It seems like every day marks something these days, but we think International Mountain Day deserves a shout out. Especially since the theme of this year's International Mountain Day is sustainable mountain tourism.
Alberta's Eastern Slopes is home to trout species that are coveted by anglers around the world. Happy cutthroat trout that readily eat a well-placed dry fly. Voracious bull trout that will only hit a streamer one day but may actually sip a dry fly OR attack the cutthroat you've got attached to your line from time to time. Fly fishing, hiking, eco tours are viable examples of sustainable mountain tourism.
On the flip side.... Coal development in Alberta's Eastern Slopes has been a hot topic throughout 2021 and should stay high on everyone's radar for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this year we saw Albertans rally against coal and there's been some progress, but the fight is not over.
For some background about the issue of coal in Alberta's Eastern Slopes check out our blog posts from earlier this year "A Reason or a Season" and "Be Loud". We'll work to update some information specific to what's happening in the province with respect to coal in the coming weeks.
For now, let's get back to celebrating mountains.
The United Nations designated December 11 as International Mountain Day in 2003 in an effort to highlight the importance of mountains to life.
The UN says mountains:
- are home to about a quarter of the world's species
- provide freshwater to more than half of humanity
- are under pressure from land-use change and climate change, overexploitation, invasive species, and pollution
- attract 15-20% of global tourism and that low impact tourism can contribute to conservation for mountain region.
We say Alberta's mountains:
- are at the top of the list of attractions in the province.
- are home to endangered species worth protecting
- are under pressure from land-use change, climate change, exploitation, and invasive species.
- are integral to the clean water that trout need in order to thrive
- worth protecting
We invite you to take a few minutes this weekend to read up on the issues facing Alberta's Eastern Slopes and to become familiar with some of the conservation organizations working hard to protect them. It's the season of giving. We encourage you to give some of your time or hard-earned dollars to one of these organizations working to protect the mountains, waters, and fish that we all love.