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Outdoor Alliance Launches Grass-tops Initiative

2012-09-18 / Tom Flynn

When climbers, paddlers, mountain bikers, hikers and backcountry skiers speak together about conserving outdoor spaces and experiences, people listen. For the last six years, Outdoor Alliance has been this unified voice on national policy matters, ensuring the protection and enjoyment of the outdoors.  

This fall we are launching the Grass-tops Initiative, a new effort to similarly help network and support the human powered outdoor recreation community at the local and state level. We are partnering with local networks to make sure that their treasured spaces are conserved and enjoyed, and also to bring more local perspectives to bear on national policy.

With more coordination amongst different groups – climbing groups, paddling groups and others – local coalitions of the human powered community will be able to build the relationships that will make them more powerful advocates not only for their collective interests, but for all of their individual interests as well.

At a handful of key locations around the nation, we are working with local leaders, the “grass-tops,” to explore the idea of local coordination. From Seattle, WA to Asheville, NC, we are helping cross-link the human powered community. Two of the leading networks are in Duluth, MN and statewide in Colorado.

“Before OA came to town, we had multiple bright lights shining on recreation opportunities in Duluth, MN. Now, we are taking those shining lights and bundling them like a laser ray pointing to bigger and broader wins for human powered recreation in our town,” says Hansi Johnson, IMBA Mid-West Regional Coordinator.

In Colorado, OA worked with the Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Mountain Bike Association and the statewide climbing and paddling groups under the Access Fund and American Whitewater banners to initiate a human powered network. “With the launch of Outdoor Alliance Colorado, human powered outdoor recreation has a powerful, united voice advocating for the recreation economy and the protection of the lands that support it,” Scott Braden, Colorado Mountain Club Conservation Director.

We are excited for the possibilities ahead. Please look for updates on the progress of these networks here, and on our blog.

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