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Safeguarding the West

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The West is feeling unprecedented pressure from increasing demands for energy, the impacts of climate change and the rapid growth in our communities. These issues have a direct impact on the future of the places we climb, hike, ski, fish, hunt, and paddle. 

The voice of the $887 billion outdoor industry is a powerful tool, and with these issues bearing down on us, it's time to wield it. 

Western Resource Advocates (WRA) has been a leader in protecting Colorado’s air, land and water for the last thirty years. In a state defined by soaring mountains, majestic headwaters, wide open spaces, alpine lakes and famous snowpack, it’s WRA's mission to safeguard Colorado’s iconic landscapes from the impacts of climate change, energy development and increasing population growth.

Colorado is the source of much of the water that flows west, and WRA is focused on keeping Colorado’s rivers healthy. This includes protecting the mighty Colorado River from increasing demands from downstream population centers. In 2018, they were instrumental in stopping dams from being placed on Maroon and Castle Creek, near Aspen’s iconic Maroon Bells. WRA crafted a settlement with the city that protects these valleys while still meeting the city’s water future needs. WRA is also leading efforts to shape a strong Colorado Water Plan to protect Colorado’s rivers into the future as our population soars.

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On the energy side, WRA’s goal is to decarbonize the West. They’ve shown that this is possible right now by developing innovative and common-sense partnerships with Xcel Energy for example, to deliver zero carbon energy by 2050, addressing climate change at the core. It’s the most ambitious commitment to climate action of any power company in the country, and this commitment will help Colorado play a leadership role nationally on both climate and clean energy. 

Colorado is the epicenter of the outdoor recreation community – it’s the reason we live and work here and why recreationalists from around the world come here to enjoy our rivers, mountains and open spaces. WRA’s Protect The West campaign is a coalition of outdoor industry business leaders, that include Mountain Standard, leveraging our voices and empowering our communities to address the critical environmental issues and protect this great state, and the rest of the Intermountain West, for future generations. 

For more information on Western Resource Advocates, please visit, westernresourceadvocates.org

 
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Written by Elizabeth O'Connell
Development & Stewardship Officer
Western Resource Advocates