Love our mountains in December

When:  Dec. 11

What: From Mount Everest to the entire Appalachian corridor, mountains of the world are often seen as the defining element of a region. But they also provide recreation, natural resources and even controversy over their protection and development. Take time out this December to recognize our vital connection to our peaks and valleys on International Mountain Day, celebrated on Dec. 11.

Background:  International Mountain Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2003 to recognize the importance of mountains to the environment and the people who depend on them. This year marks the event’s 10th anniversary, and the organization intends to target a variety of audiences to drive home its message of sustainable mountain development and use.

Story Pitch: Associations and industries with a relation to the outdoors and the well-being of the environment have a clear connection to this day. Companies that make hiking gear, mountain bikes or any outdoor equipment for mountainous terrain will want to highlight efforts to protect the environment, as well as promote gear to the nature lover. Donations and charity events that sponsor mountain environment protection groups are also a natural fit for this event. This is an event that can be tailored to a local or global message as mountainous regions in North America and around the world face conservation challenges. Environmental groups can raise awareness of the challenges faced by local mountain ranges, and also speak to their efforts with legislators and private companies to protect and establish sustainable development.

Story Hook:  Scientific studies dating back to 1997 have documented negative health correlations between the people of Central Appalachia and mining in the region. Where else in North America, and the rest of the world, are similar mining methods used? Keep the following in mind while making your pitch:

  • What are everyday ways someone might benefit from mountainous regions and not know it?
  • What are sustainable mountain development methods and how widely are they used?
  • What impacts do hiking, biking, hunting, and other outdoor sports have on mountainous regions?
  • Aside from health, how does the detriment of mountainous regions affect the people who live there?

Tips: Experienced hikers, outdoorsmen and park rangers would be an ideal resource to discuss the need to preserve mountains and threats the regions face.

Resources:

American Hiking Society
(301) 565-6704
info(at)americanhiking.org
www.americanhiking.org

Appalachian Voices
(828) 262-1500
outreach(at)appvoices.org
www.appvoices.org

International Mountain Day
(202) 653-0011
www.fao.org/mnts

National Mining Association
(202)463-2600
www.nma.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Nicholas Testa
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events