The non-profit Avalanche Forecast Support Organization, the private organization that supports the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, this month doubled the size of its board, establishing a larger, independent 10-person entity to direct fundraising and help support avalanche-awareness education.
Looking ahead, the larger, independent board will oversee a renewed effort to grow fundraising to support the Avalanche Center’s work, along with directing how private funding is spent, according to Board President Bill Maloney. The new board includes Maloney, Secretary David Defazio, and board members Brian Cousins, Jennifer Sparks, Tony Brooks, Stewart Johnson, Jon “JK” Klaczkiewicz, Dave Landes, Mitch Dann and Mike Rheam. Maloney and Rheam continue serving on the board following previous board posts. All other board members, who will serve three-year terms, are new.
Over the last decade-plus, the Avalanche Forecast Support Organization has played a crucial role in supporting the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, according to Center Director Bob Comey. During that time, a period when demand for the Center’s services greatly increased, funding from the non-profit has supported:
• Extending the regular forecast season by three months or more per year.
• Increasing information available on the center’s web site, including more historical data.
• Providing more avalanche awareness presentations to the community.
• Developing a Google-based avalanche event mapping system.
• Adding new weather stations and technology upgrades in the lab.
• Greater field presence by and education opportunities for avalanche forecasters.
“A larger board not only brings more skills and a renewed focus to the Avalanche Forecast Support Organization’s efforts, it provides better oversight as well as independence from the Center’s activities,” Comey said. “We’re honored that there are so many community-minded people who feel strongly enough about our mission that they want to volunteer at the board level to support our work.”