James is a freelance journalist who specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer. James is the author of the book The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors and the co-writer/co-producer of the documentary film An American Ascent. And he is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies.
Midy is a senior vice president at Spitfire Strategies where her clients include global, national and state foundations such as the World Resources Institute, Ford Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, ClimateWorks, The Aspen Institute, Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Rose Community Foundation. Midy served as the founding executive director of the American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) of the National Park Foundation where she collaborated with the Obama administration, the Department of Interior and the National Park Service on several initiatives aimed at preserving American Latino history. She serves on several nonprofit boards including the Alaska Wilderness League and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado. She is also a member of the GreenLatinos network and the Diverse Environmental Leaders National Speakers’ Bureau.
Jonathan is Government Relations Director for Conservation Funding at The Wilderness Society. He previously served as an Obama administration appointee in the Environmental Protection Agency’s legislative affairs office, where he served as Senior Advisor working to advance agency and administration priorities during a time of heavy congressional scrutiny and high-profile crises. Prior to his time in the administration, Jonathan spent over six years on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer and Senior Legislative Assistant on energy and environmental issues for members serving on the Rules, Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources committees. Jonathan left the hill in 2012 to serve as Director of Government Affairs for the Western Energy Project where he focused on developing and implementing innovative advocacy, media and campaign strategies to promote conservation and responsible federal energy policy. Prior to his time in D.C. he spent his days as a whitewater raft guide on the Colorado River and an adaptive ski and snowboard instructor for individuals with disabilities.
Julie is a freelance journalist and content strategist based in Reno, Nevada. Former Managing Editor for Powder Magazine, she has written for a variety of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Tahoe Quarterly, Outside, the Ski Journal, and the REI Co-op Journal. Her work focuses on the intersection of the environment, travel, recreation, public lands, and social justice, especially in California and Nevada.
CHARLES WOLF DRIMAL
Charles Wolf Drimal is a senior conservation associate at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in Bozeman, Montana. For the past five years he’s focused his work on a federal legislative campaign to protect a suite of Montana’s iconic, free-flowing rivers with the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. He has also worked on public lands planning issues and watershed-based conservation funding initiatives in Montana and Wyoming. He is co-founder and current vice-president of the Montana Backcountry Alliance (MBA), a conservation and access group that represents backcountry skiers and riders across Montana. He also founded and served as the executive director of Absaroka Institute, an organization that combined wilderness travel with meditation and yoga practice. He now runs two annual backcountry trips with Crestone Mountain Zen Center to address the interconnection of Zen Buddhist practice with our place in the wild.
Hilary 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 in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College.
Tony is the Executive Director of Mountain Bike the Tetons, the Teton region chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) located in Teton Valley, Idaho and has been a WWA board member since 2013. He holds a Masters degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Idaho and a B.S. degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism from the University of Florida. Tony finds his happy place powder skiing, on long backcountry mountain bike rides and watching college football.
Michael is River Protection Director for the Southwest U.S. at American Rivers, leading river protection efforts in the Green, Colorado, and Rio Grande river systems with a focus on public lands policy, protecting wild rivers, and climate change response. He was a Presidential Management Fellow/Climate Action Plan Coordinator for the Greater Yellowstone Area at the U.S. Forest Service, and serves on the boards of Winter Wildlands Alliance and Montana Backcountry Alliance. As a former river guide and Senior Field Instructor at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Mike has paddled thousands of miles of rivers across the West, including a recent descent of the Green/Colorado from Wyoming to Mexico. Mike holds an M.S. in Natural Resources Policy and Conflict Resolution from the University of Montana, a B.S. in Neuroscience, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Michigan State University.
Alison Flint is Director of Litigation and Agency Policy at The Wilderness Society, a national non-profit dedicated to protecting wilderness and inspiring Americans to care for our wild places. Alison works on a variety of federal public lands issues, including protecting our national forests and bedrock conservation laws and policies, as well as managing The Wilderness Society’s high-profile litigation to defend Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from reckless energy development. Alison also has a deep affinity for the wonkiness of land management planning. Prior to joining The Wilderness Society in 2014, Alison litigated public lands issues for Earthjustice. She lives in Boulder, CO and enjoys exploring our public lands by foot, ski, or canoe.
John is Senior Director for Budget and Appropriations at the National Parks Conservation Association. He holds an M.S. from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He grew up exploring the Green Mountain National Forest Vermont and escapes the city life every weekend to nordic or telemark ski, paddle, bike and hike. His favorite season – by far – is winter. He is president of the board of the Winter Wildlands Alliance.
As Outdoor Alliance‘s 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, based in Hood River, Oregon.
Hal is Managing Partner at the Sankala Group, an investment firm that advises on tax credits for land conservation easement. He began his career publishing Buddhist books and has studied (by foot) mountain pilgrimage sites in Nepal. Hal also serves as a trustee for the City of Boulder’s Open Space Board of Trustees, overseeing the city’s 46,000+ acre tax-payer acquired public lands system, and is currently the Vice President of the board of Winter Wildlands Alliance.
DR. KIMBERLY HEINEMEYER
Kim is the Senior Scientist at Round River Conservation Studies, a non-profit research and education organization with a science office in Bozeman. She received her M.S. and PhD studying the ecology of mid-sized carnivores in the Rocky Mountains. Her work is focused on the ecological and social values of large wild landscapes and the wide ranging species that require them, including in the northern Rockies of the U.S. as well as in northwestern Canada and southern Africa. She and her project partners recently completed a 6-year study of wolverine responses to backcountry winter recreation.
Todd is the Director of Government Affairs for the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). He has 20 years of experience in public policy, legislative affairs and issue campaigns, ranging from the National Wildlife Federation to the renewable energy industry, to the Outdoor Industry Association. Throughout his career, he has worked to promote a healthy lifestyle by ensuring access to public lands, funding for outdoor recreation, and promoting cycling in all forms. He is based in Washington, D.C.
H.P. is a snow scientist and glaciologist who uses geophysics and engineering tools to study the cryosphere. A major focus of his research involves quantifying the spatial variability of the seasonal snowcover and its effect on remote sensing measurements, snow hydrology, and snow avalanches. Recent advances in technology have resulted in new rapid ground-based snow measurement methods, which he uses to quantify snow properties to test and improve snow models and microwave retrieval algorithms. His interests also include snow slope stability modeling, snow and ice mechanics, and meltwater pathways in both snow and temperate ice.
Kerry 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.
Sandra moved to Idaho from Alaska in 1967 to get an education at the University of Idaho, and never left. She is now the Public Lands Director for the Idaho State Snowmobile Association and Executive Director for Hells Canyon Alliance. She is also Executive Director of the Idaho Recreation Council (IRC) which is a statewide leadership organization founded in 2004 whose members include ATVers, UTVers, dirt motorcycles, 4X4s, backcountry aviators, RockHounds, RVers, recreational miners, rafters, jet boaters, and snowmobilers. Their goal is to protect access for this and future generations.
Erik is the Policy Director at the Access Fund and 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.
Salome Mwangi is a Kenyan-born American speaker who inspires, challenges and equips others to overcome their real or perceived obstacles, live up to their full potential, work with diverse teams and grow, professionally and personally. Salome resettled in Boise, Idaho in 2004 as a refugee, where she lives with her teenage daughter, Deborah. Salome has had quite the adventure figuring out the U.S. education system and its options, and what is a good fit for her daughter. Deborah has been fortunate to enroll in schools that believe in students participating and enjoying outdoor activities as part of their curriculum. Salome is currently the Refugee Speakers Bureau & Social Integration Coordinator with the Idaho Office for Refugees, where she coordinates the refugee speakers’ bureau and the community social integration activities collaborating with the city of Boise, and others within the community, on this task.
David is Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Advocacy Director. Based in Mammoth Lakes, CA, he is also a national award-winning journalist, a senior correspondent forPowder Magazine, Chair of the Mammoth Trails Committee and the Outdoor Alliance California Policy Shop, and a founding board member of Mammoth Lakes Recreation.
JUSTIN FORREST PARKS
Justin Forrest Parks is a passionate rock climber, mountaineer, outdoor enthusiast and community advocate born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. His mission is to celebrate diversity in outdoors and collaborate with communities to encourage, promote and amplify the stories and narratives from People of the Global Majority, women and transgender individuals, the LGBTQ2IA+ community and folxs with disabilities; to inspire our fellow sisters, brothers and siblings to venture into and engage with wild spaces. He has worked alongside the American Alpine Club, Chicago Mountaineering Club, Sierra Club, Access Fund, Outdoor Research and NOLS to help find ways to make adventure sports and outdoor communities more equitable, inclusive and welcoming to all. Justin is the Co-founder of Sending in Color and a Coalition Member at Diversify Outdoors.
Darren Parry is the Chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. He helped lead his community in the re-purchase and preservation of the land at the site of the Boa Ogoi Massacre in Idaho. He has deep experience in the acknowledgement and preservation of sacred lands, partnership with the National Parks Service, native species restoration, and the historical context underlying much of the public lands in America.
Steve is a professor in the Haub School of Environment & Natural Resources and the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wyoming. Steve’s research is focused on three areas: participatory decision-making in natural resources management and policy; decision-making in coupled human and natural systems; and environmental leadership. His outreach work is conducted through the Ruckelshaus Institute at UW where he works with local governments, state and federal agencies, and the private and nonprofit sectors to enhance participatory decision-making on complex environmental and natural resource policy issues.
Danna is the Executive Director of Travel Paso. Before that, she served as the Mt. Whitney Area Representative for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and has been active in a variety of collaborative efforts throughout California, including as part of the leadership team for the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative.
Recently retired from his post as Director of Sustainable Recreation, Tourism, Heritage and Wilderness Programs in the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region, Francisco is a decorated leader in sustainable outdoor recreation planning and management. He has contributed to recreation programs on public lands across the United States and internationally, and co-authored the influential paper “Recreation Equity: Is the Forest Service serving its diverse publics?” He is a Board Director with PUP Global Heritage Consortium which unites people and organizations dedicated to introducing emerging paradigms about management and planning into public lands and heritage management.
Jolie Varela is a citizen of the Nüümü and Yokut Nations. She grew up in Payahuunadü on the Bishop Indian Reservation. Jolie began connecting to her homelands through hiking during her late 20’s. She found healing both mentally and spiritually out on the land.
Jolie is the founder of Indigenous Women Hike, an organization that promotes nourishing our inherent connections to the land as well as helping to provide access for Indigenous people in the outdoors. IWH also serves as a reminder to the $887 billion dollar Outdoor Industry that they profit from the genocide and removal of Indigenous people.
John is a member of the Town Council of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and recently served as the Town’s Mayor (2017 2018). He also serves on local agency boards, including the Eastern Sierra Council of Governments (Chair 2017-2018); the Mono County Local Transportation Commission (Chair 2017-2018); the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Chair 2016-2017); and Mammoth Lakes Housing. For the State of California, John serves as a member of the Technical Advisory Council for the State’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, through the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. John is Chairman and CEO of the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation (MLTPA). MLTPA has worked closely with regional public land managers, including the Inyo National Forest on the update of its General Management Plan through the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative. Prior to moving to Mammoth Lakes, John worked in the motion picture industry, where his credits include Co-Producer of “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and “Mulholland Drive”.
Laura is a Colorado-based freelance film producer. With a background in environmental organizing, she uses cinematic storytelling to bring grassroots efforts and stories of landscape to widespread audiences. She produced award-winning documentaries Jumbo Wild and Treeline, along with other environmentally-focused content for brands such as Patagonia, Arc’teryx, Solomon and REI. She has 10 years of experience working with conservation organizations, and currently collaborates with filmmakers and outdoor industry influencers across the continent to inspire celebration and protection of wildlands and our connection to them.