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Protect Our Winters (POW)

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Protect Our Winters © Protect Our Winters

About Protect Our Winters (POW):

Professional snowboarders have proven to be some of the sport’s best advocates. Since its birth in the 1960s, they’ve pushed snowboarding into the mainstream and beyond. Jeremy Jones, one of snowboarding’s most impressive backcountry freeriders, has been taking steps to protect snowboarding and keep winters snowy with the Protect Our Winters organization.

Protect Our Winters (POW) History:

Protect Our Winters (POW) was created by Jones in 2007 as a movement toward combatting climate change and maintaining snowboarding as one of the world’s leading winter sports. He saw resorts closing due to lack of snow and his favorite backcountry areas running dry. His goal with POW was to help all riders get involved in the effort to keep powder days alive.

Jeremy Jones and his organization aren’t completely biased toward snowboarding; POW is dedicated to preserving all snow sports and keeping winters cold.

The winter sports industry in the United States contributes $67 billion to our nation’s economy each year and generates over 600,000 jobs. With roughly 23 million people participating in snow sports in the United States, Jones saw an opportunity to educate those who enjoy the sports and get them involved in preservation efforts. He knew if nothing was done, powder days could be a thing of the past, and people’s lives could be drastically changed.

POW has invested over $500,000 in educating and mobilizing people in areas that thrive when the snow is falling. With The North Face outdoor clothing and equipment company on their side, POW created the Hot Planet/Cool Athletes initiative in 2011. POW sent professional athletes to high schools around the country to educate students on climate change and its effect on local economies. By 2013, they had spoken to over 15,000 students at 37 schools around the United States. The Hot Planet/Cool Athletes movement strives to push young people toward fighting climate change, so they can enjoy winters the way people have in the past.

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) paired up with POW to develop a report titled, “Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the US.” Climate change is a topic that has been discussed countless times, but the effect of climate change on small communities is often brushed aside. This report detailed the impact that winters with less snow have on economies in communities that thrive on ski resorts, sledding hills and all of the fun that snow can offer. The POW7 Pledge was then launched online, and over 5,000 people logged on to take a stand against climate change. POW and The North Face were at the 2012 Winter X Games influencing winter sport lovers to take the pledge.

The Surfrider Foundation jumped on board with POW in 2012 as well. They created the Drop In and Vote campaign to influence surf and snowboard enthusiasts to get to the polls during local and national elections to vote for movements that will prevent climate change.

Gretchen Bleiler, Chris Davenport and Jeremy Jones - three snowboarding legends - went to Washington, D.C., to push their climate change initiatives. They delivered a letter to the Senate and asked them to support the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide pollution and worked with the NRDC to contact the EPA about carbon pollution regulations. A couple years later, POW rounded up 75 professional athletes and hand-delivered a letter to the White House urging the government to help stifle climate change. POW was featured in Rolling Stone and a number of mainstream media outlets for the letter to President Obama.

In conjunction with The North Face, POW created the short film “Generations” as another attempt to reach the masses and educate them on the effect of climate change on local economies and the snow sports community. Over 200,000 viewers downloaded the film online, and it was featured at over 150 premier events including one on Capitol Hill for congressmen and senators. Generations finally gave POW the mainstream global media coverage it needed.

One of the most influential parts of the POW organization is the amount of money that is donated toward the fight against climate change. The organization has given grants to Utah Clean Energy, the Office of Resource Efficiency, the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies, Mountain Riders, SASS, the Wolf Ridge Environmental Center and the Park City Foundation to aid each of their movements to improve our country and the world’s carbon footprint.

Action sports athletes are passionate about the sports they enjoy, and professional snowboarders have always been using their fan bases to improve the sport for upcoming riders. Through Protect Our Winters, Jeremy Jones is using his knowledge and resources to activate young people toward protecting their communities.

Protect Our Winters (POW) Organization:

Protect our Winters was created by Jeremy Jones, but it is fueled by numerous individuals, companies, and resorts who give their time and resources to support the cause. POW is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, and their supporters benefit from the foundation’s presence in the snowboarding and snow sports community. Their partners are arranged in groups based on the resources they contribute.

Platinum Partners - $30,000 and up

  • The North Face
  • Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • Converse

Gold Partners - $10,000-$30,000

  • Vans
  • Clif Bar
  • Alaska Ultima Thule Outfitters
  • Aspen Snowmass
  • Mountain Equipment Co-Op
  • Transworld Snowboarding
  • Mountain Collective
  • Teton
  • Burton

Foundation Partners - $5,000-$10,000

  • Jones Snowboards
  • Patagonia
  • New Era
  • O’Neill
  • Snowsports Industries America
  • Quiksilver Foundation
  • Asymbol
  • Outside Television
  • Squaw Valley
  • Volcom
  • Christenson

Contributing Partners - $0-$5,000

  • Tactics Board Shop
  • TGR Tour
  • Spy
  • Sno Cru
  • The Dorris Eaton School
  • Simply Straws
  • Lazer Sport Helmets
  • Chaos Hats
  • Arbor Snowboards
  • POC
  • Black Diamond Equipment
  • Backcountry Magazine
  • Dan Milner Photography
  • Adam Clark Photography
  • Green Merchant Alliance
  • Karakoram, Grassroots California
  • Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn
  • Contour
  • Expedition Broker
  • Ticket River and TicketPrinting.com
  • Tortimaki Foundation
  • Backbone Media
  • Snowsports Industries America
  • Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation
  • Early Bird Powder
  • Skis.com

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