7th Biennial Conference

Harnessing the Power of Local Action

November 9-12, 2017 at Clair Tapaan Lodge in Donner Summit, California

Join policy makers, athletes, grassroots activists, scientists, mountain guides, local elected officials and other recreation and conservation stakeholders and activists from across the country for two full days of engaging workshops and discussions on issues important to winter recreation and public lands. Get the latest developments in policy and planning issues, share grassroots successes, meet with public land managers, gain new advocacy tools and spend quality lodge time with colleagues, partners, new friends and allies.



JeremyJones-150x150Jeremy is the founder and CEO of Protect Our Winters. Ten times voted “Big Mountain Rider of the Year” by Snowboarder Magazine, he has starred in over twenty snowboard films worldwide. In 2013, Jeremy was nominated by National Geographic as an “Adventurer Of The Year” and a “Champion Of Change” by President Obama for his work fighting climate change.



dpmorrisonDavid is Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Advocacy Director. Based in Mammoth Lakes, CA, he is also a national award-winning journalist, a senior correspondent for Powder Magazine, and a founding board member of Mammoth Lakes Recreation.

Panel: Grassroots Advocacy in the Trump Era


Zack-Porter-150x150Zack is the Western Montana Field Director for the Montana Wilderness Association, based in Missoula, MT, where he works with communities to build support for wild public lands. Zack’s wilderness career began as a Forest Service wilderness ranger in the North Cascades.


GeltmanLouis is a lawyer based in Hood River, Oregon, and runs Outdoor Alliance‘s policy program. As Policy Director, Louis monitors national policy developments, facilitates coordination among member organizations, and leads Outdoor Alliance advocacy work with research and policy content. Louis is a world-class whitewater kayaker and enthusiastic mountain biker and backcountry skier.


BaylorAdam is the Stewardship and Advocacy Manager for the Mazamas, a nonprofit mountaineering organization based in Portland, Oregon. He is also a regional coordinator for the Access Fund and a member of the Washington State Parks rock climbing advisory committee. Adam spent seven years in the U.S. Coast Guard as a public affairs specialist and has a masters degree in Public Administration from Portland State University.

Panel: Leveraging Outdoor Brands for Local Action


Josie NorrisJosie manages grant-making and communications for The Conservation Alliance. The Conservation Alliance works with more than 200 businesses to fund organizations working to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. She is inspired by her Dad who lives off the grid and spends his time learning how to gently integrate into the rhythms and order of the natural world.


David is the owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports, a specialty outdoor retailer in Truckee, CA. David is a Town of Truckee Planning Commissioner, board member with the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance and retail representative to the Outdoor Industry Association’s Recreation Advisory Council. David, his wife Pam and daughter Adina enjoy backcountry skiing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing and playing in the mountains as much as they can.


Caroleigh PierceCaroleigh is the Nonprofit Outreach Manager at Klean Kanteen based in Chico, Ca. where she manages their 1% For the Planet giving program. Her work in the outdoor industry has inspired her to explore our national parks and wild spaces and she is currently an ambassador for both the 5 Gyres Institute and the Conservation Alliance.


Tara is a nutrition strategist for Clif Bar & Company. The company’s advocacy, she says, is derived from a business model based on Five Aspirations: sustaining business, brands, people, community, and the planet. A Montana native, longtime mountain runner, avid skier, passionate environmentalist and mother of two active boys, Tara recently decided to relocate her family from the Bay Area to Truckee, so they could be closer to the mountain community they love and support.


Eric is the Product Line Manager for Snow and Mountain Bike at Patagonia, and is an active member of the Patagonia Grants Council. A Lake Tahoe native, Eric has over 20 years in the snow business, working in many roles for various brands in the outdoor and action sports industry. Always driven by environmental and social progress, Eric most recently activist work the production with Protect Our Winters of the Momenta Project, a film and movement founded to educate, raise awareness, and activate communities to stop all proposed coal exports in the Pacific Northwest.

Stakeholder Collaborative Workshop


DannaDanna has served as the Mt. Whitney Area Representative for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy since 2012. She has been active in a variety of collaborative efforts throughout the region and most recently served on the leadership team for the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative.


DevinMiddlebrook-1-150x150Devin is the sustainability program coordinator for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), working to implement the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Action Plan to bring climate change resiliency and adaptation to the region. A native of South lake Tahoe, Devin earned his BA in business administration and sustainability from Cal State Chico and went on to receive his MBA from Cal State Sacramento.


Joe-Flower-1-150x150Joe is a Natural Resources Specialist for the US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and holds an M.S. in Ecology from Utah State University. Prior to joining the Forest Service, he served in four National Parks while working on wildlife and physical science projects throughout the western US and Alaska. Joe is currently helping to lead collaborative efforts to balance recreation and conservation in the Lake Tahoe Basin.


Caelan is a facilitator and mediator for land use and environmental projects and policy. He has been practicing for 17 years in the Intermountain West and has also worked for extended periods abroad including in Papua New Guinea and Iraq. Caelan is the principal of Zephyr Collaboration, which provides a full range of collaboration services including process design, meeting management and training in interest based negotiation.

Panel: Partnerships for Public Lands Stewardship


JulieJulie is the Colorado Mountain Club’s Conservation Director working out of Salida, CO to promote a conservation ethic amongst outdoor recreationists through advocacy and stewardship of public lands. She manages the club’s Backcountry Snowsports Initiative, recreation mapping project, public land planning campaigns, trail stewardship program and more.


brundage-Ben-150x150Ben is the Membership & Communications Manager for Friends of the Inyo in Bishop, California, where he also runs the Eastern Sierra Trail Ambassadors program. Ben grew up in Boise, studied the dirt roads and forests of the Palouse while attending the University of Idaho, wandered the Sawtooths and river country of Idaho as a young adult, worked in the Yosemite Wilderness, and skied the steeps of Big Sky, Montana for a few winters.


1-gregwilliams-150x150Greg is the Executive Director of Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS), a non-profit organization that has maintained over 240 miles of shared use trails and created 50 miles of new ecologically responsible trails since 2003 on the Tahoe, Plumas and Lassen National Forests, including Learning Landscape trails for student outdoor education at Plumas and Sierra County schools.

Panel: Organizing for Local Climate Action


Bourgoine_Headshot1-150x150Lindsay has worked on conservation and recreation policy issues for the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Outdoor Industry Association, completed a Masters in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School, and coached skiing at Squaw Valley.  She joined Protect Our Winters as Advocacy and campaigns Manager in 2016.

Panel: Sustainable Recreation and Forest Planning


Alison-Flint-photo-150x150Alison is Counsel & Planning Specialist for The Wilderness Society, lending her law and policy expertise to land management and travel planning efforts on Forest Service and BLM lands around the West. Before joining TWS in 2014, she litigated public lands cases for the Rocky Mountain Office of Earthjustice.


James BaconJim is Director of Public Services for the Pacific Southwest Region of the US Forest Service. He oversees public use and access on 18 National Forest units across California and in the Pacific Islands. Formerly a Project Manager for the NPS Planning Division, Superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa and Outdoor Recreation Planner at Yosemite NP, he has a background in planning and management of recreational use of public lands and waters. He holds a Master’s of Science in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont.


ErikMurdock_bio4_2016-150x150Erik is the Policy Director at the Access Fundand GIS Lab Director at Outdoor Alliance. An avid climber and eager backcountry skier, Erik has a MS in Geology and a PhD in Natural Resource Studies with a minor in Environmental Psychology. He has worked for the University of Arizona, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Forest Service and the National Park Service.

Panel: Athletes, Advocacy, and Social Media


Leven_11May2017_8-1-150x150Brody is a professional adventure skier who prefers climbing up mountains to skiing down them. He works with a number of brands, including Solomon, Garmin and Goal Zero. His activism focuses on environmental stewardship, public lands advocacy, and avalanche education.


Clare won the 2016 Leadville Trail 100—her first 100-miler—and in 2017 won and set a course record in the elite UTMB CCC, a 100K race around the Mont Blanc massif. She also races skimo, enjoys good old-fashioned backcountry skiing, and is an active environmental advocate and coral reef ecologist.


caroline_gleich-1-150x150Caroline is a professional ski mountaineer and adventurer who uses her voice as an athlete to advocate for the environment, working with brands such as Patagonia and Clif Bar, and non-profits such as Winter Wildlands Alliance, Protect Our Winters, HEAL Utah, and Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. You may have seen her on the cover of Powder, Backcountry or Ski Magazines or in Warren Miller films.


A professional snowboarder for Patagonia and Jones Snowboards and a Winter Wildlands Alliance ambassador, Forrest is at the forefront of self-powered backcountry freeriding. When he’s not shredding steep white walls for films like Deeper and Further, he works to raise climate change awareness in the snowboard community.

Panel: Engaging the Next Generation of Stewards and Advocates


Rena is the Program Manager for Youth Outside. She works toward equity and representation in the outdoor field by supporting young adults from diverse backgrounds through training that will develop them into outdoor leaders, stronger community advocates, and more confident stewards of the Earth. She is a graduate from the California School Age Consortium’s (CalSAC) Leadership Development Institute.


Ashley PhillipsAshley is Project Director for Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships (SWEP), a community-oriented non-profit organization based within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.  Ashley coordinates the Winter Discovery Program in Tahoe City, one of WWA’s SnowSchool sites in the Northern Sierra.


Kathleen-Mick-1-150x150Kathleen is the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Program Manager for the Volunteer & Service, Conservation Education and Interpretive Services. She has a passion for inspiring youth to enjoy the outdoors and pursue green careers. A Bay Area native, she grew up exploring, camping and fishing on public lands particularly the Lassen, Tahoe & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from the University of Nevada and began her career with the U.S. Forest Service in 1987.


KerryKerry serves as National SnowSchool Director with Winter Wildlands Alliance and is based in Boise ID.  Through SnowSchool he works to introduce thousands of kids and K-12 students to the joy of on-snow exploration and the science of wild winter landscapes. Kerry holds a doctorate degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Boise State University.

Panel: Winter Travel Planning Updates


EisenHilary is Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Policy Director. Based in Bozeman, she leads WWA’s engagement in National Forest winter travel management and other policy issues affecting backcountry skiers. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a B.A. degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College.


Marla is the Rewilding Attorney for WildEarth Guardians. She works on developing strategic legal advocacy to reclaim places for the wild and reconnect wildlife habitat and waterways across the American West. Marla splits her time between Guardians’ Portland, Oregon office and working remotely from her home in Carson, Washington.

Field Workshop: Citizen Science


Dr HatchettBen is a postdoctoral fellow of meteorology at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. He blends observational data with modeling approaches to study alpine and dryland hydrometeorology, paleoclimate, and natural hazards in the mountains of North and South America.


Merrill WarrenMerrill grew up in Placer County. Currently a Bozeman, Montana resident, she is the Operations and Development Manager at Adventure Scientists. She is motivated by the energy, time and skill Adventure Scientists volunteers dedicate to provide those working to solve environmental issues with otherwise unobtainable data.

Field Workshop: SnowSchool: The 3 Essentials


KerryKerry serves as National SnowSchool Director with Winter Wildlands Alliance and is based in Boise ID.  Through SnowSchool he works to introduce thousands of kids and K-12 students to the joy of on-snow exploration and the science of wild winter landscapes. Kerry holds a doctorate degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Boise State University.

Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization working to
inspire and empower people to protect America’s wild snowscapes.