Trail Break Radio

Winter Wildlands Alliance

Trail Break Radio, the Winter Wildlands Alliance podcast, takes you beyond the well-trodden path, delving into diverse topics shaping our commitment to protect America’s wild snowscapes. From promoting equitable outdoor access to sharing tales of adventure, we offer fresh insights into recreating on and stewarding our cherished wild spaces. Season One unfolds with discussions from our 10th Biennial Grassroots Advocacy Conference. Join the dialogue with experts in public lands management, policy, ecology, and activism, echoing the grassroots spirit that defines Winter Wildlands Alliance. read less
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Episodes

Hypocrite: With Amie Engerbretson
5d ago
Hypocrite: With Amie Engerbretson
How do we address "The Hypocrite" in all of us? How much do our individual actions actually matter in the face of climate change and systemic environmental issues? Can we drop our judgments of others and of ourselves in order to take positive action and work together for the common good? Will snowmobilers and skiers ever find a way to get along? Amie Engerbretson, snowmobiler, filmmaker and professional skier, sits down with David Page, Winter Wildlands Alliance’s  Executive Director, to shed light on the importance of uniting all outdoor enthusiasts—regardless of their recreational choices—in the fight against climate change while giving us a behind-the-scenes look at her latest film, "The Hypocrite." MEET AMIE ENGERBRETSON: Amie is a multifaceted professional skier known for her dynamic presence in the mountains. Beginning her skiing journey at Palisades Tahoe, she has since showcased her skills in renowned productions such as ‘Weak Layers,’ ‘Timeless,’ and ‘Boots Over Brim.’ With a degree in Media Management from Columbia College, Amie transitions often between roles behind and in front of the camera. Her diverse portfolio includes films, print, videos, and her podcast, "Long Underwear." Recognized for her climate advocacy, she was awarded the 2021 Alliance Member of the Year by Protect Our Winters for her impactful contributions to climate action. Follow Amie on Instagram @AmieSki. LINKS: ‘The Hypocrite’ ⁠Backcountry Film Festival⁠ ⁠Ski Kind⁠ SPONSORED BY⁠: Mammoth Brewing Company’s Ski Kind Mountain Lager  TRANSCRIPT: (⁠⁠⁠available here⁠⁠⁠) CREDITS: Editor and Audio Engineer: Tess Goodwin Host: David Page Producer: Emily Scott Theme music: ⁠Rattlesnake Preachers⁠ feat. Kerry McClay
Stewarding Winter
Jan 12 2024
Stewarding Winter
With more of us recreating on our winter snowscapes, how can we improve partnerships with land managers and other users to educate the growing number of winter recreationists? How can land managers help us reduce our collective impact on the lands where we recreate?  SPEAKER BIOS: Tyler Ray: Tyler is an outdoor recreation attorney and advocate based in New Hampshire. He is the founder of Backyard Concept, LLC, and co-founder of Granite Backcountry Alliance, a WWA Grassroots Group pioneering the use of active forest glading as a winter recreation management tool on National Forest lands in New Hampshire and Maine. Tyler is also co-founder, with WWA, of the Ski Kind brand.Anne Gaspar: Previously a USFS Wilderness Ranger, Timber Stand Improvement team member, Canada Lynx researcher, and Trails Coordinator on the White River National Forest, Anne is now the Program Manager for Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area and Hut Master for Summit Huts Association.Shane Tulp: Shane has led a USFS Backcountry Trail Crew for the past 6 summers and has been a Snow Ranger for the Ouray and Grand Valley Ranger Districts for the past 3 winters via Colorado Mountain Club. He is also a Great American Outdoors Act Coordinator for the USFS in Gunnison, CO. RESOURCES: Granite Backcountry Alliance Backyard Concept Great  American Outdoors Act  Colorado  Mountain  Club Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area Vail Pass Task Force White River National Forest Snow Rangers Red Mountain Pass RIMS App Backcountry Film Festival Ski Kind SPONSORS⁠: ⁠⁠Outdoor Alliance⁠⁠ ⁠⁠The Mighty Arrow Family Foundation⁠⁠ ⁠⁠REI⁠⁠ Denali Arts Council TRANSCRIPTS: (⁠⁠click here⁠⁠) CREDITS: Produced/Edited by Tess Goodwin Co-hosted by David Page Co-hosted and Directed by Emily Scott Music by Rattlesnake Preachers feat. Kerry McClay
Backcountry Bliss and Wildlife Wellness
Jan 5 2024
Backcountry Bliss and Wildlife Wellness
Is our growing presence in the backcountry stressing wintering wildlife and degrading their habitats? Can we responsibly use wildlife habitat as our playgrounds? How can we keep wildlife in mind, keep disturbances and displacements minimal as climate change increases, and ensure that wildlife populations can be resilient in an uncertain future? SPEAKER BIOS: Sarah Dewey: Sarah is a Wildlife Biologist at Grand Teton National Park and the Chair of the Teton Range Bighorn Sheep Working Group. She monitors, researches, and manages the ungulate populations in the park, including bighorn sheep, bison, elk, moose, mule deer, and pronghorn.Kurt Hellman: Kurt is the Senior Coordinator of the Wildlife-Recreation Coexistence Program for Conservation Northwest. While supporting conservation efforts through grassroots activism, Kurt also works to better the relationship between wildlife and outdoor recreation across Washington state.Mike Crosby: Mike is a 34-year veteran of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, now Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He currently serves as President of the Open Lands, Rivers, and Trails committee and helped found the Wintering Wildlife Conservation Initiative in 2021. RESOURCES: Conservation Northwest Teton Bighorn Sheep Working Group Bighorn Sheep Working Group Recommendations Wintering Wildlife Conservation Initiative Denizens of the Steep Poster: Minimizing our Impacts to Wintering Wildlife ⁠Colorado Mountain Club⁠ SPONSORS⁠: ⁠Outdoor Alliance⁠ ⁠The Mighty Arrow Family Foundation⁠ ⁠REI⁠ TRANSCRIPTS: (⁠click here⁠) CREDITS: Produced/Edited by Tess Goodwin Co-hosted by David Page Co-hosted and Directed by Emily Scott Music by Rattlesnake Preachers feat. Kerry McClay
Silent Slopes, Loud Data
Dec 22 2023
Silent Slopes, Loud Data
We're talking apps, maps, data collection, and the tricky dance between citizen science, data bias and user privacy. We'll unravel the importance of reliable visitor-use data, not just for solitude-seekers but for the land managers, policymakers, and other advocates for wild snowscapes and quiet winter recreation zones. How can we leverage new cutting-edge tools to make better-informed decisions? Speaker Bios: Chelsea Phillippe: Is the Trails Inventory and Planner and Park Ranger Supervisor for the Salt Lake Ranger District on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Prior to this position, Chelsea worked as a Wilderness Ranger and Education Specialist on the Bridger-Teton and Sawtooth National Forests.Will Sladek: Joined onX Maps in 2021 to activate onX‘s mission of Awakening the Adventurer within Everyone to human powered recreation. As the General Manager of the onX Backcountry app, Will works to provide adventurers with the information and interactive maps they need to plan their next hike, ski, or adventure all in one place. Prior to onX, he was a senior vice president at Backcountry Group, where he held a variety strategy and operations roles. He lives in Park City, UT with his wife and their young son. He is a lifelong adventurer who is up for any excuse to get into the backcountry, most recently that’s been introducing their young son to the mountains in as many ways as possible.Nicole Budine: Originally from New York, Nicole has lived and worked throughout the west in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, but moving to Colorado in 2019 felt like home. Prior to joining Colorado Mountain Club as their Policy Director, Nicole served as an attorney for the State of Wyoming specializing in water quality law and worked in other environmental policy roles. Nicole loves to get outside as often as possible, usually through climbing, snowboarding, biking, or looking at interesting plants and rocks along the trail. Resources: OnX Backcountry - Become a Winter Wildlands Alliance member for 20% off! Colorado Mountain Club RIMS App Salt Lake Ranger District Trail Counting Program with Wasatch Backcountry Alliance Tri-Canyon Trails Plan Forest Service App Outdoor Alliance Sponsors: WYldlife for Tomorrow Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures Outdoor Alliance The Mighty Arrow Family Foundation REI Transcripts: (click here) Credits: Produced/Edited by Tess Goodwin Co-hosted by David Page Co-hosted and Directed by Emily Scott Music by Rattlesnake Preachers feat. Kerry McClay
Athlete Advocacy: Powder and Purpose
Dec 15 2023
Athlete Advocacy: Powder and Purpose
How can athletes support local and national advocacy efforts, contribute to advocacy outside of social media influencer-ship, and more? What are the challenges and opportunities of working with brand names and big-name advocacy orgs? Speaker Bios: Nicole Brown: Outdoor Alliance’s Communications and Marketing Associate. She has been exploring and advocating for the outdoors most of her life. She grew up racing BMX, but it was quiet hiking trails and long backpacking trips that brought her back to outdoor recreation as an adult. Nicole founded Women Who Hike and has worked with American Hiking Society, Hydro Flask, Merrell, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Caroline Gleich: American skier, mountaineer, and environmental activist. She is notable for her advocacy for environmental justice and climate reform. She is an Ambassador for Winter Wildlands Alliance and Protect Our Winters. She has submitted Everest and is the first women to ever complete all 90 lines in "The Chuting Gallery" of the Wasatch. Connor Ryan: Proud Hunkpapa Lakota and passionate skier—in 2022 named one of the “20 Most Influential People in the Outdoor Industry” by Outside Magazine—Connor was born and raised in the homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute peoples, who have become some of his biggest inspirations and closest relatives, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Skiing is his dance and prayer, a ceremony of its own, one that offers a chance to center himself within nature and the Great Mystery of the universe surrounding him. Connor works to inspire others to deepen their connection to the places they live and play in order for us all to be better relatives to our planet, our communities, and ourselves. Resources: Spirt of the Peaks The Scholarship of Stoke Advocacy 101 Outdoor Alliance Connor's Instagram Caroline's Instagram Sponsors: Outdoor Alliance⁠, ⁠Mighty Arrow Family Foundation⁠, ⁠REI⁠ Alaska Guide Collective If you're interested in sponsoring an episode, email Emily at escott@winterwildlands.org. Transcript: (here) Credits: Directed by Emily Scott Hosted by David Page Edited and produced by Tess Goodwin Music by ⁠Rattlesnake Preachers
Out of Bounds: Corporate Ski Resort Development and the Public Good
Dec 8 2023
Out of Bounds: Corporate Ski Resort Development and the Public Good
The number of people participating in resort skiing is generally on the decline, while the number of backcountry skiers and riders has exploded. And yet we are now seeing a significant spike in proposed ski resort development and expansion onto wild public lands. What’s going on here? And what can we do to keep things in check? How can we improve both resort-based and backcountry winter recreation? Speaker Bios: Christian Mears Pitcher is a fifth-generation Colorado native with deep roots in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, where his family has been actively engaged since the late 1800s. As a dedicated member of the Wolf Creek Ski Area Board of Directors, Chris contributes his extensive knowledge and passion for the region’s outdoor heritage. Beyond his involvement in the ski area, he is a skilled professional engineer and the owner of a successful consulting firm in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, specializing in responsible river restoration projects across the Western United States. Chris has a commitment to preserving natural landscapes and promoting pragmatic practices.Cindy Riegel is serving her third term as a County Commissioner for Teton County, Idaho. She has been instrumental in the adoption of modern zoning and land use regulations, the establishment of a successful Housing Authority, and the implementation of the Teton County Recreation and Public Access Master Plan. Commissioner Riegel has a keen interest in the environmental and socio-economic impacts related to the proposed expansion of her local ski area, Grand Targhee Resort. The resort is located in Teton County, Wyoming but is dependent on Idaho’s infrastructure and services.Erik Lambert started skiing at age one when his dad pushed him around the sleepy woods of Poughkeepsie on some homemade planks. He’s spent the past 10 years as a marketing and communication professional in the outdoor industry. Now he runs his own consultancy and creative shop for outdoor brands and non-profits called Bonfire Collective and co-founded Bluebird Backcountry, the first human-powered ski area in the country.Hilary Eisen 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. Resources: NEPA Grand Targhee expansion Grand Targhee Community Assessment Bluebird Backcountry Wolf Creek Ski Area expansion Wolf Creek Upgrade Plan National Association of Counties "Kissing The 'Quieter Side' Of The Tetons Goodbye?" by Cindy Riegel Sponsors: Outdoor Alliance, Mighty Arrow Family Foundation, REI. Backcountry Babes If you're interested in sponsoring an episode, email Emily at escott@winterwildlands.org. Transcript: (click here) Credits: Directed by Emily Scott Hosted by David Page Edited and produced by Tess Goodwin Music by Rattlesnake Preachers
Transit to Trailheads: Navigating Equitable and Eco-Friendly Access
Dec 2 2023
Transit to Trailheads: Navigating Equitable and Eco-Friendly Access
From microtransit to gondolas to reservation systems, how do we ensure access to the backcountry is sustainable and equitable? Do we build parking lots and infrastructure to improve access? Or do we limit infrastructure to give greater opportunities for solitude and to give the resource a rest? Gary Kofinas, Jay Erickson, and Anthony Cupaiuolo share their innovative ideas on how to access the heart of public lands—efficiently, equitably and sustainably. Speaker Bios: Gary serves as Chair of the Teton Backcountry Alliance and is Professor Emeritus in Resource Policy and Management at the University of Alaska. Before that, he directed and instructed experiential education programs internationally. Jay has a strong passion for transportation equity and ensuring that all humans can experience the soul-nourishing nature that so many of us have built our lives around. He recently joined the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance board and is a construction project manager by profession.Anthony is the Executive Director at Tahoe Backcountry Alliance, a long time splitboarder, South Tahoe local, and passionate advocate for public lands access. In his spare time, Anthony is a photographer and filmmaker where his passion also often intersects with advocacy and stewardship in projects for the National Forest Foundation, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, and Tahoe Rim Trail Association. Resources: ⁠Winter Wildlands Alliance⁠⁠ Ski Kind Tahoe Backcountry Alliance Wasatch Backcountry Alliance Teton Backcountry Alliance Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) Teton Pass Corridor Study TBA Volunteer Ambassador Program WBA's stance on Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola Mobility Hubs Backcountry Access Zones Map Mountain Accord Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map App WWA Backcountry Film Festival Sponsors: ⁠Outdoor Alliance⁠, ⁠Mighty Arrow Foundation⁠, and ⁠REI⁠ Tahoe Mountain Sports - Coupon code: keepwinterwild for 15% off Transcripts: ⁠click here
Trails for Tomorrow and Policy for Public Lands
Nov 25 2023
Trails for Tomorrow and Policy for Public Lands
What does it take to turn the dream of sustainable recreation into a reality? How can we shape policies that genuinely impact the landscapes we love? Hilary Eisen and Jamie Ervin talk to Sam Rider about the keys to a future where outdoor enjoyment and environmental preservation coexist on public lands. Speaker Bios: Hilary Eisen 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.Jamie Ervin is Outdoor Alliance’s Policy Associate and a forest ecologist who has worked extensively on wildfire resilience and forest health issues in California’s Sierra Nevada. He holds a Master’s of Environmental Law & Policy and a Master’s of Natural Resources.Sam is currently the National Recreation Planner within the USFS’s Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources shop. Sam joined USFS in 2016 as a recreation planner for the Rocky Mountain Region and, in a past life, was a recreation planner for the Department of Energy and Department of Defense. She also serves as Vice Chair for the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council. Sam has a degree in Outdoor Recreation from George Mason University and definitely considers winter to be the superior season. Resources: Winter Wildlands Alliance⁠ NEPA A Framework for Sustainable Recreation 2012 Planning Rule Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) WWA Winter Travel Planning Reimagine Recreation Outdoor Alliance Forest Planning Wildfire Crisis Strategy 10 Year Trail Challenge Forest Service Equity Action Plan Bridger Mountain sign project Sponsors: Outdoor Alliance, Mighty Arrow Foundation, and REI Alpine Quest Sports Transcripts: click here
In the Hot Seat: Wildfire, Forest Health, and Recreation
Nov 18 2023
In the Hot Seat: Wildfire, Forest Health, and Recreation
What does winter recreation have to do with wildfire? What if backcountry skiers could help improve skiable terrain and climate resiliency at the same time? Jamie Ervin, Jason Kuiken, and Matt Williams discuss the complex drivers of wildfires and a system out of balance. Tune in to hear solutions and reimagine the role recreation can play in re-establishing wildfire resilience. Speaker Bios:  Jamie Ervin: is Outdoor Alliance’s Policy Associate and a forest ecologist who has worked extensively on wildfire resilience and forest health issues in California’s Sierra Nevada. He holds a Master’s of Environmental Law & Policy and a Master’s of Natural Resources.Jason Kuiken: is the Forest Supervisor on the Stanislaus National Forest. He recognizes that many economies surrounding public lands are dependent upon recreation and tourism. He focuses on balancing the multiple uses that occur on public lands while creating resiliency to insects, disease, drought and wildland fire.Matt Williams: is the Executive Director of the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) in Vermont. He is a firm believer in the power of outdoor recreation to build community, enhance people’s quality of life, and inspire support for the protection of public lands. Resources: Winter Wildlands Alliance Trail Break Radio Outdoor Alliance Catamount Trail Association The Big Burn Social and Ecological Resilience Across the Landscape (SERAL) RASTA 30 by 30 Vermont Backcountry Ski Handbook BAER Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions Sponsors: San Juan Huts Outdoor Alliance, Mighty Arrow Foundation, REI Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q9nAjd6A_95dnlOHqncwVR-uEY69rC4gkiJFzc999cA/edit?usp=sharing
Beyond Land Acknowledgement with Connor Ryan
Nov 11 2023
Beyond Land Acknowledgement with Connor Ryan
Did you know that in Lakota language there is not a word for “nature”? Connor Ryan, proud Hunkpapa Lakota skier, explains why. Listen to Connor’s story of ecological realizations and working to re-indigenize our collective culture. Bio: Connor is a proud Hunkpapa Lakota and passionate skier. In 2022 he was named one of the “20 Most Influential People in the Outdoor Industry” by Outside Magazine. Connor was born and raised in the homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute peoples, who have become some of his biggest inspirations and closest relatives, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Skiing is his dance and prayer, a ceremony of its own, one that offers a chance to center himself within nature and the Great Mystery of the universe surrounding him. Connor works to inspire others to deepen their connection to the places they live and play in order for us all to be better relatives to our planet, our communities, and ourselves. Resources: Connor's Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sacredstoke Winter Wildlands Alliance - https://winterwildlands.org/ Trail Break Radio - https://winterwildlands.org/trail-break-radio Braiding Sweetgrass - https://milkweed.org/book/braiding-sweetgrass Spirit of the Peaks - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSwmJMH04Ww Natives Outdoors - https://www.natives-outdoors.org/ Sponsors:  Dan Bailey's Outdoor Company - https://danbaileys.com/ Outdoor Alliance, Mighty Arrow Foundation and REI If you’re interested in becoming a Backcountry Partner sponsor, reach out to Emily at escott@winterwildlands.org. Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LoJyp2zl_P5Yjpe_2sBnS32miLUydMPYgq8tKPL83Fk/edit?usp=sharing