Episode 165: Coming Together to Vote as an Outdoor State

Interview with Lindsay Bourgoine

Sponsored by Ikon Pass, BetterHelp, & Danner

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Lindsay Bourgoine of Protect Our Winters, who leads outdoor athletes and brand executives on climate policy issues and advocacy, shares the power of our voice and our vote in the fight against climate change.

There are countless issues to keep in mind as you consider who you will vote for on a state and federal level in the United States this November. And while don’t make specific endorsements on the show, we’re grateful to Lindsay for helping to explain the real systemic changes that can occur through environmental policy, as well as the powerful gateway a love of the outdoors can be to becoming an advocate.

Full transcript available after the photos and resources.

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Featured in this episode: Lindsay Bourgoine

Hosted by Gale Straub

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Music is also by The Light the Heat, Maddy Hartson, & Tim Halperin via Music Bed.

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Lindsay Bourgoine

Protect Our Winters Voting Tool

Protect Our Winters Voting Tool

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TRANSCRIPT

Note: This transcript was lightly edited and created using a transcription service. As such it may contain spelling errors.

Gale Straub – Narration:

I’m Gale Straub and you’re listening to She Explores.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

There are lawmakers [that] make decisions every day about how to treat the places we play, whether that’s the air, the water, the ground between us and those decisions will really determine what the future of, what we call at POW, the “outdoor state” looks like.

Gale Straub – Narration:

I must sound like a broken record on this show, but we talk a lot about the connections we make in the outdoors. And if you love spending time outside, there’s an inevitable connection that we need to make between the places we recreate and the need to protect them, especially from the accelerating impacts of climate change. In the face of this, it’s easy to feel powerless as an individual. But Lindsay Bourgoine of Protect Our Winters, who leads outdoor athletes and brand executives on climate policy issues and advocacy, is here on the podcast to share the power of our voice, and our vote, in the fight against climate change.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

I feel like sometimes in elections, it’s easy to feel like our voice doesn’t matter, but what if we, the outdoor state all voted together, we are essentially the largest swing state in the nation. And in a time when races are really won or lost on the margins, just like many of our outdoor activities and in the races that we do, congressional races sometimes come down to 500 votes. And so we’re talking about 50 million people nationwide. And if we show up and vote together to protect the places that we play and the great outdoors, we can absolutely have an impact.

Gale Straub – Narration:

There are countless issues to keep in mind as you consider who you will vote for on a state and federal level here in the United States this November. And we won’t be making specific endorsements on the show today. But I’m grateful to Lindsay for helping to explain the real systemic changes that can occur through environmental policy, as well as the powerful gateway a love of the outdoors can be to becoming an advocate. Before we jump in, I want to make a couple of clarifications: first, we talk a lot about climate change and environmental policy in this episode as it relates to Outdoor Recreation like skiing, fishing, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, you name it. It’s a relatively narrow, but still powerful lens. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to listen to our episode on Intersectional Environmentalism with Leah Thomas and Kristy Drutman. Environmental policy doesn’t just impact land and air and water, it impacts people, and environmental injustices disproportionately impact communities of color. Secondly, POW is an acronym for Protect Our Winters, and you’ll hear Lindsay refer to it that way from time to time.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Okay, now we can dive in. Like me, Lindsay’s originally from the Northeast. She made the connection between outdoor recreation and environmental policy growing up in Maine.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

I was really fortunate to grow up in an outdoor family and small town in Maine that included having a dad that really dragged me everywhere and in the great outdoors, including up to Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain of Maine. And when I was 15, he started taking me up Mount Katahdin every winter with all of his, his buddies. So I kind of became this token high school girl on this trip with, with a bunch of old guys into Baxter state park. And that was a really formative experience for me to, to be up there at a time where there’s, you know, almost nobody else in the park and, and just experience nature in, in winter, in Maine, at its finest, and kind of from there ended up working for a group called the Appalachian Mountain Club who runs huts that country huts along the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

And I think that was the first place I kind of made the connection between conservation and recreation and education. And I don’t mean this to be a PSA for their mission, which is exactly that, but I really was just inspired by the places, the incredible landscapes in the white mountains and the people and the mission there. And that actually led to a full time policy job with that organization, the Appalachian mountain club in Portland, Maine. And I feel like that was a little bit of luck, right? Like I knew the mission, I could speak it. I had had shared it many times over dinner when we were serving to our guests at the huts and, you know, had memorized it and, and knew the language if you will. And I feel really, really fortunate to say that that opportunity really landed me into a career that I loved. And honestly really had no idea that I had a knack or an interest in policy.

Gale Straub :

Hmm. So you ended up going to study it after working or while you worked at the AMC?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

I actually left later. That is correct. I did a couple of different things. I worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club and part of my time there was spent in the Maine legislature. And that’s actually where I had my kind of like aha moment on what I wanted to do career wise. The quick story is I was working on a state park funding bill trying to get it passed to help keep Maine State Parks vibrant. And it was really just kind of running into dead ends and not seeing the success I wanted. And so actually made a connection through L.L. Bean and had one of their top staffers, give some legislators a call. And even though they didn’t show up and necessarily testify in front of a committee that that impact that, you know, L.L. Bean is one of the largest employers in Maine. And for them to say, hey, funding state parks in the great outdoors is, is super important to me and to my business bottom line. That was enough. And I think realizing that, wow, that the outdoor sports community, the outdoor industry just has such an incredible impact when it comes to environmental advocacy. And, and maybe hasn’t necessarily realized that, so kind of harnessing that is what’s really important and inspirational to me. And so I did go back to school. I did a Master’s at Vermont Law School to kind of spend some time learning what, what is all that legalize that I’m hearing around the legislature and how can I get better at it?

Gale Straub :

It must feel really satisfying when that legislation is passed and changes do happen based on all of that work that you can, that you can see it show up in that example in the Maine State Parks.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think what I loved about working in Maine and in the legislature there is, you know, unlike maybe some places, mainly Washington DC, I could see all of the bills that I worked on in Maine. I could literally go sit in the chamber. A lot of people don’t realize that that is public domain. You can go sit and watch your legislators vote on a policy. And sometimes obviously that was not in the favor that I wanted, but to be able to see that process and see things actually move forward and progress, that was also really inspiring.

Gale Straub :

So do you have a lot of faith in the process?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

I think, you know, I can totally see how outsiders might not, but I think a lot of times we forget that our lawmakers are humans too, and that they, you know, are passionate people and they have a lot of the same values regardless of what side of the aisle they sit on. And I think there’s a lot of hope in connecting with those people and kind of participating in the process. I think, you know, as I mentioned, I do really love the smaller scale of state level policy or even municipal policy, local policy. I think there’s a lot more, it’s just easier to move fast than in places like DC or federal government. So those are areas I definitely encourage people to get involved in. And I think there’s a lot to be done at the state and local level on issues that we care about. So I think that’s a great opportunity.

Gale Straub :

Hmm. What’s your role today at Protect Our Winters?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Protect Our Winters is a national nonprofit organization and we help passionate outdoor people protect the places and lifestyle they love from the impacts of climate change. So really thinking about how do we engage the broader outdoor sports community and advocating for systemic policy change? I think, you know, we’re in a place right now with, with climate change, that individual action, unfortunately, isn’t isn’t enough. And so what my role is, I’m the Director of Policy and Advocacy there. So I kind of think of it in three parts and that’s one like what climate policies are the best bang for our buck in terms of reducing emissions. That’s our goal, right, is, is mitigating the impacts of climate change. So we look out there and we say there are certain policies that are really good at reducing emissions rapidly. And some that aren’t so good. So what are the ones that POW wants to advocate for?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

What’s truly effective. And for us right now, we’ve advocated for clean energy and carbon pricing and electric vehicles and reducing fossil fuel emissions off public lands. And then we also think about where those policy fights are happening. So are there rollbacks against one of those things we care about at the state or is there a proactive policy in DC that we want to be engaged in? And then third piece of my job is kind of how can Pat actually have a voice in those conversations and advance that agenda? So a quick example would be in Oregon at the state level a few years ago, there was a proposal to do a cap and invest bill. It was called the clean energy jobs bill, and it was about reducing emissions and investing that money back into green infrastructure. And so we thought that this was something that lined up with our agenda that we wanted to get involved in. We tracked it to see what was happening and where were there some hearings and where could we, you know, who were the key legislators? And then we brought both our athletes and our volunteers to actually speak at multiple field hearings and at the state house in Salem. So that’s kind of how the process works.

Gale Straub :

How do you find those people to, to volunteer and how do you source that athlete team to help create like a stronger collective voice in instances like that?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

We work with, Oh man, something like over 120 professional athletes. And a lot of times outside groups maybe see us a little bit as a Speakers Bureau and they kind of ask like, Oh, how do you get so many athletes in the reality is we don’t pay them. And honestly, many of them come to us. And I think that has to do with those of us who are really passionate about the outdoors and spend a lot of time in the outdoors. We see the impacts of climate change firsthand. It’s not hard to tell that our winter seasons are shorter or that we have less snow or that we have more intense wildfire seasons, and those are closing our trails. And so athletes see these impacts and obviously as people whose professions depend on the viability of the great outdoors, they’re definitely interested in speaking up. So they kind of come to us and I would say that’s, you know, largely true for volunteers as well as kind of, you know, us going out and sharing our vision and our mission and messaging around why it’s important to speak up on climate. And I think it really resonates with those of us that do spend a lot of time in the great outdoors.

Gale Straub :

Yeah. So, so what are some of those ways that Protect Our Winters makes that connection for folks that, that you made, you know, seeing the, the like huge snow pile at Baxter State Park as a kid and enjoying that and thinking about how that has changed over time and how weather changes, like how is protect our winters, communicating that and making that connection for folks.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

So we actually worked with a whole group of scientists as well. It was on an event actually. We’ve had events every night, this week working with different members of our science, science, and scientists, and kind of in the same way that we work with athletes, right. It’s really about bringing together a diverse group of, of pretty influential people that have experience in this way. And so we ask those scientists, tell us what’s happening on the front lines, tell us what’s happening in real time and what impacts we’re seeing. And oftentimes those are scary, but we do see it as our mission and our, our role to message those out to the greater outdoor sports community. So for example, our, our events series this week is talking about what are the localized impacts of climate change? What does it look like to have shorter winters and less snowpack or snow falling as rain or having rain snow lines move up to higher elevation?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

And obviously I just talked a bit about snow and the reality is snow. For those of us that are really into water. Sports is water. So, you know, when water’s become less navigable and our rivers are rivers or hotter for fishing, or we see intensified drought or wildfires. So there’s really something that’s impacting every single one of us, regardless of what our sport is or what our favorite pastime is. And so really communicating without with our science community, but then also making sure people feel empowered and knowing that there is something that we can do about it, that we don’t just have to sit here and listen to these really terrible things that are going to hurt the lifestyles that we live, but that we can advocate for change.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’ll hear more from Lindsay after this.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’re back before the break, Lindsay was talking about the importance of advocating for change, but that advocacy, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

It’s important to remember that in the United States, it’s incredibly hard to avoid having carbon footprint. All of us are mostly living with, with carbon resources and it’s pretty tricky to avoid. And so if we stop and think about it, yes, we should lessen our impacts, but as we have discussed it, it’s important to be an advocate for systemic change. That’s kind of the most important thing over individual action. And I think an easy way to explain it is for example, I drove my Subaru Outback to the Trailhead this very morning to ride my bike. And, you know, if that precluded me from speaking up on climate change, you know, who could speak up, like I said, the reality is we all kind of use these resources. And so let’s stop beating each other up about the impacts we have and let’s channel that energy toward action.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

I think it’s, you know, I really find it disheartening when I look on social media and somebody criticizing, um, one of our athletes for riding the chairlift and I get it, there’s, you know, the ski industry is carbon intensive and we’re not shying away from that. But also the ski industry itself turned off overnight and there was no longer ski industry. We would still be heading this very daunting climate future with catastrophic impacts. Um, it’s a very minimal industry, so it’s not to say there isn’t an impact, but we really need to look at the scale of these problems and what we can do for systemic change.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Environmental policy can help us achieve systemic change. So rather than the responsibility being put on individuals like you and me to be alone in the fight against climate change, corporations and state local and federal government can also be held accountable…but Lindsay explains it much better than I could.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

We look at this systemic policy change because we feel like we’re at a place right now where we’re individual action isn’t enough. And, um, if we look back in history, the, the kind of case for individual action actually stems from campaigns that have largely been funded by the same actors that have been pushing for fossil fuel based energy to essentially make us feel like we can’t win. And, you know, there are some folks out there that suggest that the fossil fuel industries campaign investments are actually magnitudes larger than what we spent on, you know, the campaign to say that tobacco was safe. It’s kind of the same actors, same quantities of money, or maybe even more. And so I think we see these things and they’re ingrained in us. Like I need to shut my lights off and yes, shut your lights, switch off. That’s important, but also advocate for clean energy.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

So every time you turn that light on, you know, that it is being sourced by clean energy resources and not coming from coal. And I think a quick example of this that I really like is last year, we worked on a big campaign to get more electric vehicles in Colorado. And essentially before that, there was no mandate that said, Hey, dealers, car dealers, you need to sell a certain portion of electric vehicles as part of the total cars on your lot. And we really do need MI policy to kind of spur that market change and kind of supply and demand there. And so what I said to outdoor enthusiast is, you know, did you guys know that there’s actually an electric Crosstrek, Subaru makes that in, sells it in California, but they don’t sell it in any other States because there isn’t enough of a market. So if we pass policy that says, dealers actually need to sell that they can sell more cars like the electric Crosstrek, which enables us as consumers to have more decisions. So if we advocate for systemic policy that also enables us to make better individual decisions in our own lives.

Gale Straub :

Hmm. Yeah. Because how can there be a market for it if you don’t have that option.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Right. Exactly.

Gale Straub :

Why is one of the things that you said to me when we initially chatted… you said that “your story is the most powerful tool you have and maybe the only tool that you need.” Why, why do you believe that?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

You know, I work on policy and I think sometimes that that word itself scares people. It’s like, Ooh, that sounds jargony. And legalees and technical. And like, I don’t necessarily want to call my lawmakers or write them a letter or, you know, the idea of showing up in person and testifying, like even the word testifies scary. And I think that, you know, we need to break it down for people and help them understand that it’s really just about showing up and telling your story and sharing your perspective. And all of our perspectives are kind of coming from experiences we’ve had. And so, you know, you don’t need to memorize, you know, we have some people that say, I don’t, I don’t know all the details on, on climate science and climate data, but you really just need to show, show up and show your passion and talk about how these changes impact you.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

So sometimes it might surprise people. If I say, you know, we took multiple athletes to testify in front of state lawmakers in Salem, and they actually never really even talked about the policy at hand. They talked about what’s happening to the outdoor sports community what’s happening in terms of economic impact to our industry and how that hurts kind of the broader economy. And they talk about their own personal experiences and how they’ve witnessed climate firsthand. And, and that’s really, what’s compelling. It’s not the, like why this policy mechanism is the best to get, you know, to achieve this much reduction of greenhouse gases. And so I think going back to the Oregon example that I gave earlier, we had this really cool hearing where we were able to have a professional athlete speak that was, um, Josh Dirkson, he’s a snowboarder out of bend. And he actually sat on, what’s called a panel.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

They essentially bring up three people to testify in a row next to a gentleman named Brian Durbin. And Brian is a power volunteer. And so here he is sitting next to, you know, maybe a local hero and, you know, these, these two kind of passionate outdoor people, but they each have their own perspective. Josh says, Josh is a professional athlete and, and Brian is a passionate outdoor enthusiast. And they literally just spent some time sharing their stories. And then, you know, at the end said, and this is why I want you to pass this cap and invest bill. So it’s really kind of that one sentence piece and remembering again, that lawmakers are human too, and not what they connect with his story.

Gale Straub :

Yeah. Yeah. And it could be like one facet of like a multifaceted story that really grabs them. So it is, it is important to continue showcasing those.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yeah, absolutely.

Gale Straub :

So what might people be surprised by in terms of the connection between, you know, this election that’s coming up and outdoor recreation.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Our lawmakers make decisions every day about how to treat the places we play whether that’s the air, the water, the ground between us and those decisions will really determine what the future of what, what we call it at POW, the outdoor state looks like. And to jump into that concept, there are essentially 50 million people here in the United States that climb and bike and ski and fish and ride. And when we think about that collectively the outdoor state, if you will, if you kind of run with this concept is larger than California. It’s larger than Texas. It’s larger than any other state. And so I feel like sometimes in elections, it’s easy to feel like our voice doesn’t matter, but what if we, the outer state all voted together, we are essentially the largest swing state in the nation. And in a time when races are really won or lost on the margins, just like many of our outdoor activities in the races that we do, congressional races sometimes come down to 500 votes. And so we’re talking about 50 million people nationwide. And if we show up and vote together to protect the places that we play and the great outdoors, we can absolutely have an impact.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’ll hear more about that impact, after this.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’re back. I asked Lindsey to lay out a few more ways that climate change can impact the outdoor state.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

So I think kind of going on what I’ve talked about, we definitely see shorter winter season length. That certainly a concern is, is how do our seasons look shorter and then temperature change within those seasons. So, you know, warmer winters. And we’ve definitely seen that in many places across the country, seeing less snowpack. And I think in addition to those of us that are really passionate about winter sports less, snowpack also means less water melting out. You know, snowpack is really our resource for water that melts into what we have all summer that dictates what our fire season looks like. And so in many places, part of the reason we’re seeing less snowpack can also be because we’re seeing snow falling as rain. So as we move up in elevation, you know, that that whole rain Snowline is also moving up. And so there are, there are projections out there that are in peer review right now that are showing how the entire Western U S looks by 2090 in terms of where is there, the waves are actually still snow.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Um, or where is that rain? Snowline so high that it’s actually above the ski area in places like park city or in places like Tahoe, where what we will be seeing is a majority of rain and then kind of going to snow, being water. We see a lot less water in our rivers over the summer when we have bad snow years. And that means that, you know, boating and rafting that whole industry is impacted. And another interesting example is our rivers because they run lower, they actually get more heat from the sun kind of more intensity throughout the bottom. So our rivers are hotter to lead the less productive fish habitat. And so in Montana, there’s actually, these regulations are called our rules and essentially in the summer, when it’s really hot, you can’t fish, um, after 2:00 PM because you end up with higher fish, mortality rates.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

And essentially that rule, if we talk and think about it is a rule to protect outdoor recreation, to protect fish habitat, or I should say a rule against outdoor recreation in the face of climate change. So that’s like pretty intense. When you think about it, that’s, you know, very concerning for the future. And then not even to mention kind of intensified drought leading to more intensified wildfire season. I think that that hits really close to home for me now, living in Colorado, you know, we’re seeing in, in Boulder where I live Ash falling, you know? Right. And I’m on our patio in our backyard coming from California and from Colorado. So that’s definitely really concerning. And we’re seeing places like, like the most of the national forests in California were shut down recently. So these kinds of events are having a significant on the outdoor recreation industry, which is an $887 billion industry. That’s according to the outdoor industry association. And I would also encourage folks to check out on power’s website. We’ve done a couple of economic studies about how do all these changes actually impact the economy too, which when we are speaking with lawmakers as a really important point to make,

Gale Straub :

Wow, it’s incredible to hear how, you know, you’re picking a bunch of examples, but how many more there are, and also how interconnected, all of what you mentioned is.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yeah.

Gale Straub :

And then also thinking about how there’s that connection between, I know that people don’t just vote for one reason, like this is just a, an accumulation, you know, like maybe it’s the thing that even put someone over the edge between voting and not voting, you know, because they care so much about, you know, whatever it is that they love to do in the outdoors. But I also, you know, thinking about the connective piece, like you talk about the recreation economy and that economy affects people, you know, it affects people’s livelihoods. And then there’s just the connection of health and the mental health and physical health benefits of being in the outdoors, just doing what you love. But then the, you know, the extra layer of, you know, if the air quality is not good, if the water quality isn’t good, but that has another effect on, on people. So, yeah, it’s just, it’s just mind boggling, I guess I’m just like digesting it all.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yeah. And one of the things I really love that our founder professional snowboarder, Jeremy Jones says is he always points to the fact that, you know, if we don’t have any more powder days, that’s the least of our worries. And I think that’s an important message to share with the broader community from protect our winters, that we totally get that. And what we think is that there are many, many people out there that really do care about outdoor recreation. And that is something that does compel them to act on climate change. And if we all do this where we’re really doing this for the greater good of humanity, not just those of us that would really like to get space shots on a good, good call day.

Gale Straub :

Wait, what? What’s that a face shot?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yeah. A face shot and you get snow in your face.

Gale Straub :

Gotcha. Okay. I’m sure that’s happened to me. Just like inadvertently.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yeah. That’s a pretty awesome feeling.

Gale Straub :

Tell me about the Protect Our Winters Voting Tool.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yeah. So we recently launched a tool called make a plan to vote tool. We joked a lot about whether we should call it, you know, something more, more trending or more fun, but we decided let’s call it what it is. It helps you make a plan to vote. And in 2018, protect our winter started getting involved in this, you know, civic engagement and voter turnout work. And we tried a lot of things including, um, asking people to pledge, to vote. And ultimately out of all the people that pledged to vote with us, um, well here, here’s the thing I should step back and say, the voter file is actually public information. So you can’t see how somebody voted, but I can look up right now if you voted in the last election that’s that’s public data. And so we actually took the list of people that, that pledged with Protect Our Winters.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

And after the election, we matched it to the voter file to see how that, how that played out. And essentially 70% of the people that pledged to vote with us did vote and 30% didn’t. And you know, that does, that is about similar to national averages. But for us in the outdoor community, we were like, wait, these are the diehards that are pledging to vote with us. And 30% of them didn’t show up like that. That’s a lot of people. And then we took a step back and we looked at their 2016 data, which to be fair, we did all this work in 2018. So we weren’t even talking to these people in 2016. But what we found is that only 60% of them voted in that presidential election in 2016, 40% of them didn’t. And so I like to just think about like, obviously it’s not exact, but let’s like extrapolate that to the outdoor state.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Like imagine if 40% of the outdoor state sat out this election, that’s 20 million people. And going back to that 2016 election that came down to less than 3 million votes. And obviously there’s the whole electoral college thing. We’ll leave that for another episode, but the impact is huge. So this year, what we focus on at power is really creating tools that social science shows us are more likely to turn out voters, so pledging and making a plan. And so with our makeup plan to vote tool, you can actually check your registration status. You can request an absentee ballot applications. If you don’t have a printer, we’ll even print that form for you and mail it to you. So it’s super easy to fill out and return it. You can also set customized reminders and find your polling locations and valid drop off boxes. And there’s essentially a big chunk of data out there that says, if you actually go through making a plan, you’re more likely to show up and vote. And I think we can think about that as outdoor enthusiasts and the way that we take trips to, right. Like we stay and we look at guidebooks and we look at maps and we pour over these things and we make a plan and we’re probably more likely to go out and get outside once we have done those things. And so it’s the same idea here of make a plan to vote, to ensure you actually will show up and vote.

Gale Straub :

Yeah. So it’s, um, it’s the equivalent of texting your friends all week saying you’re going to go on that big backpacking trip and then actually packing the day before so that when you wake up in the morning and get out and do it,

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Yes.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Not only is the POW voting tool, helping folks make a plan to follow through on voting. They’re also helping to cut down on voter suppression for people of color.

Lindsay Bourgoine:

We definitely are aware of what’s happening in terms of voter suppression and it’s absolutely occurring. It’s absolutely still an issue. And we also know that it’s occurring at a much higher rate to BIPOC communities, which we find at POW really concerning. And so given the national conversation around recent equity, we really want to ensure that the entire outdoor community gets out to vote. Um, and so we at protect, our winters have done quite a bit of outreach to organizations that are really focused on diversity and equity and access in the outdoors. And we’ve actually offered this tool free of charge. And by no means, want to be prescriptive, but to say, Hey, if this tool helps you rally your community to help them get to the ballot box, we’re here and happy to help and figure out how we can implement this in a way that we can really truly get the entire outdoor community to the polls. This November.

Gale Straub :

What would you say is one thing, you know, I know one thing we do could do today would probably be to check to see if we’re registered to vote and to make a plan. So I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but like, what would you say is one thing that a listener of this podcast could do today to help fight against climate change?

Lindsay Bourgoine:

Obviously right now, given the time we’re in make a plan to vote, you can visit, make a damn plan.org. That’s where you can find protect our winters resources. It’s very quick, super helpful. So definitely do that. But you know, to add to that a little bit, and maybe this is outside one thing that you can do today, but I would really encourage everybody to stop and think about how they’ve seen climate change in their outdoor activities and what that outdoor story looks like. Because I really do feel that that’s, that’s how we’re the most impactful. I think kind of going back to what we were talking about with athletes, I find it incredibly humbling to work with athletes, and I’m never more satisfied than when I watch an athlete. Just tell their story and realize the impact they can have. And yes, we are not all professional athletes, but we all do have that story from things that we’ve seen in the outdoors and in our experiences. So maybe just taking a minute for reflection, I think we could all use that given the times right now. And where have you seen that in and what is your climate story?

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