Fire2012 was a tumultuous, challenging year for Poudre Wilderness Volunteers due to the devastating Hewlett Gulch Fire (burning 7,700 acres) and the High Park Fire (consuming 87,300 acres).  Both fires severely impacted the U.S. Forests of the Canyon Lakes Ranger District as well as the surrounding areas.  Even though the main highway leading to the trails PWV patrols was closed for a good part of the summer and some of the devastated trails are still closed, PWV rose to the occasion by establishing and leading a Restoration program with many volunteers from the community in addition to PWV members.  In spite of the fires, PWV members set a new record in 2012 by contributing 23,925 volunteer hours valued at $521,326 by the U.S. Forest Service.

Read more: PWV 2012 Highlights

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As part of this year's celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, organizations across the country are holding "Walks for Wilderness" to celebrate and raise public awareness for our wilderness areas.  Poudre Wilderness Volunteers is participating in two of these walks, as described below.  Please join us at one of these events!

 

 

Evergreen Walk For Wilderness

When: September 6, 2014,  9am - 2pm

The Evergreen walk will be a large event, building on a successful Walk for Wilderness 10 years ago for the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  PWV will be present at this event, with a booth in the Lake House.

  • 5 mile walk on the Pioneer Trail begins at Bergen Park, RTD lot.
  • Registration includes a T-Shirt and souvenirs. Adults $20; Child $10.
  • Interactive interpretive aid stations along the trail.
  • Finish at the Evergreen Lake House to celebrate:live music by Trout Steak Revival, booths, guest speakers and prizes
  • Registration opens 7:30am at the RTD Parking Lot in Bergen Park.
  • Event 9am-2pm
  • Online registration and information: www.evergreenwalkforwilderness.com

 

Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Walk

When: September 6, 2014,  10am - 12pm

This walk will take place at Lily Lake within Rocky Mountain National Park.  This event will be celebrating both the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and also the 100th anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park.

  • Stroll around Lily Lake trail
  • Family activities, presentations and exhibitors
  • This is a free event
  • For more information click here.

Note that the annuall Scottish Festival takes place September 4-7 in Estes Park.  Plan your travel time accordingly.

Wilderness Poster

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, signed by President Johnson on September 3, 1964, the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers will showcase a Wilderness Art Exhibition of 14 local artists at Bas Bleu Theater Gallery September 3 to October 31, 2014.  Additionally there is an interesting Kickstarter Campaign to help raise funds for the exhibit.

It was art - yes, painting and photography - that really began the groundswell for the preservation of wild lands in America. In the latter decades of the 19th century, Thomas Moran, Frederick Church, Alfred Bierstadt, Worthington Whittredge, William Henry Jackson and other artists were instrumental in influencing Congress to help preserve the naturalness of our continent. This collective aesthetic and vision eventually contributed to the creation of the Wilderness Act.

The Wilderness Act, written by Howard Zahniser, created the legal definition of "wilderness" in the United States and set aside more than 9 million acres of federal land to be forever protected from development. Since then, the number of protected acres in the nation has grown to nearly 110 million. Over 3.5 million of these protected acres are in Colorado.

Today, the Wilderness Act stands as the sentinel for nature preservation and thus, human rejuvenation. So once again we are showcasing art as a medium for enhancing citizen awareness about nature, natural systems, and Wilderness. The vision for this juried exhibition is to:

• Celebrate the passage of the Wilderness Act 50 years ago;
• Raise awareness about nature, natural systems, and wild lands in northern Colorado as depicted by local artists; and
• Compel citizens to connect with nature, wild lands, and Wilderness areas in northern Colorado and to experience their value and learn more about their ecology.
• Empower citizens to Do One Thing (DOT) for Wilderness!

Read more: Wilderness Art Exhibit & Kickstarter Campaign

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.

Read more: Volunteers Restore North Fork Trail

lion gulch restoration-8While Memorial Day is a time of remembering and reflection, it also marks the beginning of summer for many. There are graduations to celebrate, picnics to attend, and lawns to be mowed after spring rains. Despite the many alternative ways to spend the weekend, over 40 PWV volunteers and guests chose to spend one or two days of their holiday weekend repairing the Lion Gulch Trail, damaged by last September's floods. May 24th and 25th marked the first of PWV's Trail Restoration Days, in which we invite PWV volunteers and the public to join us in repairing and rebuilding damaged trails.

Read more: Lion Gulch Restoration Underway

14037520330 223e0fc5d7 bWhat a great weekend to be a coyote -- or an antelope, grizzly, fox, deer, badger, elk. To go feral, join a pack of other new PWV recruits and follow the lead of savvy veteran volunteers as they took us through the paces, and three miles of training trails, meeting misguided forest volunteers who needed our help and budding expertise. "Hello, my name is ... and I'm with the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers."

Read more: Spring Training 2014

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