Outdoor Alliance Hosts Partnership Summit in Colorado

Access Fund Senior Policy Advisor, Jason Keith, moderates a panel of senior level federal land managersDate: 12/12/2011

The first-ever Outdoor Alliance Partnership Summit kicked off on the evening of Dec. 6, at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, CO. The two-day meeting brought together field staff and volunteers from each of the six OA groups—as well as representatives from state and federal land management agencies—to share stories of successful working relationships from around the United States. “When people think of public lands, it’s too often that they focus on the same old argument of recreation versus extraction,” says Adam Cramer, Policy Architect for OA. “This event brought leaders together to figure out how to strike the best balance of land use and protection.”

The summit opened with a videotaped address from Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO). He praised the Outdoor Alliance for its successes combining local efforts with federal initiatives to mobilize the next generation of outdoor stewards. Peter Metcalf, CEO of Black Diamond Equipment, gave the keynote address.

Sessions covered a wide range of topics including the economic benefits of shared-use trail systems, ecological benefits of river restoration, successful travel management planning, youth engagement and partnership techniques for turning innovative visions into real projects. “We focused on 18 stories of public/private partnerships that balance recreation and conservation, and identified common elements which led to success,” says Brady Robinson, Executive Director of the Access Fund. “The goal of the summit was to encourage land managers and advocates to understand each other’s perspectives, to see that we share many goals and values, and to chart positive ways to work together. On all counts the meeting was a huge success.”

Summit attendees celebrate a productive couple of days at the Outdoor Alliance Partnership Summit in Golden, Colorado.

The Outdoor Alliance (OA) is a coalition of six conservation and recreation groups: Access Fund, American Canoe Association, American Hiking Society, American Whitewater, Winter Wildlands, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Together, they have a long tradition of preserving public access to American’s outdoors, making sure people have crags to climb, trails to hike, waters to paddle, and mountains to ski. The goal of the Outdoor Alliance is to ensure conservation and stewardship of our nation’s land and waters through the promotion of sustainable, human-powered recreation.