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13 Jun 2024

Mission: The Trail Posse is a non-profit journalism and advocacy project seeking to change the perception of the outdoors to be more equitable and inclusive, so our country’s emerging non-white majority grows a meaningful stake in our planet and its environmental challenges.

Our Work: The project has been made possible through the support of Craig McKibben and Sarah Merner of Seattle, Maggie Walker of Seattle, and The Mountaineers. A founding member of The Next 100 Coalition, a national alliance of civil rights and conservation and community groups of color, The Trail Posse represents and gives voice to all racial groups, provides news services and clearinghouse for information, news and interactivity; introduces and gives voice to role models and inspirational voices of color; presents and consults about equity and inclusion, 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 public lands as a benefit/right of citizenship.

Glenn Nelson, the founder of The Trail Posse, was awarded second place in Outstanding Beat Reporting for small-market media outlets from the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2017. The following year, he earned first place for Commentary from the Society of Professional Journalists for his pieces on race and recreation for Crosscut. Last year, he won an unprecedented three first-place awards for his 2019 columns at Crosscut, also from SPJ.

This project is based in Seattle, Washington. 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.

Some of our impacts include:

* Publications (partial): Ampersand Magazine, Audubon, Crosscut, Denver Post, Forterra, High Country News, Mountaineers Magazine, Outside Magazine, Pacific Northwest Magazine, The Hill, The New York Times, The Seattle Times, The Voice, Seattle Weekly, Verticulture, Washington Trails Magazine, YES! Magazine.

* Walker Communications Fellows: For two summer have supervised and mentored communication fellows of color for the National Audubon Society. In 2018, among other things, we produced an Instagram campaign about climate change, birds and the people they impact.

* The Mountaineers (our fiscal sponsor): Equity & Inclusion steering committee, magazine columnist, BeWild host, annual breakfast.

* Next 100 Coalition: Founding member, steering committee, communications.

* Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge: Steering committee.

* Other Organizations: Audubon Washington, board; Seattle Jazz Fellowship, founding board; Spectrum Dance Theater, board; Confluence Project, board (former); Friends of the Waterfront Seattle, board (former), Community Connections co-chair; National Audubon Society, diversity cohort, Walker Fellows mentor; North Cascades Institute, diversity training; Washington State Governor’s Advisory Board on Recreation.

* Keynotes: National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, Missoula, MT; Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA; Washington State Trails Coalition, Wenatchee, WA.

* Panels/Presentations: American Society for Environmental History, Seattle; Choose Your Adventure, Seattle; Cultural Relevancy and Inclusion in Outdoor Organizations, Berkeley; Forterra Northwest, Seattle; Mountaineers (Annual Breakfast, BeWild, Leadership Conference), Seattle; National Park Service, Seattle; New Horizons in Conservation, Chicago, IL; Organization of American Historians, Philadelphia, PA; Public Interest Environmental Law, Eugene, OR; Regional Trails Coalition (King County), Seattle; Seattle Audubon, Seattle; The Seattle Times, Seattle; Washington Trails Association, Seattle; Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Nevada City, CA.

* Awards/Honors: First Place, Columns, First Place, Commentary, First lace, Sports Columns, Society of Professional Journalists; First Place, Commentary, Society of Professional Journalists; Second Place, Outstanding Beat Reporting, Society of Professional Journalists; Courage Award nominee (2), Crosscut; Twenty-Five Best & Brightest in the Outdoor Industry, Outdoor Retailer Daily; Trails Superhero, Washington Trails Association.

* Events: Choose Your Adventure, Seattle; Doug Walker Retreat, North Cascades; J.R. Harris reading, Seattle; Outdoor Women’s Summit for Empowerment, San Francisco; Youth, Equity & Inclusion, Berkeley.

* Media: KNKX (88.5 FM), Outdoor Retailer Daily, Seattle Magazine.