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Backcountry Snowsports Initiative


The Backcountry Snowsports Initiative is the winter advocacy program of CMC's Conservation department. It was created in 2009 through the merger of the Backcountry Snowsports Alliance and the CMC.

Many use Colorado's Public Lands

Colorado Mountain Club's Backcountry Snowsports Initiative - BSI - seeks to defend human-powered winter recreation for skiers, snowshoers, snowboarders, and other users, while protecting the wild lands that support these activities. There are many users of Colorado's public lands, and all deserve a chance to responsibly enjoy recreation on our public lands.

Due to technological advances increasing access into the winter backcounty, land managers are faced with the challenge of finding an equitable balance for a growing number of winter recreation opportunities. At times this has resulted in  the loss of quiet-use recreation opportunities and  user-related conflicts. To address this growing concern, BSI aims to find lasting solutions through dialogue and cooperation among the many backcountry users. 

Fostering Collaborative Winter Backcountry Management

BSI works with federal land management agencies, snowmobile clubs, and concerned human-powered backcountry users in developing collaborative winter management solutions for Colorado's famous backcountry. BSI has proven successful in working with the White River National Forest's travel management planning process, been apart of the Vail Pass Task Force since its inception, helped to fund winter rangers on Red Mountain Pass, and developed solutions to alleviate user-related conflicts on Rabbit Ear's Pass near Steamboat Springs.    

The goals of the BSI are to:

    • Facilitate dialogue among user groups and collaborative solutions to local issues
    • Educate backcountry users on winter safety and backcountry ethics
    • Identify winter recreation areas in Colorado and work with policy-makers towards active winter management
    • Proactively advocate for non-motorized winter users in Forest Service Travel Management Plans
    • Preserve pristine backcountry terrain for quality skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing