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 BECOME A VOLUNTEER WILDERNESS RANGER! Applications are now being accepted. TRAINING is Saturday, June 8. You'll wear this patch - same as USFS personnel. Learn more  HERE. View the application form  HERE. 
What do Volunteer Wilderness Rangers do?


We are considering changing our name! Read the March eNewsletter to learn why. We get confused with other "Friends of..." non-profits (left), and we help look after more than just Eagles Nest (right). Send us your opinion. See below for others'. We'll publish anonymously unless you sign your name. Send to name@fenw.org 
NEW NAME COMMENTS March 19: I like SEWS and prefer that the terminal S refer to Stewards rather than Stewardship. Best, Frank
March 19: FENW co-founder Currie Craven writes: I am very much in favor of SEWS, the Summit-Eagle Wilderness Stewards. Largely due to: • Not too close to SUWA-Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. SUWA is controversial and viewed (by some) as radical in their defense of Wilderness and lands of Wilderness quality. I have been a proud, long time member of SUWA. • The name affirms our roots and focus of our work in Summit (where FENW started) and Eagle ( where we have successfully expanded and have been blessed with fantastic new members, Volunteer Wilderness Rangers, and dynamic Board members). • I am unsure if we would expand beyond our two counties. • I agree with the discussion and definitions of possibilities, and endorse Steward and Stewardship as most relevant to our historic role.
March 15: We propose Summit-Eagle Wilderness Stewards - SEWS. We think that Stewards is a better descriptor of what we do than Alliance, Association, Coalition, or Guardians. Some dictionary definitions: Stewards: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care stewardship of natural resources Alliance: an association to further the common interests o fthe members, a gond or connection between families, states, parties, or individuals Association: an organization of persons having a common interest : society Coalition: a temporary alliance of distinct parties, persons, or states for joint action Guardians: one who has the care of the person or property of another Maryann Gaug (& Currie Craven) REPLIES TO THE SUGGESTION OF SEWS: March 19: I appreciate the comments of Currie and Maryann. My preference is for Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance because the first word – Eagle – fits perfectly with the eagle in our logo. I’m not sure where they found the definition of Stewards. Here’s what my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary says: 1. One employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns; 2. Shop Steward; 3. A fiscal agent; 4a. An employee on a ship, airplane, bus or train who manages the provisioning of food and attends passengers; 4b. One appointed to supervise the provision and distribution of food and drink in an institution; 5. One who actively directs affairs: manager. None of those definitions apply to FENW and here’s a definition of Alliance that I believe fits perfectly: “A merging of efforts or interests by persons, families, states or organizations.”
March 14: I think ESWA or SEWA is fine. I am not in favor of Vail in the name. Vail is only a very small part of Eagle County (~10%), although fund raising potential there is probably very good and the logo could look great. Even the term Vail Valley strikes me as a commercial name rather than a geographical name for the downstream Gore Creek Valley. I think WESA or SEWA would make future outreach efforts to Avon, Eagle-Vail, and Edwards easier. Although part of the Holy Cross Wilderness area is in Pitkin County, I don’t think this omission is much of a problem since Pitkin County is dominated by other wilderness areas (Hunter-Frying Pan, Maroon-Snowmass,…). Dave Brewster
March 10: think the name chg is a good idea - wish we could come up with an acronym that sounded good - SEWA? summit eagle wilderness alliance helen
March 10: 1. I agree: We need new name. 2. Eagle/Summit Wilderness Alliance: I have no objection, seems to me, personally, best present option. 3. I personally really dislike using the term “advocates” in the name; as my first reflection-reaction is that it denotes a political organization a (c)(4) or (c)(6); rather than a true non profit of a (c)(3). Kem W. Swarts
I like Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance as it leaves openness for expansion of territory, collaborations, and projects. All good growth! Susie Kincade
March 5: To me personally, old name sounds much warmer than the new one. I don't see any The word " Alliance" doesn't have any nice touch to me.. Why we need to change and spend bunch of the money, when we had a very nice name, that reflected exactly how people feel about it....??? What was wrong with the name ?? That's about it from me. All the best . Vera Gesse
March 5: Hi. Just wanted to say that I really like the name Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance
March 5: I think the name change is a good idea. There is currently too much confusion with other groups - especially Friends of Dillon Ranger District. I do not have strong feelings about what the new name should be. Frank Lilly
March 4: Excellent idea! Very well thought out and forward looking. I commend your idea completely. Gail Shears
March 1: SEWA: Seems one of the two most accurate and easier to say than ESWA. Myra Warren Isenhart
March 1: thank you for all you do for our wilderness areas. I like ESWA and SEWA. We are lucky that our counties have cool names. I don't favor a name with Vail in it as I agree with the reasons given in the e-newsletter. Leigh Girvin FOLLOW UP: I saw that argument about SEWA [too close to SUWA?], and it doesn't weigh heavily for me. People see and hear things differently. They will see SEWA and realize that it stands for Summit Eagle Wilderness Alliance. The "E" and "U" are perceived by the eye very differently. If they hear "SEWA/SUWA" it will be contextualized based on the conversation, article, post, etc. I don't think it would create that much confusion. But in the end, it doesn't matter all that much to me. ESWA/SEWA are both good names.
March 1: A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet: About fifteen years ago, when I was on the Board of Directors, the issue arose concerning the name Friends of the Eagles Nest. The topic became more significant when Friends of the Dillon Ranger District formed and created a further identity crisis. Then, we expanded our focus to include the Holy Cross. Now, the concerns extend to tiny pockets of new wilderness. I think that reference based in our name based on the county jurisdictions, Eagle-Summit, is inappropriate. Our work is limited to legally-designated wilderness areas. The public is confused enough about calling any plot of land in the mountains that is not covered with a condominium or ski lift a hike in the wilderness. When I wrote my book entitled, Hiking Colorado: Eagles Nest Wilderness, I included trails from Green Mountain Reservoir to Quandary Peak and the Ten Mile Range; trails on the Continental Divide as far as Grays and Torreys Peaks. Within the book, I established sub-titles to clarify the zones. I think that a title for the organization that simply hits the core of our efforts is adequate. FENHCW or FEHW: Friends of the Eagles Nest-Holy Cross Wilderness, if you want to officially extend the target westward for purposes of fundraising and projects. The title of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness encompasses many more mountain peaks than the Maroon Bells and Snowmass Peak. Despite the narrow title, I am still not lost among them. Kim Fenske
March 1: Upper Colorado Wilderness Alliance
March 1: I would not be in favor of any name with Vail (too specific). I prefer SEWA (see-wa) as it flows better than ESWA and I don’t think “sewer” would be a big issue! But including both counties is the key. When I speak of Eagles Nest to people who are not local I have to explain it, vs most CO residents know where Summit and Eagle counties are. Thanks for your work on this.
March 1: I love the new name [Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance] and it totally makes sense. We agree the change works. The Nice family
March 1: As this entity started in Summit County, I prefer that be the first word in the name change - thus Summit Eagle Wilderness Alliance (or Advocates). FOLLOW UP: I still prefer SEWA. I don't see any significant level of confusion between SEWA and SUWA because of distance between two areas and differentiation between E and U. Another option is to add hyphen (-) between S and E to read Summit-Eagle Wilderness Alliance (or Advocates). However the Board decides is a great improvement because of the greater area of coverage the current name does not cover. Bo Chapin
March 1: Yes, ESWA works for me, although I rather skimmed the text. The image of an eagle on/at/above a summit is a fine visual, and ties with your current logo image. Second place for me would be FOATWIOOTW-PPF : Friends of All the Wilderness in Our Neck of the Woods, Past, Present and Future ... but I think ESWA comes off better. Good work pulling this together and presenting it to your community! Cheers, Dave
February: I favor Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance. ESWA is a nice, pronounceable acronym. It is also is geographically accurate - we service virtually all of the Wilderness Areas in Summit and Eagle counties, and virtually none anywhere else. I like the two words - eagle and summit - because they evoke visions of wilderness (better, for example, than Pitkin&Gunnison, or Giplin&Grand). The word Eagle keeps a connection to our former name (for a different reason). We are two almost isolated groups, separated by Vail Pass, but bound into this alliance. I do not favor any name with the word "Vail" in it. Vail evokes different things to different people - a highway engineer, a pass, a town, a huge conglomerate of private ski areas that cater to people with a lot of money - none of these particularly evokes visions of a pristine wilderness that nurtures opportunities for solitude. Moreover, A-Basin, our biggest donor (by far) for more than 20 years recently severed its ties with Vail. The other candidates that require pronouncing four or five letters are not very mellifluous - not like ESWA. ESWA is easy to remember, and will stand out in our increasingly acronymophonic world. SEWA (Summit Eagle Wilderness Alliance) sounds like a New Englander's "sewer" and is too close to SUWA (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance). [UPDATE 5 March: I have softened opposition to SEWA. The "sewer" worry isn't serious, and I wrote to SUWA asking if they would mind the name SEWA - they said no problem. I like what Bo Chapin wrote, including his suggestion of hyphenating the name: Summit-Eagle Wilderness Alliance.] I do not favor keeping the word "Friend" in our name, as we are trying to get away from the confusion we face now with FOLBR and FDRD. Steamboat Springs also has an organization called Friends of Wilderness.
February: I completely agree with [these] comments….
February: ESWA is also my preference and I agree with all the reasons … listed. In addition, … I think the word Alliance is a more accurate description and more inclusive of our mission than “Advocates” or “Stewards.”
February: I support ESWA
February: I'm still not all that happy about changing the name after having gotten used to it for 10+ years. However if we have to change it, ESWA is a good alternative
February: ... you bring up some very excellent points here. After reading this, I would strongly favor ESWA as well
February Vail Summit Wilderness Stewards is actually my favorite – despite what people say, I think having Vail in the name will pull interest from the Vail valley and that is very important to our future growth – member wise and finance wise. Also I can envision a great logo where the V’s and W’s are mountains and the S’s are ski tracks coming down the mountains. I don’t think any name with Advocates works, we are more stewards or an alliance. Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance (ESWA): This one is ok but awkward. I like Summit Eagle Wilderness Alliance better (SEWA). It is pronounceable and doesn’t really get confused with “sewer” in my mind. Wilderness Advocates of Vail Summit (WAVS) This might be ok if it was Wilderness Associate of Vail, Eagle and Summit. I think the nautical nature of the acronym is not good though. Vail Summit Wilderness Advocates (VSWA) I like this if you replace Advocates with Association (but Stewards below is better). Again it could be Vail{Eagle}Summit Colorado Wilderness Volunteers (CWV) Too big Wilderness Eagle Summit Team Advocates (WESTA) or Wilderness Eagle Summit Alliance (WESA): I don’t think either of these read like good English. Maybe works if you go with Wilderness Alliance of Eagle and Summit Counties or something like that. Wilderness Friends of Summit and Eagle Counties: What I particularly like about it is we could create one of two handles (not acronyms) that are easy to remember (and the URLs are open): WilderFriends.org (this wasn't my original, inspired by Wilderbash) or WildFriends.org (my original) …. Something that could become Wilder.org is my real goal.
February 14: The National Forest Foundation has awarded a grant to FENW for $16,000 to combat invasive weeds in the wilderness. Thanks to JIM ALEXANDER for leading this project, which portends a rebirth of John Taylor’s longtime leadership. Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed! Read about Jim’s plans in the post below…
FOREST HEALTH – combating invasive plants – is the subject of FENW’s eNewsletter for February 2018. “The Good, The Bad, and The Pretty Ugly” by Jim Alexander describes FENW’s renaissance (led by Jim) in the never-ending Weed War. Jim is especially interested in building a small crew of hikers who will report (via GPS) the locations of weed infestations, which the Forest Service personnel will then treat. Contact Jim if you can help.
Lower Blue Residents United

John Fielder, Dean of Colorado photographers and champion of Wilderness, and Harris Sherman, former head of the Colorado Division of Natural Resources, have teamed up to fight OPEN PIT MINING in the beautiful, unspoiled Lower Blue River. Read the background and details  HERE.
John and Harris are assembling a crew of experts on WILDLIFE, WATER, PROPERTY VALUES, TRANSPORTATION, OPEN SPACE, and more. Colorado Open Lands, our state's largest land trust, has agreed to help.

They are only $10,000 short of our goal to raise the funds necessary to present their case to the Lower Blue Planning Commission. Send your check to:
Lower Blue Residents United, c/o John Fielder, POB 26890, Silverthorne CO 80497
Thoughts from FENW’s New President Bill Betz Read his comments in the January 2019 eNewsletter. He ends with this: “Our work has never been more important. The Forest Service, that wonderful agency with an awesomely broad charge, a ginormous amount of acreage to look after, and a pitifully scanty federal budget (and none as I write: our FS advisors Cindy Ebbert (Dillon RD) and Mike Beach (Eagle/Holy Cross RD) are furloughed, due to the government shutdown) needs us more than ever.”