There are a bunch of reasons I became a member of Winter Wildlands Alliance years ago. I could say that it was because I wanted to support protecting, advocating, leading policy and speaking for the places I seek refuge and solace during the winter, providing a community through the Backcountry Film Festival and tour, fostering future winter players through SnowSchool, creating a movement of passionate people and organizations supporting human powered adventure…really, it wasn’t around one initiative or because of a certain event, but it was because I wanted to drop my hard-earned dollar to support what I knew. Having amazing experiences in the backcountry.

We all have our paths and throughout my work and play, mine led me here. Thanks to Sarah Michael (founder of Winter Wildlands Alliance), our engaged and driven Board of Directors, and an extra-large shout out to Mark Menlove for all of his work over the past 14 years, and of course, the incredible team that is the staff that keeps the skin track clear. We have exciting times ahead and I’m humbled to be the new Executive Director of such a vibrant and engaged group of hard working people. That means you, too. Winter Wildlands Alliance members are at the core of who we are, so thank you. As winter and spring slowly transition into the warm weather months, we are still working. What we do goes on 365 days a year – it’s our business to keep growing, keep defending our winter ecosystems and wild places to make a difference and protect the places we recreate, find solace, find peace and create exceptional experiences. So if you aren’t a member, please join us. If you are, thank you. I am looking forward to Keeping Winter Wild with you.

Todd Walton
Executive Director

Heavy snowfall made for a great winter, and the fun at SnowSchool continued into the spring.  Check out our video snipets and notes taken from successful outings in March and April…

What a whirlwind of a season! We achieved a lot of wild firsts and continued many Backcountry traditions during our 14th annual year.

The Winter Wildlands Alliance Board of Directors and Staff enthusiastically welcome Todd Walton as the new Executive Director beginning April 8th, 2019. Todd comes to Winter Wildlands Alliance as a member, avid backcountry enthusiast, adventurer, and advocate. His many years of experience in the outdoor and winter sports industries — combined with a deep-rooted passion for our mission, our organization, and wild winter refuges — create the foundation for the next chapters in our growing movement.

During our search, we sought candidates who could both grow our organization and expand our outreach, as well as stay true to the core culture and mission that our staff, members, volunteers, grassroots partners, SnowSchool partners, and Backcountry Film Festival partners have created since our organization was founded in 2000. We feel honored that so many talented, passionate, and qualified members of the community expressed interest in leading this organization. The energy under the surface of the movement is deep and vital.

“Being in the backcountry offers an experience that is more and more necessary as it connects the individual to the self and the natural world,” says Walton. “I’m humbled and honored to be leading such an amazing group of people doing collaborative work in policy, advocacy, education, and events that make experiences like these possible. The community built around Winter Wildlands has the potential and responsibility to speak bigger and bolder for the soul of winter.”

Todd brings 20 years of outdoor industry experience as a global brand communications and marketing leader, business owner, and trade executive for brands that include Outdoor Research, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Snowsports Industries America, and Outdoor Industry Association. Additionally, he has served on the board of numerous conservation, recreation, and tourism nonprofits, notably as president of Washington Trails Association. We at Winter Wildlands Alliance are fortunate to have a dynamic new leader with such breadth and depth of experience.

“As a longtime Winter Wildlands member and enthusiast, Todd has recognized and celebrated the importance of our mission for many years,” says Board President John Garder. “Working with the board and our talented and dedicated staff, Todd will bring substantial experience, acumen, and stoke to the organization as we continue our work to protect the places so many people treasure.”

Please join us in welcoming Todd! He can be reached via email at: and welcomes your insights, comments, and questions on what’s coming next.

At the crossroads of conservation and recreation, Winter Wildlands Alliance is the national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered winter sports experience. We are proud to support more than 100 grassroots environmental organizations and backcountry partners, advocating for policies that preserve and protect wild winter refuge on public lands.

Keeping Winter Wild,

Winter Wildlands Alliance Board of Directors