Elk Mountains Backcountry Alliance is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is “protecting, promoting and enhancing human-powered recreation in the Gunnison valley”.  

We represent recreational enthusiasts who recognize the physical and health benefits of self-propelled outdoor activities and appreciate the stress-reducing benefits and the value of solitude and wild places.  We believe future generations deserve opportunities for solitude in natural settings.


Elk Mountains Backcountry Alliance recognizes and respects all users on our public lands

Our goals and objectives


Actively participate in the planning processes that dictate policy on public lands.

Continue to seek funding for the Winter Use Data Collection Initiative conducted by Western Colorado University Master in Environmental Management (MEM) graduate students.


Create and expand partnerships and collaborate with other non-profits, public land managers and other stakeholders to protect and promote areas for quiet human-powered recreation in the backcountry.


Educate the community about the benefits of human-powered recreation and promote educational programs and activities that develop an appreciation for quiet places.

Educate the community and public about the need for balanced use in the backcountry of the Gunnison Valley.



Support the preservation of wilderness, natural ecosystems, and quiet places with opportunities for solitude.

Expand Membership and outreach through community engagement.

Keith Bauer


Keith Bauer

Keith has lived in the Crested Butte area since the fall of 1995.  A former salmon fisherman and resident of Alaska, Keith has also designed and built several houses in the Gunnison Valley.  He was CB Nordic’s executive director from 2005 to 2013, during a period of tremendous growth for the organization.  Keith was a BOZAR board member as well as chair for five years, and a former Crested Butte Land Trust board member and president.  He and his wife Jodi love mountain biking, trail running, hiking, river running, Nordic and backcountry skiing.


Vice President

Maureen Hall

Maureen has lived in Crested Butte for 20 years.  She has enjoyed working on various boards and committees including the Gunnison Trails Commission (six years), the Gunnison County Environmental Health Board (four years), High Country Conservation Advocates (six years) and the Crested Butte Public Policy Forum Executive Committee (10 years).   Maureen seeks quiet recreation and solitude in the backcountry, either hiking during the summer or Nordic skiing in the winter.

Sonda Donovan


Sonda Donovan

Sonda first came to the Gunnison Valley as an undergraduate researcher at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in 1988. She fell in love with the East River Valley and spent many summers and two winters in Gothic. She moved to the area full time in 1995 with her husband and now lives in Crested Butte South. Sonda has also worked for the Crested Butte Land Trust and the Gunnison Library District. She has served on other local non-profit boards including the Crested Butte School of Dance, the Crested Butte Friends of the Library, and the local climate action group,  GVC3. She and her husband raised two children in the valley. She loves to spend time outdoors hiking, backpacking, biking and skiing. She is excited to serve on the EMBA board and work towards all recreational user groups having a quality experience in the Gunnison Valley.

Laura M


Laura Martineau

Laura spends all the time she can outdoors: hiking, biking, backpacking, skiing, and rafting. Laura grew up in Connecticut, but has lived in the Gunnison Valley since 1981. She and her husband, Tyler, raised their children in Crested Butte. Laura has worked as a reporter and freelance writer, specializing in water and environmental issues. She has served on the boards of many local nonprofits including the High Country Conservation Advocates, the Crested Butte Historical Society, the Crested Butte Arts Fair, the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, Silent Tracks, and now, EMBA.

Board Member

Randi Stroh

I was born in New York City, and grew up in the suburbs.   After college graduation, I moved to Crested Butte in the fall of 1971 and quickly met my life partner Tony Stroh in that very small town.   We moved to Boulder in 1973 for professional reasons, but remained frequent visitors back to Crested Butte.  We decided to make that permanent, and have been property owners and part-time residents from 1984-present.  

I have been a citizen participant in many land use decisions in the Crested Butte area over the years, particularly at the County level.  I am knowledgeable in the fundamentals of how the governmental and political decision-making processes work, and also have experience in group dynamics through experience and training.   

I am a firm believer in EMBA’s mission.   With my long-time perspective on how the area has grown and developed,  I am convinced it is essential that the diverse quiet user community be recognized as a key stakeholder with an established seat at the table about future management and policy issues.   This is about the human experience, but it is also about the ecology of the land and the health of the abundant wildlife population.

I was very pleased to be asked to join the Silent Tracks Board, now EMBA.  This is an appropriate role for me in line with my lifestyle and values, and I see it as an opportunity to give back to a place which has given so much to me.

Board Member

Holly Anala

I was born in Kemmerer, Wyoming and grew up in Durango, Colorado. After college I moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. What drew me to Crested Butte from Steamboat Springs in 1996 was the wild open space to roam among spectacular peaks, abundant wildflowers, and a peaceful quietude; and the wonderful community that loved this place as much as I do. Just minutes from town all was quiet and untrammeled for miles in all directions.

Not surprisingly, my previous homes in Durango and Steamboat Springs, and now Crested Butte are changing. I notice the crowding by humans, vehicles, buildings, and noise. It is getting harder to get away from it. I can accept that more people have discovered this place and want to make it part of their life, but I can’t accept the constant assault on the earth and intrusion of noise into every wild place. Our small town in a big wilderness is fast becoming a sprawling development within a shrinking wilderness.

I have joined the Elk Mountains Backcountry Alliance board because I see an urgent need for a comprehensive winter outdoor recreation plan in the Gunnison Valley and beyond to channel vehicle use and noise to certain appropriate areas, while retaining some areas as quiet and solely for human power, and protecting wildlife and ecosystems in the process. 

Although I occasionally use a snowmobile to access a friend’s cabin or to ski, I believe our heavy reliance on noisy vehicles for work and recreation has gotten out of control. As a species we need to learn to take care of our Earth, and to respect the needs of others out in our often busy public lands. Elk Mountains Backcountry Alliance is working to make positive changes and a lasting plan that will help minimize conflicts and our human impact out there on the forest, while helping to designate areas for all users to enjoy. 

Frank Stern

Board Member

Frank Stern

I have been backcountry skiing for about 45 years, starting on wooden cross-country skis, doing the telemark thing for many years before happily transitioning for AT/Randonnée. I have skied the Grand Traverse, Gothic Mountain Tour, Alley Loop 42k, Haute Route, numerous 14ers, and most of the peaks around Crested Butte. I am a PSIA certified ski instructor at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and have been involved in snow safety operations at the Irwin cat skiing operation. I’ve also been an engineer and managing director/principal/partner in several consulting companies, focused primarily on integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency into the electricity grid. My wife, Caroline, and I live in Riverbend. We have two adult children.