About Treehuggers International
Dedicated to the Preservation of Parks, Wilderness, and Special Places
Created by long-time San Diego and Seattle broadcaster and communications professional Tommy Hough, Treehuggers International is an environmental affairs and natural science radio show and new media platform, most recently heard on KBZT FM 94/9 in San Diego and in capsule form on KMTT 103.7 The Mountain in Seattle.
Decidedly Green Media
With a lengthy background in broadcast media and environmental communications, Tommy first produced Treehuggers International while at KNDD 107.7 The End in Seattle, discussing issues like green architecture, storm damage to area hiking trails, and the health of Puget Sound with area activists, lawmakers, and non-profit representatives from outlets like the Washington Trails Association, Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy, among other organizations.
Upon returning to Southern California, Tommy re-tooled Treehuggers International to cover not only wilderness and conservation issues, but also wildfire and earthquake preparation, and the development of several major threats to the integrity of California parks and protected places, particularly the proposed Foothill South 241 toll road at Trestles, which was to be routed through the backcountry of the San Mateo Creek watershed at San Onofre State Beach.
As part of a broad coalition led by the San Diego and South Orange County Surfrider chapters, San Diego Coastkeeper and others, Treehuggers International stood with the environmental community to help face down the biggest conservation challenge in Southern California in a generation, and took a major media awareness role in the fight to Save Trestles.
By producing special editions on the proposed freeway’s impact on the San Onofre backcountry and the world-class beaches at Trestles, Treehuggers International helped the Southern California conservation community chalk up a significant success when the California Coastal Commission and U.S. Commerce Department opted not to back plans to build the toll road.
For his efforts, Tommy and Treehuggers International were awarded the San Diego Surfrider chapter’s annual Clean Water Award in 2008.
Wilderness and Park Advocacy
Since the Trestles fight, Tommy has led Treehuggers International into media stances against lawless off-road vehicle activity, the introduction of firearms into National Parks, and the proposed route of the Sunrise Powerlink through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The show also served as the San Diego media sponsor for the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival for several years, as well as a sponsor of the San Diego River Park Foundation‘s annual River Days Festival, and was named a Vision Partner as part of the Adventure16 Donate-A-Pack Foundation.
Tommy later brought Treehuggers International on board as a member of the United for America’s Arctic coalition, and put the show into hibernation while serving as communications and media coordinator with Oregon Wild, one of the Pacific Northwest’s original wilderness advocacy watchdogs, and a key player in the cessation of large-scale logging of ancient forests on federal public lands in the state.
A strong supporter of California State Parks, Treehuggers International was an official supporter of the Prop. 21 State Parks Access Pass initiative in 2010. Despite the proposition’s failure, Tommy continues to lobby state and federal lawmakers in support of California State Parks in conjunction with the California State Parks Foundation, and recently met with Range of Light founder and John Muir descendant Robert Hanna.
“I Let My Guests Tell the Stories”
Along with Treehuggers International’s long-term interest in preserving the sanctity of California State Parks, the show continues to advocate for wilderness initiatives across the west, including proposed wilderness in the areas adjoining Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park, California’s San Gabriel Mountains, Colorado’s Hidden Gems campaign, and supporting programs which get kids into the wild and reintroducing them to nature.
Utilizing revealing discussions with environmental organizations and personalities like Amy Gulick, Peter Byck, and Florian Schulz in advancing the cause of conservation, Treehuggers International has grown into a go-to media destination for environmental matters throughout the west, from Puget Sound to the Rocky Mountains to the Grand Canyon.
With Treehuggers International’s NPR-like attributes, guests have found the show’s setting allows them to breathe, collect their thoughts, and speak candidly on subjects without being subjected to a soundbite shot-clock.
“I let my guests tell the stories,” says Tommy. “My job is to ask them the right questions at the right time, and organically guide the conversation so we hit important points without sounding like we’re going over a checklist. If I’m getting it right, I’m putting the guest in the right place to make that connection with the listener.”
As a media entity, Treehuggers International is committed to moving forward as an awareness-raising rallying point, providing a rundown of environmental and conservation stories on our Twitter and Facebook feeds, detailing ongoing threats to parks and wild places, creating partnerships with conservation organizations, and delivering information on how you can make your voice heard with your elected officials.
Welcome to Treehuggers International. We’re glad to have you here.
Photos by Tommy Hough and Jay Reilly. Graphics by Matt Coppins.