Adventure with the Winter Wildlands Alliance in our hometown for our first annual “Wild Weekend” Friday, Nov 2 – Saturday, Nov 3, 2018.

Join the Treasure Valley backcountry community as we dive deep into the heart and soul of the winter human-powered experience and raise funds supporting the Alliance’s advocacy and education efforts – both local and national.

4th Annual SnowBall: A Ski Bum Gala

Begin your Wild Weekend dancing the night away at the 4th Annual SnowBall: A Ski Bum Gala on Friday, Nov 2 at 7:00 PM at the Linen Building. Benefitting SnowSchool and our local site at Bogus Basin, this event promises delicious food, drinks, silent/live auction items, and live music provided by Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats. Event page and tickets here.

14th Annual Backcountry Film Festival World Premiere

After you dance the night away with your fellow ski bums, join us the following evening, Saturday, Nov 3 for the 14th Annual Backcountry Film Festival World Premiere! Climate action, environmental preservation, natural resources, snow culture, and of course, POW SHOTS: you’ll find it all in the award-winning line-up. Films, drinks, raffle and auction prizes galore – this is the traditional event of the winter season you cannot miss! Pre-party at the North Face store in downtown Boise from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM featuring local band, Red Light Challenge. Film Festival doors open at 6:00 PM and films start at 7:00 PM at the Egyptian Theatre. Event page and tickets here.

We can’t wait to see you there! Email info@winterwildlands.org with questions.

Did you hear?! The 2018-19 Backcountry Film Festival video trailer is live! Thanks to our friends at Backcountry Magazine, we were able to kick off this season of snowy cinema featuring films on backcountry adventure, climate action, environmental preservation, natural resources, snow culture, and of course, POW SHOTS!

Looking for a screening near you? Check out our tour landing page throughout the season to find an event in your area! Lucky enough to live in our hometown of Boise, ID? Join us at the World Premiere on Saturday, Nov 3 – or even better, join us for the entire Wild Weekend and get your tickets to SnowBall and the Festival World Premiere.

BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

Check out the trailer below and read some highlights from Backcountry Magazine’s interview with Backcountry Film Festival Manager, Melinda Quick. You can read the article in its entirety here.

Thank you to our film editor, Kori Price!

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

Backcountry Magazine: What are you excited for in this year’s festival?

Melinda Quick: What’s unique about the 2018/19 Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival is that we’re starting to expand more internationally. We’ve got a lot of events already lined up for Australia next summer—their winter—in addition to Canada, Chile and a few European screenings.

The festival tour brings backcountry communities around the world together, so it’s wonderful that it’s expanding outside of North America in our 14th year. We want this to be a networking event that also serves as a mode to connect—and, of course, as a great form of entertainment.

BCM: How can people become involved as hosts and as viewers? 

MQ: Each November, we premier in our hometown of Boise, Idaho. From there, the festival goes on its international tour. Anyone can host and we also work specifically with our grassroots organizations, backcountry partners and SnowSchools. Screenings serve as a fundraiser for either a local nonprofit that a host works for, with, or wants to support charitably. Typically the festival is the non-profit’s fundraiser of the year with our national sponsor swag and the host’s local sponsor swag up for a raffle or auction. It’s a really great way to bring everybody together and raise funds for local nonprofits and backcountry adventures.

We hope that hosts use their screening as an opportunity to build relationships with local outdoor gear shops, outfitting guides and other local business that may share the same passion for the outdoors.

Special thanks to our media sponsor, Backcountry Magazine, and writer Louise Lintilhac. You can read the article in its entirety here.

Artwork by Tony Deboom

Another year, another Backcountry Film Festival! Get wildly ready for our fourteenth year of snowy cinema, raffle prizes, good times and high fives.

And who would we be without a killer Festival poster set to inspire you, just like our film line-up, to strap your camera to your helmet and get after that backcountry powder!? Tony Deboom of Endurance Conspiracy has been the artistic genius behind many of our Festival posters and we’re stoked to have yet another to tour around the mountains this season!

But wait, there’s more. This year, we’re adventuring through a whole new Festival premiere weekend by joining forces with our best friend, SnowSchool, and throwing the annual SnowBall fundraiser that weekend, too! Get ready for: WILD WEEKEND! More details to come for all you local yocals and anyone wanting to come to our hometown of Boise, Idaho, to celebrate with us.

We’ll be sharing more information on all things WILD WEEKEND and Festival tour locations in the next few weeks. For now, live vicariously through our trusty 2018-19 poster and get ready for the backcountry season of a lifetime!

Make sure you’re subscribed to The Stash and following us on Facebook and Instagram for all the info to come straight to you in the most timely of fashions.

(Psst! Want to see more of Tony’s cool doodles and projects? Check ’em out here.)

Recent stewardship efforts in the Boise National Forest have bought together volunteers to help care for the places we play.

Photo by Luc Mehl

ON JULY 10 THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD for Interior Secretary Zinke’s National Monument review closed. In just under two months over one million people weighed in, with the vast majority — 96%! —telling Zinke to leave our National Monuments alone. It was an unprecedented show of public lands advocacy, and we could all be forgiven for thinking our work was done for now.

Unfortunately, no such luck. Zinke followed up after this comment period with proposals to downsize Bears Ears National Monument and we expect the same for many of the other monuments. And while much of our attention has justifiably been focused on defending monuments, the Trump Administration and Congress are busy chipping away at our public lands in other, less overt, ways.

The public lands heist is a tangled web, but there are essentially four major threads: (1) new legislation, (2) changes to regulations and the agencies that enforce them, (3) reviews and rollbacks of existing protections, and (4) administrative restructuring. Together, these efforts share a common goal – to separate the public from our public lands and to allow industry, especially the energy industry, to squeeze every last penny of possible profit from our common heritage.

Legislative efforts to sell or transfer public lands are the most obvious piece of the public lands heist. However, because these efforts are so blatant, they are quickly beaten back and we’re seeing fewer and fewer attempts to float this type of legislation. Instead, Congress and state legislatures are now pushing bills to transfer management of public lands – from taking away federal agency law enforcement responsibilities to putting the states or local counties in charge of timber sales and energy development on public lands.

Congress is also busy rolling back regulatory protections put in place by a variety of previous administrations to protect our public lands, wildlife, air, water, and the public at large, so that industry can develop and profit from public resources with less cost and oversight – increasing industry profits at the direct expense of the American people.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is implementing an ambitious agenda to “streamline and reorganize” the Executive Branch, which includes all of the public lands agencies. Important conservation and recreation programs, as well as entire agencies, are on the chopping block. And as the Trump Administration proposes deep cuts to staff and funding for public land agencies with one hand, they’re also directing the same agencies to do more to facilitate fossil fuel development with the other.

Furthermore, while the Trump Administration and Congress are making it easier for industry to exploit our public lands, it’s becoming harder for the public to access and enjoy them. The Administration is pushing the public lands agencies to focus all of their capacity toward expediting fossil fuel development. At the same time, Congress has systematically reduced funding for these agencies, with greater reductions each year. Given less staff and fewer resources, and with clear direction from above to prioritize energy development, federal agencies have little choice but to abandon recreation and conservation programs and to increase fees wherever possible to cover budget gaps.

Meanwhile, they also have to triage their resources – maintaining only the most popular trails, putting up gates when they can no longer maintain roads or motorized routes, and closing campgrounds and picnic areas as they fall into disrepair and the funds are not available to fix them. We’ve also seen more and more instances of agencies having to farm out maintenance and other services to for-profit corporate “partners” whose mission is not the protection and stewardship of our lands for the benefit of all but rather the increased profit of a few shareholders.

As public lands become more difficult to experience and enjoy – because of new or increased fees, or because the routes we depend on for access or other types of recreational infrastructure have fallen into disrepair – the public becomes increasingly disconnected from these lands. As we lose this connection we will also lose the incentive to fight to keep public lands public. And, as the agencies are starved for resources and prevented from doing their jobs, many people begin to question why the government even owns and manages so much land. It doesn’t take long to go from devaluing the civil servants who manage public lands to losing interest in maintaining public ownership of these lands at all. This is the long game that public lands heist proponents are playing. We can’t let them win.

You can speak up for public lands today by clicking here to send a letter to your elected officials in Washington D.C. Help us keep the pressure on.

Thanks,

Hilary Eisen

Recreation Planning and Policy Manager

P.S. Want to do more? Share this post with your ski partners and social media friends and get them to speak up too. Or get in touch and we can brainstorm other ways for you to amplify your voice.