Educating Winter Recreationists

Winter Wildlands Alliance, in collaboration with Tread Lightly, is leading educational initiatives to enhance winter travel plans on Stanislaus and Lassen National Forests, promoting responsible recreation for all.

Photo Display mock-up by Keri Davis @SharpEndDesigns

April 24, 2024

What has been accomplished?

After years of planning, winter travel plans have been completed on the Stanislaus and Lassen National Forests, and implementation is underway. A significant component of this implementation is education, achieved through new signage, brochures, and online resources. Winter Wildlands Alliance has been busy working on these educational materials in partnership with the long-time motorized recreation ethics promotor, Tread Lightly. 

What is the timeline?

We have committed to completing Stanislaus National Forest winter recreation materials by May 2024, with Summit Ranger District Materials already completed.

With an ever-expanding amount of winter recreation users of diverse backgrounds, we made sure to include a QR code linked to a Spanish version of all educational materials

How will trip planning be made easier?

Additionally, a more user-friendly Over Snow Vehicle (OSV) map for the Calaveras Ranger District is currently in progress, which will help to make trip planning easier for all winter recreationists. Historically, the maps issued directly by the Forest Service are useful for land managers but are crowded and difficult to read for the average visitor. By designing more streamlined maps that everyone can read, responsible recreation becomes more accessible. These maps will be posted at trailheads and online, accompanied by text on etiquette and safety considerations.

Photo courtesy of Keri Davis @SharpEndDesigns

What is next?

Looking ahead, Lassen National Forest educational materials are up next, with meetings beginning in May to identify which new materials will best serve this community of recreationists. The collaboration between organizations representing all user groups in the implementation phase of winter travel planning in California sets a hopeful tone for the future of winter recreation management on all public lands.

Why is education important?

As rules are updated, new users join in the fun, and understandings of best practices improve, it is important for land managers and major user groups to keep people informed in order to lessen conflicts between users, wildlife, and the land. When expectations are clear, it minimizes violations and allows public land users to focus on enjoying their time outdoors rather than dealing with negative interactions or fellow users not respecting cherished areas. Winter Wildlands Alliance remains committed to working towards improved education for winter recreation users so that we can continue to enjoy the snowscapes that we love for generations to come.