BlueLake3Because PWV’s primary function is patrolling trails, the PWV Board established the Trail Patrolling Committee. The winter patrol functions and trail hosting will be absorbed by this new committee, as well as the general overseeing of all trail patrols.

We want to improve the quality of our trail reports and our knowledge of the USFS and PWV policies. We also want to encourage folks to patrol both the trails that most require patrolling and on the days that the most visitors are in the Forest. This way our patrols will be more effective.

Read more: New PWV Trail Patrolling Committee

Pawnee ButtesIn late March 2015, Wilderness Rangers Jeanne and Mike S. decided to do a non-PWV patrol at the Pawnee Buttes National Grassland. Neither of them had ever been there before, and was quite surprised how far the drive was from PWV-base in Fort Collins to Keota, Colorado. It was an 85-mile one-way trip just to get there. As they were thinking to themselves, why would PWV take on the responsibility of patrolling and managing such a single trail so far away?

Read more: Pawnee Buttes: An Alternative to PWV Patrols in the Mountains

SpringTrng2014 1Once the 2015 New Recruit class has applied, been interviewed and selected for participation in the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV), the training program kicks in. Kick-Off Night is set for Wednesday April 29, 2015 and includes training on several wilderness patrol topics. New Recruits then complete their assigned pre-work in anticipation of the mandatory Spring Training program.

Read more: PWV Spring Training Set for May 29-31

Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) is hosting seven TR1weekends (14 days) of Trail Restoration work days this season to restore two popular trails that were devastated by the 2013 major flood. The dates are May 23, 24, June 6, 7, 20, 21, July 25, 26, August 22, 23, September 12, 13 and will conclude on the weekend of National Public Lands Day, September 26, 27.

You (or your organization, company, civic organization or church group) are invited and encouraged to join PWV restoration efforts. With your help, the goal of being able to fully open these two trails for public use can be achieved.

If you would like to help with trail restoration, please click on the green Register Online button. Registering helps us finalize plans for each work day and will let us inform you of any changes due to weather.

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Read more: PWV Trail Restoration Project

 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 some 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.

On these lovely spring days a lot of folks are out on our trails, especially on the weekends.  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

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