To celebrate Earth Day, Alex Yoder takes us though what POW means to him. As a proponent of Protect Our Winters, Yoder is taking charge and is determined to spread awareness on climate change and its ghastly affects on our world. Check out his words below, and scroll through the gallery above of POW ambassadors riding incredible terrain all over Mother Earth.

Alex Yoder On Why We Should Continue To Protect Our Winters This Earth Day

Protect Our Winters (POW) is the leading climate advocacy group in the winter sports community. As a member of the POW Riders Alliance, and someone who cherishes winter, I've seen the continued effects of climate change firsthand. After just returning from a 10-day camping trip in Alaska, I'm more intimately aware than ever just what's at stake. This Earth Day, in order to get my views across, I decided to deconstruct the POW acronym from the bottom up.

Forrest Shearer surfing the Wall of Vodoo at Mt. Bachelor between Dirksen Derby Race Runs. Photo: Andrew Miller

Forrest Shearer. Photo: Andrew Miller

Winters: If you're reading this, chances are you enjoy playing in the bountiful wonderland of snow blanketed mountains. Me too. By your grandmother's standards, mountains are no place to play. They're sharp, cold and dangerous, but we brainy monkeys have found fun ways to climb up, slide down, and jump off them that allow us to thrive in this harsh terrain. Winter is much more important to the ecosystem than we think. One reason is all of that snow that piles up in the mountains, every powder day is filling a reservoir that begins to trickle in the spring and hydrate our flora and fauna throughout the summer. So when it hasn't rained in a while and the river is still flowing you can thank winter.


Alex Yoder. Photo: Shane Peel

Our: At some point in time the human race stole the world. No money was exchanged, no barter or trade. This was an outright robbery. We decided since we're "smarter" than every other creature that we should control the destiny of all life. Very bold "Man," very bold. Some time after that we figured out how to confine and manipulate energy into a small glass bulb to allow an existence as if the sun was to shine all day. Our "productivity" took off! The result is modern society where nearly everything, even some foods, contain a petroleum based product. Our agriculture system is more interested in growing profits than healthy vegetables. Our industrious majesty is relatively young and through the veil of convenience and dollar signs it's taken us some time to pull our heads out of the clouds and realize how much harm all of this wildly profitable industry has caused.


Jeremy Jones. Photo: Andrew Miller

Protect: Humans impact on the earth is unrivaled by any species. We've taken it as ours and with that we bare the responsibility to nurture it, to leverage our vast technological knowledge and commit to a sustainable existence. When I look at what we have created in one hundred years I don't doubt for a second that we are capable of initiating industry standards and social protocols that can and will allow our modern existence to persist. This is a feat we are capable of. Our current system simply will not last, that we are sure of. If we hope to leave what is now ours for future generations to have as theirs, it is up to us to take the necessary steps to protect this big old rock with everything we have.

Happy Earth Day.

Check out more about POW here.