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Roosevelt, AZ (October 23, 2007) â€“ With 6,535 miles behind him and 316 miles to go before he reaches his Grand Canyon goal, Andy Skurka has reached the final state in his long and challenging journey. Skurka, who set out from the Grand Canyon last April in an effort to bring attention to the affects of global warming on our nation’s wilderness areas, now must cross the Arizona deserts in this last dash to finishing his seven month odyssey on November 3rd at the Grand Canyon.
When Skurka reaches finishes, he will become the first person to complete 6,875-mile Great Western Loop — roughly the distance from Los Angeles to Istanbul, Turkey. The ambitious route links the West’s long-distance hiking trails and traverses 12 National Parks. Areas that studies show are being quietly decimated by climate change.
â€œBecause so few of us get chance to visit remote areas, the damage that global warming is causing on the America’s crown jewels is â€˜out-of-sight, out-of-mind’,â€ said GoLite Chief Executive Officer Kim Coupounas, whose company is supporting Skurka’s endeavor. â€œThis is a courageous
effort to provide a first-hand look at the damage global warming is having on America’s National Parks and wilderness areas.â€
Vanishing Wildlife, Melting Glaciers and Raging Wildfires
May scientists believe that the American West is experiencing the affects of climate change faster and more severely than anywhere else in the USA. According to a report published in 2006 by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council, â€œa disrupted climate is the single greatest threat to ever face western national parks.â€ The report states:
â€¢All the Glaciers in Glacier National Park could melt away by 2030.
â€¢Wildfires threaten to eliminate saguaro cacti from Saguaro National Park and Joshua trees from Joshua Tree National Park.
â€¢Warmer weather is increasing the beetle population in Yellowstone National Park, which in turn is endangering the enduring symbol of the American West: the grizzly bear. Beetles are destroying white bark pines, a staple food source for the grizzly.
â€¢Higher temperatures and earlier snowmelt have contributed to a four-fold increase in western wildfires since 1987.
For more information on Skurka’s trek, visit www.GoLite.com.
GoLite is the world’s premier producer of lightweight clothing and equipment for active, outdoor sports. Inspired, designed, and tested in Boulder, Colorado, GoLiteÂ® products offer uncompromised head-to-toe performance, durability, and versatility at the lightest possible weight to maximize a person’s enjoyment and performance in the outdoors. Since 1998, GoLite has been pushing the envelope of theory, practice, & design innovation and has led a â€œlightweight revolutionâ€ that has changed an entire industry. GoLite is more than a name: it is philosophy, a lifestyle, and a commandment to do more with less. Environmental stewardship and social responsibility have been fundamental to GoLite’s mission and core values since its founding. GoLite is humbly committed to minimizing its environmental footprint â€“ to GoLite on the Planet – through innovation, resourcefulness and partnership. GoLite Athlete Ambassadors regularly share â€œHow to GoLiteâ€ techniques in outreach seminars around the world. For more information on GoLiteÂ® products, ambassadors, environmental or outreach efforts, visit their exciting new website at www.GoLite.com or call 888-5-GoLite toll-free within the U.S.