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Truma Partners with Mountain West Recreation Alliance

Volunteers clean up trash at Initial Point

Last month, Truma had the privilege of becoming a project sponsor for the Mountain West Recreation Alliance. Our first official event partnering with the Idaho-based conservation organization was their Initial Point Clean Up Event on April 27th. Fifteen volunteers spent a Saturday cleaning up Initial Point public lands in Kuna, Idaho, and collected over 3 tons of trash from these protected grounds.

We spoke with Kristina Schmid, Secretary and Board Member of Mountain West Recreation Alliance about the event and other projects on the horizon.

What is the Mountain West Recreation Alliance?

We’re a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting public lands. Sometimes this looks like raising awareness through advocacy, and sometimes it is taking action, like our Initial Point Clean Up. We want to help maintain and preserve public lands so they can continue to be enjoyed by recreationalists for generations.

What was the inspiration for the Initial Point Clean Up? Why that location in particular?

About 3 years ago, I was planning a ride for a Jeep group and was just appalled by the amount of trash I saw there. It stuck in my head. It’s not an area with a lot of traffic, but it is heavily used Bureau of Land Management land. The only reason anyone goes that direction is if you are planning to go hiking or camping. There were abandoned campsites and lots of trash. We aren’t talking about a couple of water bottles.

During this clean up, we took a magnet sweeper over an abandoned burn pit and picked up thousands of nails from people who burned pallets out there. Those pallets might have been used to transport any number of things including chemicals that could have leaked on the wood. Now they’ve been burned, and with potential toxins being released into the environment.

A local sanitation company donated dumpsters and a volunteer brought a double-axle dump trailer. That individual alone hauled out 1.3 tons of trash and dumped it for us.

There are two more upcoming events: the Challis Trail Summit and Harriman State Park Bridge Build. What will the focus be for those events?

The Challis Trail Summit is a two-day event with the local Parks and Recreation department to help raise awareness and give members of the community a chance to weigh in on changes to the Challis Trails. The Harriman State Park Bridge Build in June is a big service project we are working on with several other organizations. We will be helping to build a 48-foot bridge over two days. Both of these projects are opportunities that would not be possible without Truma’s support.

Unless you have established relationships with these government agencies, you don’t always know about these projects that need support. They don’t have the time or money to advertise them to the general public so building relationships with the Bureau of Land Management along with state and local parks departments give us the opportunity to be the organization that steps in to help.

How do corporate supporters like Truma help build those relationships?

As a non-profit, everything we receive from sponsorships and donations goes right back into the mission. Some of our board members need to travel 4 hours one way to be able to support our events. Funds from companies like Truma help pay for travel, overnight campsites or hotel rooms, and food, allowing our group to do the work it does on projects such as Initial Point, Challis Trail Summit, and Harriman State Park. Those service projects ensure that the land is usable for families to hike, bike, camp, and enjoy a number of outdoor activities.  

How can people help/get involved locally and from a distance?

We are working on resources that will help educate our community on how to dispose of their large items and trash appropriately, including any applicable fees. It really isn’t that expensive to haul trash to your local dump. I encourage others to look into those options in their own communities. However, the best way we can all get involved and make a difference is to clean up after ourselves and be respectful of the public lands and nature around us. If you see trash, clean it up. These are easy things anyone can do anywhere.

Visit to learn more about the Mountain West Recreation Alliance, get involved in service projects, or make donations to support their efforts.