Archive for April, 2013

Wildlands Restoration Volunteers 2012 Summary of Results (Grant from Boulder CMC)

April 4, 2013

Wildlands Restoration Volunteers 2012 Summary of Results: Healing the Land and Building Community, with the Help of CMC Boulder

By Jarret Roberts

The Spark of a Community
An idea or a single small action can have a profound and lasting effect on our world. Our local communities saw this firsthand as one spark built to eventually consume more than 87,000 acres in the High Park Fire last summer. While this fire and many other recent conflagrations in Colorado have caused immense amounts of damage and devastation, they also can serve to remind us of the power a single action can have, such as the first gathering of volunteers for a WRV project in 1999, which grew to a large community of land stewards uniquely suited to restore a multitude of ecological disaster sites including the ones the fires left behind.

In WRV’s 2012 restoration field season, we witnessed the impressive growth and increasing strength of the community that started as a little seed of an idea planted over a decade ago, with steadfast monetary support, cabin use, outreach and recruitment help, and volunteerism from CMC Boulder. At over eleven High Park Fire restoration events, volunteers rose to the challenge and helped install erosion log barriers (ELBs), spread native seed, and mulch the severely burned hillsides outside of Fort Collins. This work will help stabilize slopes and slow the erosion that turned the Poudre River into ashy black water the consistency of chocolate milk.

A Network of Connections
The soft sloshing sounds of rubber boots contrasted sharply with the pounding of metal on metal, as mini sledge hammers drove in the last spikes on the 20-foot bridge volunteers built at the Forsythe Canyon Restoration project early in the spring of 2012. Much like ecosystems, communities involve connections between many individuals, groups, and places, all joining together to create a larger functioning system. On projects such as the Brainard Portal Restoration and Trail, West Magnolia, Canyon Lakes, and Weiser Eagle Habitat Restoration, volunteers came together from different groups to make connections and improve local communities and ecosystems.

CMC Boulder has had a long-term investment in the Brainard Area, and offered the cabin to help support restoration work there. Projects such as the Weiser Eagle Habitat Restoration connected local military veterans through the restoration of golden eagle habitat, while the Georgia Pass project brought together local off-road vehicle clubs and the U.S. Forest Service, who, shoulder-to-shoulder braved steep slopes and staged supplies to facilitate the 8,000-foot road closure.

Southeast of Nederland, a diverse partnership of Forest Service, Denver Water personnel, and others made all kinds of connections by constructing a new trail system and restoring areas of a seasonal migration route for a large elk herd at the Winiger Ridge restoration event. Just down the road from Winiger, the 2012 project arguably most focused on connectivity occurred. A mere 450 feet of un-built trail had left a brand new parking lot and portal into the Indian Peaks Wilderness isolated; but the Brainard Portal project fixed that and restored thousands of feet of social trail in the process. In one last, and slightly different connection, many volunteers at 2012’s Red Rocks Restoration used conveyor systems to fill an entire gully. The pounding of rock rang out in perfect harmony with the echoes of the many famous musicians who have played at the iconic live-music venue, which is also a Denver Mountain Park.

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Free Forest Service Trail Maintenance Workshop

April 4, 2013

FREE Forest Service Trail Maintenance Workshop, by Kristy Wumkes

If you work on- or would like to work on- Forest Service trails as a volunteer or partner, this training is for YOU! Any healthy adult or young adult can perform all of the basic tasks needed for trail maintenance. This training is designed for those ages 16 and up.

Our goal for this two-part workshop is to give you the confidence and skills you need to properly maintain a US Forest Service trail- to whatever degree you can assist.

By the time you complete the training, you will:
•Know which tool to use, and how to use it safely.
•Be able to give a trailhead safety session to your group.
•Know what the Forest Service standards are for trail maintenance.
•Recognize unsafe trail conditions and trail damage that needs repair.
•Apply trail maintenance techniques to actual trail situations.

The 2013 workshop is in two parts on the following dates:

May 2, 6-9 PM classroom session
•Introduction to maintenance techniques, trail tools, safety, and Forest Service trail standards.

May 4, 8-2 PM trailside session
•The fun part! We’ll carpool to a trail in the Poudre Canyon for some hands-on experience to put into practice the techniques you learned in the class. We’ll be covering trail corridor maintenance, water drainage structure construction, and hand saw use.
•Join us afterwards for a free BBQ.

Registration is required. Please RSVP to Kristy Wumkes at kwumkes@fs.fed.us or 970-295-6721 as soon as possible, and no later than April 26, 2013. Please note if you will be staying for the BBQ and if you have a preference for a veggie burger.

Meet up location for both sessions is the Forest Service office at:
2150 Centre Ave, Building E, Fort Collins.