Laurel Harkness

Executive Director with Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals


As the Executive Director of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP), Laurel works to further their mission to promote, advance, and serve outdoor recreation professionals in research, planning, management, and policy development.

Laurel has spent the last 25 years working in the field of outdoor recreation, as a guide, advocate, appointed leader, and nonprofit professional. Prior to joining SORP, Laurel was the California Region Director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), working to cultivate strong stewardship partnerships and policies to provide more trails access throughout the state. Before that, Laurel was the first Executive Director for Mt. Shasta Nordic and held the same role with winter backcountry advocacy organization, Snowlands Network.

She holds a degree in Soil & Water Science from UC Davis. Laurel has spent the last 15 years in Mt. Shasta, California, where she and her two teenage kids enjoy access to a network of groomed community winter trails, a locally owned ski area, and world class winter backcountry.

Contact: laurel.harkness@recpro.org