The Trail Posse is a non-profit, advocacy journalism initiative which regularly covers race and equity in the outdoors. A founding member of The Next 100 Coalition, the Trail Posse represents and gives voice to all racial groups, provides a national news service and clearinghouse for information, news and interactivity; introduces and gives voice to role models and inspirational voices of color, as well as offers high-impact written, visual and recorded content that informs, demystifies and motivates. It presents the outdoors as a necessity for physical and mental well-being in an increasingly urbanized world, and the national parks as a benefit/right of citizenship, so that by 2043 (or before) the projected non-white majority in the U.S. will have a sturdy relationship with and stake in our planet and its environmental challenges.

This venture is based in Seattle, Wash., and for once that’s an advantage. It’s not, of course, for our sports teams, which have to travel farther than any other teams to compete every season. We’re happy to point out that 2013 was an exception for our Super Bowl champion NFL team (go Hawks).

Within 100 miles of Seattle lie 3.4 million acres of wilderness, the most of any major U.S. city. Here, we’re within four hours, by car, of three National Parks. Two, Mount Rainier and North Cascades, are about two hours away. The third, Olympic, is the third-most visited national park in the country, and Mount Rainier is No. 17. Eighty percent of the rest of the system can be reached by train or short plane ride. Or a day or less drive.

The Pacific Northwest also is home to giants in outdoor retail and manufacturing, as well as headquarters for the world’s most respected guide services and several of the nation’s most innovative non-profit outdoors organizations.

From this ideal location, The Trail Posse is committed to helping make the outdoors, particularly national parks, less daunting and more approachable by:

* Chronicling the outdoors, national parks and their users with the highest standards and transparency.
* Providing a platform for other people of color to relate viewpoints and experiences.
* Relying on striking visuals to tell our stories, build familiarity and inspire and motivate.
* Finding and detailing outdoor experiences suited for beginners and families (but also include experiences that will challenge).
* Uncovering the best advice and information on health, safety and gear.
* Telling stories about the kind of adventures that await.
* Offering interactive tools, such as comments and messaging, to help coalesce an inclusive outdoors community.
* Coalition with official and public organizations to share information and ideas, as well as build outdoor experiences.