Member Profile: Mary Beth Hennessy

Retired Forest Planner, Former Backcountry Ranger, Educator, Skier, WWA’s Newest Board Member (Bishop, CA)

Photo by David Page

This profile was originally featured in our Spring 2023 Trail Break issue.

“The winter landscape has an important place in the ecology and future of our world. So even if you don’t enjoy winter sports— or are unable to—know that supporting this organization has value to protecting a part of our environment that depends on winter.”

Mary Beth first worked with Winter Wildlands Alliance through winter travel management planning in California while she was with the Forest Service in the Pacific Southwest Regional Office (Region 5).

She respected WWA’s mission and approach to pushing for equitable winter access while working to resolve conflicts between motorized and non-motorized winter recreation in the Sierra Nevada.

A native of California, she found her love of the mountains early in life with annual family vacations in the Sierra Nevada. As a recreation staffer on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the 1990’s, she was instrumental in the early days of the Colorado 14ers Initiative. She has completed multiple trans-Sierra ski journeys, including a 27-day north-to-south high traverse from Tioga to Cottonwood in leather boots and double-camber skis.

When she’s not skiing or helping us to understand the Byzantine workings of the United States Forest Service, she’s probably gardening, backpacking, birding, or playing mountain dulcimer.