Free Ski and Fat Bike Day

Skiers and their dogs take full advantage of Jackson Hole Nordic Alliance’s free ski and fat bike day at Turpin Meadow Ranch in 2017. This year’s event raised $2,700 for the Friends of the Bridger-Teton, which in turn used the money to pay for plowing Cache Creek Road.

The Jackson Hole Nordic Alliance’s annual free day of skiing and fat biking at Turpin Meadow Ranch added a fundraising element this winter, and the recipient of the $2,700 that the event generated put it all toward plowing Cache Creek Road.

The brand-new Friends of the Bridger-Teton was the nonprofit organization selected by JH Nordic, and Sarah Walker, the friends group’s director, quickly identified a pressing issue on the forest she’s charged with stewarding.

Because of budget issues, the Bridger-Teton National Forest has struggled to pay for plowing the popular route that branches out from East Jackson — and this year there was nothing available, she said.

“For us as a newly emerging nonprofit,” Walker said, “we were really grateful for this opportunity.”

The $2,700, she said, was a “pretty impressive” haul. It will cover the bulk of the expense of plowing Cache Creek Road and its trailhead parking lot.

The registration tent at Turpin Meadow Ranch checked in 533 people for the Jan. 6 event. The money was raised through a raffle and by donations from event sponsors.

Those sponsors were numerous. They included the Jackson Hole Nordic Alliance, Skinny Skis, The Hub Bicycles, Turpin Meadow Ranch, Friends of Pathways, Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation, the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board, Snow King Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures, Teton Mountain Bike Tours, The Hole Hiking Experience, the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club, Wind River Gear, Headwall Sports and Brooks Lake Lodge.

With Friends of the Bridger-Teton’s first project out of the way, Walker said she’s searching for new initiatives to back. She will be traveling to communities along the outskirts of the 3.4 million-acre national forest to identify what those projects will be.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067, or @JHNGenviro.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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