We picked a difficult year to launch a new collaborative, but COVID didn’t manage to keep us from achieving some wins for the health of our local recreational lands!

Stay tuned through 2021 – we’re hoping for the chance to get hands-on, but if not, the ECRP Rec Forum will continue to find ways to make a difference.

#RecreateResponsibly – Winter Edition

With the onset of winter weather, and the uptick in COVID cases, we recognize that the outdoors will attract even more winter recreators than usual. Many of those visitors will be first-time users, unprepared for the differences between winter and summer safety precautions! Already, Search and Rescue units in King and Kittitas County have received record numbers of calls for lost, stranded, and hypothermic people. SAR volunteers are already worn thin after a long and frenetic summer season, so let’s give them a break by being smart about how we play in the snow.

The elite team over at has updated their COVID-safe recreation guidelines for the winter season:

Other things to consider:

  • Let someone know where you are going, when you will be back, and then STICK TO THE PLAN.  This should include exact directions and a hard timeline with guidance of what to do when you miss a deadline.  Agency staff often get calls from concerned family members that don’t know where someone is, or even if they are ok – please help reduce unnecessary calls by briefing your loved ones beforehand!
  • ‘Know Before You Go’ is both a good maxim, and the longtime slogan of Avalanche Awareness programs. While we use it here in a general sense, please visit for free avalanche trainings geared towards all winter users, including skiers, snowboarders, sledders, snowshoers, alpinists, etc.
  • Invest in a locator device, or put one on your Christmas List! Many commercially available locators are capable of communicating even where there is no cell service. 
  • Most phones have apps that can track your location, but that’s only helpful if they have battery. When out and about, manage your battery power – put it in airplane mode, take photos sparingly, and share them to social media when you’re safely back at home. Keep in mind that many batteries drain more quickly in the cold, and store your phone in an inside pocket!
  • Recreate within the limits of your vehicle! Your mini van, sedan, trusty VW Bug, Grandpa’s old Buick 225 etc, might be a great daily driver, but not for winter forest road travel.  If you are going to the mountains, please drive a well prepared rig, understand its controls and know its limitations. 
    • Don’t go alone, don’t exceed your vehicles capabilities. 
    • If you are new to winter/forest road travel but have a vehicle with multiple wheel drive, travel while it’s doing well, when you start to struggle, TURN AROUND. 
    • Nicely groomed snowmobile trails are for snowmobiles, not your wheeled vehicle. 
    • Be extra cautious on winter roads, slow down in corners, if you have to park, do your best to be out of the way of others that might have to squeeze by you. 
    • Always expect the road to be slick, or a vehicle to be coming around a corner in your lane or a tree down across the road.
  • Add extra gear to your winter kit, so that you can assist others who are less prepared. Many household or inexpensive items can really make a difference when you’re in a jam:
    • Shovel
    • Extra blankets
    • Plenty of water
    • Backup communication gear
    • Hand warmers (available at any gas station checkout!) 
    • Dry extra socks
    • Extra gloves
    • Extra clothing layers (sweaters, flannels, etc)
    • A spare jacket
    • Flashlight or other lantern options
    • A whistle
    • Trailmix or other snack packs
    • Shingles, cat litter, or other materials that can be wedged under tires to create traction

Remember there is no such thing as ‘just a quick trip’ in winter.  Any outing (especially one on remote Forest Service roads) can lead to a long night, or over night. Be prepared for the worst, and worry about the clutter in your vehicle when spring arrives!

Request for Proposals – Kittitas Stewardship Fund

Kittitas Stewardship Fund

Request for Proposals


The Kittitas Stewardship Fund (KSF) is a budding non-profit, whose mission is to provide philanthropic and organizational support to community initiatives that seek to maintain and conserve critical public lands, improving ecological health while sustainably and effectively managing recreational assets.  This fund will serve multiple land managers and non-profits in efforts that improve watershed health; support working forests; increase fire resiliency; conserve lands at risk of development; develop and manage recreational infrastructure; and address the backlog of maintenance on lands open to the public. Members of the East Cascades Recreation Partnership (ECRP), a group of land managers and nonprofit partners, seek proposals from professionals who can assist with establishment of the initial nonprofit, its structure, a longterm funding plan, and initial rollout to the community.

Who Should Apply

The ECRP members are exploring multiple ways to accomplish the work of establishing this Fund. We are interested in working with individuals, firms, or even other nonprofits who specialize in the creation of 501c3s. If you feel your skills and past experience align with our needs, we hope to hear from you.


The goal of this position is to fill a gap in capacity among those entities that support the health and upkeep of Kittitas County’s working forests, public lands, and recreational areas. While all these groups agree on the need for an entity like KSF, staff do not presently have the means (or, in some cases, the legal freedom) to establish a 501c3 or guide its first steps. For that purpose, the ECRP has raised funds to hire a consultant or limited term staffperson to conduct the following tasks:

  1. Establish official 501 (c) (3) status for the Fund;
    1. develop a charter
    1. define rules of engagement, guidelines for communication, and expectations for participation from eventual Board of Directors
  2. Draft a communication outreach and marketing plan
  3. Develop a roadmap for and potentially initiate implementation of a funding strategy based on a voluntary surcharge service model. 

The coordinator will work with multiple land managers, Tribal partners, county and local governments, and other non-profits.  The coordinator will sit on the Checkboard Partnership Planning Committee, and the East Cascades Recreation Partnership, to best align and unify components of these efforts.

Project Timeline

Release of RFPSeptember 14, 2020
Applications DueOctober 2, 2020
InterviewsOctober 7, 2020
Final SelectionOctober 16, 2020
Project CompletionMarch 15, 2021
Final BillingMarch 30, 2021

Preliminary Scope of Work:

  1. Establish official 501(c)(3) status for the KSF
    1. The consultant or applicant will complete all the necessary steps to incorporating the Kittitas Stewardship Fund as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3), including developing a clear purpose statement and charter document; drafting Bylaws for the Board of Directors; collaborating with ECRP members to identify members of the eventual Board of Directors; filing incorporation paperwork, and filing for 501(c)(3) status.
  2. Draft a communication outreach and marketing plan
    1. The consultant or applicant will develop a strategy to raise awareness among the community of KSF’s existence, goals, and needs. This will include identifying audiences and key messaging; drafting outreach materials such as press releases, fact sheets, and model social media posts; and establishing a website.
  3. Develop a roadmap for and implementation of a longterm funding strategy
    1. The ECRP has conducted research into various funding models for conservation and recreation foundations. The group feels that a voluntary surcharge program (VSP) has the greatest likelihood of success in Kittitas County. A VSP would involve businesses that benefit from the outdoor recreation economy signing onto an agreement to add an optional 1% charge to all sales. The consultant or applicant would translate research findings into a glidepath for implementation in the community, including determining local fundraising potential; identifying businesses who fit the criteria and working with the ECRP to meet with their representatives; developing messaging to best market the VSP to those representatives; establishing a system to receive funds.

Desired Qualifications and Experience

  • Demonstrated ability in community organizing, prior experience of civic engagement, and developing and sustaining partnerships with local organizations.
  • Experience with structure of non-profit organizations.
  • Knowledge of marketing and communication planning.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a collaborative team-based environment.
  • Must be a self-starter and have the ability to manage own performance effectively, plan and organize time and priorities to achieve results.
  • Demonstrated ability to move partners toward action, highly preferred.
  • Effective and confident public speaker and facilitator.  Excellent communication skills, written and verbal.
  • Familiarity with Kittitas County communities and business entities, desirable.
  • Commitment to an organizational culture where creativity and diversity are celebrated.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, build relationships, and exhibit a flexible approach to work, and quickly adapt and pivot to changing needs in a rapid-paced environment.

How to Format Your Application/Proposal

Please provide the information and details requested below as part of your proposal. Submissions should be no more than three pages. Send final documentation to Nicky Pasi at by October 2.

  • Description of applicant and relevant project experience
  • Methodology and plan to meet proposed goals:
501(c)(3) incorporated, tax-exemption filed 
Draft charter and bylaws 
Communication plan development 
Media kit development 
Website development 
VSP research and budgeting 
VSP marketing 
VSP implementation path development 
Interfacing with ECRP and CPPC 
  • Proposed project budget, aligned with above scope of work


Compensation is based on multiple factors that will be discussed during the hiring process and documented in a mutually agreed upon employee contract.  Generally, the pay will be negotiated based on applicant’s proposed budget and ability to meet set goals.  While the initial contract is set through March of 2021, the position depends on a number of fundraising factors, including the incumbent’s efficacy at establishing the VSP program.


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives and caused a great deal of uncertainty, including how we get outdoors. A coalition of recreation groups from all across Washington State designed simple guidelines to protect ourselves, others, and places we love when we adventure outside. Whether you are hiking,  paddling, or riding (a horse, mountain bike, or an ORV), these seven tips offer advice on how to #RecreateResponsibly during this public health crisis:

For more information, please visit

To learn more about openings, closures, and changing rules, please visit the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust’s overview page.

ECRP Open Houses: Nov. 1st and 2nd 2019

Join us for our first Open House events Friday, November 1st from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Mule and Elk in Cle Elum, or Saturday, November 2nd from 12:00 – 2:00 PM at Iron Horse in Ellensburg.

These workshop style events will be a chance to hear from land managers about their vision for the ECRP and will be an opportunity to hear from you about how the ECRP can best support thriving people, thriving nature, and thriving communities. Please use the Facebook events links below to let us know you’ll be attending so that we can be sure to have enough space.

Recreation Survey: Help Shape the Future of Recreation in the Upper Yakima Basin

From the rugged wilderness peaks and alpine lakes of the high Cascades to the sage-dotted foothills and meandering rivers of the Columbia Basin, the Upper Yakima Basin attracts people to live and recreate. Dotted with small farming, ranching, and mining communities, home to the college town of Ellensburg, and the apples and hops capital of Yakima, there is a long tradition of responsible recreation and working lands in the Upper Yakima Basin that continues to this day. However, with the Seattle Metro area’s 4 million residents only a latte away from the Upper Yakima Basin, the number of people recreating in the region has steadily increased over the years. The once secluded trails, campgrounds, roads, and lands are increasingly being discovered and enjoyed by a new and diverse audience.

In order to ensure the Upper Yakima Basin will continue to have thriving recreation, thriving communities, and thriving nature, the Cle Elum and Naches Ranger Districts on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest want to better understand what attracts residents and visitors to the places they go to recreate. To accomplish this, the Forest Service has partnered with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Central Washington University, and a growing coalition of land management agencies and recreation groups to form the East Cascades Recreation Partnership (ECRP). This group has the goal of developing a community-lead vision for the future of sustainable recreation in the Upper Yakima Basin. As a first step, the ECRP wants to know where people currently go to recreate, what draws them to these areas, and what challenges and opportunities to they see for enhancing recreation across the basin.

“This year-long recreation survey is really about helping us better understand how you use your public lands. We want to work collaboratively across land management areas and in partnership with all recreation groups and users to enhance our communities, our natural resources, and our recreation experiences for visitors and residents.”

– Cle Elum District Ranger Michelle Capp
The Recreation Survey Project Area is roughly Western Kittitas and Yakima Counties

Project Partners