Outdoor Alliance is excited to welcome Katie Hawkins as our California Organizer and the newest member of our team. We caught up with Katie to ask a few questions.
Tell us a little about how you got to Outdoor Alliance.
I am originally from Washington State and would spend nearly every summer visiting family in the Sierras and Lake Tahoe. It was these early memories that fueled my passion for the outdoors, which led me to pursue a career in the outdoor recreation industry. When I found out I was expecting my son, I knew I wanted to raise him in Truckee near Lake Tahoe. My husband I moved up here from the Bay Area at the same time I started diving into the nonprofit sector as a board member for SheJumps and the Pacific Crest Trail Association and membership director for California Outdoor Recreation Partnership. I was following my personal passions and also becoming an advocate for policy that supports outdoor recreation, conservation and social justice issues. My role at Outdoor Alliance allows me to combine the two, ensuring that my son and the rest of his generation will continue to reap the same rewards I have through exposure to the outdoors.
What do you love to do outside?
My absolute favorite is ski touring in the backcountry. I love being in the wilderness, breaking trail, and skiing pow. I feel very fortunate to live in the Sierras and have access to some of the most amazing terrain in the world. I am also a trail runner, having completed 15 marathons and just completed an ultra-marathon in Zion. One of my favorite new hobbies is just being outside with my toddler and sharing with him my love of the outdoors.
What are the public lands issues you care most about right now?
In California, I am passionate about the forest planning for Region 5. I look forward to working with the Forest Service and other key partners on building sustainable solutions for conservation in this amazing area. I am also an active supporter of strong climate legislation and look forward to the outdoor industry continuing to take a strong stance on climate policy.
What’s the next place on your bucket list?
This summer I am planning on taking my toddler on a 3-day backpacking trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail. I am excited to show him some of my favorite areas in our backyard. I’ve traveled the world and the western U.S. but there really is no place like home.
What are you most looking forward to about your new gig at Outdoor Alliance?
I am fired up to collaborate and support human-powered outdoor recreation enthusiasts in California. The timing is right for our communities to come together to spearhead strategies in protecting, promoting, and preserving this beautiful landscape. Having worked so long in the private sector, I am looking forward to leveraging my network to do good. Also, I have seen firsthand how Outdoor Alliance has achieved success in D.C., and I can’t wait to bring that same energy to California and to work on behalf of its outdoor recreation community on both the national and local level.