We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabe Donaldson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gabe, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
The Ember Alliance is committed to socially just fire management. We believe that there is a place at the table for all people to help contribute solutions to the wildfire problem and prescribed fire solution. We are deeply committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice both internally and externally, and believe that critical fire management end states are rooted in embracing these unalienable values. We protect communities from wildfires, admire change and embrace agency. We are committed to Science, and above all, we want to make fire management accessible to everyone.

What should our readers know about your business?
The Ember Alliance (TEA) was formed and launched during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic with the mission to create a fire resilient society that supports people, landscapes, and the planet. Preceding TEA’s formation, two programs united under the incubation of the Forest Stewards Guild, a non-profit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Guild’s fire management arm and the Gravitas Prescribed Fire Module combined with The Nature Conservancy’s Southern Rockies Wildland Fire Program. Whew! Anyhow, after that was all figured out, well, we became TEA! We are a Colorado non-profit corporation, and just received our IRC declaration letter and are officially a 501c3!

TEA is rooted in gravitas, kindness, integrity beyond reproach, duty and respect. We are eager to advance the principles and actions of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. We are creative, tenacious, scrappy and experts in our fields. We are proud to be working among wildland and prescribed fire practitioners and professionals from all types of agencies and jurisdictions throughout the nation. We show up to work ready to plan, implement, research, or coordinate efforts to improve forest/rangeland health while increasing community safety through our “CWPP” or Community Wildfire Protection Plans”. We embrace each day as a challenge, and believe very strongly in the danger-opportunity paradigm. If there’s a way to solve a problem, we’ll figure it out.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It would really depend on the friend, but I think most of us would grow restless, unless we had committed “house projects” that we could engage in (fences, moving rocks, all that fun stuff). Chances are, though, we’d flee Fort Collins after a night out, a strong breakfast and some Costa Rican coffee. I suspect we’d land in Santa Fe gorge on green and red chile at the Horseman’s Haven, catch a show, go to the Cowgirl, and after a proper breakfast (pork, chile, eggs, papas) we’d be on our way to  Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Ely, Elko, back through Cedar City over to Moab, and then onto Denver and up to FoCo for some cold snacks at Odell. We’d be grabbing some air where we could, eating red meat, Basque food, the best Mexican food we can find, the best New Mexican food we can find, the best Tex Mex we can find. I suppose that’s the delusion, because that road trip could last a lifetime with the right people! If we weren’t careful we’d drift to Costa Rica, Chile, Antarctica . . . .

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a fantastic question, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize the co-founders of The Ember Alliance, Dave Lasky and Dr. Daniel Godwin. We all subscribe to the idea of “High Reliability Organizing” and I’ll bet we’d all be okay listing: Managing the Unexpected by Karl Weiss and Cathleen M. Sutcliffe as our most influential book within our organization.

Website: emberalliance.org

Instagram: instagram.com/theemberalliance

Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/emberalliance

Facebook: http://facebook.com/emberalliance

Image Credits
-Lauryn Wachs

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