Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Scout Mountain Ultras with Luke Nelson

As part of an ongoing series on Pocatello’s trail system, Jessa and Emma talk to Luke Nelson, co-director of Scout Mountain Ultras, about the work that goes into planning a sustainable event on Pocatello’s trails and the responsibility that the outdoor recreation industry has towards the communities that support it.

Every June, Pocatello hosts approximately 400 long-distance runners for Scout Mountain Ultras, a set of trail races ranging from 21 to 100 miles. An event of this scale has the potential to create large amounts of waste and degrade trails, but–as we learn on this week’s show–race organizers and volunteers work hard every year to ensure that the event has minimal environmental impact. Additionally, by educating runners on sustainable practices, giving out reusable items, and working with local businesses, race organizers hope to foster a community of what Luke Nelson–co-director of Scout Mountain Ultras and this week’s guest on Sustainable Idaho–dubs “renewable users.”

On Sustainable Idaho, we try to explore intersections between three “pillars” of sustainability: economic, societal, and environmental. This week’s show provides great insight into how sustainable outdoor recreation incorporates each of those pillars, and we hope that you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed producing it!

Further resources!

Portneuf Resource Council’s new website:

Scout Mountain Ultras website:

For comments, topic suggestions, or more information, please reach out to Jessa at and Emma at

Jessa is in her final year of her undergraduate career, pursuing three majors: English with Creative Writing, History, and Global Studies with an emphasis in French Language and Literature. She is a published author through ISU's Black Rock & Sage literary magazine and hopes to join the Sustainability Club at ISU. Her sustainability journey began with her year abroad when she interned for Letters to the Earth, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability. She hopes to work for Amnesty International until she can write books in the mountains full time.