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The Bigfoot Trail is a 360 mile route through California's Klamath Mountains that celebrates the region's biodiversity.
The Bigfoot Trail is a 360 mile route through California's Klamath Mountains that celebrates the region's biodiversity.
The Bigfoot Trail is a 360 mile route through California's Klamath Mountains that celebrates the region's biodiversity.
223 backers pledged $13,611 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Bigfoot Trail Alliance

$13,611

223

Yes, we have met the campaign goal, but...

Our goal was intended to only fund completing the paperwork necessary for becoming a non-profit organization. We set it low because becoming an "official" organization was the most critical step for moving forward. All additional funds will go towards meeting the mission of the BFTA: creating a community committed to constructing, promoting, and protecting the Bigfoot Trail. We need a nest-egg to get off and running (or, hiking, for that matter). It has been beyond wonderful to see such support for the future of the Bigfoot Trail Alliance! 

Our Story

My high school biology teacher inspired my love for natural history. After hiking the Continental Divide Trail, I fell in love with long-distance hiking. The The Bigfoot Trail combines the two. 

Eminent botanist John O. Sawyer and I once discussed the lack of connectivity between the wilderness areas in the Klamath Mountains. This led us to pour over maps, talk rare plants, and plan a path that would connect these wild places. In 2009, I first walked this route and over the past few years have re-hiked various pieces to "finalize" the trek I call the Bigfoot Trail. This project combines long-distance hiking and natural history by defining a thru-hike in one of the most species-rich temperate coniferous forest on Earth.

The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to fund the establishment of the Bigfoot Trail Alliance (BFTA) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The BFTA will create a community committed to constructing, promoting, and protecting—in perpetuity—the Bigfoot Trail. I am asking you, noble kickstarter, to become a founding member of this organization.

In my time living in northwest California, I have fallen deeply in love with the uniqueness of the Klamath Mountains. So much so that I wrote a natural history and hiking guide called Conifer Country which documents and celebrates the region. While writing that book, I hiked thousands of miles in search of wild trees.

See my first steps on the BFT in 2009:

The trail begins on the subalpine slopes of the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, traverses the Klamath's most spectacular peaks, crosses all its wild rivers, and ends at the edge of the continent in the temperate rainforest. It highlights all that Conifer Country has to offer.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

I believe that by establishing this route—and ultimately the BFTA—a deeper understanding and awareness will be fostered for this region. This trail, and organization, is about the other biota who live in the Klamath Mountains—ultimately to function as stewards for their protection. 

If you join me as a founding member of the BFTA, here is what I can offer...

BFTA Reward Infographic
BFTA Reward Infographic

Risks and challenges

First and foremost, communication with you—generous kickstarter—will be a high priority. I will have map sets (digital or hardcopy) ready to go for the summer hiking season, this will allow you to do sections or the entire route.

Now for the boring stuff, the paperwork...Starting the non-profit requires a lot of time and effort. Because I also work full time as an educator, I will have a foundation take on the majority of the 50-100 pages of paperwork the IRS requires when filing for 501(c)(3) status. In addition, lawyers will have to be consulted to clarify legal protection for the organization and insurance must be purchased. Any additional revenue generated by this campaign will be used to get crews working on the trail this summer.

Kickstarter funds will cover:
• Paperwork to be submitted to IRS
• Seed money to jumpstart trail work in summer 2015
• Legal fees and insurance
• Basic operational costs

Once the non-profit is established, the board of directors will guide the construction, promotion, and protection of the route—in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service and other local entities.

YOU will be a founding member of this trail and the Bigfoot Trail Alliance, and for that I thank you.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You will receive
    • Kickstarter Karma
    • A big thank you!

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    0 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You will receive:
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • Kickstarter Karma
    • A big thank you!

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    20 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    You will receive:
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • Kickstarter Karma
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    56 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    You will receive:
    • One year membership in the BFTA
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • Kickstarter Karma
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    56 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You will receive:
    • 18'' x 24'' wall map of the BFT route
    • TWO year membership in the BFTA
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • Kickstarter Karma
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    22 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You will receive:
    • Printed 8.5'' x 11'' map set and route description (23 double-sided pages on recycled paper)
    • TWO year membership in the BFTA
    • 18'' x 24'' wall map of the BFT route printed on recycled paper
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    32 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    You will receive:
    • Autographed copies of Michael's two books: Conifer Country and Conifers of the Pacific Slope
    • Printed 8.5'' x 11'' map set and route description (23 double-sided pages on recycled paper)
    • TWO year membership in the BFTA
    • 18'' x 24'' wall map of the BFT route printed on recycled paper
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    18 backers
    $
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    You will receive:
    • BFT Poster in a custom frame made from California Walnut
    • Autographed copies of Michael's two books: Conifer Country and Conifers of the Pacific Slope
    • Printed 8.5'' x 11'' map set and route description (23 double-sided pages on recycled paper)
    • TWO year membership in the BFTA
    • 18'' x 24'' wall map of the BFT route printed on recycled paper
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You will receive:
    • BFT canvas print (48''x18'') taken along the trail, signed by Michael (or comparable print of your choice)
    • Autographed copies of Michael's two books: Conifer Country and Conifers of the Pacific Slope
    • Printed 8.5'' x 11'' map set and route description (23 double-sided pages on recycled paper)
    • TWO year membership in the BFTA
    • 18'' x 24'' wall map of the BFT route printed on recycled paper
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE GRAND POOBAH: You are a hero. You are a saint! Are you my MOM?

    Receive all of the $500 level and two nights for four people with the Michael Kauffmann (and maybe other BFT gurus and naturalists) at Rock Creek Ranch along the South Fork Smith River.

    We will hike on the BFT, botanize, swim in the river, relax, etc...

    You cover your travel, we will cover everything else. This is no camping trip. It will be good food, hot showers, great company, and REAL LIVE BEDS even though it is off the grid.

    You will receive:
    • Four people spend two nights at Rock Creek Ranch (google "Rock Creek Ranch Smith River")
    • BFT canvas print (48''x18'') taken along the trail, signed by Michael
    • Autographed copies of Michael's two books: Conifer Country and Conifers of the Pacific Slope
    • Printed 8.5'' x 11'' map set and route description (23 double-sided pages on recycled paper)
    • TWO year membership in the BFTA
    • 18'' x 24'' wall map of the BFT route printed on recycled paper
    • Free digital download of newest map set and route description
    • Bigfoot Trail Alliance sticker
    • A big thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (40 days)