AAC Volunteer Major Byron Harvison joins state Governors & OREC Directors at the Outdoor Recreation Learning Network

Major Byron Harvison (center in green) at the 2018 Hill to Crag in North Carolina.

Major Byron Harvison (center in green) at the 2018 Hill to Crag in North Carolina.

Byron Harvison is an active duty Army major, an avid climber, and a passionate member of the American Alpine Club. He has also played a leading role in the AAC’s Hill to Crag campaign which is an annual event series that brings together veterans, active duty service members, AAC volunteers, state offices of outdoor recreation, and local, state, and national policymakers for a day spent climbing at local crags. This past week, Byron had the opportunity to represent the AAC at the National Governors Association (NGA) Outdoor Recreation Learning Network held in Salt Lake City. The network’s mission is to “advance the outdoor economy and workforce, conservation and wellness” and was created to “help governors and their staffs explore strategies to leverage their unique natural, cultural and historical resources and help promote economic, social and environmental benefits”.

The inaugural meeting was held at the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City, UT, with governors from UT, MT, OR, VT, ME, and NV in attendance. Each state’s respective Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation was in attendance as well. Eric Artz, the CEO of REI, David Weinstein, OIA’s state and local policy director, and Jessica Wahl, Executive Director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable attended the event and shared closing remarks following the governors. After the media event, select invitees from the outdoor recreation community walked the Red Butte Gardens to carry on discussions and hear from Dr. David Strayer about the behavioral health benefits of time spent outdoors.

Byron had the opportunity to speak substantively with several Outdoor Recreation Directors about hosting future Hill to Crag events in their states as well as build connections with potential sponsors and attendees. Following an extremely successful partnership with REI on the 2018 North Carolina Hill to Crag event, the AAC is excited to launch into another year of Hill to Crag events very soon. Stay tuned to see this event coming to a state near you!

In the meantime, check out this video highlighting the Hill to Crag event held in Colorado in 2018.