For Immediate Release: April 9, 2014
Green Mountains, VT – In response to the growing interest in backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Vermont, a mostly volunteer group of Vermonters has been at work this winter creating a new Vermont Backcountry Alliance (VTBC). Working in close collaboration with the Catamount Trail Association (CTA), the VTBC aims to be a unified voice for Vermont's broader backcountry skiing and snowboarding community on issues of mountain lands conservation, backcountry access, safety and responsible terrain management.
"Skiing and riding are coming full circle with their human-powered roots in Vermont," says spokesperson Brian Mohr. "The VTBC is embracing this evolution and engaging with Vermont's broader community of backcountry skiers and riders."
Throughout the winter, VTBC has begun building partnerships with a broad base of Vermont organizations and businesses that support VTBC's proposed mission. And starting this week, VTBC is encouraging Vermont backcountry skiers and snowboarders to complete a new Vermont backcountry survey, available online via the vtbc.org website until May 1, 2014. The survey will be a primary tool for gathering input from the wide variety of backcountry skiers and snowboarders in Vermont. VTBC will also be encouraging skiers and riders to join the dialogue via it’s website, the VTBC Facebook page, and another community forum next fall.
"There are already local efforts underway, including those in the Rochester, Vermont, are to responsibly manage backcountry terrain and access on both public and private land," says Mohr. "VTBC has also been in discussions with the VT Dept of Forests, Parks and Recreation (VTFPR) about updating land management strategies to better accommodate backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Vermont."
VTBC is also engaged with groups like Stowe Mountain Rescue and Vermont Search & Rescue to improve backcountry awareness and safety in Vermont. And after the recent successful conservation of the Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry lands, VTBC hopes to facilitate other conservation opportunities that could benefit backcountry skiers and riders long term.
Anyone interested in getting involved or supporting the VTBC is encouraged to join or donate to the CTA, which will be accepting grants and donations in support of relevant backcountry skiing and riding initiatives.