2012 was the most successful and influential period in the seven-year history of Outdoor Alliance. So what did we do? Here are our top five achievements from the last year.
1. Released a Landmark Report on Partnerships for Public Lands
Following the Outdoor Alliance Partnership Summit in 2011, we produced a report that gives new insight into public-private partnerships for the sake of public lands. Reviewed by hundreds of land managers and the human powered recreation community, we believe this report will increase the number and efficacy of all-important partnerships.
2. Launched the Grass-tops Initiative
Inspired by the demonstrated success of the Outdoor Alliance model on the national level, we took our show on the road, seeking to jumpstart local and regional networks of the human powered recreation community. We traveled to 6 key locations around the nation to meet with local leaders – the grass-tops – from the whole spectrum of human powered pursuits. With our state-wide partners we launched Outdoor Alliance Colorado and look to start more similarly empowered networks in the coming year.
3. Got Appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee
The government has many little known but influential Advisory Committees. Outdoor Alliance was appointed to one of only 19 seats on the committee advising the roll out of the new Forest Service Planning Rule. This Rule will direct how all new forest plans are crafted – and thus how much of our vital national forest land is experienced. With a seat at the table in Washington, DC we will give critical input into the national process that ultimately protects our trails, rivers, crags and slopes.
4. Strengthened the Colorado Roadless Rule
After more than four years of work, we celebrated the successful resolution of the Colorado Roadless Rule. Thanks in part to our efforts, the final rule doubled the amount of land given the highest upper tier protection. This brought the total to 1.2 million acres, including places like Lime Creek, Hoosier Ridge and parts of the Colorado Trail and the CDT. Looking back, 40% of this increase is attributable to our careful maps of the world-class paddling, riding, climbing, hiking and skiing.
5. Weighed-in on Challenging Public Lands Bills
Last year saw the proposal of a collection of problematic public lands bills. These called for everything from overriding all environmental protections within 100 miles of the border to selling all federal public land back to the states. Partnering with the National Wildlife Federation, the Outdoor Alliance team traveled to DC to educate Congressional offices about the ripple effects of these proposed policies and their impacts on the human powered and sportsperson communities. We were pleased to see that Congress did not turn any of these proposals into law.