Let Me Run Names New Executive Director

Charlotte, NC – May 25, 2023 – Let Me Run has named Richard Sexton as its new executive director, effective immediately. Sexton replaces Emily Battle, who has helmed the nonprofit physical and emotional wellness program for boys since 2019, leading the organization through organizational changes, COVID-19 and impressive national growth.

“I’ve loved the opportunity to lead this organization over the past four years and am proud of all that we have achieved as an organization through a difficult time,” Battle said. “I’m thrilled to be passing the baton to Richard, who understands firsthand the power of running in breaking down barriers, forming lifelong connections, and boosting both physical and emotional health. I look forward to seeing the impact that Let Me Run continues to have on boys around the country and hope to stay involved as a volunteer within the Charlotte community.”

Sexton has devoted much of his career to building organizations, from his own retail company to world-class enterprise sales and marketing teams within AAA, MicroD, and Williams-Sonoma. He has been equally committed to service to his community, with a long history of volunteerism with organizations such as Cub Scouts, Little Brothers, Discovery Place and the Cabarrus County school system. In 2021, Sexton ran across North Carolina carrying a 25-pound slamball to raise money for Champion Autism Network and autism awareness, covering a marathon a day for 30 days. With eight years of substitute teaching under his belt, Sexton is well attuned to the physical and mental health challenges faced by boys in today’s post-pandemic world.

“Running and movement are core to who I am as a person, and I understand the transformational power of running, both from a conditioning perspective and a mental well–being perspective,” said Sexton, who has more completed than 100 marathons and ultramarathons and six iron-distance triathlons. “Running has provided me with a lifelong support system in the friends I’ve made and conversations I’ve shared. Let Me Run directly addresses one of the most fundamental needs of boys today: the need to connect and express their authentic selves through the release of running and movement.”

Sexton will focus on building a national network of Let Me Run regions, supported by paid and volunteer staff and underwritten by national sponsors whose messages align with Let Me Run.

To learn more about Let Me Run, please visit www.letmerun.org. For media inquiries, please contact ashleigh@darbycommunications.com.



About Let Me Run

Let Me Run is a nonprofit wellness program that inspires boys to be themselves, be active, and belong. With a comprehensive curriculum that applies the power of running, the program encourages boys to develop their psychological, emotional, and social health, in addition to their physical health. Twice a week for seven weeks, two trained volunteer coaches lead an elementary or middle school team through practice. Designed to amplify confidence, self-expression, and respect for others, each practice includes a lesson from the Let Me Run curriculum that incorporates running, games, and activities. Each fall and spring season culminates in a 5k race festival that celebrates the boys’ personal growth.

SCARPA Vapor S Climbing Shoe Wins Coveted Outside Editor’s Choice Award

BOULDER, Colo. (May 24, 2023) – SCARPA, maker of performance footwear for mountain sports, won Outside Magazine’s prestigious Editor’s Choice award for its new Vapor S rock-climbing shoe. Outside Magazine’s editors test and choose the best outdoor gear annually that offers outstanding innovation in design, materials and performance.

The Vapor S is the newest member of SCARPA’s best-selling Vapor family. It’s an incredibly versatile slipper that is powerful and sensitive yet offers precision on the smallest edges. Its innovative NANO Strap System closes around the ankle to minimize heel slipping and increase heel hooking performance, while the ultra-low angled toe profile makes it the perfect shoe for thin cracks.

“The collective result is one fierce steep-rock beast, one you can maneuver into subtle heel-toe cams that would feel clunky in any other shoe. For a slipper, the Vapor S is also surprisingly versatile,” Outside Magazine’s editors said.

“I was very impressed with the ability to toe in on small edges on more vertical terrain, as well as smear on slopey, sandy feet, but was also able to pull and grab on steep footholds,” said one Outside Magazine tester.

“The Vapor S is a shoe SCARPA is incredibly proud of, and one we’re so happy to see recognized by the team at Outside Magazine,” said Matt Ginley, North American Sales Manager at SCARPA. “Our hope for this shoe is that its broadly applicable fit and performance will help it reach a greater audience, and this award tells us we’re on the right track. We’re honored that the Vapor S stood out to Outside’s team amongst the competition and we are grateful for the recognition.”

To learn more about the Vapor S and SCARPA’s other products, please visit www.scarpa.com.


About SCARPA and SCARPA North America 

Founded in 1938, SCARPA builds performance footwear for climbing, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, trail running and other outdoor pursuits from its headquarters in Asolo, Italy. SCARPA has been owned and operated by the Parisotto family since 1956. In 2005, SCARPA opened its North American headquarters in Boulder, Colo., staffed and directed by veterans of the North American outdoor industry, to oversee sales, marketing and distribution in the U.S., Canada and South America. For more information about SCARPA footwear, visit www.scarpa.com.

Black Diamond Equipment To Host Salt Lake Climbers Alliance 21rst Annual Fundraiser

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (May 24, 2023) — Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., a leading manufacturer and distributor of innovative, high performance outdoor equipment, apparel and footwear, is hosting the 21rst Annual Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA) Fundraiser, scheduled for 6-10 p.m., Thursday, June 1. The event will take place in the front parking lot of Black Diamond’s Salt Lake City headquarters, otherwise known as the Black Diamond Courtyard, at 2092 E. 3900 South St.

SLCA is a 501c(3) non-profit organization created to promote climbing opportunities, to preserve local climbing access and to encourage stewardship of the environment. SLCA is currently replacing worn out bolts and anchors and improving trails that provide access to local crags. The SLCA continually advocates for the sport and offers educational events and programs to ensure local climbing areas stay open to the public.

“Black Diamond is an instrumental partner to the SLCA,” said Julia Geisler, SLCA Executive Director. “This event is our main annual fundraiser of the year, and without the support of Black Diamond, other sponsors and attendees, the SLCA would not be able to act as a unified voice for Wasatch climbers.”

The fundraiser will include an evening of food, drinks, raffles and music to benefit the SLCA. It will be held outdoors, rain or shine. All children under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult, and dogs are prohibited. Tickets can be purchased for $35 at SaltLakeClimbers.org or for $40 at the door. Student pricing includes a 25% discount.

Associated sponsors also include: The Front Climbing Club, Bouldering Project Salt Lake, REI Co-Op, Cypher, Athletic Brewing Co., Kodiak, Rock Garden, Scarpa, RDSH SLC, Santero, Wave, Yoshi’s Japanese Grill, Momentum Indoor Climbing, Jack Wolfskin, Backcountry, Petzl, Utah DNR Recreation, Moab Brewery, Han’s Kombucha, Rab, Sterling, Rhino, Camp, La Sportiva, and Umani Pizzeria. Live music will include performances by Salt Lake’s own singer/songwriter, Seth Brown, as well as from the band, Strange Medicine.


Black Diamond Equipment is a manufacturer of equipment and clothing for climbing, skiing and mountain sports. By consistently building innovative, standard-setting products and actively preserving the mountain/canyon environment, Black Diamond Equipment has assumed a leadership role in the international outdoor community. For more information on Black Diamond Equipment, visit BlackDiamondEquipment.com


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT Awarded 2023 Outside Magazine Editors’ Choice Award

SEATTLE, Wash. (May 24, 2023) — With the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any sleeping pad ever created, the new Therm-a-Rest® NeoAir® XTherm™ NXT is a chosen recipient of the Outside Magazine 2023 Editors’ Choice Award. The annual award, one of the most coveted in the outdoor industry, is given to the best new gear that offers outstanding innovation in design, materials, and performance.

Therm-a-Rest, the leader in outdoor sleeping gear for more than 50 years, introduced the new NeoAir XTherm NXT in spring of 2023. The cold weather backpacking pad takes a step forward in outdoor sleep performance with a warmer, lighter, and more comfortable pad for backcountry pursuits that demand extreme insulation in an ultralight package.

The unrivaled Triangular Core Matrix™ design and five-layer ThermaCapture™ technology gives the XTherm NXT a 7.3 R-value (.4 warmer than the previous pad) at an ultralight weight of 15.5 ounces (1 ounce lighter than the previous XTherm). At 3 inches thick (.5 inches thicker than the previous pad), the XTherm NXT enhances comfort while improving lightweight performance on the trail. To learn more about the NeoAir XTherm NXT, visit the Therm-a-Rest YouTube page.

“For the last half decade, we’ve been working to make the best even better with the goal of creating a better night’s rest under the stars – because a better night’s rest leads to better adventures the next day,” says Karen Lamerick, Senior Marketing Director at Cascade Designs, the parent company of Therm-a-Rest. “The Editors’ Choice award from Outside is one of the most coveted in our industry. They test gear for more than a year and really put it through the wringer. This means a lot to our team.”

“Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir XTherm was already a bit of a unicorn in the backpacking world when it came out in 2012: crazy warm, packable, and lightweight,” said Outside’s editors. “The new XTherm NXT must be a flying unicorn, then, since it’s better in nearly every way…Therm-a-Rest’s XTherm NXT offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any sleeping pad, ever.”

For more information about Therm-a-Rest and its collection of award-winning pads, sleeping bags, including the new NeoAir XTherm NXT, visit www.thermarest.com.


About Therm-a-Rest®

Our founder’s mission was simple: create a better way to sleep outside; because when you rest better, you play better. Their ingenuity and vision back in 1972 led to the creation of the first self-inflating sleeping pad. Today, we’re still working towards the same mission to craft the best sleeping pads and bags on the market. We’re not just giving explorers a better way to camp, we’re giving them better adventures tomorrow. For more information, visit www.thermarest.com.

About Cascade Designs, Inc.®

For 50 years, Seattle-based Cascade Designs, Inc. and its brands, Therm-a-Rest®, Mountain Safety Research® (MSR), Platypus®, SealLine®, and PackTowl®, have led the outdoor industry in designing innovative, useful and long-lasting equipment, manufacturing the majority of products in their Seattle, WA, and Reno, NV, U.S.A. and Cork, Ireland facilities. From the original self-inflating Therm-a-Rest® camping mattress to the first multi-fuel stove from MSR®, Cascade Designs has developed leading products that explorers, travelers, adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts and weekend campers can rely on to deliver optimum performance in the outdoors through exceptional engineering and quality. For more information, please visit: www.cascadedesigns.com.



Lectric eBikes Establishes National E-Bike Day

PHOENIX (May 23, 2023) – Lectric eBikes, the industry leading e-bike brand and the maker of the country’s best-selling e-bike model and third best-selling electric vehicle, has initiated May 30 as the official National E-Bike Day. The new holiday, established and sponsored by Lectric, encourages riders everywhere to celebrate e-biking and to make the switch to electric transportation.

National E-Bike Day will coincide with Lectric eBike’s fourth anniversary, which marks the start of the most affordable and adventurous eBike brand out there on May 30, 2019. To commemorate each impactful year of getting ‘more butts on e-bikes’ thus far, Lectric eBikes is ringing in the holiday by giving away four eBikes during their live stream event on Tuesday, May 30, at 12 p.m. PST on its Facebook and YouTube pages.

“The e-bike is the most efficient solution for humans to move ourselves, so I’m proud to establish National E-Bike Day to not only reflect on our mission as a company, but to also champion the e-bike industry as a whole,” said Levi Conlow, co-founder and CEO of Lectric. “When we started Lectric in 2019, we set out to be the Greatest Urban Transportation Solution Ever and to challenge the idea of transportation as we knew it. This will be a day dedicated to recognizing and amplifying the sustainable, economic and wellness benefits of e-biking, while encouraging riders across the country to use their e-bikes or opt into electric transportation.”

For the giveaway, Lectric is offering individuals two ways to participate —individuals with an e-bike, from any manufacturer, can be entered to win by posting a picture of themselves enjoying the benefits of e-biking on their Instagram or Facebook accounts that day along with the hashtag #Nationalebikeday. People can also participate in the giveaway by commenting on Lectric’s live event on Facebook and YouTube. Four winners, two from each entry option, will be chosen at random during the live stream and will receive a free Lectric eBike of their choice. Participants can join the live stream event starting at 12 p.m. PST.

Lectric eBikes was founded on the idea of changing the way people move. Co-founders and childhood friends Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel shared a passion for biking and recognized the need for high quality e-bikes that offered the best value per dollar. By prioritizing quality, power and comfort while maintaining affordability, Lectric has grown a community of more than 300,000 electric commuters on the road nationwide with America’s best-selling e-bike model.

Visit the official National E-Bike Day holiday page at https://nationaltoday.com/national-e-bike-day/ to learn more about the holiday and ways to celebrate. To learn more about the Lectric eBikes, visiting www.LectriceBikes.com. For media inquiries, please contact Account Manager Corinne Baud at corinne.baud@rygr.us.

About Lectric eBikes

Lectric eBikes is one of the fastest growing electric bike companies in the nation, selling nearly 300,000 e-bikes in less than four years. The company is known for its dedication to producing quality products at affordable prices. Its flagship XPTM models are exceptionally designed so that everyone can ride, delivering all the high-quality features of an elite e-bike, offered at an industry-shattering low price. www.lectricebikes.com.

Vibram Launches “Vibram Fitness”- Weekly Fitness Classes in Boston This Summer, Promoting FiveFingers to Boston Fitness Enthusiasts, May Through August

Boston, Mass. (May 22, 2023) Vibram®, the global leader for over 80 years in high-performance soles and the creator of the Vibram FiveFingers® minimalist footwear, today launched Vibram Fitness, a series of weekly fitness classes featuring its FiveFingers footwear, a workout led by trainers from Clientel3, a premier boutique fitness and training studio. The session, priced at $50 per person, will take place at Vibram’s Connection Lab in the heart of Boston, where guests will experience a personalized fitting and leave with a pair of either V-Train 2.0 or KSO EVO, as well as have all subsequent classes free of charge. Vibram Fitness begins Wednesday, May 24 and continues every Wednesday through August 30, with all sessions taking place at 840 Commonwealth Avenue. Registration can be found HERE.

“Vibram is proud to host these fitness experiences in our backyard in the great city of Boston,” said Global Chief Brand Officer and President of Vibram Corporation, Fabrizio Gamberini. “This is not only a unique opportunity to experience our iconic minimalist footwear in a welcoming setting, but also, to share a fun evening with fellow fitness devotees. We look forward to seeing brand loyalists and welcoming new consumers to the Vibram FiveFingers family.”

Vibram debuted the FiveFingers shoe in 2006 which challenged the conventional approach to footwear. A shoe with five toes, fitted with a slim, flexible and deconstructed sole, which fits the foot like a glove. Vibram FiveFingers respects the natural functionality of the foot, allowing the wearer to feel the ground naturally with a level of protection. It rapidly captured the attention of footwear enthusiasts and athletes all over the globe for its philosophy towards the practicing of sport on all levels and across a range of disciplines. With models for fitness, running, trail running, water sports, excursions, everyday use, and training in general. Vibram FiveFingers is created for lovers of outdoor sports and much more, providing the sensation of being barefoot with all the protection guaranteed by a Vibram sole.

Vibram’s FiveFingers shoes have a versatile minimalist footwear design. Created with individual toe pockets for flexibility to replicate the barefoot experience, these lightweight alternatives to traditional athletic footwear enable users’ feet to connect to the ground securely, and with natural stability, while the durable Vibram soles provide excellent grip.

The V-Train 2.0 features a Vibram XS Trek sole using a technical compound creating an optimal balance between traction and durability while still being responsive on unpredictable terrain. The KSO EVO emphasizes the minimalist philosophy at the center of Vibram FiveFingers. It is engineered to have maximum articulation and ground feel while still providing an assured grip. The rubber outsole and polyester mesh upper contribute to a light and airy style ideal for a workout.

Location: Vibram Connection Lab; 840 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Dates: May 24, 2023 and continuing weekly on Wednesdays through August 30, 2023

Time: 6:00 – 7:00pm EST

For more information about Vibram Fitness, please visit the sign up link on Eventbrite HERE.


About Vibram

Vibram is the world leader in the development and manufacturing of high-performance rubber soles for outdoor and leisure activities, workwear, fashion, orthopedics and correction. For more than 80 years, the yellow octagon that symbolizes Vibram has been synonymous worldwide with quality, performance, safety and innovation in the footwear industry. With its international headquarters in Albizzate (Varese) Italy, Vibram produces over 40 million soles every year, dedicates over one million kilometers to testing, is present in 120 countries and has manufacturing, research and representation bases in the USA, China, Japan, Brazil and Italy. For more information, visit www.vibram.com.


Fleet Feet Announces Seventh Annual Big Run Event

CARRBORO, N.C. (May 22, 2023)Fleet Feet, the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated run specialty stores, announces more than 120 stores will participate in The Big Run, the brand’s nationwide event that since 2016 has united local communities in celebration of Global Running Day.

The 2023 edition of The Big Run kicks off on Global Running Day with stores hosting certified 5k races or fun runs from Wednesday, June 7, through Saturday, June 10. Open to runners and walkers of all abilities, The Big Run offers participants a chance to get outdoors and connect with their local running community.

“The intention of Fleet Feet’s The Big Run has always been about creating a unified, national running celebration on Global Running Day, brought to life and made unique by our stores with really hyperlocal, community-specific 5K events,” says Ellen Donahue, vice president of marketing for Fleet Feet. “Since Covid, our stores have hosted a mixture of virtual and hybrid events. With in-person running events making their full return, we’re thrilled about this year’s The Big Run and the number of new and returning events taking place across the country. Our store owners, operators and staff members are putting so much work into creating really memorable experiences for their communities, and we believe this year’s event will again exceed all expectations.”

Results from the 5k races will funnel up into a national leaderboard on fleetfeet.com and cash prizes will randomly be awarded to runners celebrating accomplishments of  race completion or speed. Additionally, participants who post about the event on their social media channels will be randomly selected to win prizes from The Big Run’s sponsors and event partners. Participants will also receive t-shirts, medals and bibs.

For more than 46 years, Fleet Feet owners, operating partners, and employees have created welcoming environments that allow runners, walkers, and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities to conquer their goals at every level, on every surface, and at every distance with personalized solutions, knowledge and empowerment.

Fleet Feet launched its first national brand campaign, #ReasonsWeRun, and its first nationwide The Big Run training program presented by Brooks earlier this year. Fleet Feet supports more than five million customers across 250 locally owned and operated stores.

To register for The Big Run in your community, visit thebigrun.fleetfeet.com.




About Fleet Feet

Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated run specialty stores. With more than 250 locations in 40 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro, N.C., Fleet Feet is committed to providing runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts with outfitting expertise, robust training programs, community support and rewards. Fleet Feet believes that RUNNING CHANGES EVERYTHING® and was recognized in Fast Company’s Brands That Matter List and Inc.’s Best in Business List. Stay inspired, motivated and connected at Fleet Feet.

Kahtoola Applauds Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s Visit to Proposed Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument

Flagstaff, Ariz. (May 22, 2023) – Kahtoola, headquartered in Flagstaff, Arizona, celebrates Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s historic visit on May 20 to the proposed Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument, and stands alongside the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition in calling upon President Joe Biden to protect the area.

The proposed 1.1-million-acre monument has cultural connections to at least 12 Tribes and Nations, and the Indigenous-led proposal dates back decades to numerous efforts to permanently protect the Grand Canyon region from new uranium mining and other harmful development. Kahtoola recognizes the importance of the opportunities the Grand Canyon region provides for outdoor experiences and traditional uses of all types, from hiking, hunting, fishing and camping to grazing and Tribal uses like plant and firewood gathering. A national monument would maintain these existing uses while protecting the region’s clean air, land, and water.

Owner and founder Danny Giovale says, “As a local business in the outdoor industry who cares deeply about the environment, our local Tribal communities, and a thriving outdoor economy, Kahtoola applauds the Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland for coming out to visit the proposed Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. Haaland’s site visit shows that she understands the importance of personal connection to place and the value it adds when addressing the local people and the environmental and human health threats we face if these lands are not protected. As one of our nation’s most iconic landscapes, permanent protection from uranium mining is essential to ensure healthy waterways, ecosystems, cultural values, and natural resources. Many people depend on these lands as a way of life and Kahtoola supports a co-managed, sustainable, multi-use approach that ensures these lands remain healthy and intact for all generations to come. We are celebrating Haaland’s visit and sincerely hope that President Joe Biden uses his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect these lands and honor the 12 Tribal Nations by designating Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument.”

Kahtoola encourages other outdoor industry businesses to take action in calling for the establishment of the national monument by visiting KeepItGrandAZ.com.

About Kahtoola:

Founded in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1999, Kahtoola’s vision is to expand the benefits of the outdoors to everyone through exceptional product design and social and environmental responsibility. Kahtoola’s gaiters, hiking crampons, and flexible footwear traction systems, including MICROspikes®, EXOspikes™ and NANOspikes®, are built to enable safer and more rewarding experiences in the outdoors, while the brand’s conservation, sustainability, and philanthropy initiatives foster healthier environments and empower disadvantaged communities by lowering economic and social barriers. For more information, please visit kahtoola.com.


ROLL Recovery Announces Partnership with Backcountry.com, Bringing Innovative Recovery Products to Outdoor Enthusiasts

BOULDER, CO. (May 19, 2023) – ROLL Recovery, a leader in recovery and athletic performance and innovators of deep tissue massage therapy tools, is thrilled to announce the availability of its top-rated recovery products, including the patented R8 Plus on Backcountry.com, the premier online destination for outdoor gear and apparel.

This exciting partnership provides outdoor enthusiasts with a convenient one-stop shopping experience to gear up for their next adventure and take care of their bodies afterward.

“Partnering with Backcountry.com allows us to provide our unique recovery products to a wider audience of active individuals who appreciate the importance of maintaining their physical well-being,” said Jeremy Nelson, Founder of ROLL Recovery. “We’re confident that Backcountry.com customers will benefit from our high quality recovery tools, enabling them to perform at their best and explore the outdoors to the fullest.”

Backcountry.com is known for its vast selection of outdoor gear and commitment to providing customers with the best products for their adventures. With ROLL Recovery now available on the platform, customers can effortlessly find the perfect recovery tools to complement their active lifestyles.

The ROLL Recovery lineup of products available on Backcountry.com includes:

  • R8 Plus: ROLL Recovery’s flagship massage tool, encompasses a patented, hidden mechanism in the frame that features an adjustment dial, which reduces or increases the massage force as needed for the perfect feel. 
  • R8: a deep tissue massage roller designed to provide targeted, self-myofascial release. The R8 effectively reduces muscle soreness and stiffness, increases circulation, and promotes overall recovery.
  • R1 Percussion: a device using the force of percussive therapy to improve blood circulation and range of motion. Built with the highest quality of materials and an unparalleled design it delivers a premium experience with its supremely quiet motor and long-lasting battery. 
  • R4 Foam Roller: a next-level foam roller featuring a centered groove which is perfect for isolating and targeting specific spots and muscle groups like the upper and lower back, IT band and Achilles tendon.
  • R3 Orthopedic Foot Roller: the unique, non-symmetrical shape of the R3 was designed to target specific areas of the foot in order to stretch the plantar fascia and intrinsic foot muscles; and to add stability while rolling. 
  • StretchMat: a foldable mat ideal for a pre-adventure activation session and/or post- adventure stretch & roll. It has a grippy bottom layer and is easy to fold and clean.

ROLL Recovery products are now available on Backcountry.com. To learn more about ROLL Recovery and its innovative product lineup, please visit www.rollrecovery.com.

About ROLL Recovery
Born in a garage in Boulder, Colorado, ROLL Recovery was created out of a need. The founders, inventor and mechanical engineer Jeremy Nelson and professional athlete Adriana Nelson, set out to create an effective massage tool that would replicate the hands of a massage therapist as much as possible. The company’s mission is to create exceptionally designed, functional tools, unlike anything else on the market, and mobile enough to use anywhere. ROLL Recovery’s massage and recovery tools, led by the flagship R8 Plus, are FDA Registered Medical Devices tested and inspired by elite athletes. The company stands by the values of integrity, hard work, and putting people above all else. ROLL Recovery’s work has earned them the 2022 Colorado Companies to Watch award. To keep up with the latest news from ROLL Recovery, follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and check out their blog.

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship and Outdoor Alliance California Host California’s Natural Resources Agency on a Two-Day Field Tour in Plumas County

QUINCY, CA (May 18, 2023)—The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) and Outdoor Alliance California partnered to bring a group of federal, state and local leaders in recreation, land management and natural resource protection to Plumas County in late April to discuss how to advance ambitious goals around conservation, equitable outdoor access and the protection of local watersheds and forests.

At the center of the conversation was Connected Communities—a visionary effort led by SBTS in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to use trails and the outdoor recreation economy as a driver to revitalize rural mountain towns in northern California and western Nevada—and how it can contribute to meeting some of those statewide priority initiatives.

California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) Secretary Wade Crowfoot led a team from the CNRA, which included Katherine Toy, Deputy Secretary for Access, Dr. Jennifer Norris, Deputy Secretary of Biodiversity and Habitat, who spearheads California’s 30×30 initiative—a federal effort to conserve 30 percent of the country’s land and oceans by 2030—and Madeline Drake, Assistant Deputy Director for Biodiversity and Habitat.

The group also included leadership from the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region 5, as well as the Plumas, Lassen and Tahoe National Forests, and representatives from the Outdoor Industry Association, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, which has already contributed around $1.4 million to the early planning and environmental review efforts of Connected Communities, and several other regional nonprofits.

“We have a huge challenge,” said Secretary Crowfoot. “In the state, we’re working on: How do we protect places and people from all these crazy impacts we’re experiencing more of: catastrophic wildfire, drought, now flooding? At the same time, how can we advance a really positive vision for the future? How do we help California adjust to all these changes, like climate change? How do we get more people outdoors and make sure everybody can enjoy the outdoors, and then how do we protect this incredible nature? We’re one of the most biodiverse places in the world—we’re looking for the win-wins that do all of that. That’s really what has me so excited about this project. This project’s success is our success achieving our goals.”

The two-day field visit started with presentations on Connected Communities at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, by SBTS executive director Greg Williams, who first envisioned and started pitching Connected Communities in 2019, and a project status update from SBTS’ Connected Communities Project Manager Trinity Stirling, and Director of Grant Operations Michelle Abramson.

The Connected Communities Trails Master Plan, currently in development and slated for public release later this year, includes four main components:

  • 572.5 miles of trails identified for singletrack that would potentially link 15 towns spanning six counties in a multi-use signature trail
  • Development of 21 new and existing trailheads
  • Identification of 8 Recreation Zones (areas near communities that warrant additional planning and development)
  • Identification of desired conditions for fuels reduction and restoration within future project planning areas

Planning on the project started in 2020 and it is currently moving forward through a mix of grants and private funding. The project’s goals check many federal and state boxes, such as protecting healthy watersheds, revitalization of rural communities in the face of job loss, access to outdoor recreation and wildfire prevention, access and post-fire restoration. But at a total projected cost of $54.5 million and a timeline into 2030, a major topic of conversation at the two-day summit was how to potentially speed that up through partnerships, unlocking federal and state dollars earmarked for wildfire restoration and prevention and doing so in a way that establishes a repeatable process that can be used across the nation.

“This area’s been disinvested in for generations, largely because the jobs have come from mining and logging and those industries have all but disappeared,” Williams said. “To be able to bring an economy back here through recreation, we really need collaboration and partnership with the state and the federal government, and the local government and the counties here. This gathering was to bring everybody together, to present the project, to get input on it and to figure out how we’re going to invest and get this thing done.”

A second day was shaped around a tour of Mount Hough, a large part of which burned in the 2021 Dixie Fire, to see the Connected Communities project area on the ground, including a new trail that will become a future link between the towns of Quincy and Talyorsville and walk bulldozer lines from the Dixie Fire and discuss how they can be integrated into future trail planning.

Other takeaways from the meeting focused on ways to streamline inefficient parts of multifaceted, long-range projects such as Connected Communities, particularly around costly and lengthy federal and state environmental review processes, and how organizations like SBTS can continue to strategically partner with the U.S. Forest Service.

“There’s no other state, no other area, with the same combinations of risk and opportunities as we do right here,” said Chris Carlton, Deputy Supervisor of the Plumas National Forest. “It’s pretty awesome, and it’s pretty terrifying. There is a lot of money and a lot of resources coming our way, and that comes with incredible expectations. We have very narrow timelines.”

Balancing forest health, recovery and restoration and visitation requires a delicate balance at a time when federal resources are limited, he added. “We can’t operate the way we historically have anymore. The role of partners is so much more magnified.”

For more information on Connected Communities, go to sierratrails.org/cc. For details on how to directly support SBTS and the Connected Communities mission through a one-time or recurring financial contribution, visit sierratrails.org/donate.


About Outdoor Alliance

Outdoor Alliance is the only organization in the U.S. that unites the voices of outdoor enthusiasts to conserve public lands. A nonprofit coalition comprised of 10 national advocacy organizations, Outdoor Alliance’s members include American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, Access Fund, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Mountaineers, the American Alpine Club, the Mazamas, the Colorado Mountain Club, and the Surfrider Foundation. By working with its member coalitions and helping mobilize the involvement of individuals to protect public lands and waters, OA helps ensure public lands are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience. Outdoor Alliance — conservation powered by outdoor recreation. Learn more at OutdoorAlliance.org.

About the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

Formed in 2003, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is a volunteer driven non-profit whose primary goal is the maintenance and enhancement of the trail systems in and around Downieville, the Lakes Basin, Graeagle and Quincy. This small group has donated over 60,000 hours of volunteer labor to both the Plumas and Tahoe National Forests, maintaining over 50 trails, including the creation of 50 miles of new trails. While these trails see over 200,000 users per year, they continue to maintain a level A standing due to all the hard work of the Stewardship volunteers. This organization is not only a shining example of what a small group of dedicated, passionate people can do for an area, it is a demonstration of economic efficiency when no alternatives exist. All our product sponsors’ and volunteer monies go directly to trail maintenance and development. We multiply all donations by over 1500% through organized volunteer labor in-kind contributions.