Winter1 Winter2

Our mild winter and our eager volunteers have given PWV Winter Patrols fantastic results! In Just 7 weeks, through March 14th, we have completed 56 patrols, contacted 725 people out of the 1269 seen, removed 100 down trees, 39 pounds of trash and destroyed 7 illegal fire rings!

The first spring beauty and pasque flowers have been seen -- very early! The north-facing trails, such as Lower Dadd Gulch and Round Mountain still have a snow on the trails, but the south-facing lower trails, such as Greyrock and Hewlett Gulch have little, if any, snow, and the mud has been drying up -- until the next snow fall. Higher trails such as Big South and Roaring Creek still don their white winter dress.

The week of March 15th, Spring Break for CSU and Poudre Schools, promises to bring lots more folks out on the trail and we hope PWVs are there to greet them! Just be sure to have your traction devices handy for those slippery sections! -- JC

Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) is a Larimer County, Colorado nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1996 to assist the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the United States Forest Service in managing and protecting the wilderness and backcountry areas within its jurisdiction. To achieve this mission, PWV recruits, trains, equips, and fields citizen volunteers to serve as wilderness rangers and hosts for the purpose of educating the public, and provides other appropriate support to these wild areas.

PWV has grown substantially and diversified since its founding and is considered to be one of the largest, most effective organizations of its kind in the nation.

The Need

  • Federal appropriations for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are no longer sufficient to cover the costs of forest management. The USFS doesn’t have enough staff to adequately patrol and monitor the Wilderness and backcountry trails in our area.
  • Backcountry use continues to rise, reflecting population growth and demographic changes along the Front Range and elsewhere in the nation. A recent National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (2000 – 2007) indicates that participation in outdoor recreation activities increased by 25 – 31% and that Americans’ interest in nature and nature-based recreation is changing. While activities such as hiking, backpacking, horse riding, mountain climbing, and snow skiing have recently begun to decline in popularity, viewing or photographing birds, wildlife, and flowers and trees have increased by 19 to 26%, and kayaking has increased by 63%. In 2010, the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests were visited by 6 million people, the second highest number of visits to a National Forest in the nation.
  • Many backcountry users have no idea what a designated Wilderness is or why it must be left “untrammeled" by man. A majority of them know very little about low-impact camping. If there is nobody to guide visitors in Wilderness use, some of our Wilderness areas could become so heavily impacted that additional restrictions on public use will be imposed.

Read more: Poudre Wilderness Volunteers 2014 Fact Sheet

Mike-Corbin

We never know what the next year is going to bring but we always plan for it anyway. Often those plans are overtaken by events such as a fire or a flood but as an old boss of mine liked to say, “A failure to plan is a plan for failure”. So, we do have a plan for next year and part of that plan is to see what happens and what needs to be done. What we do know is that the trails will need to be patrolled, trees will need to be removed from those trails and that we still have a lot of trail restoration work to complete from the flood damage. So, the main plan is to support the Forest Service in these efforts and make sure we do our tasks well and have some fun doing them.

Read more: PWV's New Chair Looking Ahead to 2015

Jerry-Hanley

The 2014 year has come to an end and so has my term as PWV Board Chair. We’ve achieved many accomplishments and gained experiences along the way. In addition to our normal patrolling and trail maintenance efforts, we expended many hours and resources to restoration of some of our most popular trails affected by the 2013 flooding in the Big Thompson area. Many thanks to Mike Corbin, Mark Snyder, Fred Allen, and their committee for organizing the many work day events that occurred during the spring/summer/ fall and for the hours spent by not only PWV members, but other community organizations and public volunteers as well.

Read more: PWV's Most Recent Past Chair Looking Back at 2014

question-mark-160071 640Those of you paying attention in recent months have noticed something new about PWV this year. It's changing. You might say it's moving into the 21st century. While patrolling is still our main job, regulations have changed, the way we schedule and report patrols has changed, and where we look for and find information to do our jobs properly has changed. In short, it's not your father's PWV anymore.

To get you oriented and up to speed, here is a short Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) list. If you have further questions please contact us (use the Contact Us button at the top of the page) and we will do our best to answer your questions.

 

Read more: PWV FAQ: All Your Questions Answered

restoration-1-6The current state of the extremely popular North Fork Trail near Glen Haven in the Big Thompson canyon is a good news-bad news situation. The bad news, of course, is that the trail was heavily damaged in the September 2013 flood. The mile of trail below the Cheley Camp was entirely washed away. Of the six bridges on the trail, only one was left standing, a result of a debris jam in front of it that diverted water around it. The rest were ripped from their embankments. A few can be found downstream from their former locations, wrapped around trees or stuck in sandbanks, and their timbers may be useful for other reclamation projects. Others are totally gone.

restoration-1The good news is, a new trail is being rebuilt by the Forest Service with the help of local organizations such as the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, the Larimer Country Horseman's Association, the Larimer Country Conservation Corps, the Colorado Mountain Club, and other members of the public who care about this trail. Although not completely finished, I had the opportunity to walk the proposed route of the new trail from the Cheley Camp to where it intersects the old trail in the switchback section near campsite 9 just before the Rocky Mountain National Park border. The trail is located on the north bank of the river, on the other side and up much higher than it was before, out of the way of river flooding. I think it is going to make this trail even more popular than it was before.

Page 1 of 3