The National Ski Patrol (NSP) and the US Forest Service (USFS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to document the mutual benefits and interests that the two organizations share. Both hope to promote public awareness of safety issues regarding winter recreation is backcountry areas. In addition, the memorandum will help NSP provide experienced and knowledgeable patrollers who can assist with search and rescue on USFS turf.

According to Jim Bedwell, the Forest Service’s Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources, “We are excited to have formalized our long-standing relationship with the NSP. We see groups like the NSP as an excellent way to leverage agency resources in helping to improve public safety in the backcountry.”

Lakewood, Colo. –“I am very pleased to sign this MOU with the U.S. Forest Service,” said NSP Executive Director Tim White. “Currently, over 100 ski areas operate on USFS land, and there are also numerous NSP backcountry patrols that work with local USFS offices in support of public safety. This document provides a framework for how NSP and the USFS can work together more effectively in serving the recreating public.”

The MOU formalizes an ongoing collaborative relationship between the two organizations, and states that NSP shall work with the USFS to raise public awareness on backcountry safety issues, offer educational programs relevant to recreation safety, and develop possible cooperative service ventures. It also states that the USFS will provide information to help NSP further develop its education programs and collaborate with NSP in conducting safety and rescue education.