2016 Black Diamond Awards: Those who make a difference

What makes Vermont a great place to recreate? It’s the landscape, for sure, but it’s also the people and organizations who have helped to clear it, shape it, share it and ensure we have access to it.

Best Outdoor Organization: Catamount Trail Association

What started as an organization dedicated to preserving one of Vermont’s best-loved trails has turned into the 300-mile winter use trail into backbone of backcountry skiing in this state. The CTA not only helps to organize events along its trails but has helped backcountry skiers gain access to new terrain and fostered events around the state ranging from ski mountaineering races, to training clinics to tours. The CTA has also been integral in galvanizing efforts to create new glade skiing via the Vermont Backcountry Alliance. Runners-up: 2. Fellowship of the Wheel, 3. Kingdom Trails, 4. Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, 5. Rochester Area Sports Trails Alliance (RASTA).

Greatest Contribution to Vermont’s Outdoor Community: VMBA

Over the years, the Vermont Mountain Bike Association has worked closely with local groups and landowners to make our state a place that people come to ride from around the U.S. This past year, VMBA published the result of many years of hard work: a statewide trail map showing more than 16 networks. VMBA also worked closely with local groups to help protect 133 acres in the Kingdom Trails network and helped the Trust for Public Land acquire land around Ascutney Mountain. Runners-up: 2. Outdoor Gear Exchange, 3. Rochester Area Sport Trails Alliance (RASTA), 4. RunVermont. 5. Green Mountain Club

Best Outdoor Photographer: Brian Mohr/Emily Johnson, Ember Photo

Vermont Sports contributing editor Brian Mohr and his wife and partner Emily Johnson not only document the best of Vermont’s outdoor world, they live it every day and have been active voices in preserving and growing our backcountry trails. The couple document their snow/bike/surf/camping adventures with their two young daughters, Lil Maiana Snow and Lenora Sky and in a way that just makes you want to be them. Runners-up 2. Herb Swanson, 3. Jeb Wallace-Brodeu , 4. Hubert Schriebl, 5. Tristan Von Duntz

Vermont Outdoors Person of the Year: Tim Tierney at Kingdom Trails

Over his past 12 years as executive director, Tim Tierney has quietly built the Kingdom Trail Association into one of the great outdoor sports success stories in the country. Tierney and his team have worked with more than 50 private landowners to build a network of more than 100 miles of single and double track. The trail system now gets more than 70,000 visits per year from people across the United States and Canada, brining an annual economic impact to the region of more than $6.5 million. This past year, Tierney helped the organization raise more than $150,000 from 870 donors and secured another $150,000 grant from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to preserve the legendary Sidewinder trail and an adjacent 133 acres.