Born New York, N.Y., March 16, 1955
In addition to his many legal career achievements Steve has a strong family life, a deep background of conservation work and public land advocacy and an impressive list of outdoor mountaineering and rock climbing accomplishments.
Residents of Telluride since 1986, Steve and his wife Chris have raised two children, now college aged, in Telluride. They have restored an historic home that is registered as a contributing structure within the Telluride National Historic Landmark District.
The same key personal elements that define Steve's legal practice are also found in his considerable outdoor accomplishments. Tenacity, route finding, goal completion and internal fortitude are all crossover life skills.
Steve began his outdoor adventures with the Boy Scouts and family canoe trips. At age 16 Steve completed the month long Lake City Colorado Outward Bound course. Since then Steve has amassed a remarkable and extensive list of alpine mountaineering, rock and ice climbs including numerous first ascents.
Notable climbs in The Black Canyon Nat. Park, Rocky Mt. Nat. Park, Yosemite Nat. Park and throughout the desert South West including:
2nd Ascent Ingram Falls; Bridal Veil Falls; Half Dome; The Shield on El Capitan and all 54 of Colorado's 14ers.
Steve is also an expert alpine skier and enjoys big game hunting in Colorado each fall.
"Climbing has been a huge part of my life. I want to continue giving something back to climbers and climbing as a sport, using my legal skills (real property, environmental, public land law, and negotiation) to advance our climbing future."
1994-6. President, Telluride Mountain Club. Successfully led “Free Bear Creek, Re-Open Gold Hill!” campaign to re-open Telluride Ski Resort backcountry skiing.
Bridal Veil Falls. As Telluride, CO Town Attorney, then private advocate, led effort to obtain nation’s first public recreational easement for ice climbing, on Bridal Veil Falls, with assistance from Access Fund.
1993-Present. Access Fund Regional Coordinator – Western Colorado. Worked on two of the first Access Fund Land Trust acquisitions at Society Turn and Bilk Creek near Telluride, Colorado. More recently he has worked with the Western Colorado Climbers' Coalition to acquire and preserve rock climbing access in Unaweep Canyon near Grand Junction, Colorado. As a Director, Mr. Johnson chaired the External Policy and Loan and Acquisition Committees. The Access Fund awarded Mr. Johnson the Sharp End Award in 1997 in recognition of his "outstanding support of the Access Fund Mission to keep climbing areas open and conserve the climbing environment."
2005-2015. General Counsel, Mountainfilm at Telluride (pro bono).
2005-2008. Wilson Peak, San Juan Mountains. Continued work with the Access Fund and the Colorado Mountain Club supporting trail access.
2010-2019. Fowler/Boskoff Peak Naming. Steve Johnson spearheaded a lengthy but successful effort to have the US Congress commemorate deceased friends and internationally-renowned alpinists Charlie Fowler and Chris Boskoff by designating two unnamed 13,000+ peaks above Elk Creek Basin, west of Wilson Peak, as Fowler Peak and Boskoff Peak. Read more in this Colorado Sun Article.