Policy Update – December 2021

In this month’s policy update, we share what our grassroots groups have accomplished this season and all the ways our Alliance network has kept winter wild.

Photo Credit: Jason Hummel

From Hilary Eisen, WWA Policy Director (12/22/2021)

“It’s been a slow start to winter across most of the country (except those lucky Alaskans) but the temps are dropping and snow is starting to pile up. With snow comes an uptick in activity across our grassroots network, and for this last policy update of 2021 I wanted to share a few of the awesome things the WWA network has accomplished of late:

  • The Teton Backcountry Alliance Teton Pass Ambassador program educates skiers about backcountry (and parking!) etiquette and plays a critical role in ensuring continued skier access to Teton Pass.
  • Meanwhile, in the eastern Sierra, Friends of the Inyo has launched their 3rd season of Winter Trail Ambassadors. They provide friendly outreach on recreational opportunities and etiquette, and collect data on recreation and user interactions to inform winter travel planning.
  • Matt Williams, Executive Director at Catamount Trail Association recently moderated a Backcountry Impacts Forum featuring scientists from across Vermont with expertise in forest recreation, ecology and conservation science. The crux of the discussion focused on how to balance increasing participation in backcountry skiing with the need to protect the plant and animal communities that depend on ridgelines and other mountain environments in Vermont. The forum’s conclusion? Create sanctioned backcountry ski zones to limit human disruption in natural spaces. This supports the work that CTA, Granite Backcountry Alliance, and Superior Highlands Backcountry are pursuing in their respective hardwood ecosystems.

That’s just a sampling of all that our grassroots network does to protect, improve, and support quiet winter recreation.

Join the Alliance and help support this, and other work, to keep winters wild!

Happy Holidays,