine on Mt. Emmons, but in the same document, claims that there will be no new impacts to aquatic life or water quality from their mine. This is unrealistic given what we’ve seen at other moly mines such as Climax near Leadville.” The Town of Crested Butte has taken pains to protect its watershed, yet U.S. Energy dismisses the Town’s ability to protect our drinking water, stating “Legal counsel for U.S. Energy has reviewed the Town of Crested Butte watershed ordinance and has determined that it will not affect operations under this Plan of Operations.”
HCCA is in the process of analyzing the PoO in order to provide more details to the public. The organization, which has opposed mining on Red Lady for over 35 years, is also working to ensure that the PoO meets all Forest Service requirements and that the agency follows proper protocol as it considers the PoO and its impacts on the local environment. While there is no formal opportunity for the public to comment at this time, if the Forest Service accepts the PoO, procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will trigger extensive public involvement in environmental analysis.
Ultimately, said HCCA’s Board President, Rich Karas, the organization’s aim is to reach a permanent solution to the mine issues through negotiations, “We believe that both HCCA’s and U.S. Energy’s time and resources are much better spent in negotiations rather than debating a mining plan.” HCCA and U.S. Energy, along with the Town of Crested Butte and Red Lady Coalition announced in May 2011 that the groups had begun discussions aimed at a land exchange package which would permanently end the threat of mining on Mt. Emmons.
Click here to download U.S. Energy's Plan of Operations
*Maps are on page 83
Click here to download the Plan of Operations map only
Click here to download HCCA's fact sheet
HCCA Hires New E.D.
January 16, 2013
High Country Citizens’ Alliance is pleased to announce that Greg Dyson has been hired to be its new Executive Director. Mr. Dyson is an environmental attorney with 20 years experience in the environmental movement as an activist and non-profit manager. He founded and ran the group ‘Bark’ in Portland, Oregon, and later was Executive Director of the Hells Canyon Preservation Council in Northeast Oregon. At those two groups, he worked on mining, energy, old growth, wilderness, recreation, wildlife, forest planning and watershed issues. Most recently, he has been residing in Denver. Mr. Dyson started at HCCA on January 2nd.
Rich Karas, President of the HCCA Board, stated: “we were fortunate to find in Greg someone who could bring a strong background on the issues along with a wealth of experience in running a non-profit.” Sue Navy, a founding Board member of HCCA, added: “Greg has a demonstrated ability to work constructively with a wide range of interest groups while staying true to an environmental mission.”
“I’m excited to be here in Crested Butte. Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly, and the way in which the community has banded together to stop mining on Red Lady for all these years is truly inspiring. I intend to keep serious pressure on US Energy and strengthen our Water and Public Lands programs, while building our support base in and out of the Upper Gunnison Valley,” Mr. Dyson said.
|The mission of High County Citizens’ Alliance is to champion the protection, conservation and preservation of the natural ecosystems within the Upper Gunnison River Basin.
Please Join High Country Citizens’ Alliance and Donate to the Red Lady Defense Fund
|You can become a member and make online donations to HCCA via your credit or bank card by clicking Network for Good link above!
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