1% for Open Space Provides Seed Money for Mountain Manners

1% for Open Space has recently funded seed money for the inaugural launch of the new community-driven Gunnison Valley stewardship campaign, Mountain Manners.

Mountain Manners aims to raise awareness for responsible recreation in the wild and natural areas in Gunnison County to “preserve the beauty that brought you here.” The low impact backcountry travel code of ethics and outreach is the collaborative brainchild of over 30 different agencies and individuals brought together by the Sustainable Recreation and Tourism branch of the One Valley Prosperity Project.

Lower Loop Bikers and Hikers

Gunnison County sees over 3.4 million visitors per year in our forests and wildlands.

While in its infancy, Mountain Manners will continue to grow and evolve in response to user impacts seen in our wild spaces. The inaugural efforts include creation of: a localized code of ethics specific to this area with informational website; recognizable logo for messaging; informational slogan stickers each with a “Mountain Manner” tip; fun and friendly “conversational give aways” such as lip balm, water bottles, beer coasters and more – all with educational pointers.

Mountain Manners also inspires to instigate a Field Ambassador Program where volunteers agree to help spread the message of responsible use on the trail and in the moment of finding someone behaving disrespectfully. Field Ambassadors will be equipped with the knowledge of a responsible code of ethics in the backcountry, the impacts a particular action has, and how to relay that information in a friendly but firm manner.

“We really want to applaud the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival who applied to us for these funds. They really are the energetic and logistical impetus in making this happen,” says 1% for Open Space executive director Molly Murfee, “1% for Open Space’s historical main drive has always been the outright preservation of our wild lands and recreational access through purchases and easements. Yet, the national forest that surrounds us here in Gunnison County experiences 3.4 million visitors annually. It is one thing to preserve the land, we must all come together as a community to become good stewards of it and work to protect its integrity. We believe that Mountain Manners is a step in the right direction towards this, and we want to support this valley-wide effort. We are proud to be a founding partner and look forward to the campaign’s evolution.”

Look for Mountain Manners information at participating 1% for Open Space businesses, among other locales, and stay tuned for the developing website and code of ethics informational dissemination. For more information on 1% for Open Space see www.1percentforopenspace.org where a list of low impact backcountry travel techniques can also be found at www.1percentforopenspace.org/low-impact-travel-techniques/

 

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