Tread Lightly! What We Do

What we do

Tread Lightly! and its partners lead a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. The scope of our work includes both land and water, and is representative of nearly every form of outdoor recreation including, but not limited to hunting, recreational shooting, fishing, and boating. We also have a niche in promoting safe and responsible use of motorized and mechanized vehicles in the outdoors.

We offer a myriad of programs, trainings, and educational material to help educate recreationists across the nation on the importance of treading lightly. Tread Lightly! is also a member-based organization. Without the help and support of our members, we would be unable to deliver award-winning programs and campaigns. Thank you!

Tread Lightly! Education and Training

Education and Training

Tread Lightly! is the nation’s only source for a full line of motorized and non-motorized outdoor ethics training and education materials. Tread Lightly!’s educational materials include: quick-tip brochures, a hunting education curriculum, an online awareness course, how-to videos, teaching materials, and a line of children’s materials featuring Tread Lightly!’s mascot, a squirrel named Lightfoot®.
In 2003, Tread Lightly! launched its Tread Trainer™ program. Tread Trainer is a train-the-trainer type of program designed to produce a cadre of volunteers promoting Tread Lightly!’s ethic of good personal stewardship across the country.

Tread Lightly! Communication and Outreach

COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH

Tread Lightly!’s positive message of balancing outdoor ethics with recreation has reached more than 200 million people through strategically-designed public service announcements for print, radio, television and the web. More than $1 million in advertising space is donated each year to expose Tread Lightly!’s important issue-related messages. News coverage highlighting Tread Lightly! and its teaching reaches an additional 10 million + people per year.

In 2009, in partnership with America’s most influential hunting, fishing and shooting sports organizations, Tread Lightly! released a comprehensive education and outreach campaign called Respected Access is Open Access. More recently, through a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service, Tread Lightly! created the new RIDE ON Designated Routes educational message to help promote the importance of keeping motorized vehicles only on designated routes and areas open to motorized vehicle use.

Tread Lightly! Stewardship Projects and Programs

STEWARDSHIP PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS

The Restoration for Recreation™ program was designed to keep the great outdoors beautiful, healthy, and accessible by providing much needed resources for backlogged maintenance, along with critical education and communications initiatives to allow for environmentally sustainable outdoor recreation. Importantly, funding for Restoration for Recreation partnerships comes entirely from voluntary contributions from the private sector.

In 2011, under the umbrella of Restoration for Recreation and in partnership with Quadratec, Tread Lightly! created a program to award small, but vitally needed grants to support volunteer maintenance projects or ethics education programs. Tread Lightly! recognizes that one of the best ways to promote responsible outdoor recreation is to get recreationists involved in the care of their favorite recreational areas and espouse an ethic of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s  Quadratec Cares grants are designed to help individuals and clubs organize clean-ups, trail maintenance work days, or conduct ethics education and outreach in their local communities. To read more on the Quadratec Cares grants, click here.

Board of Directors

Jan Rintamaki – Chair

Vice President and General Manager

Polaris Adventures

As Vice President and General Manager of Polaris Adventures, Jan Rintamaki inspires people to get outdoors and create memorable life experiences utilizing Polaris® products. He has spent the last 15 years innovating at Polaris Industries Inc., leading and developing major brand, product, business and government partnerships.

Previously Jan served as chair of the board of trustees for the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA). Jan has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, a Master’s of Science in Industrial & Operations Engineering, and a B.A. in Economics, both from the University of Michigan.

Since 2009, Jan has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America in a variety of roles. As an avid outdoorsman, he led the creation of the 10-year partnership between Polaris and the Boy Scouts to promote ATV youth safety. As a true Eagle Scout, his motto is to always “be prepared.”

Amanda Covington – Vice Chair

Amanda is Vice President of Communications and Government Relations for Vista Outdoor Inc., a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer in the growing outdoor sports and recreation markets. The company operates in two segments, Shooting Sports and Outdoor Products, and has more than 40 well-recognized brands that provide consumers with a range of performance-driven, high-quality and innovative products.

Joel Pedersen-Secretary

Joel Pedersen has been employed by the National Wild Turkey Federation as a Wildlife Biologist for 15 years. Joel has been a member of the Tread Lightly! Board of Directors since 2007. The NWTF is a non-profit sportsmen’s organization with 230,000 members and chapters in all 50 states. Joel is currently the Director of Lands and Policy and is responsible for the development and management of the NWTF’s More Places to Hunt, program which will help ensure hunter and other recreational access to private and public lands into the future.

Christine Jourdain-Treasurer

Christine Jourdain is the Executive Director of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations. ACSA works with the 25 state snowmobile associations across the country and provides leadership and coordination on national snowmobile issues.

Kevin Lund

Kevin is Product Line Marketing Manager for Utility Vehicles for John Deere in Cary, North Carolina, and oversees Product Marketing for John Deere’s “Gator” line of Utility Vehicles. In this role, Kevin works closely with vehicle customers worldwide to develop and market products to meet their transportation and recreational needs.

Domenic Bravo

Administrator

Division of State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

State of Wyoming

Mitch Butler

As Senior Principal and Partner of Natural Resource Results LLC, Mitch Butler represents clients on government affairs issues with an emphasis on natural resources conservation, outdoor recreation, public lands access and fisheries issues.

Paul Golde

Golde has held the position of Senior Product Specialist at Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. since 2006 and has enjoyed working for numerous other powersports industry companies since 1977, including Vetter Fairing Company, Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), Malcolm Smith Products and Intersport Fashions West. While at the MIC, Golde was part of the industry team that developed and implemented the highly successful Trailbike Workshop program, bringing all levels of public land managers together to understand and plan for the sport of trail riding.

Jon Lee 

Jon is currently the Brand Communications manager with BP. He has served on the Tread Lightly! Board since 2009. His extensive background in the outdoor retail industry makes him a valuable asset to Tread Lightly!

This role also allowed him to be close to the outdoor industry, where he was a regular at events such as Moab Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep Jamboree, Off-Road Expo and King of the Hammers.  Jon played a big part in creating incentive programs with Tread Lightly! that increase Tread Lightly!’s base of individual members.  In addition to Jon’s career that brought him closer to the outdoor industry, his hobbies include activities that get him into the mountains to ski or camp.  He enjoys spending time on the slopes or in the woods with his family.

Mark MacGuinness

Mark is a 29 year employee of Discount Tire and is the Vice President in charge of Discount Tire Direct. He is responsible for Discount’s online sales channel and works on much of the company’s marketing and advertising efforts in social, digital, and print media. Started in 1960, Discount Tire is known as the largest independent tire dealer in the country and has over 850 retail stores, all company owned. For the past several years Mark has worked hard to bring Discount Tire into the off-road community in a greater way.

Mark grew up hunting, fishing, and off-roading in Michigan. An off road enthusiast from a young age, he was interested in any motorized vehicle that could move in the dirt. Building and rebuilding motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, and trucks was the norm and that passion only grew over time. He now has two sons that share these same interests and is motivated to protect their access to the outdoors.

Mark is acutely aware of the challenges to the lifestyle that he has grown to love and the role that responsible use of our public lands plays. He is passionate about protecting access for future generations and feels that promoting education and responsible use fit perfectly into the ideals of Discount Tire.

Jeff Nasi

Prior to becoming Senior Director of Digital Media Advertising for The Enthusiast Network, Jeff was the Group Publisher of TEN’s five 4×4 & Jeep 4×4 magazines. He is a 19 veteran of TEN, the largest publisher of niche-interest magazines, websites & events in USA. TEN’s brands are predominantly automotive with 50+ magazines & websites covering the auto & truck media markets.

Jeff’s passion for the outdoors & off-roading spans 25+ years and he is keenly aware of the challenges facing its future. He has a deep love & appreciation for proper use of the environment and broadcasts it at every opportunity. Jeff joined the Tread Lightly! board of directors in 2006 in an effort to help broadcast its message and help Tread Lightly! develop market-appropriate media campaigns and grow membership. TEN supports Tread Lightly! with a substantial supply of PSA ads annually.

Todd Smith

Todd Smith has more than 30 years of media experience creating best-in-class content for online, video and print. He is currently Vice President of Content Development at Outdoor Sportsman Group where he is responsible for creating large, multi-media editorial programs.

Smith is an avid outdoorsmen whose entire career has been spent in the hunting and fishing industries. Prior to joining Outdoor Sportsman Group in 2011, Smith was editor-in-chief of Outdoor Life for 14 years during which time the brand won numerous awards for editorial and online excellence.

While Smith has hunted and fished on five continents, he still considers America’s wilderness his favorite place to escape to. In addition to hunting and fishing, Smith is an avid backpacker, survival authority and Boy Scout leader. He also sits on the board of Tread Lightly!, whose core focus is on supporting and encouraging stewardship from those engaged in outdoor recreation on America’s lands and waterways and on the board of the Rye Nature Center in his hometown.

Jerome Dziechiasz, Four Wheeler Network

Jerome Dziechiasz has over 20 years of media experience in print, digital, events and social media with the majority of that time primarily focused in the truck and off road markets and a short time dedicated to the power sports and mountain biking industries.

Starting with Petersen Publishing in 1997, Jerome currently holds the position of General Manager for The Enthusiast Network (TEN) Truck Group, which is comprised of multiple brands including: Four Wheeler, 4Wheel & Off Road, Jp Magazine, Dirt Sports & Off-Road, Truck Trend, Truckin’, Diesel Power and 8Lug.

Jerome grew up in Seattle, WA and Northern California, hunting, fishing, snowboarding and off-roading.  His passion for outdoor activities is what drives him to this day, which he enjoys with his wife and two sons and allows him to be an effective representative for responsible public land use.

Brad Franklin, Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. (Industry)

Brad Franklin has been involved with the motorsports industry for over 30 years, most currently with Yamaha Motor Corporation USA in numerous and diversified positions within Yamaha’s service group. For the last 13 years he has served as Government Relations Manager, directly involved with vehicle compliance and regulatory issues as well as Land and Water access issues. Prior to his involvement with Yamaha, Franklin worked for American Suzuki Motors.

Franklin’s first experience with OHV recreation started early and took him to Southern California where he and his family make their home. He is an avid motorcyclist and rides as often as possible, including an everyday commute, rain or shine, and at least a few holiday rides. Franklin is an avid outdoorsman. From ATV riding in the desert, and snowmobiling in the mountains, to offshore fishing and hunting with his sons and close friends or backpacking the high Sierra, Franklin is very much at home in the outdoors.

Franklin has previously served as the Chairman of the American Watercraft Association and also as Chairman of Tread Lightly!’s Board of Directors for the last five years.  He is an active member on many committees of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and board member for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Off-Road Business Association.

Franklin’s extensive experience with the power sports industry, his wide ranging outdoor interests, along with his proven ability to work with diverse individuals and groups, gives him the tools to be an effective champion of outdoor recreation.

Jamie Schwartz: Agency Adviser

Outdoor Ethics Program Manager
USDA Forest Service

Dave Jeppesen, Bureau of Land Management: Agency Adviser

Don Striker: Agency Adviser

Superintendent, Denali National Park and Preserve
National Park Service

Scott Strotman: Agency Adviser

Recreation Program/Business Line Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers

Michael J. Schmitt, Esp. Attorney at Law-Emeritus

Mike has degrees in Forestry and Law. His career has been with the U.S. Forest Service and Yamaha Motor Corp. He has concentrated on natural resource land management and environmental regulatory matters. He has enjoyed participating with many not-for-profit associations for over three decades. These include TL!, and others as a Board & Committee member. He enjoys our great outdoors and endeavors to improve his fishing and shooting sports skills.

Who We Are

Keith Gordon

Tread Lightly!’s Executive Director, has nearly two decades of executive leadership and consultation experience in the healthcare industry. He has most recently served as a private consultant on market expansion and fiscal management for healthcare companies. Previously he was the found and CEO of Legacy Healthcare for over a decade and recognized as one of Utah’s top CEO’s in 2014.

His longtime involvement with the Boy Scouts of America taught him about the importance of responsible outdoor recreation and instilled a love for the outdoors. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, fishing and backpacking with his wife and daughters.

Evan Robins

Tread Lightly!’s Education and Stewardship Manager, works to expand in-the-field education by facilitating Tread Trainer courses, maintaining visibility for Tread Lightly! through outreach events, and supporting Tread Lightly!’s nationally recognized  programs. With a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, Evan understands the effectiveness of using communication to reinforce high ethical standards for all outdoor enthusiasts. He is an avid fly fisherman and bow hunter and brings a lifetime of outdoor experience to the team. Evan is proud to use his love of the outdoors to better educate others about responsible recreation, while supporting Tread Lightly and its mission.

Danielle L. Fowles

Tread Lightly!’s Education and Training Program Manager, develops and manages Tread Trainer – Tread Lightly!’s volunteer training and national outreach program. Formerly the Grassroots and Legislative Affairs Coordinator for a national member-based association, Danielle has recruited, trained, mobilized and overseen advocates to influence motorized recreation related issues. A graduate from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in political science, she has worked with numerous volunteers at the local, state and national levels. Danielle enjoys shooting, hunting, horseback riding, camping and all forms of motorized recreation.

Jerrica Archibald

Tread Lightly!’s Communications Manager. With a Bachelor of Science degree in  Communications/Journalism, Jerrica focuses on creating new communication materials, strengthening communications to all stakeholders and disseminating information through traditional and new media strategies.

Brian Higgins

Tread Lightly!’s Marketing Manager, uses multi media and innovative techniques to tell Tread Lightly!’s story to a wide and varied audience. Creating community through creative communication. Originally from Northern Ireland, Brian brings his worldly experience from many industries and melds it with his passion for outdoor recreation and healthy lifestyles.

Mindie Walkoviak

Tread Lightly’s Grants Program Manager, works to develop funding strategies, projects and improve processes to ensure Tread Lightly’s development is in line with it’s mission to keep access open for outdoor recreationists. She has over 15 years experience in accounting and holds a BS in Business Management from the University of Utah.  Mindie spends much of her free time enjoying the Wasatch with her 3 children and dog.

Mandy Craft

Tread Lightly!’s Membership Manager, has an extensive background in customer service which serves to help to grow and maintain Tread Lightly!’s member relationships. Mandy helps promote the Tread Lightly! mission by working directly with our dedicated members. When she’s not working, she enjoys camping, hiking, and motorized recreation.

Tread Lightly! Partners