New commission president brings global focus to mountain protection

Mountain Protection

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.

McMillan has over 20 years of experience with rock climbing and mountaineering at home and overseas. She and her husband live in the grassy “Alps” of Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

McMillan is the third woman to be president of a UIAA commission and is taking over from Dave Morris from the UK. The Mountain Protection Commisson was founded in 1969 and works to ensure that the mountains will still be there to enjoy for future generations. The commission provides visitors to mountain regions with practical advice and promotes eco-friendly behaviour.