Panel Discussions | Funding for Public Lands

Participants self-select to a breakout room to explore a topic with subject-matter experts. Following each discussion, participants convene in small groups to interact directly with panelists and thought-leaders on the topic.

Session 1: State Offices of Outdoor Rec

Location: Timberline I

State offices of outdoor recreation are reinvigorating local economies, improving citizen health and protecting our lands, waters and wildlife around the West. Representatives from Utah, Colorado and Montana share lessons learned from Thursday’s workshop to create a playbook for such offices, and explore the role business and outdoor rec can play in public lands advocacy.

Panel Host: Allison T. Williams


– Brad Peterson, Former Director, Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation (2013-2015)


Luis Benitez, Director, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

– Tom Adams, Director, Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation

Alex Logemann, State and Local Policy Analyst, People for Bikes

Patricia Dowd, Associate Natural Resource Policy Advisor, Governor’s Office, State of Montana

Session 2: Volunteer Stewardship

Location: Jackson Room

Volunteer stewardship is playing an increasingly large role in the management of our public lands, addressing infrastructural backlogs and assisting on projects that historically were the sole responsibility of land-management agencies. Panelists discuss how this potentially powerful tool can be further leveraged—and how it can engage the next generation in the future of our public lands.

Panel Host: Amie Schiller


– Ann Baker Easley, Executive Director, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado


– Anthony “Chako” Ciocco, Coordinator, Ancestral Lands Program (Navajo Nation)

– Michael Fiebig, Associate Director for the Northern Rockies, American Rivers

– Randy Rasmussen, Director, Public Lands and Recreation, Backcountry Horsemen of America

Leah Burgess, Lands Program Manager, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Nick Watson, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Veterans Expeditions

Session 3: The Rec Economy and Our Public Lands

Location: Grand Room

Panelists discuss the rec economy—including the Outdoor Industry Association’s Outdoor Recreation Economy Report and the imminent economic analysis of the outdoor rec economy by the Bureau of Economic Analysis—within the context of funding for public lands.

Panel Host: Kaitlyn Bernard


Luther Propst, Founder, Sonoran Institute


Ray Rasker, Executive Director, Headwaters Economics

Kat Currie, Senior Advisor in Policy, Management, and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior

Cailin O’Brien-Feeney, Local Recreation Advocacy Manager, Outdoor Industry Alliance

Michael Degnan, Associate Director for Land and Water, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Session 4: Public Lands and Sustainable Recreation: A Collaborative Future

Location: Teton Room

In a time of constrained resources, creative approaches are key to successful management of our public lands. At the same time, approaches to management of National Forests across the country are changing through management plan updates guided by the USFS 2012 Planning Rule. Learn how the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative used “A Framework for Sustainable Recreation (USFS)” to inform its gateway community engagement and how the Inyo National Forest is using collaboration and partnerships to ensure a healthy forest for future generations.

Panel Host: Janet Valenzuela


Mike Schlafmann, Public Services Staff Officer, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest


– John Wentworth, Mayor Pro Tem, Mammoth Lakes (CA); Board President, Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation

Danna Stroud, Mt. Whitney Area Representative, Sierra Nevada Conservancy; member, Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative

Deb Schweizer, Public Affairs Officer, Inyo National Forest

Meryl L. R. Harrell, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture


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