Sturgis named executive director of Mountain Trails Foundation |

Sturgis named executive director of Mountain Trails Foundation

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Mountain Trails Foundation has named longtime trails advocate Charlie Sturgis as its new executive director. Sturgis replaces Wanship resident Carol Potter who recently retired from the post.

Many qualified applicants were interviewed for the position, Mountain Trails Foundation President Greg Balch said.

"The applicants were local people," Balch said in a telephone interview Monday.

Experience Sturgis had operating the cross-country skiing center in Park City appealed to board members, Balch said.

Sturgis oversaw a 20-kilometer cross-country track before he retired from White Pine Touring in January.

"Charlie has a really strong background on the winter side of our trail activities," Balch said. "We’re just building that up and we feel like Charlie can manage that, as well as create the vision going forward."

"He has a lot of ideas and he knows the players in town, all the different partners that Mountain Trails has," Balch added.

Sturgis said he has been an avid cross-country skier and mountain biker in Park City since the 1980s. The mission of Mountain Trails Foundation is to promote and preserve access to non-motorized trails in Summit County.

"I have a passion for outdoor recreation and I certainly have been dealing with the public for a long time," said Sturgis, who is 58 year old.

Sturgis was the manager of White Pine Touring, which sells skis and bicycling equipment in Park City.

Sturgis said he helped found Mountain Trails Foundation and also worked on one of the first master plans for non-motorized trails in the county in the late ’80s. There were about 12 miles of mountain bike trails in the Park City area at the time.

Today about 380 miles of trails wind through Park City, Sturgis said.

"It is a real feather in the cap for Park City," he said. "Mountain Trails is in great shape and I am going to have to live up to all the momentum that Carol Potter created in the last seven years."

In his new role, Sturgis is responsible for supervising the maintenance of miles of trails around Park City.

"We’ll be looking at making sure our summertime product continues to be spectacular. We can’t just sit back now that we have it. The hard part is keeping it spectacular," Balch said.

More trails are needed for connecting existing pathways on the West Side of Summit County, he said.

"We’re bringing visitors here because of our trail system and just because we have 380 miles of summer trails doesn’t mean we are finished," Balch said. "There are lots of trail opportunities. There are a lot of places we want to make sure we are looking at having trail access and having trails built."

Summit County Councilwoman Sally Elliott is a former Mountain Trails Foundation board member who said Sturgis will be an excellent executive director.

"I’m thrilled," Elliott said. "Charlie has been an advocate for bicycling and trails since I first met him in the late ’80s and he will be a phenomenal advocate for trails throughout Utah."

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