Skiers and snowboarders often overlook that most of the thrills and spills they have at a Colorado resort take place with publicly owned lands underfoot.
So as tens of thousands of spectators converge on the White River National Forest for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Vail and Beaver Creek, the U.S. Forest Service thinks it’s a great time to raise the collective consciousness about the importance of keeping forests healthy.
The year-long “It’s All Yours” campaign will kick off at the championships as a way to not only let skiers know how public lands are the foundation of outdoor recreation in the West, but also the importance of treating our wild lands with respect. Sponsors are Forest Service, the National Forest Foundation and Vail Resorts.
With the World Championships set on public lands – and skiing-snowboarding rank behind only hiking as most popular activities in the central Colorado national forest – it appears to be a prime time to emphasize how conservation makes all that possible. Twelve major ski resorts sit with in the White River National Forest.
Spectators will find booths and promotional materials, but the most potent promotion likely will be the cadre of “snow rangers” who will ride in special gondolas and talk about “responsible recreation” and “stewardship” with visitors.
“This partner campaign seeks to inspire and encourage responsible outdoor activity and stewardship of national forests,” said White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliam in a press release. “It highlights national forests as places with endless opportunities to explore, discover and connect while simultaneously addressing the need for forest stewardship among the public and partners as essential to sustaining recreation opportunities in the future.”
After the championships, the campaign widens its coverage to all who visit the national forests and grasslands in the West in an effort to understand the links between natural forest health and recreational enjoyment.
Photo: U.S. Forest Service kicks off Responsible Recreation campaign at World Championships (National Forest Foundation)