The Oquirrh Foundation is dedicated to educating individuals and organizations about the importance of preserving open space in and surrounding the Oquirrh Mountain Range. We strive to see those places within the Oquirrhs that have been kept free from development preserved in their natural state. Organized as member led non-profit corporation (501 c3), your involvement is key to achieving our goals and saving the Oquirrhs.
Bennion Gardner is the Founder and Executive Director of The Oquirrh Foundation. Growing up on the west side of Salt Lake County, he often wondered what lie beyond Kennecott’s fences. After getting married and moving even closer to the mountains he became very involved in the Magna community. He began to explore portions of the Oquirrhs that are open to the public and found a place of beauty and solitude worth protecting.
Liz Oates grew up in the shadows of the Oquirrhs. She loves hiking and backpacking and hiked 400 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail solo in 2018. She believes that everyone should have access to beautiful, wild places and is proud to support the mission of the Oquirrh Foundation.
Michael Boman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and avid hiker. He knows the power nature has to improve mental health. While he often spends his free time climbing the peaks and ridges extending of the Wasatch Mountains he wants to see the same recreational opportunities made available to residents surrounding the Oquirrhs. He regular posts beautiful photos from his hikes on social media.
Kiera Marie is a graduate student at the University of Utah studying social work and women’s health. She is passionate about the planet and proudly calls herself a tree-hugger. She grew up in the shadow of the Oquirrhs and they have always been special to her. Her grandparents often told stories of freely camping and horseback riding in the Oquirrh Mountains, but never being able to experience that herself. She hopes to see the Oquirrhs opened again for outdoor recreation one day.
Mike Hawker is an avid outdoorsman, who has always felt at home in the mountains. “For me, there is peace and serenity that comes while surrounded by Mother Nature. I love the feeling of being somewhere that not many others have been, and that’s why the Oquirrhs are so special to me. Over the past eight years I’ve been blessed to live at the base of these amazing mountains and they, to me, are a lost and forgotten gem. They are often overshadowed by our other gorgeous mountains to the east but I’ve learned over the years that the Oquirrhs offer epic scenery, rugged trails, wildlife, and the alpine feel that every mountain lover dreams of. As I run the trails of the Oquirrhs there is a feel of history and mystique that is special and unique. There is amazing history carved into rocks all over the range. I love the Oquirrhs and want to share and preserve all of it that we can.”
Clint Hamblin completed a career in the military with the US Coast Guard and now works in finance for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He spends a significant amount of time exploring and enjoying the beauty that is the Oquirrh Mountains as a trail runner and backcountry snowboarder. His passion for connecting with nature and ensuring the preservation, conservation, and protection of wild, open spaces and ecosystems for future generations motivates his involvement with his community and the Oquirrh Foundation.
Growing up in the Wasatch mountains, Joshua Landvatter was first introduced to the serenity of the Oquirrhs as a young scout. Twenty-two years later, it has become his primary range of recreation. When he is not busy with graduate studies at the University of Utah, you can often find him either running, snowboarding, or skiing in the Oquirrh mountains. “Over the years, the Oquirrhs have become my refuge from the over-populated Wasatch and it is truly a hidden gem that is now being discovered and needs to be preserved.” His goal is to help preserve this wonderful mountain range, so that many others can discover this wonderful mountain oasis that Joshua has been able to enjoy over these many years. “It’s time we start exposing this place to the general public in order to procure advocacy for its preservation before it’s too late.”
We are a growing organization and always looking for individuals who share our vision to join us. We are currently looking for volunteers in various capacities along with adding additional members to our board. To express interest in volunteering please email us using the link below.