We understand the seriousness and impact of the current COVID-19 situation and have taken steps as an organization to be the best citizens we can be. The Winter Wildlands Alliance office in Boise is currently closed until further notice to protect our team and the collective community and our full staff is currently working remotely with flexible hours, virtual meetings, and engaging via technology instead of face to face.
In the recent weeks, it’s become clear that our global community is vulnerable and we need to continue to act as leaders with a clear vision of what lies ahead. We are taking the situation seriously and empowering our team to reduce risk, be accountable for good work, and continue the coordinated action that is the Winter Wildlands Alliance mission. We encourage all of you to do the same and look to reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control or your local health department for information and protocols to protect yourself and your communities.
It’s also important to manage our stress and anxiety. The CDC encourages people to eat healthy and get exercise, get outside and breathe in fresh air. However, we urge you to think twice before setting off into the backcountry or onto a skin track. Please, make a responsible decision. Many resorts are closed, and in most cases uphill policies have been cancelled. All kinds of trailheads (hiking, skiing, cross country, walking, etc.) will likely be crowded. With the strain on our emergency systems and medical professionals, especially in rural communities, we need to be mindful of our decisions to take unnecessary risks and expose ourselves to avalanche hazards. If you have spring travel plans to a backcountry hut or on a guided trip, consider changing them. If your annual spring or mud-season trip is coming up, consider staying home. Resources are tight and your impact will be amplified.
Remember this: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. In these times of self-seclusion or social distancing, staying home to work remotely and getting outside to breathe in the fresh air, it’s not a school snow day. Considered action is the best action and staying home isn’t selfish, it’s generous and helps flatten the curve.
Winter Wildlands Alliance continues to tirelessly work for wild spaces, the backcountry, human-powered winter recreation and all of our other important programs. We are doing so as good, responsible citizens and we thank you for your support and doing your part.
—Todd Walton, Executive Director