Linda McMillan, the new president of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, brings with her broad experience from representation of climbers in environmental projects.

McMillan, who comes from the United States, was elected at the UIAA General Assembly in Iran in October. She is the UIAA delegate from the American Alpine Club (AAC) and has held various positions in the AAC including Vice President from 2000-2003. She has been a member of the UIAA Access and Conservation Commission in addition to the Mountain Protection Commission.

UIAA president Mike Mortimer says: “Linda’s contacts with such groups as the The World Conservation Union (IUCN), the American Parks Service and the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture will serve us well. Linda’s business acumen will bring a truly global focus to the issues facing the federations of the UIAA.”

McMillan has worked on numerous environmental projects, both as a volunteer and through her professional engagement. This includes advocacy work on facing the effects of climate change, the development of stewardship programmes and collaboration projects between national park management and the international climbing community. She is currently the Deputy Vice-Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Mountains Biome.

She plans to work hard to build and strengthen relationships between the UIAA and its federations with the IUCN’s programmes on protected areas as well as its efforts to engage young people in conservation. “Many of the world’s most effective conservationists in history have been rock climbers and mountaineers, and I plan to build on that impressive legacy to help the UIAA and its members gain the recognition and ‘voice’ they deserve in global conservation issues, particularly mountain protection,” she says

UAAA Council member Federation Team “The Kazak Lhotse-Everest Expedition 2009″ have had their briefing and are ready to fly to Lukla to begin their approach trek to Base camp. They will be departing from Kathmandu to Lukla on the 2nd of April. Ang Tshering Sherpa, President of UAAA wish them safety and success and in their honour he hosted a dinner reception in Kathmandu on 31 March.

One of the heroes of last summer’s disaster on K2, Pemba Gyalje helped rescue two stricken climbers on the upper mountain. The Sowles Award is a rarely given AAC award that honors mountaineers who go to the assistance of fellow climbers despite great personal risk or the cost of their own objectives

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