As many of you have likely seen in recent weeks, the Great American Outdoors Act (Link) has been going through congress in the hopes of investing government dollars in our public lands. While many may see this as an act of the government showing some bipartisan progress, it is truly a monumental step towards a better America for everyone; however, a step long overdue.
Since the last federal lands census, done is 2018, 200,000 miles of public trails in the US are in need of maintenance to the tune of $900 million in backlog. That is simply the bill for repairs needed to these existing trails, let alone the funds needed for conservation or new trails closer to communities.
This is where nonprofits come in. Hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the US step up to the plate and help the government tackle this daunting amount of work by leveraging volunteer hours and public donations. These nonprofits come in many forms, from land trusts to stewardships to youth educators, all playing a part in bettering the environment and the regional communities they exist in.
We at Latigo have chosen to play our part as stewards of the environment close to our home: The Los Padres National Forest. In one of the largest and least funded forests in the nation, we have partnered with a trail stewardship group: Sage Trail Alliance, to help fund sustainable trail maintenance, bring back historic trails lost to the elements, eradicate invasive flora, and encourage public access for all. We are embarking on this partnership by donating a percentage of coffee sales from the month of July to help their mission.
It is our hope that through bettering the environment and making trails more accessible to everyone, that the world may be a better place. To provide a few tips for the latter, Sage’s executive director - Dillon Osleger, will be joining us for a zoom webinar to give some tips on how to leverage free mapping software to find trails close to you and plan your next adventure. (( We'll upload a link here once the Zoom webinar is scheduled ))
We look forward to seeing not only how this partnership manifests change in our backyard, but also in how raising awareness of the need for public action helps drive positive direction in communities everywhere.