NEWSLETTERS OF FRIENDS OF EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS
CONTENTS

28. August 2018: Driven Wild - Dr. Paul S. Sutter
28. July 2018: Where the Heart Is - Dr. Esther Doyle
27. June 2018: The Mystery of Aerie Cabin - Maria DiBiase Eisemann
26. May 2018: Protecting Migratory Birds in Eagles Nest - Dr. Susan Bonfield
25. April 2018: Summit County Rescue Group - Charles Pitman
24. March 2018: Bill Mounsey, Father of Eagles Nest Wilderness, by his granddaughter - Senator Kerry Donovan
23. Ferbruary 2018: Wilderness/Recreation/Camp Hale Bill introduced in Congress - Susie Kincade
22. January 2018: Meet FENW President Tim Drescher - Tim Drescher
21. December 2017: The search for powder - Joel Gratz
20. November 2017: The Cabin on Bighorn Creek - Andy & Victor Walker
19. October 2017: Rename the Gore Range - Karn Stiegelmeier
18. September 2017: The Battle for Our National Monuments - Julie Mach
17. August 2017: Global Warming in the Gore Range - Dr. David Schimel
16. July 2017: Continental Divide Wilderness & Recreation Act - Josh Kuhn
15. June 2017: The American Beaver: An Icon of the West - Elissa Slezak
14. May 2017: Meet Mike Beach, Wilderness Manager - Mike Beach
13. April 2017: Future of Eagles Nest (April Fool issue) - April Phule
12. March 2017: Required Permits in Wilderness? - Kay Hopkins
11. February 2017: A Cry From the Wilderness - Bill Reed
10. January 2017: Public Lands at Risk - David Lien
9. December 2016: My Journey to Eagles Nest Wilderness Manager - Cindy Ebbert
8. November 2016: Saving native cutthroat trout in Eagles Nest Wilderness - Matt Grove
7. October 2016: Is Social Media Spoiling Colorado's Hanging Lake? - Jackie Fortier
6. September 2016: Toward a Natural Forest - Jim Furnish
5. August 2016: Save the Colorado River - John Fielder
4. July 2016: 150 Years on Ute Pass - Bayard Taylor
3. June 2016: Birds of Eagles Nest Wilderness - Dr. Susan Bonfield
2. May 2016: Bicycles in Wilderness? - Tim Drescher
1. April 2016: After Malheur - Currie Craven
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EAGLE POST 29

The eNewsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
FENW logo
Before we begin...
We are delighted to introduce the FENW ENDOWMENT FUND. Now, in addition to the usual routes for giving, yThe Summit Foundationou can make a bequest - a donation that will be invested through The Summit Foundation, and will provide support in perpetuity for FENW Wilderness projects. Learn more at www.fenw.org/joindonate/..
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! 

August 2018: 
DRIVEN WILD
Professor Paul Sutter

Chair, Department of History
University of Colorado






Right: Driven Wild cover. The image is "Headin' for the Hills", 1937, by Irvin Shope, from a Montana State Highway brochure

 
INTRODUCTION
In his book Driven Wild, Paul Sutter gave a fascinating and authoritative account of how the Wilderness Movement got its start nearly a century ago, grew into the founding of the Wilderness Society in 1935, and scored its greatest achievement, passage of the federal Wilderness Act in 1964.
In his essay below, Professor Sutter revisits those battles - the first one against a complex brew of the public's desire to see Nature, the explosive growth of the automobile industry, and the tourist boosterism of growing towns - all of which identified a singular initial target for preservationists: roads. Later battles of course arose with miners, dam builders, and loggers; Dr. Sutter brings us full circle to today's challenges.
Of the history, Sutter writes,  "Wilderness was not simply about saving large swaths of wild land for the recreational enjoyment of Americans; it was about making sure large swaths of wild land were not sacrificed to the recreational enjoyment of Americans." Perhaps even truer today than nearly a century ago.
[Images below are from Driven WIld]

DRIVEN WILD
“The Automobile and the Making of Modern Wilderness” – by Paul S. Sutter


Wilderness can seem timeless, a nature that exists outside of history. That is the power of its appeal. But as wilderness advocates face new questions about wilderness policy and management in the twenty-first century, it is worth remembering that the modern system of wilderness preservation arose as a response to a specific set of historical circumstances. The cultural appeal of wilderness has a history, as do the forces that imperil it, and effective wilderness advocacy requires that we understand that history.

How did a nation born of a devotion to transform wilderness come to embrace its preservation? That is the fundamental question in American wilderness history. When I first began to study the origins of modern American wilderness advocacy, I assumed that the story would hinge on some combination of ecological and ethical changes in how Americans thought about and sought to preserve wild nature. My research focused on the 1935 founding of the Wilderness Society, the first national organization devoted to the preservation of wilderness. Aldo Leopold, the great American conservationist, was one of the founders of the Wilderness Society and had, in fact, first suggested wilderness preservation in a landmark 1921 article. Leopold was a pioneering ecological thinker who, in the most famous section of his masterwork, A Sand County Almanac, had formulated a “land ethic” premised on the idea that the natural world had values of its own that we were bound to respect. Given Leopold’s presence at the founding, the modern wilderness idea must have been a product of such ecological and biocentric thinking. These intellectual gestures, it initially seemed to me, were what separated wilderness from the scenic national park idea that had only found real purchase with the creation of the National Park Service in 1916. 

But when I found myself one evening reading through the first edition of The Living Wilderness, the magazine of the Wilderness Society, I was surprised to find a different set of motivations animating the society’s founders. Every article in that first edition bemoaned the threats that roads, automobiles, and the recreational modernization of America’s public domain posed to the nation’s remaining wildlands. The modern wilderness idea, I realized, emerged not as a more ecologically and ethically sophisticated antidote to the economic transformation of the natural world. To the contrary, wilderness was about checking Americans’ growing affection for outdoor recreation and the ways in which that affection, hitched to the powerful technological force of the automobile, was mechanizing and motorizing even the remotest parts of the continent. Wilderness was not simply about saving large swaths of wild land for the recreational enjoyment of Americans; it was about making sure large swaths of wild land were not sacrificed to the recreational enjoyment of Americans. [More from early issues of The Living Wilderness HERE]

Our experience of the landscape today is so profoundly shaped by the automobile and modern roadways that it is difficult to imagine the world without them, or how their steady creep across the landscape seemed alarming to conservationists. That the automobile democratized outdoor recreation and gave many Americans easy access to remote parts of the continent should not be discounted. For just that reason, the early leaders of the National Park Service were keen to develop the national parks for motor tourists. But for the founders of the Wilderness Society, mechanized and motorized access was a kind of ruination. Once the machine was unloosed in the garden, escaping its mechanized presence seemed essential to a minority of wilderness lovers. Wilderness was a bulwark against these invading forces, and, to a certain degree, a critique of the ways in which the National Park Service was doing business. 

The interwar years brought these threats to a boiling point. Not only did the number of automobiles increase dramatically, but this era saw the federal government move into road-building on a large scale. More than that, the Great Depression loosed onto the nation’s public lands a vast army of conservation workers, and often they built roads, campgrounds, and other facilities for motorized access. Another founder of The Wilderness Society, Benton MacKaye, was driven to advocate for wilderness when he saw his big idea of the era – an “Appalachian Trail,” which he envisioned in an article that also appeared in 1921 – increasingly compromised by plans for a series of skyline drives along the Appalachian ridgeline, roads that New Deal labor would play a major role in building. The interwar era was thus the moment in our history when getting back to nature increasingly meant driving to and through it. Wilderness preservation was a way of keeping at least some of the nation’s wildlands free from those forces and thus open to a different kind of recreational experience. As Leopold observed as the 1930s came to an end, “Recreational development is a job not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind.”

We live today in another distinct era in America’s wilderness history, one that ought to remind us of the interwar years. The immediate postwar decades seemed different, as large-scale dam building and the aggressive move of the nation’s timber industry onto the national forests brought the threat of wholesale transformation to huge stretches of remaining public wildlands. Those extractive threats certainly remain today, particularly in the form of energy development. But over the last several decades, new recreational threats and challenges have become central to wilderness preservation and management. In a curious reprise of the forces that drove the creation of modern wilderness advocacy, off road vehicles have proliferated on many of the nation’s public wildlands that are not protected as wilderness. In a more vexing challenge to the nation’s wilderness system, mountain bikers and their advocacy organizations have fought for access to wilderness areas, raising fundamental questions about whether these newer forms of mechanized transport belong in wilderness. Many wilderness areas, particularly those near urban areas, have become so heavily used that their essential wilderness qualities are threatened. Even the smartphone revolution has fundamentally changed how Americans interact with wilderness. 

The strength of the founding generation of American wilderness advocates is not that they provide clear and definitive solutions to these new wilderness conundrums. It is, rather, that their advocacy had at its core a deep and critical engagement with our modern outdoor recreational habits and the technologies that have shaped them. The modern wilderness idea, and the system of public land preservation that flowed from it, emerged from a reckoning with a similar set of questions – questions that go to the core of why we have the environmental commitments that we do. This history is a vital resource as we face the future of wilderness preservation in a changing world.
  
ABOUT PAUL SUTTER
Dr. Paul SutterPaul S. Sutter is a Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Colorado Boulder. As an environmental historian, he is interested in the many ways in which humans have interacted with, impacted, and thought about the natural world over time. He is the author of a number of books, including Driven Wild: How the Fight against the Automobile Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement. Whenever he can, he escapes to his mountain cabin, from which he can walk (or ski or snowshoe) into the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.
Business Sponsor SPOTLIGHT on  one of our two major business sponsors. Developed by an oncologist for post-radiation skin therapy, Elite products provide soothing anti-aging benefits that are of special use in our intense, high altitude sunshine. Supplier to   Support ELITE -support FENW.
Make a donation to FENW....
 
... make a difference!

Here’s the 2018 Trail Projects schedule:
June 2 -National Trails Day
June 16 & again June 17 -Gateways Trail Day

July 27-29 -Slate Lake - llamas / 2 nights out
Aug 2 -FENW/Colorado Outward Bound School at Piney Lake - llamas
Aug 11 & again Aug 12 -Salt Lick Connector Trail with VOC. Register in advance after June 1 HERE
Aug 17-19 -Gore Creek Overnight - llamas / overnight

Sep 15 & again Sep 16 -Deluge Lake Trail with VOC
TBD -Lily Pad Lakes Plank Bridge Project - llamas
*Adopt-A-Trail on Deluge Creek– TBD
Learn about trail work here. 
 
Join us! for our Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, August 9, 5:30 PM,
USFS Offices (video link) Silverthorne (MAP) and Minturn
Details at www.fenw.org/

Be sure to follow us on facebook and twitter!
         
Hard copy newsletterOur hard copy newsletter is available. It contains two dozen fun and informative articles, all of them about FENW - past, present, and future. If you haven't received your copy, then we don't have your mailing address - please send it to us at info@fenw.org
Recent monthly eNewsletters 
 
CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM 
Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
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EAGLE POST 28

The eNewsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
FENW logo
Before we get started, here is a message especially for Front Range residents:
FENW Denver Convocation* - Sunday July 15, 3:00-5:00
2454 S. Gilpin Street, Denver (
MAP)
Front Range members! Its not easy getting to FENW meetings in the mountains, so we're having an informal gathering in Denver. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness and its programs.  Please feel free to drop in and chat with others that treasure our three wilderness areas. For more information or to RSVP, email jimofcolorado@gmail.com
* a group of eagles
Dear *|FNAME|*Upper Boulder Lake
Gr
eetings! 

July 2018: WHERE THE HEART IS: An essay on solitude
by Dr. Esther M. Doyle

 
INTRODUCTION
It has been a busy, sometimes frenetic rollout of summer – early snowmelt, discovery of winter’s work - thousands of beetle-killed deadfalls blocking trails, training and deployment of USFS seasonals and FENW volunteers (who now number more than 80), and, of course, the scary Sugarloaf and - especially - Buffalo fires, and the residual angst as the heat and aridity continue. 

Fortunately, relief is readily available, at no cost: wilderness. A hundred years ago, the founders of the Wilderness Society, and later the Wilderness Act, began their push to preserve that most essential quality of the US landscape: untrammeled solitude. Whether or not you can get out to your favorite wilderness spot, read how one person described her home of the heart. Below are excerpts from “Where the Heart Is” by Esther M. Doyle (1910-2006), a summer visitor to Eagles Nest for the last four decades of the last century. She describes “those places that we encounter with a shock of recognition. We know immediately that they are ours. We claim them perhaps because they first claim us.” Esther identifies three essential components to such a place: separateness, solitude, and simplicity. Below are excerpts and illustrations from her monograph; you can read the entire version HERE. We have a few bound copies available; send your mailing address to info@fenw.org.

Her words are even truer today than when they were written, nearly fifty years ago.

WHERE THE HEART IS
Esther M. Doyle


Esther DoyleIt happened the summer I was ten [1920]. My father bought a canoe, a sturdy red one. We launched it on that part of the Charles River that winds through West Roxbury near Boston. On summer Sundays we would take it from its rack in the boat house furnish it with backboards and pillows from the locker, climb into it with our lunches and the Sunday paper, and paddle downstream. Although the journey was pleasant – the quiet of the countryside broken only by the trill of red-winged blackbirds in the cattails or by the dripping of water from lifted paddles – I was eager to get to my destination. At Second Pond we went ashore.

Lunch over, my parents settled down to the business of the Sunday paper. Now I was free. Across the daisy field I ran alone to my secret place, a small clearing beyond the raspberry patch where a single pine tree grew. Tall and aloof, the tree was nevertheless my friend. It welcomed me, comforted me. It spoke to me of growth, of serenity, of endurance. When I was with my tree, my heart was home. 

solitude 01I don’t know how many secret reunions there were in those early summers. One day there were no more. The canoe was sold. I never visited my pine tree again. Now in my heart’s eye (if the mind has an eye why not the heart?) I still see that tree. It was the first home of my heart.

What is a home of the heart? For one who is a wanderer it may be a simple shelter. Padraic Colum’s old woman of the road longs for a little house:
“O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!”
For one who is no longer young it may be the home of his youth. Thomas Hood longs for his birthplace:
“I remember, I remember
The house where I was born.”

For one who is a foreigner the home of the heart may be his native land. Keats understands the homesickness of Ruth in the Bible:
“… the heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn.”

Whatever one’s longing, the need for a home of the heart seems to be universal.

solitude 03However, I do not speak of homes we have known in our youth, nor of those we long for in our dreams. Nor do I speak of beautiful scenes that touch our hearts. Each has his own list of those. Rather I speak of those places that we encounter with a shock of recognition. We know immediately that they are ours. We claim them perhaps because they first claim us. Just as I found my pine tree, it found me.

There have been other homes of the heart since that early time. Some of them I have known only for a day or a month. One I have returned to again and again. I found it twelve years ago [1959] at the end of a hot midwestern summer. A friend and I had driven west to find relief in the cool mountains. Once out of Denver and over Loveland Pass, we agreed to take as long as we needed, travelling until we found “the place.” Late in the afternoon of that first day we recognized it at once. There was no need to explore further. Our hearts had found home.

What says,  “Here you belong!”? Answering that question is like trying to tell why you fall in love. Yet as I think of my homes of the heart, there are certain distinctive features that all of them share. Each has offered me separateness, solitude, and simplicity. 

[Separateness…]

My home of the heart also offers solitude, not in the sense of being lonely but rather in the sense of being alone. As Joseph Wood Krutch pointed out, every human being needs periods of withdrawal from his everyday world. To be alone, to ease into a solitude that is possible only when one is separate, is for me to begin the process of restoration. Wordsworth knew that “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Here I know it, too. Alone, I am a part of all that is around me. Lying in the daisy field with the blue sky above me, I know that I belong to the earth. Walking in the pine forest, I share the serenity of a tree. Resting by a mountain stream, I sense the ongoing of all life. At last, I begin to see with the inward eye which Wordsworth declares is “the bliss of solitude.” I come close to being at one with the natural world of which I am apart. I am at home.

solitude 03In my home of the heart where there is separateness and solitude, there is also simplicity. A small cabin made of hand-hewn logs is all the shelter I need. A bed, a table, a chair, a stove are its essential furnishings. I no longer feel possessed  by my possessions. “’Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free,” goes the old song. Here I am as simple as life ever allows me to be. 

Not only am I free from the things that I usually think of as necessary to my life, but, more important, I am free from society’s demands upon me. Here, for example, I am far from the problems of Eliot’s Prufrock. I do not need to prepare a face to meet the faces that I meet. Nor, like Prufrock, do I measure out my life in coffee spoons. I am myself.

In a world where powerful forces are at work against our true selves, it is not always possible to be oneself. These forces demand that we act out certain roles without which society could not survive. We are known as doctor, lawyer, merchant chief; as father, mother, sister, friend. And, for the most part, we ourselves need these roles. They help us to establish our identities. They are part of what and who we are. But on occasion we need to shed them.
“My heart is an onion,
You may peel it if you will,”
Writes E.P,. Lister humorously. Occasionally we need to look into our hearts, to peel off the outer layers of our professions, our soles in society, in order to learn what lies within.

To be myself is possible only in separateness, in solitude, and in simplicity.

solitude 04My home of the heart, then is a place that claims me even as I claim it. My home of the heart offers me separateness that clarifies, solitude that restores and simplicity that recreates. Here as I learn who I am, I echo a wish of  Dag Hammarskjold, “If only I may grow firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer.

Where the heart is, there is home.

ABOUT ESTHER DOYLE
Dr. Esther M. DoyleBorn near Boston, Esther became a teacher, served in the American Red Cross Military Welfare Service during WWII, and in 1944 joined the faculty of Juniata College in central PA, where she taught and oversaw the college’s dramatic productions. She was especially fond of Readers Theater. “It’s just telling the story, but in a dramatic way,” is how she described it, and on her visits to the home of her heart in Summit County, she enjoyed reciting poetry and theatrical passages with and for her friends.
 
Esther was active in the Church of the Brethren, which founded Juniata in 1876. She declined professional opportunities in metropolitan areas, explaining that “the gentle people” in central Pennsylvania were one of her biggest inspirations for staying. And stay she did, becoming a “revered professor, an icon on the campus of Juniata College for decades,” as the local newspaper described her. She earned a PhD from Northwestern in 1964.  In 2001 she received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Juniata. The foyer of the new Center for the Performing Arts is named for her.
 
Always, for more than four decades, she returned to the home of her heart in Summit County, where her memory endures.
 

 
WELCOME USFS INTERNS!
The USFS has deployed five Wilderness Ranger Interns this summer on a variety of projects. You can view all five on the FENW website. We've introduced Ron, Ainsley, and Maria; this month meet the rest of the crew: Hannah and Franz:
HannahOriginally from the greater Cleveland area, Hannah just finished her 3rd year at the University of Pittsburgh where she studies chemical engineering. Her love of the wilderness began with national park family vacations, and only grew from there. In the summer of 2016 Hannah worked as a wrangler on a dude ranch in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming. More recently, she worked as an EMT in Hampton, Pennsylvania.
My name is Franz; I am a Southern California boy who loves the outdoors. I am currently a senior at San Diego State University studying Recreation and Tourism Management with an emphasis on Outdoor Resource Management. I was born in the Los Angeles area and moved down to San Diego when I was 7 years old. Most of my life I was involved with organized sports and now I stay active doing the things I love every chance I get. I enjoy surfing, skateboarding, camping/backpacking, and riding my dirt bike down in Baja. I have not spent much time in Colorado and am extremely excited to explore and experience the beauty of the Eagles Nest Wilderness.
Make a donation to FENW....
 
... make a difference!

Just in time to add to your summer calendar, here’s the 2018 Trail Projects schedule:
June 2 -National Trails Day
June 16 & again June 17 -Gateways Trail Day

July 27-29 -Slate Lake - llamas / 2 nights out
Aug 2 -FENW/Colorado Outward Bound School at Piney Lake - llamas
Aug 11 & again Aug 12 -Salt Lick Connector Trail with VOC. Register in advance after June 1 HERE
Aug 17-19 -Gore Creek Overnight - llamas / overnight
Sep 15 & again Sep 16 -Deluge Lake Trail with VOC
TBD -Lily Pad Lakes Plank Bridge Project - llamas
*Adopt-A-Trail on Deluge Creek– TBD
Learn about trail work here. 
 
Join us! for our SPECIAL
SOCIAL & Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, July 12, 5:00 PM,
Copper Mountain Metro District Community Room  ( MAP)
Please RSVP to info@fenw.org for a head count
Details at www.fenw.org/

Be sure to follow us on facebook and twitter!
         
Hard copy newsletterOur hard copy newsletter - the first in 3 years - is available. It contains two dozen fun and informative articles, all of them about FENW - past, present, and future. If you haven't received your copy, then we don't have your mailing address - please send it to us at info@fenw.org
Recent monthly eNewsletters  
 
CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM 
Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
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EAGLE POST 27

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of FENW logoFriends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! 

May 2018: THE MYSTERY OF AERIE CABIN
by Maria Eisemann

 
Introduction: In an earlier Newsletter, Andy Walker described the reconstruction of the cabin on Bighorn Creek, which has been in his family for more than a century. This month, Maria Eisemann writes tenderly about a more mysterious place that, like the cabin on Bighorn Creek, lies deep inside Eagles Nest Wilderness. She's calling it Aerie Cabin (not its real name). Aerie Cabin was rediscovered fifty years ago after lying abandoned for the previous fifty years. The family who rediscovered it, together with close friends like Maria and her family, have reawakened the spirit of the place. Maria’s research has unearthed photos from the mining days of the 19th century, and she has carefully transcribed the fascinating diaries left by visitors over the past half-century (you can read excerpts below). Hers is a labor of love and a work in progress, and we are happy that she has taken time to provide an update for us, which captures the magical romance of the place.
The Mystery of Aerie Cabin
by Maria Eisemann
There are places on this earth that touch your soul. Places to drink deep and nourish your mind with wonder. Cause you stop and look at the details and then step back and look at the grandeur. Places where you come to escape, to share with those you love, to hold secret and even for some, a place chosen to be laid to rest for eternity. Places that make you love this world and life.
One such place exists in a soaring location of great beauty in Eagles Nest Wilderness, orphaned by those who built it and decades later adopted by those it captivated. It is a cabin built soon after the Utes were driven from their land, during the time of the Colorado mining boom of the late 1800s. Its origins are obscure and have led me on a journey to solve its mysteries and record its history. Such a special place is held secret, but there are many things about it to share in hopes of preserving its memory and importance.
The cabin was built about 1880 and abandoned early in the 20th century. It was rediscovered by chance, spotted by a family in the early 1960’s. They looked down from a ledge to which they had climbed during a hike, and saw windows and logs and ran down to explore. The cabin was well constructed and large for that high elevation and isolated location; trees were growing out of its sod roof. It had two glass-paned windows in the front and a proper door with a black door knob, fixtures remarkable for such a remote location. ConvenienceA note scratched into the door said, “Please leave my stuff alone, I’ll need it when I get back,” and was dated 1911 or 1918. Inside it was much like the owner may have left it: a jean jacket, shredded with time, hung on a nail; eyeglasses, kitchen ware, woodstove, beds and curtains all remained but were faded and dusty with age. Old newspapers lined some of the walls. Two inches of dirt, sifted down from the sod roof, lay on the floor. Outbuildings and mining implements and gear lay all around the property.

A search revealed the patented mine, which the family purchased. They knew, however, that it was too remote and wild ever to “own,” and decided to leave it open to visitors, although they have never advertised its location. They left a note with instructions on how to use, care for and leave the cabin better than visitors found it. And they started a log book, which visitors have contributed to for more than 50 years.The very first entry in the log book emotes a remarkable occurrence that resulted from a tragic climbing accident on the Maroon Bells in 1970, leading to the death of two individuals important in Colorado history, one of whom is buried in a coffin near the cabin. This set the stage for the modern story of the cabin.
 Then and now
This excerpt is from a letter written by the climber’s widow:

 Ed's widow & cabin owners    If I wrote all that was in my heart it would sound like a love letter and maybe that’s what this is - you can’t know how deeply moved I was and am by your willingness to share your valley with us.  In my total state of shock, I knew I could reach out to you and find warmth and strength and love and understanding - It helps me to know that Ed would approve of his small part of our valley.
     I’ll never know what sacrifices you made to be here and to help and you can never know how much it meant to me.

Later the owners left a note to entice visitors to read and leave their addition to the log book:

Soon after discovering the [cabin] we started leaving a notebook log for the records of visits and travelers. The [cabin] visitors have revealed literary talents, maybe just ambitions, that have left an intriguing record since 1973. And in this body of writing there is adventure, love, fear, desperation, loneliness. The rediscovered [cabin] has written its own book. That’s what many of the following pages are about.

And so began a story written by the people who have had a relationship with this place. They wrote with the log book balanced on their knees, on the front deck (of sorts) looking at the scenery, and by lamplight at the table by the stove, year after year, all seasons. There were young, adventurous men who first came on their own and then each brought his best girl to see if she would stand this test and be “the one.” That is how I came to this place the first time and fell more in love with the man I was to marry (because he passed MY test). Others have celebrated marriage, young love, humor, adventure and their survival against the elements inside and outside its log walls and have poured their souls into its pages. The log books, carefully collected, sorted and now transcribed, tell tales just as the owners foretold in their introduction. You can read excerpts HERE


At least 3 others who appear in the log books have passed away and had their remains brought to the cabin, including the family patriarch.

As the cabin crumbles by the weather of time and may be gone forever unless it is somehow preserved, the log books may be all that remain to tell this tale. They do not, however, provide the anore cart remainsswer to the mystery of the cabin - who built it and what became of them. For that, I continue my research; intriguing clues have come to light but require a longer narrative to tell. The cabin may go back to dust but its story will hopefully also touch and move you to remember, preserve and love remote places of meaning and the importance of our history.
 

Maria DiBiase EisemannABOUT MARIA DiBIASE EISEMANN: Maria was born in Maine to a large Italian-American family. She came west at 18 to attend college at Colorado State University.  It was there she met the love of her life, John Eisemann.  John introduced her to this amazing cabin the first year they met.  They loved to hike up and stay at the cabin and ski the backcountry every winter. They tied the knot, with a pre-nuptial celebration at the cabin, and spent their first 3 years of married life in the Peace Corps in the Philippines.  They came back to the US where they had 3 children together: Alana, Leif and Josie.  All three of their children have grown to love the cabin and learned the route there on their own. Maria’s professional life has centered on cleaning up our air and she is currently the transportation policy analyst at the Colorado Energy Office.  
WELCOME USFS INTERNS!
The USFS will deploy five Wilderness Ranger Interns this summer on a variety of projects. You can view all five on the FENW website. Last month we introduced Ron Culver; this month meet Maria and Ainsley:
USFS Intern Maria
My name is Maria and I’m coming straight from my college graduation at St. Lawrence University in New York to the White River National Forest. I grew up in Vermont and decided to stay east for school despite the allure and pull of the wild west, so I’m very excited to finally make my way across the Mississippi to some bigger mountains. My travels as a skier and geology major have brought me through Colorado quite a few times before but this time I’m looking forward to sticking around for longer than a week. I brought my skis with me, so in addition to the work I’ll be doing as a Wilderness Ranger and Trails Intern I’m hoping to find some leftover patches to get some summertime turns on, or at least doing some recon for the next season! In my spare time you can find me hiking, snacking, riding my bike named Rigatoni, or in the kitchen creating recipes for gourmet backpacking meals and working on refining my bread baking skills.
Ainsley is a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with her BS in Environmental Conservation and is continuing her schooling at UMass for a Masters in Public Policy. She’s passionate about sustainability and has transitioned her institution towards resource conservation practices during her time as the Secretary of Sustainability for the Student Government Association. Ainsley loves identifying plants and searching for amphibians in her free time. She plans to formulate more equitable policies for the earth and all its inhabitants in her future.
Make a donation to FENW....
 
... make a difference!

Just in time to add to your summer calendar, here’s the 2018 Trail Projects schedule:
June 2 -National Trails Day
June 16 & again June 17 -Gateways Trail Day
July 27-29 -Slate Lake - llamas / 2 nights out
Aug 2 -FENW/Colorado Outward Bound School at Piney Lake - llamas
Aug 11 & again Aug 12 -Salt Lick Connector Trail with VOC. Register in advance after June 1 HERE
Aug 17-19 -Gore Creek Overnight - llamas / overnight
Sep 15 & again Sep 16 -Deluge Lake Trail with VOC
TBD -Lily Pad Lakes Plank Bridge Project - llamas
*Adopt-A-Trail on Deluge Creek– TBD
Learn about trail work here. 
 
Join us! for our next
Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, June 14, 5:30 PM,
USFS Minturn & USFS Silverthorne ( MAP)
Details at www.fenw.org/

Be sure to follow us on facebook and twitter!
         
DENVER GROUP? Jim Alexander is interested in forming a group of Denver residents who love Wilderness in Summit & Eagle counties. If you are interested in a meet and greet get-together, email Jim at info@fenw.org.
Hard copy newsletterOur hard copy newsletter - the first in 3 years - went into the mail a few weeks ago. It contains two dozen fun and informative articles, all of them about FENW - past, present, and future. If you haven't received your copy, then we don't have your mailing address - please send it by replying to this email. 
Recent monthly eNewsletters  
 
CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM 
Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
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EAGLE POST 26

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of FENW logoFriends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! 

May 2018: PROTECTING EAGLE NEST'S MIGRATORY BIRDS 
by Dr. Susan Bonfield
Executive Director, Environment for the Americas
INTRODUCTION:
It’s May, and while the spring breakers have left the high country (to the relief of some), the brown creepers and many other beings – little feathered ones - are arriving (to the delight of bird lovers). Their migrations are arduous, and their habitats – both north and south -  are increasingly threatened. Conservation organizations in the US have been active for a century protecting North American bird habitats, but less was done south of the border. Enter Dr. SuEFTA logosan Bonfield, who saw a need to expand efforts to protect winter habitats of our birds. Thus, Environment for the Americas (EFTA) was born, aiming especially to recruit local Mexican and Central American young people to the cause. 

Sue, the founder and Executive Director of EFTA, was planning to write for this newsletter about EFTA's inspiring educational outreach programs in Latin America. Unfortunately, just as the bird world was celebrating the centennial of an historic treaty to protect migratory birds, they received a nasty gut punch from our own government, and Sue’s focus shifted – in her essay below she wants to alert us to a new, potentially devastating development in the US.  
Protecting Migratory Birds
by Dr. Susan Bonfield
Executive Director, Environment for the Americas (EFTA)

For a century, the 1918 international Migratory Bird Treaty Act has been the cornerstone of efforts to protect migratory birds. But as the Washington Post reported in an article last month, the wings of the Bird Treaty were officially clipped by the Department of the Interior, just as bird enthusiasts were celebrating the Act's 100th year. Diminishing its authority is a serious blow to conservationists and many avian-friendly organizations, including EFTA.
 
We founded EFTA at our cabin - nestled close to boundary of Eagles Nest Wilderness. Through our keystone education program, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), we have addressed a variety of topics, Wilson's warblersuch as the importance of shade coffee, reducing window collisions, keeping cats indoors, and recycling. In 2016, IMBD focused on the anniversary of the 1918 Act and celebrated the signing of the Treaty between the U.S. and Canada, and subsequently with Mexico and Japan.
 
The need for protections for migratory birds was cleaBird hatr since the early 1900s, when the trade of bird feathers fed the millinery industry and women’s fashion, leading to the decline of some bird populations. The elegant egret, for example, with its long white feather plumes, was at risk of extinction because of this industry. An array of other species, from songbirds to gamebirds, were harvested for display on hats. Feathers were often just part of the decorations: eggs and even entire nests were also used as adornments!
 
A movement was born when women, appalled by the use of wildlife as a fashion statement, helped launch the Audobon Society, which urged a stop to the use of feathers and helped pass the landmark Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which has protected nearly all migratory bird species in the U.S. and Canada. This type of national and international cooperation is essential to safeguard migratory birds, whose long-distance flights often cross political borders, exposing them to widely varying cultures, conservation philosophies, and laws. 
 Red naped sapsucker
The new opinion weakens the Act by making it permissible to harm migratory birds if the action that causes it is not directly associated with the “take” of birds. This includes disasters that impact many birds across larger geographic areas, such as oil spills, to local actions, such as pesticide use and construction. Where once a company would have been required to wait until swallows nesting beneath a bridge had successfully raised their young, as of April 15th, it can choose to move forward, destroy nests, and kill the young of a bird that has journeyed as many as 1,000 miles to nest.
 
In 2017, EFTA joined with conservation partners at the United Nations Environment Program to create a new, joint effort, World Migratory Bird Day - this Saturday, May 12, 2018. It is a bitter irony that as we celebrate at more than 600 sites our first year promoting a unification of our voices for bird conservation, the challenges to protecting migratory birds along the migratory routes that span the Americas are significantly heightened.
 
HummingbirdAs spring returns to the high country, many of us delight in the arrival of Wilson’s Warblers, diminutive Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Hermit Thrushes with their beautiful melody, and White-crowned Sparrows that sing from the willows. As we welcome them back, we must also heed the achievements of the past 100 years and work to ensure that our migratory birds are protected as they return to our rapidly growing counties. 

Help restore the integrity of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by contacting your federal representatives.
About Dr. Susan Bonfield: After studying Black-legged Kittiwakes in Alaska, Sue returned to the lower 48 where she has since gDr. Susan Bonfieldained more than two decades of experience in bird research and education. She has conducted bird surveys, run banding stations, and participated in bird research programs in Maine, Virginia, California, and Colorado. Because of her interest in education and bird conservation, she enjoys applying her knowledge of birds to programs that involve people of all ages and cultures. She has created education programs in the U.S. and Mexico, assisted with workshops on bird monitoring and conservation in both countries, taught basic identification courses, and led a course for the National Conservation Training Center of the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Susan holds a B.S. in Biology from Randolph-Macon Woman's College, an M.S. in Ecology, Fisheries, and Wildlife from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University.
 
WELCOME USFS INTERNS!
The USFS will deploy five Wilderness Ranger Interns this summer on a variety of projects. We'll be introducing you to them in our newsletter. Here is the first: Ron Culver:
Born and raised in El Dorado, Arkansas, Ron is currently a student at the University of Kansas. From an early age he learned from his father  wilderness ethics and a respect for wildlife. 
 
Ron is an Eagle Scout, and the summer of 2016 he worked at Philmont Scout Ranch as a program counselor specializing in interpretation and fly fishing.
 
During his free time he enjoys playing guitar and mandolin and getting into the backcountry to fish and observe wildlife. He hopes his summer in Holy Cross and Eagles Nest Wildernesses will give him meaningful experiences towards a career in wilderness conservation. Welcome, Ron!
 
Make a donation to FENW....
 
... make a difference!

Just in time to add to your summer calendar, here’s the 2018 Trail Projects schedule:
  • Gateways Trail Day – June 16 & 17
  • National Trails Day – June 2 
  • East Vail Overnight – Aug 
  • Deluge Lake Trail with VOC – Sep
  • Overnight registration box installation – TBD 
  • Lily Pad Lakes Plank Bridge Project – TBD 
  • Salt Lick Connector Trail with VOC – Aug 11-12
  • Adopt-A-Trail on Deluge, potentially Bighorn – TBD 
  • FENW/Colorado Outward Bound, Piney Lake – Aug 2
Learn about trail work here. 
 
Join us! for our next
Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, May 10, 5:30 PM,
USFS Minturn & USFS Silverthorne ( MAP)
Details at www.fenw.org/

Be sure to follow us on
    and      !
DENVER GROUP? Jim Alexander is interested in forming a group of Denver residents who love Wilderness in Summit & Eagle counties. If you are interested in a meet and greet get-together, email Jim at info@fenw.org.
Hard copy newsletterOur hard copy newsletter - the first in 3 years - went into the mail on April 30. It contains two dozen fun and informative articles, all of them about FENW - past, present, and future. If you haven't received your copy, then we don't have your mailing address - please send it by replying to this email. Here are Mike, Joan, and Bill at the mailing party on a sunny spring day. Mail party







 
Recent monthly eNewsletters  
 
CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM 
Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
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EAGLE POST 25

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! 
April 2018: SEARCH & RESCUE IN SUMMIT COUNTY
by Charles Pitman
Mission Coordinator and Public Information Officer
 The SUMMIT COUNTY RESCUE GROUP
Before we get started - a word about something new this year! We are expanding the role of Volunteer Wilderness Rangers (VWRs) to include TRAILHEAD HOSTING. So, if you're coming off a ski injury or your mobility is not up to a 4 hour hike, sign up for VWR training (June 2) and become a Trailhead Host.
INTRODUCTION:
The deep love of outdoor recreation in Summit  County keeps us pushing boundaries, and sometimes we need help. Search and Rescue is a big enterprise, and the all-volunteer SUMMIT COUNTY RESCUE GROUP is at the forefront of readiness, expertise, and commitment. Read below about the extraordinary breadth of their responsibilities, how they interface with other agencies, and how, for less than a penny a day, you can help.
Summit County Rescue Group
by Charles Pitman
Mission Coordinator, Public Information Officer
Summit County Rescue Group

Participating in a group whose unofficial motto is “Join search and rescue and see Summit County by Snowmobile + Orionheadlamp” may not be to everyone’s liking, but it fairly describes much of what the Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) does. Our band of 65 intrepid and well trained volunteers will, indeed, help the injured, lost or stranded backcountry traveler in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This takes a high level of dedication and professionalism that team members exhibit on every mission.

But why is there a volunteer group at all? Why is this not a paid state or county agency? In Colorado, search and rescue (SAR) is, by statute, a function of county sheriffs’ departments. SCRG logoHowever, most sheriffs recognized early on that their departments were not sufficiently staffed or funded to fulfill that SAR role, and this resulted in the establishment of county SAR teams. SCRG was formed in 1972 and became a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1973. The Summit County Sheriffs Office (SCSO) has long recognized the capabilities of SCRG and its ability to absorb what would otherwise be a logistical, staffing, and financial drain on an already overburdened agency.

Although operating as an independent entity, we work very closely with the SCSO’s Special Operations Department; those three individuals, who train with SCRG, will, at times, accompany us in the field. The team enjoys a level of autonomy that is not the norm in every county, and SCRG works hard to maintain the professional attitude, level of training, and responsiveness that the sheriff will find properly fulfills his overall authority.

SCRG takes pride in the fact that we have been fully accredited by the Mountain Rescue Association for many years. SCRG is also one of the busiest teams in the state, and highly regarded by our professional SAR peers. SCRG will receive from 150 to 200 calls a year for some type of aMcCullough Gulch rescuessistance. Of those calls, we will send teams in the field on anywhere from 50 to 90 missions a year. The remaining calls might be solved from the dining room table with a good mapping program (typical for a lost hiker), or some will solve themselves prior to fielding a team (the party had dinner on the way home to Denver and didn’t call his/her spouse), and some prove to be nothing that the Mission Coordinator feels is of concern (headlamps from night time rock and ice climbers in Ten Mile Canyon really weren’t an SOS).

SCRG responds to a wide array of missions, some straight forward and some complex. These include avalanches, snowmobile and ATV accidents, lost hikers/snowshoers/skiers, injured rock and ice climbers, backcountry motor vehicle accidents, paragliders, downed aircraft, injured mountain bikers, injured parasailers on iced-over Lake Dillon, cliffed-out hikers, and serious illnesses. In addition, the team is now the responsible agency for swift water rescues. When the pager sounds, you never know what the situation will be. SCRG does, however, have limits as to the areas of the county to which we respond. We cover all locations, except those within ski area and town boundaries (with rare exceptions). That leaves all Wilderness and non-wilderness areas, which are the bulk of the county. Whether a hiker is injured on the top of Quandary Peak or becomes lost on the Gore Range Trail, SCRG will respond.

Backcountry operations can be challenging because the Mission Coordinators have to recognize when they are sending teams into areas with different ‘ownerships’ (e.g., private, county, state, federal). In addition, Summit County hosts two federally designated Wilderness Areas (Eagles Nest and Ptarmigan Peak), which can present specific obstacles that we need to properly address prior to team and equipment deployment. The Sheriff’s Office has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Forest Service that allows for the use of a wheeled litter and/or a helicopter if these are the only means of bringing out the patient. When these resources are used, a report is filed with the Forest Service so they can keep proper statistics.

HAATS BlackhawkOur wheeled litter is a manually powered device and is the primary method by which we can expeditiously and safely extract a subject. It is still time consuming and can be exhausting for the team, especially on narrow and rocky trails, or on ones with a lot of deadfall. The entire device, with patient, medical equipment and litter has to be constantly lifted over obstacles. Four or five hours just to bring a patient out of the field is not uncommon; add to that the time to get to the patient, evaluate injuries, treat and package the patient and a mission can easily run 6 to 10 hours.

In some instances, only a helicopter will suffice. A critically injured or sick patient, severe weather projected in the coming hours that could place rescuers at risk, search for a missing person (often at night using night vision goggles), or an avalanche with potentially buried subjects all can weigh in favor of using air assets. SCRG has an excellent relationship with both Flight for Life (FFL) and the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (HAATS) in Gypsum. These activities can bring different air assets into play. There is, however, also a different protocol to obtain air services from either FFL (private) or HAATS (military). Because of the added risk with air operations, SCRG uses them sparingly and not without considering all of the other options. But helicopters are most definitely a life saver.

In some instances, SAR operations might be viewed in a negative light by the general public. Why is this? There are times when the use of ATVs or snowmobiles are the preferred method to get teams in close to the patient as quickly as possible. Those machines do not have ‘lights and sirens’ and our packs obscure ‘Mountain Rescue’ on the back of our jackets. So a hiker or skier may not know who we are or what we are doing. We try to go slowly and be respectful of all backcountry users; we almost always operate on trails. In fact, because most hiking trails are not even suitable for ATVs or snowmobiles, fully mechanized travel generally takes place on established backcountry roads.

Getting a patient out of the field is only part of the process. We often interact with neighboring county’s SAR teams, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, Summit County Ambulance Service (SCAS), ski areas, US Forest Service, and potentially other federal, state, county and local agencies. We are proud to maintain an excellent relationship with all entities. In addition, SCAS has the Wilderness Paramedic Program that is specifically designed to have paramedics trained in SCRG’s procedures. In the event a paramedic is necessary during a mission (often the case), a Wilderness Paramedic will participate in the mission as a part of the team. Often the crucial nature of an illness or injury will necessitate the use of medications and/or narcotics that only a paramedic can administer.

As with most SAR teams in Colorado, our services are completely free, with no cost for the team, Wilderness Paramedic, or Flight for Life (if requested to do a search to locate a lost or injured individual), and no charge if a HAATS helicopter (e.g., a Blackhawk) is used. There will be, however, a charge if a patient is medically evacuated via Flight for Life or if an ambulance is required to take the patient from the trailhead to a higher level of care. The use of air assets during a mission is at the discretion of the Mission Coordinator in consultation with the medical and technical personnel on scene and also after consultation with the Sheriff’s Office.

Our equipment takes quite a beating, and we rely on the CORSAR card funds to help. Read the sidebar Charles in actionbelow to learn how, for just three dollars a year, you can help keep our teams supplied with top-notch equipment.

Search and Rescue is both rewarding and challenging. It comes with a high level of dedication of team members to provide assistance to those in trouble in the backcountry. But it also means a level of satisfaction that isn’t necessarily achieved in other pursuits. Team funding comes mostly from donations and occasional grants. SCRG is ready for all emergencies, day and night, and in all weather conditions. It takes nothing more than a call to 911.

So, “seeing Summit County by headlamp” has its rewards, not the least of which is observing a sunrise over the Rockies while walking out with a subject at 5:30 a.m. Not a bad pursuit, all in all.
About Charles Pitman:
 Charles Pitman
Born in New Hampshire, Charles moved to Grand Junction, CO at an early age where he inherited his parents’ love of the mountains. He started skiing at a young age, skiing the old Grand Mesa Ski Area. Summers were spent hiking with his father and at two cabins, one in the Snowy Range in Wyoming and the other at Trout Lake (near Telluride). Charles graduated from Colorado State University in 1970 with a degree in electrical engineering and went to work as a test engineer for the Department of the Navy in Port Hueneme, CA. After a successful 33 year career testing state-of-the-art ship defense systems, in 2003 Charles and his wife, Debbie, retired and moved to Silverthorne. They love international travel. Charles joined the Summit County Rescue Group in 2004 and is currently the team’s Public Information Officer and also one of nine Mission Coordinators. In his spare time, Charles loves cycling, Nordic skiing, and hiking. He also is an avid reader, focusing heavily on ancient history.
SCrG Dog rescue

BUY YOUR $3 CORSAR CARD!

Missions can be tough on equipment, and on occasion items are damaged or destroyed in the process of a rescue. One avCORSAR cardenue that SCRG has to recoup some costs is to tap into a fund at the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). Those funds are replenished when backcountry users purchase the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card,sometimes called the ‘hiker’s card’. The card can be purchased, $3.00 for one year,at many outdoor stores, or on-line. In addition, contributions to that fund include hunting and fishing licenses and ATV and snowmobile registrations. If a person is rescued, and during the mission some of our equipment is damaged, and we find that the individual has either a CORSAR card or a registration or license, we are able to apply (annually via the Sheriff’s Office) for DOLA funds. This is an important source of reimbursement for teams that don’t have regular funding streams.

Be aware that there is a significant misperception about the CORSAR card. It is not an insurance card that provides for free rescues or a helicopter ride out of the backcountry. Rescues are always free and a medical evacuation becomes what is essentially an expensive ambulance ride. Other uses of air assets (other than a medical evacuation) are not charged to the individual we are searching for.


Wanna become a member of the team? Send a short bio to SCRG at info@scrg.org . A meet-and-greet intro meeting, then six 2-3 hour training meetings (spring & fall). Then a pack check and knot test, and 6 month probationary period, and if all goes well, full membership.

VWRs
APPLICATIONS NOW
BEING ACCEPTED!
In 2017, more than 50 VWRs directly contacted more than 11,000 hikers. Greet & teach!

Make a donation to FENW
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer - 2018 Trail projects:
  • Gateways Trail Day – June 16 & 17
  • National Trails Day – June 2 
  • East Vail Overnight – Aug 
  • Deluge Lake Trail with VOC – Sep
  • Overnight registration box installation – TBD 
  • Lily Pad Lakes Plank Bridge Project – TBD 
  • Salt Lick Connector Trail with VOC – Aug 11-12
  • Adopt-A-Trail on Deluge, potentially Bighorn – TBD 
  • FENW/Colorado Outward Bound, Piney Lake – Aug 2
Learn about trail work here. 
 
Join us! for our next
Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, April 12, 5:30 PM,
USFS Minturn & USFS Silverthorne ( MAP)
Details at www.fenw.org/


Recent Newsletters  (ALL newsletters)
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EAGLE POST 24

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
With this issue, we mark two years of our monthly newsletter. We welcome your feedback, including suggestions for future issues. More than anything, we would welcome your involvement in FENW.
Dear *|FNAME|*, Bill Mounsey
Gr
Kerry Donovaneetings! 
March 2018: Colorado Senator Kerry Donovan writes about her famous grandfather, Bill Mounsey - the father of Eagles Nest Wilderness
INTRODUCTIONA lot of people worked for more than a decade in the 1960s and 70s to create Eagles Nest Wilderness, led in Congress by Senator Floyd Haskell and Representative Jim Johnson. But probably no one knew the terrain better, or could advocate more persuasively, more eloquently, or more passionately than Bill Mounsey (1918 - 2012), the subject of this month's newsletter. Read what he fought for, on our behalf.

It was a long haul struggle.
  •         First, CDOT wanted to punch I-70 up South Willow Creek and tunnel under Red-Buffalo Pass. That idea was squelched by Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman.
  •         Next, The Forest Service and President Nixon's administration pressed for a "Wilderness on the rocks" - mostly above tree line. This option lived a long life, right up to the days before final approval in 1976.
  • Denver Post cartoon        Finally, the Denver Water Board (DWB) proposed an audacious plan to tap every creek in the Gores, and take the water to Denver. The Denver Post editorialized vigorously on their behalf, but, as Maryann Gaug writes in her popular book, "A court-appointed water referee ... ruled that the DWB had neither claims nor rights to the water." The DWB, however, kept on fighting to the end.
         With overwhelming public support, President Ford signed the bill on July 10, 1976, although some cabinet members urged him to veto it.
 
Bill Mounsey testified at numerous hearings about wilderness areas. He was a co-founder and President of theDenver Post cartoon 1 Colorado Open Space Council and its Wilderness Workshop (now Conservation Colorado), and supervised study teams on Eagles Nest and other Wilderness Areas, as well as hiking over (and eventually drawing) most of their proposed boundaries. Not surprisingly, he was recognized in Federal Court as an expert witness on wilderness matters.
 
Take a look at some of Bill's letters from  1973 to get a near-first hand sense of the magnitude of the battle.
 
All this would seem to be enough for just about any person, but Bill Mounsey was so much more, as only someone like a grandchild can relate. Read Kerry Donovan's recollections below.
 

My Grandfather, Bill Mounsey
by Senator Kerry Donovan
Sen. Kerry Donovan
It is hard to know where to start talking about my grandfather, William Bird Mounsey. His life is marked by one campfire story after another. He was Teddy Roosevelt Jr.’s Courier, was awarded a bronze star; worked in a missile silo; messed around with the Monkey Wrench Gang; and went to Panama during the revolution, to name just a few stories. 
 
But, I remember his writing. From my earliest memory of him, his handwriting is present. He was often jotting down a note about a bird we saw, or writing down a map coordinate. Sometimes, I’d find him sitting, head in hand, at his desk sculpting his latest letter. He had handwriting that was elegant and sailed across pages and pages of yellow lined legal paper with a grace earned at a time when handwriting carried the weight of our communications. He thought about things deeply, wrote about them repeatedly, and used a thesaurus with skill. This resulted in ideas that were difficult to challenge, but I was always grateful that he invited me to learn how he arrived to them. 
 
What I cBill Mounseyherish most about those invitations was that he entertained working through basic queries, such as, “What caused Mesa Verde to be abandoned?” and, “Why do we have time?” He, being a man of the outdoors, would often prompt me to ask him why we care about wilderness — complicated questions to ask for someone who was not yet old enough to even drive. I wonder now how he, an Army Major, patiently let a twelve year old debate and challenge his lifetime of thought and experience. 
 
On a drive back from The Maze, after seeking the right angle to watch the Spring Equinox fall upon the canyon stone, I found myself riding shotgun in a Jeep with him. Under the cover of a desert-dark night, he began to recount the horrors of war. Although he had trained at Camp Hale, he had fought in World War 2 in the Pacific theater– now recognized as the site of some of the harshest fighting conditions of the war. Just this once, he spoke of watching the bullet he fired from his foxhole travel through another human.

He recounted hiding behind trees and listening for the breath of an enemy before he jumped out with a clenched knife. The enemy’s recurring tactic of bringing an American soldier who had been captured within earshot of their camp at dawn coincided with the crows of the island roosters. He spoke of finding an empty tin can while on patrol,  knowing that the enemy had camped there the night before, and what these memories meant to him decades later. He told me that it was difficult to separate a rooster's crow from the audible suffering of his fellow soldiers, and his helplessness to save their lives. Rusty cans in a field became equated with years of killing. He stopped talking, and we crossed back into Colorado. 
 
He never spoke of these war experiences again.
 Bill & Kerry
Years later, we were discussing Wilderness, and he began to discuss another previously untouched topic. In the woods and the defined boundaries of wilderness, he knew what to expect. It was safe space for him. He knew the sounds of the wild, and could label each one a bird or beast.  He knew the streams came from pure sources. What most people described as wild and untamed to him was familiar and comfortable. Wilderness came with a set of definitions and parameters that allowed him to let his guard down. He knew he would only find people on foot – enjoying a tranquil trail constructed by hooves.  He would wake-up to finches - not a rooster. 
 
Wilderness, and his commitment to it, was an intricate issue for him. He thought about it, wrote about it, and challenged it. The south boundary of the Eagles Nest Wilderness was meant to battle the new interstate and let people stare into the trees from their cars. This was deliberate. The logging roads were included so people could see them reclaimed by the slow advancement of the front line of the pines. Wilderness, a place removed from the hand of man, was a place to recover from man-made war.
 
Today, the idea that veterans can find solace and recovery in the outdoors and in the wilderness is an idea with strong support. At the time that he was fighting for the establishment of the Wilderness Act, and then drawing the boundaries of Eagles Nest, this was an idea well ahead of its time. But, Bill knew he was on to something. He survived because of it.
 
Wilderness is a quintessentially American idea. Public Lands are the embodiment of democracy - lands that belong to all regardless of where you came from, where you are, where you are going. And so, it is fitting, as we pass the 40th anniversary of the creation of Eagles Nest Wilderness (in 2016) and approach the 25th anniversary of FENW (in 2019) - that we continue to embrace the healing qualities of Wilderness that have existed far before our legal recognition and protection. And continue to write about them.


About Kerry Donovan: A Colorado native, Kerry’s roots go deep in Eagle County. Her parents were early arrivals in Vail, as was her grandfather, Bill Mounsey.

Kerry runs the family's Copper Bar ranch near Edwards. She raises Highland Cattle, produces vegetables for area restaurants, has a noisy flock of chickens, as well as horses and mules.

Kerry majoredSenate District 5 in anthropology at Notre Dame, then worked as a archeologist throughout the Rockies in cultural resource management, recently working for two local non-profits (Vail Valley Foundation and Minturn Community Fund). She served a term on the Vail Town Council, and in In 2015 was elected Colorado State Senator, representing District 5.


 
We Want You!

Make a donation to FENW
 
Make a difference!

Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2017, more than 50 VWRs directly contacted more than 11,000 hikers. Greet & teach!

Volunteer - 2018 Trail projects:
  • Gateways Trail Day – June 16 & 17
  • National Trails Day – June 2 
  • East Vail Overnight – Aug 
  • Deluge Lake Trail with VOC – Sep
  • Overnight registration box installation – TBD 
  • Lily Pad Lakes Plank Bridge Project – TBD 
  • Salt Lick Connector Trail with VOC – Aug 11-12
  • Adopt-A-Trail on Deluge, potentially Bighorn – TBD 
  • FENW/Colorado Outward Bound, Piney Lake – Aug 2
Learn about trail work here. 
 
Join us! for our next
Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, March 8, 5:30 PM,
USFS Minturn & USFS Silverthorne ( MAP)
Details at www.fenw.org/

The 2018 FENW RETREAT
Looking ahead 1,2, and 5 years
Saturday, March 17, 1PM
Silverthorne 
Contact us if you would like to participate or if you have suggestons or questions.
 

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EAGLE POST 23 


EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
Dear *|FNAME|*, 
Greetings!  ... before we get to the essay: FENW invites you to join us for a drink, to get to know your Board members, and to learn how you can help contribute to a great organization! Thursday, February 8th, 5:30-7:30-ish pm. Ollies Pub & Grub on Main Street in Frisco (MAP WEBSITE) Open to: Board members, friends, family, and anyone interested in local public lands and Wilderness issues.

And now...
February 2018One-hundred thousand acres for  of Summit and Eagle Counties - a potpourri Bill for wilderness, recreation, and Camp Hale legacy.
INTRODUCTION:  An exciting, multifaceted bill to enhance outdoor recreational activities on public lands in Eagle and Summit Counties is now before the U.S. Congress. Vail's Susie Kincade has worked diligently on the project for a decade, and writes about the bill for us below. Two important take-home messages: First, the bill does not deny any activity currently allowed, but in fact enhances opportunities (and thus, the International Mountain Biking Association has signed on). Second, passage of the bill will benefit greatly if we can garner the support of Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (read how you can help).

New Wilderness Bill Protects
the Continental Divide

by Susie Kincade

Senator Michael Bennet and Representative Jared Polis took advantage of the recent Outdoor Retail and Snow Show in Denver to announce the introduction of the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act (CDRWCHLA).

The legislation would preserve 98,421 acres of the White River National Forest in Summit and Eagle counties as wilderness, recreation management areas, and wildlife conservation areas. It also would designate Camp Hale as America’s first National Historic Landscape.  The act adds territory to all three Wilderness Areas that FENW supports with its work.


For nearly a decade, a diverse and large coalition of local stakeholders, led by The Wilderness Society, Conservation Colorado, and Wilderness Workshop has been working to conserve the public lands in the Continental Divide region of central Colorado. The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), Vet Voice and Sierra Club have joined the efforts in recent years.

After many community gatherings, meetings with elected officials, and several draft proposals, the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act reflects the collective interests of many different constituencies ranging from mountain bikers and veterans to small business owners and water users.  This act is supported by the Eagle and Summit County Commissioners, and the towns of Dillon, Breckenridge and Vail.

One example of collaborative effort is the Tenmile area.  Originally the Tenmile Wilderness contained more acreage but would have eliminated popular mountain bike trails.  The Wilderness acreage was decreased, and the Tenmile North and South Recreation Management Areas were created. These RMAs will provide many of the same protections as Wilderness (no commercial logging, no mining), but mountain bikers will continue to enjoy their current trails.  An addition to the Eagles Nest Wilderness was eliminated from the original proposal because it was a popular snowmobile area.

The legislation creates three new wilderness areas: Hoosier Pass, Tenmile, and Williams Fork, and adds to Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas.  It establishes the unique, 17,000-acre Recreation Management Area in Summit County to protect mountain biking, hiking, and hunting access between the towns of Breckenridge and Frisco.
Protecting these lands and watersheds will safeguard ecologically important, mid- and high-elevation areas that provide vital wildlife habitat for black bear, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, sage grouse, moose, lynx, wild turkey, and the rare wolverine. Specifically, the legislation will create two wildlife conservation areas, nearly 12,000 acres, to protect critical wildlife linkages and habitat near Loveland Pass and in the Williams Fork Mountains.

“Colorado’s high country attracts hunters and anglers from around the world who seek its solitude and backcountry. In addition to these public lands and waters which support robust populations of fish and wildlife, this legislation sustains our time-tested traditions of hunting and fishing for current and future generations,” added David Lien, Colorado Chapter Chair of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.    


A version of the legislation was first introduced by Representative Jared Polis in 2014 but did not include protections for Camp Hale. Home of the WWII-era training camp of the storied 10th Mountain Division, the 29,000-acre Camp Hale National Historic Landscape would preserve a slice of history from the Greatest Generation.  Ski troopers learned the unique skills necessary for winter warfare, and many returned and played key roles in building Colorado’s outdoor ski industry.

 â€śDesignating Camp Hale will pay homage to our veterans and the birth of our state’s booming outdoor industry,” said Bradley Noone, a U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division Veteran. “I want to thank Representative Polis and Senator Bennet for honoring World War II Veterans, small business owners, and the lands that we all enjoy. This legislation will benefit all Americans.”

The Continental Divide coalition is urging Senator Cory Gardner to co-sponsor the legislation and is hopeful that Congress follows Congressman Polis and Senator Bennet’s lead and passes this bipartisan and sensible legislation.
 

How to help:
1. Sign a postcard or the supporter list at Continental Divide 
2. Sign on as a Business Supporter at Continental Divide
3. Thank Congressman Polis by phone: (303) 484-9596 or email 
4. Thank Senator Bennet by phone: 303-455-7600 or email
5. Ask Sen. Gardner to become a supporter and co-sponsor: Call (303- 391-5777) or email.
6. Send a letter to your local newspapers. Write up to 300 words, make it personal, describe what you value about these mountains, include a strong voice for supporting this Act, and urge Senator Gardner to support it as well. 

 

Make a donation to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2018 Trail projects: Details TBA. Learn about our work here. 
Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2017, more than 50 VWRs directly contacted more than 11,000 hikers. Greet & teach!
We also need volunteers 
outside the Wilderness. If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us.

We've changed our monthly planning meetings to the SECOND THURSDAY of the month. Join us for our next. regular meeting on Thursday, March 8, 5:30 PM at the USFS offices in Minturn and Silverthorne (video link)  MAP
Details at www.fenw.org/

Check out our previous NEWSLETTERS 

CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM 
Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
 
 

ABOUT SUSIE KINCADE

Susie has been a volunteer environmental activist most of her life, helping to establish the first recycling center in Vail, CO, in 1985 and helping lead a successful 30-year citizens’ effort to stop a massive Adams Rib ski resort in Eagle, CO. She joined Wilderness Workshop in 2009 as the Eagle County grassroots coordinator for wilderness protection efforts.

About  this bill, Susie said, “We are grateful to FENW and the many other organizations, businesses, and individuals who signed on as supporters of our citizens’ effort." She added, "We need to keep up the momentum and get this over the finish line. That means more citizen and business involvement; calling and writing Letters to the Editor urging Senator Gardner to get on board. Together we can get this Bill passed!"

Susie lives in Eagle and is a certified nature-based personal coach and retreat leader. In 2009, she founded the Women's Empowerment Workshop, which empowers women & girls through nature-based retreats, coaching and workshops. Nature-based events and expert-guided explorations are intended to rejuvenate, revitalize and renew personal awareness, resilience and confidence.
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EAGLE POST 22

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
Dear *|FNAME|*, 
Greetings! 
This month
FENW enters a new era:
Tim Drescher
our new President, steps into the big shoes of co-founder Currie Craven. 
Breaking news: FENW received the biggest donation in its 23-year history - $2,000 from Breckenridge residents Suzy & Bill GillilanIn addition, our first year enrolled with Colorado Gives brought us more than $2,000. Hot on its heals came news of a $9,000 grant from The Summit Foundation, which will be applied to the $14,000 needed to hire a crew from Rocky Mountain Youth Corps to help with much needed trail work in Eagles Nest Wilderness. We send sincere thanks to these major donors, and to all of our other individual contributors and business sponsors!
INTRODUCTION:  After 23 years at the helm, FENW President Currie Craven stepped down (he remains on the board as Past-President). Tim Drescher is our new President. Below, Tim writes an introductory letter to everyone interested in wilderness. He outlines an exciting agenda that, while pTim & Kellyreserving our core Volunteer Wilderness Rangers and Trail Projects, aims to examine what more we can do to combat the growing threats to public lands in general and wilderness in particular. You are invited to join us in our long range planning process - we will value your input and participation. We will be announcing details about the planning workshop in next month's newsletter (which will be authored by State Senator Kerry Donovan).
 

FENW 2018 President Tim Drescher writes:

Greetings Wilderness Enthusiasts!
 
I wanted to write a quick note to introduce myself and tell you a bit about what is in store for Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness as we move into 2018.
 
First of all, I am honored to serve as the new FENW President for this upcoming year and I look forward to a new chapter in the history of this great organization. Since moving to Eagle County over ten years ago, I've been an active backpacker and backcountry skier throughout the many corners of both Eagles Nest and Holy Cross Wilderness. My weekdays are occupied with being employed by the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, where I oversee operations as Tim DrescherSupervisor at the Avon Wastewater Treatment Facility. This position is extremely gratifying to me as I have a direct influence on the water quality of the Eagle River in the heart of the Eagle Valley. I also stay busy while maintaining a trip report blog I started after thru hiking the Colorado Trail in 2011 (www.timdcy.com). 
 
I first heard about FENW while launching a multi-day trip in Eagles Nest nearly five years ago. I recalled seeing an informational poster about the organization and the need for more people to volunteer at a trailhead. Fast forward two years when my wife and I completed a circumnavigation of the Gore Range. We spent 24 hours in the Upper Slate Lake drainage and the amount of disturbance and garbage we found was heart breaking. I sent an email explaining my experience to FENW, and my involvement with Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness launched from there. 
 
FENW continues to work closely with USFS Wilderness Rangers in both Eagle and Summit counties in an effort to help achieve our goals. Now more than ever, the threats of reductions to our public lands and degradation of the character of our great Wilderness areas impact us from a variety of sources. Organizations like ours need to not only work increasingly harder, but also smarter.

Our Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program continues to be the lifeblood of our organization. We will continue to strongly support this effort moving forward and hopefully even strengthen it. Stewardship projects such as trail and campsite maintenance will also be a high priority. Make sure to pay close attention to our online calendar and newsletter for upcoming dates of projects!
 
There is much to be done, but we don't want to bite off more than we can chew. Thus, our first order of business will be to hold a comprehensive workshop to define specific goals, looking one, two, and five years ahead. Some issues are broad, for example defining our role vis-ŕ-vis other partner organizations that assist the USFS - FDRD, VVMBA, Summit FatTire, and FOLBR, for example. Other issues include old standbys - recruitment, fundraising, bylaws updates, boots on the ground projects like invasive weeds… right on down to monthly meeting days.
 
A focal point for the plan that emerges will be FENW's twenty-fifth anniversary in 2019. It provides us with a perfect opportunity to celebrate our past as we begin to implement our new plans.
 
Through all of these processes, we will be looking for new faces to join in. If you love wilderness the way we do, come to our meeting on January 25, or contact me to find out more about how you can participate. As we close an era of more than two decades under the genial leadership of co-founder Currie Craven (who remains on the board as Past-President), our success in opening a new era at FENW depends totally on volunteers like you.  

 
We Want You!Make a donation to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2018 Trail projects: Details TBA. Learn about our work here. 

Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2017, more than 50 VWRs directly contacted more than 11,000 hikers. Greet & teach!
We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)

Join us! for our next
Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, January 25, 5:30 PM,
USFS Minturn & USFS Silverthorne ( MAP)
Details at www.fenw.org/
 

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EAGLE POST 21

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. 
30 November: BREAKING NEWS: A new president for FENW:
TIM DRESCHER succeeds co-founder CURRIE CRAVEN, who moves to the role of Past-President. Other officers elected: Bill Betz, President-Elect; Ken  Harper, Treasurer; Dan Siebert, Secretary. More to follow...
 
Dear *|FNAME|*, 
Greetings! 
Our topic this month
The Search for Powder
Tim Drescher
INTRODUCTION:  

Absolute powder corrupts. That's how they explain the spike in sick days after a big weekday snowstorm in Colorado, as folks head for the slopes. For Joel Gratz, though, it becomes just another work-related field trip, to check first hand on the accuracy of his forecast. His website, OpenSnow is totally focused on making accurate, pin-point predictions of "powder days" at Colorado ski areas. And his reputation is becoming legendary, as he brings Powder to the People (OK, no more puns).

Bruce the SnowmanJoel and his ten colleagues at OpenSnow (not counting mascot Bruce the Snowman) bring intense scrutiny to weather data in order to quantify, as only weather- & data-nerds can, their forecasts. They report their conclusions with freshness, wit, honesty, sometimes exhilaration, sometimes humility, and have gained a popular following that numbers in the millions.

Read below in a question-and-answer interview format how this enterprise has turned Joel's and his colleagues' passion for weather (meteorology majors in college), snow, and skiing into a growing and vibrant nation-wide company. We should add, Joel's passions also include skiing deep powder in the backcountry, and summertime hiking, biking, and chasing thunderstorms, and, most recently, welcoming a newborn son.

Joel Gratz

THE SEARCH FOR POWDER
By Joel Gratz, OpenSnow co-founder

ABOUT OPENSNOW:

1. What does the name "OpenSnow" mean? What is "open" about snow?
The idea of OpenSnow was to have one place that skiers and riders could find forecasts for multiple regions. Previously, I was forecasting for Colorado on a site called ColoradoPowderForecast.com, Bryan was forecasting for Tahoe on a site called TahoeWeatherDiscussion.com, and Evan was forecasting for Utah on a site called WasatchSnowForecast.com. We wanted to bring all of this data into one place. So, the "Open" in OpenSnow is similar to OpenSource – we want many people to contribute forecasts.
 
2.  The path to OpenSnow seems to have involved a steady progression of successful ventures, following your heart. Is that correct? I have loved snow and weather since I was six years old. After studying meteorology at Penn State and business at the University of Colorado, I worked as an analyst at a hurricane insurance company. But my true love was snow and skiing, so I started forecasting powder for my friends and me. After making these forecasts public on an email list and blog, I saw the opportunity for OpenSnow, quit my day job, and gave everything I had to OpenSnow. We are now a profitable, growing business with five full-time employees and six contract forecasters. We couldn't be happier doing what we do. I am absolutely doing the work that I love, following my passion.
 Powder
3. You are famous for the accuracy of your forecasts. What is the "secret sauce" to your successful forecasting? Do you have your own private weather satellite? 
The secret is that I am focused – forecasting snow at ski areas for skiers and riders in Colorado. I don't spend time forecasting for Denver, or Idaho (we have another forecaster in Idaho). My forecasts are often very accurate, but not always. When I get something wrong, I look back at why the forecast was incorrect and I discuss this publically. Every forecast is an opportunity to learn.
 
6. What is coming down the pike for OpenSnow? New and better forecasting algorithms? New business model? Going public? 
I have lots of ideas for weather and snow data that I'd like to incorporate into OpenSnow. But it's a balance between providing more details that weather nerds (like me) will enjoy, and ensuring that the service is simple enough to quickly answer the question, "When and where is the next powder day?". Most of the information on OpenSnow is free to use, though some data like longer-range forecasts and removing ads from the site and mobile app come with a subscription to our All-Access Pass for $19/year. Most new features will be incorporated into the All-Access Pass.
 
7. How do you quantify your forecast success? Is there a summary number that emerges for each winter? What was your least accurate individual forecast? Most accurate?
We have saved all of the forecasts, but have not done a rigorous analysis to determine the most accurate regions or lead times. We'll get there. Importantly, if and when a forecast goes wrong, I know it and am super upset about it, which spurs me to figure out how to do better next time.
 
8. What's the best way for backcountry enthusiasts to use your site?
If you ski at Berthoud Pass or Cameron Pass, we have you covered. Otherwise, find the forecast for a resort close to the backcountry location of your choice. We are hoping to add more forecasts for more locations in the future. Another great resource are the model "point" forecasts from the  CAIC website.
 
ABOUT JOEL GRATZ:
 1. HowJoel Gratz many days a year typically do you ski? (However many it is, as a new father (congratulations!) divide by ten, and that is your future.)
On average, since I've been ten years old, I ski at least 30-40 days per year. Since I quit my job in 2010, I've averaged 50-70 days per year. My wife loves powder just as much as I do, and now that we have an infant son, it'll be more of a challenge to get on snow. My wife and I agreed that we would ski an equal number of days this season, and it's quality of powder over quantity of days or vertical feet. We have already skied with our son - we skinned up a low-angle slope in Rocky Mountain National Park with him strapped to my chest. Powder day #1 for the kiddo!
 
2. Do you work mostly at home?
Our entire company is remote – we have no home office, and I love this. Who needs to commute or pay rent when we can get the work done that needs to get done, on our own schedule, at the location of our choosing? I work from home in a spare bedroom, and I also work a lot from friends' houses and hotels if I'm on the road chasing powder. All I need is an internet connection and my laptop. 
 
3. What's your take on climate change - especially global warming - and the future of the ski industry in Colorado?
Temperatures in Colorado have risen 2-4 degrees (F) in the past 30-ish years. The best computer forecasts show that the warming will continue. In terms of precipitation, there is no clear trend up or down and the future forecast models offer no clue as to what will happen. Putting these things together, it's likely that as temperatures continue to warm, the elevation at which rain changes to snow will decrease a bit, and we'll see more rain at lower elevations during spring and fall. Colorado is well positioned to deal with the warmth due to our higher altitude, compared to lower elevations closer to the Pacific Ocean which are more sensitive to small changes in temperature. That said, there will be impacts here in Colorado over the coming decades.
 
4. Do you ever get into the backcountry? Have you ever been in Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, or Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas?
I love the backcountry. Specifically, I love low-angle mellow terrain where there is little or no avalanche risk. And yes, I have been in Eagles Nest and Holy Cross Wilderness areas and love the remoteness of some of the trails and lakes.
 
5. What do you do outside in the summer?
Lots of hiking, some road biking, some mountain biking. I keep a close eye on the lightning forecast as well since I have no desire to be on top of a mountain when lightning is nearby!
 
6. What is your opinion of the Weather Channel snow forecasts?
Their forecasts, like most other automated forecasts, are fine. But you have to be careful about knowing whether the forecast is for the mountain or a nearby town. Also, the difference between me and The Weather Channel is that the Weather Channel will not come out and tell you, five days ahead of time, when the best powder day will be. I am not always correct, but my forecasts generally will put you in a great position for powder days.
 
7. What powder ski do you use?
I have a Wagner Custom ski with a design that says "OpenSnow". Pete Wagner started Wagner Custom Skis out of Telluride around the same time I started OpenSnow, and we went to business school together at the University of Colorado. I've had the same powder skis for about four years and I LOVE them - I won't ski on anything else.
 
 
 
Make a donation to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2018 Trail projectsDetails 
Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers. Greet & teach!
We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)

Join us! for our next
Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, December 28, 5:30 PM,
USFS Minturn & USFS Silverthorne ( MAP)
Details at www.fenw.org/
 

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EAGLE POST 20

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. 
JOIN US for a combined Monthly Planning Meeting, Annual Meeting, and Election of Officers Meeting - Thursday, November 30, 5:30 PM, USFS Dillon Ranger Station

Greetings! 
Our topic this month
The Cabin on Bighorn Creek

INTRODUCTION: Our public lands, including Wildernesses, are sprinkled with "inholdings" - small parcels of privately-owned land, often old mining claims. Several dozen parcels exist inside Eagles Nest Wilderness; statewide, about thirteen thousand acres of inholdings exist (and nearly half a million acres nationally). Some have cabins, including, in Eagles Nest Wilderness, the Orphan Boy cabin on Keller Mountain, the cabin on Deluge Creek, and the subject of this month's newsletter, the Cabin on Bighorn Creek.
 
Owners of inholdings follow different drummers when it comes to use. At one extreme are those who show little concern for wilderness, who want to develop or sell their properties for big profits. Tom Crawford is everyone's poster child of such a person, "gaining leverage by threatening to destroy something priceless, then cutting a deal" (Outside Magazine). Headlines like "Controversial luxury home inside a Colorado National Park is up for sale" (Denver Business Journal), " and "Tom Chapman Pisses Off Telluride With Private Ski Area Plans" (Curbed Ski) have told some of his stories.
 
At the opposite end of the spectrum are people like the Walker and Gartside families, who have owned the rustic Cabin on Bighorn Creek for more than a century. This past summer, they got together, and with help from numerous friends and passersby, they restored the cabin (see also Vail Daily article), using original tools and techniques. As in decades past, they intend to make the cabin available for emergency use by hikers or skiers in distress. Read about the history and restoration of the cabin below.
The Cabin on Bighorn Creek
by Victor & Andy Walker

Dear Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness,
 
We have been asked to write a brief on our cabin, known to many as the Bighorn Hilton, for your newsletter. This past summer my brother Andy and sister-in-law Renee, organized and motivated four generations of our family, friends and many long time soulmates of the cabin from the Vail Valley, Eagle and Summit counties to restore the cabin.  We were joined by many visitors from around the World who pitched in for several hours while on their hikes.  For over a hundred years the cabin has been first a home and then a destination rest spot and emergency shelter for hikers, climbers and back country adventurers.  With the cabin restored we hope that it will continue to provide shelter and historical intrigue for the next 100+ years.

HISTORY: The cabin was built in the 1890s by our great, great, great, Uncles and Grandfather who had come west with gold fever from Buffalo, New York after immigrating from Germany in the 1860s and 70s.  The cabin housed some of these folks and served as the camp cookhouse.  The small room adjoining the cabin was the ore house and storage room.  There was also a two story 10-person log bunkhouse just south of the cabin, a full blacksmith’s shop (cabin) at the mine entrance, corrals, horse and mule shelters and an outhouse - which stood (until the 1990s) a short trot from the cabin. Water was piped from Bighorn creek to the mine and blacksmith’s shop and to the cabin and bunkhouse.  The current Bighorn trail joins the old wagon road to the cabin at the Wilderness Area sign after the ˝ mile climb from the trail head.
 
The mine reached its peak production in the early 1900s producing more than $50,000 in silver and a little gold (equivalent to $ 1.3M in 2017).  Production stopped sometime in the 1930s. In 1955 the entrance to the mine was closed by a cave-in.  The last time the cabin was lived in year around was in the mid 1970s.
 
Our family had several other mining and business interests in the area - including the Ground Hog Mine on Battle Mountain - and it opened the Eagle River Hotel in Minturn in 1914.  Many family members made Minturn their home and continue to do so today.
 
RESTORATION: The cabin restoration was done using the same building techniques and hand tools that our ancestors used, Including a brace and bit that we think was used on the original cabin. The cabin is the exact same size. Some of the construction differs slightly as required to meet current code. Original cabin material was used when possible. Tom Burch of Halfmoon Packing out of Leadville drove mule trains to pack in and out supplies and tools.  We cut down 9 green trees. Renee plans to re-plant 18 using saplings provided by the US Forest Service in Minturn. 

We met with USFS staff in Minturn to try to coordinate as best we could. We wanted this to be a model cooperation between USFS and an inholder and we had a good relationship.  We met with Aaron Mayville and Marcia Gilles and Marcia visited the site early on. We tried to use standing dead or re-use logs from the cabin.  I would not recommend this. The standing dead starts to rot even if it is vertical and almost all of the old logs from the cabin had some rot.  I'd recommend all new logs in future projects.  We had to peel them even if they were old.  Some of the new trees peeled very easily because there is a layer of sap between the bark and the wood.  The older trees were very difficult to peel and we only partially peeled them.  The cabin is a combination of peeled, partially peeled, and unpeeled logs and we wanted it that way.  We used logs from the old cabin to fill in between windows and doors and to the sides of windows.  We did this by cutting the rotted ends off the longer cabin lengths to provide the shorter lengths.  This worked well, because, the facade that you walk up to near the door and at eye height is all old logs from the old cabin.
 Walkers & friends
Mule teams were used to skid logs from where they occurred to the site of the cabin, and then adjacent to the cabin.  From there they were rolled up log ramps onto the structure with ropes and come-along winches.  They were notched to cover the log below them on each end and stacked.  First we did a list of all the logs we had with length and diameter of each end, then we did a stacking pattern which was like a puzzle to figure out how the end diameters best matched up.  Fasteners were used at the corners and along the length of each log.  The cracks between logs were chinked on the inside with backer rod and a modern chinking material called Log Jam, and the exterior is chinked with wood strips re-used from the old cabin.  In the future we plan to restore a wood floor to the cabin.  Currently the floor is fine gravel. Mules hauled up over 200 2x6 planks for the roof deck, as well as ice and water shield, roll roofing, and flashing.  The roof was installed mainly by Josh Walker and his friend Rachel.  Byron Walker fabricated glass windows that were hauled up by Alex Walker.  Wooden shutters were made on-site using planks hauled up by the mules.
 Restored cabin
Please respect and help protect the property so that future generations have emergency shelter if needed and can enjoy the history of the area as well.
 
The Walker and Gartside families via Victor & Andy Walker
Some Walker family members L to R, Alex Walker- Grandson, Shay - cousin (from Canada!), Josh Walker - Grandson, Renee Azerbegi-Walker -Daughter in Law, Andy Walker-Son,    Front:  Ember Carlton - Byron’s Great Granddaughter, Kirby Walker -Grandson.
Walker family
Some Walker Family members L to R,  Byron Walker - Great Grandson of Gustave and Augustine Koch original settlers,  Josh Walker - Grandson, Victor Walker-Son, Andy and Renee Walker - Son and daughter-in-law, Alex  Walker-Grandson, Front-Kirby Walker-Grandson and Layla - Kirby’s Dog.
 
Make a donation to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2018 Trail projectsDetails 
Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers. Greet & teach!
We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)

Join us! for our combined Planning Meeting, Annual Meeting, and Election of Officers Meeting
THURSDAY, November 30, 5:30 PM, USFS Silverthorne >> MAP 
Details at www.fenw.org/
 

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EAGLE POST 19

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. 
Save the date: FENW Annual Meeting - Monday, November 13 - details to follow

Greetings! 
Our topic this month
RENAME THE GORE RANGE

INTRODUCTION: The Gore Range was not named for Al Gore, but for a guy who infuriated the Indians, the U.S. Cavalry, and the U.S. government, simultaneously. Lord St. George Gore slaughtered and slaughtered game relentlessly for three years in the 1850s, at the finish burned his extravagant cavalcade in spite, and wound up with one of the most spectacular mountain ranges anywhere named after him, even though he never set foot here, the ancestral (ten thousand years) home of the Ute Indians.
 
Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier hopes to  restore a bit of integrity to the land, and to the Ute tribe, banished from their homeland in 1881, by renaming the range. One suggestion is "Shining Mountains." The Utes were known as "The People of the Shining Mountains."
 
Karn makes her pitch below, and in the official Summit County Resolution that follows her essay.

You can learn more details, and add your comments, at http://sgrhoa.net/?p=912.  

Join Karn, her friends at FENW, and others at a gala kickoff of the campaign: Monday, October 9, 1-3PM at the Frisco Community & Senior Center (MAP). 
Presentations, Music, History, Poetry

RENAME THE GORE RANGE
By Karn Stiegelmeier, Summit County Commissioner

Karn Stiegelmeier
Thank you to Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness for the ongoing advocacy promoting appreciation of our natural assets and stewardship of our high mountain resources within the Wilderness and beyond.
 
Our legacy includes a long history of people living in the area and their stewardship, and lack of stewardship of these treasured resources. This legacy goes back long before FENW and long before the Wilderness Act, to the thousands of years of Ute and other Indian tribe habitation in the high mountains of Northwest Colorado.
 
The values of resource stewardship were intrinsic to the people who lived here for thousands of years before the European explorers first stepped into this region. The high mountains were seasonally inhabited by the native people, and lower elevations provided year round homes of the Ute people for about 10,000 years.
 
The Ute people were generally friendly and helpful to the early explorers, but after the Meeker massacre, the Ute people were marched out to the edges of and beyond the boundaries of Colorado, and were entirely banished from their ancestral home by 1881.
 
The Eagles Nest Wilderness, established in 1976, encompasses the higher elevations of the Gore Range. The Gore Range was named after a Scottish Lord, Sir George Gore, who in 1854 began a three-year hunting expedition, guided by Jim Bridger, other mountain men, Ute Indian guides and even the U.S. Calvary. Gore’s expedition included hauling 30 wagons and more than 50 servants on his three-year expedition of 6,000 miles. Gore shot many thousands of large game animals, and then left them to waste, during his guided tour of the mountains. Despite the namesake, Lord Gore never set foot in the core of the Gore Range. At the completion of his tour he was disdained by the mountain men, the native people and the U.S. Calvary due to his wanton wastefulness.
 
In hand-drawn maps, the Gore name was later attached to numerous geographic features. Gore Pass, Gore Creek, and Gore Range are just a few of the features that still carry his name today. Looking through historical material, it is difficult to determine when these names were established. The first known attribution to the Gore Range is from a documented conversation atop Long’s Peak when William Byers pointed to the Range and described to John Wesley Powell, ”that is Gore’s Range.”
 
The USGS naming criteria for geographic features were established long after these hand drawn maps were informally adopted as the standard.
 The Shining Mountains
In conjunction with Indigenous People’s Day, we have initiated an effort to change the name of the Gore Range to a name that fits the USGS criteria, and that honors the long time inhabitants and stewards of this mountain range. The name, Shining Mountains, is one that has been used generically for ranges in the Rocky Mountains. It is the name that was used in the Congressional Act to remove the Ute people from “the Shining Mountains,” the northwestern Colorado mountains.
 
The Ute People today are confined to reservations in Southern Colorado and Utah. They have tribal leadership in the form of councils and chairmanships, and cultural directors. The tribes are part of the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs (CCIA) along with all Colorado State departments, including the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Health and Environment, and Department of Education. I attended the triannual CCIA meeting in Ignacio in mid-September, and presented the following DRAFT resolution supporting a change of the name of the Gore Range. The Commission was very supportive of the change, but the Tribes wanted to get consensus from constituents on Shining Mountains or other name replacements.
 
Because consensus on the replacement name remains outstanding, we have the following  resolution, adopted by the Summit County Commissioners, in place today, and plan to present this resolution on October 9 at the Frisco Community and Senior Center as part of the celebration in Indigenous People’s Day.
 
We appreciate the support of the FENW Board, and members, and encourage your participation in the event in Frisco on Oct. 9, 1:00 - 3:00 PM.
 
  ABOUT KARN STIEGELMEIER: Karn Stiegelmeier has served as Summit County Commissioner since 2009, representing District 3, the Northern district of Summit County, from I-70 north to Grand County. She was drawn into this role while serving as the Executive Director of the Friends of the Lower Blue River. Karn’s career includes working as a science teacher, K-12, Environmental Education leader, National Park Ranger and USFS Firefighter.
                             
                   
                                             RESOLUTION NO. 2017- 63
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF SUMMIT
STATE OF COLORADO

RESOLUTION SUPPORTING GORE RANGE NAME CHANGE

WHEREAS, early names on hand drawn maps of geographic features in Colorado were
commonly early explorers names, and many of those names are still in place today, and

WHEREAS, the USGS was established in 1879, and naming criteria was established by
the USGS, Board of Geographic Names in 1890, and

WHEREAS, inappropriate names have been slowly changing over time, in order to
reflect our values in these carefully crafted criteria, and

WHEREAS, the names of geographic features in the United States are a valuable
reflection of the history of our country and its changing face, and

WHEREAS, the first documentation of the attribution of the name Gore for this beautiful
mountain range in Summit and Eagle Counties is noted in a conversation atop Long's Peak when
William Byers pointed to the Range and described to John Wesley Powell, that is Gore's Range,
and

WHEREAS, the native Ute people relied upon Rocky Mountain wildlife for their
sustenance, and Lord Gore's massacre of thousands of buffalo, elk, deer and bears and other
wildlife left to waste is the antithesis of our stewardship values, and

WHEREAS, the 1850's were a different time, but even then, the mountain men , native
Americans, and the US Calvary who helped guide him were finally disgusted by his killing spree
wastefulness, leaving all these animals to waste, while local indigenous people depended on
these animals for survival, and

WHEREAS, Lord Gore never stepped foot into the Gore Range, and the USGS criteria
for naming includes a requirement that naming a feature after a person requires that person has
resided in the community and has contributed significantly to the betterment of that community,
and

WHEREAS, the Ute people lived in this geographic area for approximately 10,000 years
before being removed from the "Shining Mountains" to reservations in Utah in 1880, following
the Meeker massacre, and the passing of the Ute Removal Act, denying the Ute the 12 million
acres of land that had formally been guaranteed to them in perpetuity.

WHEREAS, Shining Mountains Range is a native Ute name for the Rocky Mountains in
a generic sense, and

WHEREAS, Shining Mountains Range is not an official USGS name in use anywhere in
the Rocky Mountains today, and

WHEREAS, Shining Mountains Range is our best suggestion for replacement name so
far, but we are open to other suggestions from the Ute tribes leadership.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY
COMMISSIONERS OF THE COUNTY OF SUMMIT, STATE OF COLORADO, THAT
we urge the USGS to support the change of the name of the Gore Range to reflect the values of
environmental stewardship and the criteria of the USGS for naming, including having resided in
the area and having contributed significantly to the betterment of the communities.

APPROVED ON THIS 26™ DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2017.
signed /Karn Stieglemeier/

 

 

Make a donation to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2018 Trail projectsDetails 
Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers. Greet & teach!

We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)


Join us! for our next Planning Meeting 
THURSDAY, October 26, 5:30 PM, USFS Silverthorne or Minturn >> MAP 
Details at www.fenw.org/
 

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EAGLE POST 18

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. 

Greetings! 
Our topic this month
The battle for our National Monuments

INTRODUCTIONSince President Trump issued an Executive Order in late April to review 27 National Monument designations, some of our county’s most iconic landscapes have been under threat.  In late August, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a draft review of management regulations to the president with recommendations to reduce the size and/or change allowable uses in most of the Monuments.
Below, Julie Mach, Conservation Director for the Colorado Mountain Club, offers an expert analysis of the current situation.
 

THE BATTLE FOR OUR NATIONAL MONUMENTS
By Julie Mach, Conservation Director, Colorado Mountain Club

What’s in a Monument?
 
History. Nature. Science. Solitude. Wildlife. Recreation. Controversy.
 


What was under review:
  • Any National Monument designated from 1996 to the present that is 100,000 acres or greater in size or made without adequate public consultation
  • 27 monuments total including sites managed by the National Parks Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service such as Bears Ears (UT), Grand Staircase-Escalante (UT), Giant Sequoia (CA), Organ Mountains-Desert Peak (NM), Katahdin Woods & Waters (ME) and many others.
  • Canyons of the Ancients was the only one of Colorado’s eight monuments included in the review - 178,000 acres established in June of 2000 – and is celebrated as the most archeologically dense area in the United States.
 
Review Process:
Step 1:  An examination of existing proclamations, object(s) to be protected, the scientific and rational basis for the boundaries, land uses within the monument, public access concerns and authorized traditional uses, and appropriate environmental and cultural protections.
Step 2:  Host a series of meetings with local, state, tribal, elected officials, non-profit groups and other stakeholders.  Secretary Zinke visited eight of 27 monuments during the review period.
Step 3:  Review policies on public access, hunting and fishing rights, traditional use such as timber production and grazing, economic and environmental impacts, and potential legal conflicts.
 
Public Input:
From May 5 through July 10, more than 2.4 million comments were submitted to the Department of the Interior and were “overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining existing monuments and demonstrated a well-orchestrated national campaign organized by multiple organizations,” according to Zinke’s report summary.  Great work everyone!  Conservation groups, history buffs, wildlife lovers, rock hounds and recreationists united in an impressive show of support for these landscapes.  Many of the opposing comments came from local residents associated with industries such as grazing, timber production, mining, hunting and fishing, and motorized recreation.Canyons of the Ancients
 
Findings and Next Steps
During the 120 day review process, six monuments, including Canyons of the Ancients, were removed from the review prior to the August 24th deadline with a recommendation of NO changes.
Secretary Zinke submitted his draft review to president Trump on August 24, and while he did not recommend fully eliminating any of the monument designations, there is still fear that large cuts could significantly reduce monument size and rescind protective management from hundreds of thousands of acres.  Zinke declined to provide public details on specific recommendations but has proposed major downsizing to Utah’s new Bears Ears National Monument.  There is no word on when the full review and recommendations will be made public.
 
According to the administration, the steps outlined in the review process were intended to help the Secretary determine whether current designations meet the nature and intent of 1906 Antiquities Act – the law used to create monuments through congressional actions and presidential proclamation – and to ensure public input and support for the designations.  However, the reality is that monument designations are never made in a vacuum or on a fast timeline: they take years of grassroots organizing, building political support, reviewing boundaries with land managers and users, assessing economic and natural resource impacts and crafting of a proclamation.  Even after the designation, the monuments must undergo an extensive management planning process (complete with public input) before major use changes take effect.  A recent example is Browns Canyon National Monument in Central Colorado which started as a Wilderness Campaign in the '90s, finally received monument designation in 2015, and has only just started the assessment phase of management planning. 
Brown's Canyon hearing
The national monument review process initiated by president Trump’s executive order is essentially a duplicative effort to search for legal loopholes and undermine the years of work spent on monument designation, coalition building, and policy development.  Furthermore, it represents a larger attack on public land protections and bedrock conservation laws, like the Antiquities Act.  These broad attacks are likely motivated by development pressures from extractive industries like oil and gas, timber and mining.  Development and extraction are often prohibited in National Monuments in order to protect the sensitive historic and natural resources within the designated area.  But the president’s review sends a clear message that even our protected landscapes may not be as secure as we would hope.  Environmental groups have threatened suits over any final recommendations on monument resizing so the fallout from twriting campaignhis review is likely to be tied up in legislation for years to come.  In the meantime, as lovers and advocates of public lands, we must continue to support and steward our Monuments, Wilderness area, and non-designated landscapes through engagement in public comment campaigns, pressure on legislative representatives, and participation in land management planning processes.  Furthermore, we must ENJOY these landscapes – learn their history, discover their wildlife, explore their trails, and cherish the unique resources hidden within each of them.  That is when we will truly find everything in our monuments worth protecting.



 ABOUT JULIE MACH: Julie Mach is the Conservation Director for the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) and is dedicated to protecting sustainable recreational opportunities on public lands throughout the state.  CMC’s unique approach to Conservation includes a combination of advocacy and stewardship work to motivate grassroots management Julie Machchanges from the bottom up, to inform policy decisions from the top down, and to support on-the-ground implementation through project work and volunteer engagement.  As an avid hiker, mountain biker, backcountry skier, kayaker, and equestrian, Julie is passionate about playing in the outdoors but she is also sensitive to the pressures and impacts of multi-use recreation on public lands.  Through land use planning, smart trail design, and capacity building for public land managers, she aims to strike a balance that allows for sustainable use while protecting the incredible natural landscapes and resources that make Colorado a unique place to live, work and play.

 

Make a donation to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2017 Trail projectsDetails 
Wed & Thu September 6 & 7: DAY projects: Learn cross-cut sawing as we clear Salt Lick Trail of about 45 downed trees. Contact Jerry Kelly (jkelly1264@gmail.com). 
Thu-Sun, Sept 14-17: Pack-in project: Missouri Lakes Project. Two work days Holy Cross Wilderness. Reservations necessary (Tim Drescher: timdcy@gmail.com). 
In 2016, we spent two weekends at alpine lakes and obliterated 54 illegal campfire rings. Join our crews in 2017!

Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers. Greet & teach!

We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)

 
 

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EAGLE POST 17

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. 

Greetings! 
Our topic this month
Global Warming in the Gore Range

INTRODUCTION: Earth Day (April 22) last year was the deadline for the 196 participating nations to sign on to the Paris Climate Agreement, designed to slow global warming by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. One-hundred-ninety- five of the 196 countries have signed on. The United States, of course, is the lone dissenter, a colossal tragedy that cedes world leadership on one of the most threatening global challenges facing humanity. France has announced a plan to ban all gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040. Moreover, after 2022 France will not produce electricity by burning coal.
Paris AccordsThroughout much of the US, state and local governments, businesses, and non-profits are picking up at least some of the slack left by President Trump's decision to abandon the Paris Agreement. But it's daunting for an individual to contemplate helping in a meaningful way. Below, David Schimel, a world authority on climate change (and Summit Country homeowner), describes climate changes in the Gore Range - with personal anecdotes and hard data - and offers encouraging suggestions for how individuals can help.

 

Global warming in the Gore Range
By David Schimel, PhD

On my first trip into the Gores, in 1975, a group of college friends and I skied in to try a winter asDelta & Davecent of Mt Powell. We didn't succeed, though we did ski up Kneeknocker Pass, something I wouldn't even think of doing today, knowing what I know now. The first four days or so of the trip were bitterly cold. I remember waking one morning to our thermometer reading -30 degrees F. For this article, I went looking for weather records from those weeks and the only daily weather record I could find, for Breckenridge, showed persistent cold those days, dropping to -28 degrees in town the day we saw -30. When I moved to Ft. Collins four years later, we regularly had winter spells well below zero. It rarely gets that cold anymore, and so my memory of Gore Range winters spans a period of significant climate change.

One of the most evident signs of climate change in the Rockies has been the gradual loss of these bitterly cold spells in the winter, at least for those of us with long memories, and while summers may be hotter and springs earlier, some of the largest changes to our Rocky Mountain climate have come in the steady winter warming and loss of winter lows. Most of Colorado's low temperature records were set decades ago, and recent years have been more notable for record highs. This loss of deep cold in the winter is a partial explanation for the severity of Mountain Pine Beetle outbreaks, as spells of sustained cold weather are required to kill the overwintering beetles. 

Springs have arrived earlier, too. Snowmelt and streamflow now come nearly a month earlier than 30 or 40 years ago, and this has consequences for everything from forest health and growth to water availability downstream. Earlier snowmelt with trees starting to grow earlier often has a paradoxical effect, as shown by my friend and colleague Russ Monson at CU: because trees grow earlier, they actually deplete the snow-derived water sooner and suffer worse droughts later in the summer. Thus, even though trees grow a little more in warm, early springs, they grow less overall those years.

The earlier springs are due partly to warmer weather, but not always the way you might think. Warmer, drier winters in the 4 Corners area, together with loss of grass cover from grazing, lead to moDust on snowre dust being blown onto distant snowfields. That dust absorbs the sun's energy and melts the snow faster. Clean, white snow absorbs less than 10% of the sun's energy, but dirty snow absorbs much more. Even when it gets buried by fresh snow, as the snowpack later melts, the dust will be re-exposed and accelerate melting. Scientist Tom Painter and CU researchers have shown that changes to dust over the Rockies have had a big effect on snow, even detectable in the timing of runoff down the Colorado River.Dust on Snow

Climate change has become a confusing and controversial subject, at least in the United States, where it's become tangled with partisan debate over environmental regulation. The actual physics of climate change are simple. The sun provides energy to the Earth, mostly in the visible wavelengths, and that energy becomes heat (infrared energy) when absorbed by the Earth. Our atmosphere is transparent to the sun's radiation, but so-called greenhouse gases (transparent to visible wavelengths from the sun) block some of the re-radiated heat from escaping. Some greenhouse gases are necessary: without this effect, the Earth would be too cold to support life, but the superabundance of some of the gases released from burning fossil fuels is blocking even more of the heat from escaping, adding to the planet's warmth.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas; its inexorable rise has been charted for decades, mostly by a group of scientists headquartered in Boulder, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These researchers make painstaking, precise measurements of CO2, continuing the work begun by the pioneer of climate change, Dave Keeling. Dave grew up in Montana, was a frequent visitor to Colorado, and loved hiking in the Rockies. When CO2, the same gas we breathe out, mixes in the atmosphere, its impacts on climate vary with place and season. This local variation makes the details of climate change complicated even though the underlying physics are simple!

CO2 is distributed uniformly in the atmosphere, but clouds and water vapor vary greatly between locations and over the seasons. Clouds reflect sunlight, and can reduce the amount of energy available to become heat, and water vapor can trap additional heat beyond that trapped by CO2. We all know that clouds and humidity vary from place to place, and with the seasons, and so does the little bit of extra warming from CO2. So, while Colorado warms on the average, some places warm more or less. We can see this in maps of warming (below).
Global Temp Variation - July 2017
Maps of climate change in Colorado show winters (December to February) in the Gore Range have warmed by about one degree Fahrenheit since 1951. A degree might seem small, but a few degrees in the colder direction is all that separates us from the ice ages, when the Rockies and our Gore Range valleys were filled with the glaciers that shaped our landscapes.

Changes to climate are going to affect out local environment in ways we see more and more in our daily lives in the mountains. We notice spring thaw and mid-winter cold. I notice warm wet snow sticking to my skis in February, formerly an April problem, one small but obtrusive change. We'll all notice the longer and more risky fire seasons, as longer dry spells and warm autumns allow fire season to extend into months formerly safe. We might see repeated outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle and other forest pests such as the spruce beetle. All of these insect pests grow more rapidly in warmer weather, and so all can do more damage during longer summers.     

What can we do about climate change? As individuals, we can conserve, be aware of our activities that result in energy use, whether through our own energy use in cars or heating, or indirectly through what we buy. We can make investment decisions for our income or retirement informed by identifying&nbnbsp;which companies are seeking to reduce their energy use. Look into this—you may be surprised by how many companies see both good citizenship and good business in increasing their energy efficiency. For many of us - me for sure - most of our fossil fuel use may come through air travel. If you travel frequently, likely the bulk of your personal carbon footprint is from air travel. (Calculate your carbon footprint HERE )

While the carbon and climate problem may seem so big that it's hard to affect, really it results from myriad individual decisions and as a result, we have surprising control over our footprints. Many of the small changes we can make, in the cars we choose, home efficiency projects, whether we fly to or skype with a colleague, have big impacts. Because we, as Americans, use 2-100 times more energy than people in other countries, we can reduce our use more easily and more quickly! 

The US has increased economic output over the past decade or so with virtually no increase in fossil fuel consumption. This fact means both that we can conserve without damaging the economy, and that measures we've taken have had beneficial effects. Businesses that have invested in efficiency have generally been more profitable than competitors that have not. We as conserving individuals can see this as well, paying less for heat, electricity and transportation.

What's the payoff? It's a longterm proposition. Even if we each do our part, we'll still see a changing climate through our lives, and into our children's - the profligate energy use of the post-war era will have consequences. But individual and corporate actions now will blunt the effects and help save our mountain paradise for distant generations.


Dust on snow photos from Colorado Dust-on-Snow (CODOS) Program, Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies, Silverton, CO




 ABOUT DAVE SCHIMEL:  Dave Schimel first came to Colorado to backcountry ski in the Gore Range in 1975, and moved to Colorado in 1979.  He has never willingly left since.  Schimel earned a PhD in Natural Resources from Colorado State in 1982, worked at CSU for many years, and then joined Dave SchimelBoulder’s National Center for Atmospheric Research as a climate scientist in 1991.  He worked for NASA in 1988-1990 and returned to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California in 2012, leading JPL’s Carbon and Ecosystems program as part of the JPL Climate Science Center.  He is known for his work on mountain ecosystems, and has flown over the Rockies in research aircraft many times, measuring the mountain climate and carbon cycle.  He and his wife, long-time Summit County resident Dr. Susan Bonfield (ornithologist and FENW newsletter contributor) spend as much time as they can at their house on Pebble Creek and continue to explore the Gores and adjoining ranges. You can read more about Dave's illustrious career HERE.

 

Make a donation to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2017 Trail projectsDetails 
Friday August 11: Day project: Conservation Colorado Joint Project. Silverthorne area of Eagles Nest. Reservations necessary (Bill Reed: 970-513-9741). 
Thu-Sun, Sept 14-17: Pack-in project: Missouri Lakes Project. Two work days Holy Cross Wilderness. Reservations necessary (Tim Drescher: timdcy@gmail.com). 
In 2016, we spent two weekends at alpine lakes and obliterated 54 illegal campfire rings. Join our crews in 2017!

Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers. Greet & teach!

We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)

 
 

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EAGLE POST 16

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. 

Greetings! 
Our topic this month
The Continental Divide Wilderness & Recreation Act

But before we begin - an urgent message: JULY 10 is the deadline for comments to Interior Secretary Zinke. Please ask him to
LEAVE NATIONAL MONUMENTS ALONE
Click HERE to write your message. Read a summary of the first 400,000 comments HERE.
proposed TenMile Wilderness
INTRODUCTION
: The title of Congressman Jared Polis’ bill - The Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act -  is a mouthful to say and an even more challenging proposal to wrap your head around. We'll break it down for you here (see also this MAP). There are three different designations of the dozen parcels of land comprising 58,500 acres:
            * Wilderness (9 parcels)
            * Special Management Areas (3 parcels in two different flavors, one similar to Wilderness with a bit more flexibility and two focused especially on mountain biking and other forms of outdoor recreation), and
            *one brand new designation: National Historic Landscape (Camp Hale).
 
All of the areas are on the Western Slope in Summit and Eagle counties; three touch the continental divide near Hoosier Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel.
 
The 9 Wilderness parcels break down into three brand new, free-standing Wilderness Areas (one at the top of the map (Williams Fork) and two at the bottom (Tenmile and Hoosier Ridge)), and 6 additions to existing Wilderness (one parcel to Holy Cross Wilderness, 2 parcels to Eagles Nest, and 3 parcels to Ptarmigan).

What about Camp Hale? As the Denver Post reported, Senator Bennet "wants Camp Hale, already on the National Register of Historic Places, to be the nation’s first National Historic Landscape, honoring its legacy with interpretive and educational elements, while maintaining the area’s diverse recreational amenities and uses and protecting it from future development."

If you look at the map, just ponder all of those boundaries - they were drawn with exquisite sensitivity and exhausting inputs from many stakeholders. The bill is a model of cooperative input. But the challenge is just beginning, as Josh Kuhn explains below.

The Continental Divide Wilderness & Recreation Act

By Josh Kuhn,  Wilderness and Public Lands Organizer
Conservation Colorado

When working to build support for the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act (CDWR Act - an effort to protect about 60,000 acres of the White River National Forest in Eagle and Summit Counties), I’m often asked, "Why do this, what’s wrong?" I answer, "Nothing, nothing is wrong," and Josh Kuhnthat’s the point. The lands contained within this bill are home to unique wildlife habitat, contain valuable water sources, and are important to the outdoor recreation economy. I often compare the campaign to taking care of one’s health: it's best to be proactive, and not wait for illness to strike. The same applies to these areas: let's not wait until a logging project, for example, is proposed before we mobilize to protect these landscapes. Overall, the CDWR Act is about ensuring that we keep select areas free of the impacts of human development so that others can share in the multitude of benefits offered by Nature's beauty.
 
Since its inception about 9 years ago, the CDWR Act has evolved in a dynamic, community-driven process. The boundaries for the units were crafted through many hours of deliberations, taking into account a variety of interests, including wilderness preservation, mountain biking, fire mitigation, and protection of water resources and wildlife habitat. All of this has been taking place as the Colorado front range population grows and grows, relentlessly increasing demand on our mountain resources.
 
My job involves visiting businesses - hundreds of them - explaining the CDWR Act and seeking support for it. I also organize hikes into the proposed landscapes, and plan a variety of events to increase awareness and continue building support. Along the way I meet people with a broad range of opinions on land conservation, and they are usually impressed once they understand the collaborative compromises that have gone into creation of the Act.
 
Finally, another unique land designation - one of my personal favorites - is slated for Camp Hale; Senator Michael Bennet wants to make it our nation’s first National Historic Landscape. Although not finalized yet, this designation will protect all existing uses while honoring and protecting the lands that birthed the modern ski industry, and served as a training ground for the 10th Mountain Division in World War II.
 
I’m sure you’re wondering what’s next. The bill remains in committee, and it is not clear at present when it will be sent up for a vote. I’m often asked, "How do you expect to get this bill passed through an anti-conservation-majority-Congress and a Trump White House?" The answer is through widespread community support. This is a win-win proposal, and we must highlight this fact in order to gain bipartisan support.
 proposed TenMile Wilderness
You can help me in my efforts at grassroots outreach, education, and organization. The most urgent need is securing additional business support, and identifying business owners and employees willing to advocate for this effort. We need folks willing to write letters to the editor, place phone calls to decisions makers, and periodically meet with elected officials. If you’re able to help with any of this, please contact me (Josh@conservationco.org).
 
When I’m weary of making phone calls or knocking on doors, I’m reminded of something that Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." I hope you’ll join me in this effort. To learn more please visit www.continentaldivide.org.
 




 ABOUT JOSH KUHN: When I made my first trip into the wilderness 25 years ago, it didn’t seem like a great fit for the awkward, pudgy kid I was then. My first experience in a Wilderness Area occurred at summer camp, where I was encouraged to sign up for a multi-night canoe trip into Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I had watched the cool older kids head off on their trips, and I wanted to be like them, but I had no idea how difficult a portage is, how monotonous a paddle across a lake can be, or how many mosquito bites I’d receive. When the trip ended, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to sign up for another trip.
 
However, as summer turned to fall, I began to appreciate the experience. For example, when playing soccer I knew I could push myself a bit further, or when working on a math problem I had a bit more confidence to stick with it and see it through. The following summer I signed up for multiple trips, and although I didn’t know it at the time, I was igniting a passion that would help define my life.
 
Josh KuhnTwenty-five years later, I’m the Wilderness and Public Lands Organizer for Conservation Colorado. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without wilderness. For me, being in nature is the only time I’m not distracted by some other aspect of life. It gives me an opportunity to be with my thoughts and challenge myself both physically and mentally. When I need motivation to make another hour of phone calls or visit another block of businesses, I think about the fact that I’m working to protect something that will have lasting effects for generations to come.
 
Last summer, my wife and I gave birth to our first child. This has added another layer of meaning and motivation to my work, because those “future generations” now have a face and a name. We’ve already had our first successful family camping trip, and I feel confident as Jack grows so will his Josh & son Jackappreciation of the natural world. After the political landscape shifted last November the future of the CDWR Act became a bit more murky. Passing this piece of legislation will be more challenging,  but as I think back to the challenges of my first camping trip and then about my son’s future, I know that we can’t give up fighting for the protection of the Continental Divide landscape in Eagle and Summit Counties. I encourage you to join us for an FENW-sponsored trail project on Aug 11th, and please don’t hesitate to contact me to learn more about how you can help support this effort (Josh@conservationco.org).
 

 

 
Volunteer for our 2017 Trail projectsDetails 
Thursday July 20: Day project: Colorado Outward Bound School Joint Project. Piney River Trail. 
Thu-Sat, July 27-29: Pack-in project: Wilderness Society Joint Project. Location TBD. Reservations necessary (Bill Reed: 970-513-9741). 
Friday August 11: Day project: Conservation Colorado Joint Project. Silverthorne area of Eagles Nest. Reservations necessary (Bill Reed: 970-513-9741). 
Thu-Sun, Sept 14-17: Pack-in project: Missouri Lakes Project. Two work days Holy Cross Wilderness. Reservations necessary (Tim Drescher: timdcy@gmail.com). 
In 2016, we spent two weekends at alpine lakes and obliterated 54 illegal campfire rings. Join our crews in 2017!
  • Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers. Greet & teach!

We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)

Make a donation 
to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

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EAGLE POST 15

EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. 

Greetings! 
Our topic this month
The American Beaver: An Icon of the West
Introduction: As you probably know, the US Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the US Congress controls public land "without limitations," which is one reason why the Sagebrush Rebellion has failed. What has this to do with beavers? Well, Congress has to a large extent left management of wildlife on most federal lands to the states (link). Thus, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW, a Division of the Department of Natural Resources) manages beaver and other wildlife on federal lands. 

What is so important about beavers? Well, by way of example, a year ago President Obama made what probably wasn't the the biggest mistake of his presidency, but some consider it unfortunate nonetheless: he chose the bison as our national mammal. For several reasons, the beaver was the better choice: 
* the beaver was ubiquitous in North America, and not restricted mainly to the plains, 
* the beaver, as trappers sought their fur, catalyzed the largest human land migration in the history of the world - the westward movement of the pioneers, and 
* the beaver alters its habitat with dams and ponds to the benefit of countless species of fish, insects, insectivorous and shore birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and plants. 

Alas, from the get-go the poor beaver had two strikesagainst it as a candidate for national status. It is a rodent, and it is already the national animal of Canada

Elissa Slezak is a District Wildlife Manager (Summit County East) in CPW, with headquarters in Hot Sulfur Springs. We are fortunate that she has taken time from her extraordinarily busy schedule to contribute the essay below about beavers. Read on, to learn more about this fascinating animal.

The American Beaver: an Icon of the West 

By Elissa Slezak, District Wildlife Manager, Colorado Parks & Wildlife 

Have you ever been enjoying a quiet creekside hike, a sunset river float, or an evening of fly fishing when all of a sudden, SLAP! The silence is broken by a sound of warning that reverberates from the mountainsides. You have interrupted the work of nature's foremost engineer, Castor canadensis, the American beaver. One of the few mammals capable of altering its environment to suit its needs, it is a keystone species of the Rocky Mountains. 

How busy is a beaver? They are mostly nocturnal, working diligently through the night, repairing and maintaining dams and their lodge, munching their favorite food: aspen leaves and bark (no, they do not eat fish). Nor do fish eat them, although coyotes, bears, mountain lions, bobcats, lynx, and even river otters do. Fortunately, beavers can hold their breath for up to five minutes, swimming far away under water to reach safety when they feel threatened. 

While the beaver may work solely to serve its own security, the labors of this industrious mammal have far reaching collateral benefits for the ecosystem. By managing a watershed with dams, ponds, and channels to slow moving water, beavers regulate spring runoff, reduce flooding, raise the water table, improve riparian vegetation, and increase forage both for other wildlife and for livestock. In winter, the ponds freeze over and beavers swim out under the ice to access their food cache (created in the autumn by sinking piles of limbs and branches in the pond). 

While lovers of nature praise the work of the beaver, others fight to protect their landscape plantings, keep open their irrigation culverts, and safeguard driveways, roads and bridges. Increasingly, groups work to protect human structures without killing the beavers (link). Beavers were driven nearly to extinction in the early 19th century by European explorers who sought their dense, luxurious pelts for stylish gentleman's hats. 

A highly social animal, beavers live in large colonies with a dominant breeding pair, their yearling offspring, and a young-of-the-year litter.A beaver family "home" may comprise several dams, ponds, channels, runways, and a lodge or earthen bank den. Two-year-old beavers are often the culprits of human conflict as they depart the colony to establish their own territories. 

To observe a beaver, look for signs of freshly cut wood chips, gnawed stumps and willows, or fallen aspen or cottonwood trees near slow-moving waterways or ponds - all signs of an active colony. Find a natural blind to disguise your presence, sit quietly in the mornings or evenings, and look for disturbance on the water surface as the beaver goes about its work. Whether you love beavers or not, most of us can admit to the amazing capability of these fascinating creatures, and we are lucky to catch a glimpse of them going about their work. 

At the present time in Summit County, beaver populations are not officially monitored (but see link), and the total population is unknown. Typically, CPW receives several requests each spring for removal of nuisance beavers. As for relocating beavers, CPW does not allow them to be moved between different drainages due to risk of disease transmission (Tularemia). 

About Elissa Slezak: Growing up in Evergreen, CO with a father as a biologist, Elissa always has had a passion for wildlife. After earning an undergraduate degree in Biology, followed by a Master's degree, Elissa was hired by Parks and Wildlife (formerly Division of Wildlife) as a Wildlife Health Technician in Fort Collins. Elissa's experience doing reseasrch on chronic wasting disease in northwestern Colorado gave her a glimpse into the job of a District Wildlife Manager. She applied for the position soon after and was hired in 2004, working in Mesa and Garfield Counties until 2013, when she transferred to Summit County
 

DUST OFF 
THEM BOOTS!

Volunteer for our 
2017 Trail projects:
Details 
Saturday June 3: Day project: National Trails Day: Salt Lick Trail in Silverthorne. 
Saturday June 17: Day project: "Gateways" day project. Location TBD.
Thursday July 20: Day project: Colorado Outward Bound School Joint Project. Piney River Trail. 
Thu-Sat, July 27-29: Pack-in project: Wilderness Society Joint Project. Location TBD. Reservations necessary (Bill Reed: 970-513-9741). 
Friday August 11: Day project: Conservation Colorado Joint Project. Silverthorne area of Eagles Nest. Reservations necessary (Bill Reed: 970-513-9741). 
Thu-Sun, Sept 14-17: Pack-in project: Missouri Lakes Project. Two work days Holy Cross Wilderness. Reservations necessary (Tim Drescher: timdcy@gmail.com). 
In 2016, we spent two weekends at alpine lakes and obliterated 54 illegal campfire rings. Join our crews in 2017!
Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers. Greet & teach!

We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness 
If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us (info@fenw.org)

Make a donation 
to FENW 
 
Make a difference!

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6 FENW Newsletter

EAGLE POST 14
EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

Greetings!
Our topic this month: Meet MIKE BEACH
Wilderness Manager, White River NF

Introduction: FENW is fortunate to have the guidance and collaboration of TWO Wilderness Managers from the White River National Forest (WRNF): Cindy Ebbert (see December Newsletter) and the subject of this month's Newsletter, Mike Beach.

Why two Wilderness Managers? It's because Eagles Nest Wilderness (ENW) is cleaved down the middle by the boundary between two different WRNF Districts - Dillon Ranger District (DRD) on the east, and Eagle-Holy Cross R.D. on the west. (In the early-2000s, the Holy Cross R.D. was combined with its western neighbor, the Eagle R.D. to form the Eagle-Holy Cross R.D. (EHXRD), with its main office in Minturn. Here "Eagle" refers to Eagle, Colorado, not to Eagles Nest Wilderness.)

So with Cindy in charge of the east side of ENW (and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness), and Mike in charge of the west side of ENW (and the Holy Cross and Flat Tops Wildernesses), these precious lands - totalling more than a quarter million acres - are in good hands and FENW receives a double dose of USFS expertise. Below, Mike describes his journey to Wilderness Manager.

Meet MIKE BEACH
Wilderness Manager for Eagle-Holy Cross RD


Hello! My name is Mike Beach and I have the pleasure of serving as the Wilderness and Trails Manager for the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District located in Minturn, Colorado.

I was born in the windswept northwest corner of Iowa. The cornfield adjacent to my backyard was probably my first taste of "wilderness" though at the age of three, I wasn't quite aware of the concepts of trammeling and development. My family - mom, dad, and two older sisters - moved quite a bit as I grew up, first to New York, then Texas, and finally Pennsylvania. Living in these locations over the years allowed me to develop an interesting perspective on our country's lands, people, and cultures... and infected me with a travel bug that I still can't shake!

Summer family vacations to the mountains of Colorado were frequent in my childhood. Trips to the Wet Mountain Valley, and Summit and Eagle counties piqued my interest in the vastness of the wild places I've since learned so well. Our proximity to the Appalachian Mountains and New England while living in Pennsylvania allowed for weekend trips with the family to explore the trails and forests on the Eastern seaboard. It was in these formative years that I began to understand more about the importance of our public lands and the concept of wilderness.

After high school, I traded snow boots for flip flops and attended the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree. During one of many nightly battles with Calculus homework, I decided that, for me, a major in Outdoor Recreation Management would pass the "Could you do this for the rest of your life?" test decidedly better than Engineering. Four short years later, my search for an internship led me to, you guessed it, Minturn, Colorado!

The internship was so much fun than I decided to stick around and work on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District's trails/wilderness crew the next summer, and the next, and the next...!
All told, I spent nine summers as a seasonal employee on wilderness, trails, and timber crews based out of Minturn. In the winters, I worked at local resorts, got a master's degree, worked for a NEPA contractor, and generally just enjoyed the vast recreational opportunities that surround us in these parts. No matter what other ventures I tried, my work with the Forest Service always kept me coming back summer after summer. The opportunity to educate visitors, maintain trails, and do my part to preserve wilderness character in the Eagles Nest, Flat Tops, and Holy Cross Wilderness areas was amazing and every hitch in the woods offered a different challenge and a renewed sense of stewardship.

In October, 2016, I was offered the year-round position of Wilderness and Trails Manager for the district. What a job! I am able to work with a tremendous group of people and have the pleasure of supervising a fantastic crew of hard-working wilderness rangers and trail crew.
This summer, we'll have thirteen summer employees dedicated to our wilderness and trails. Among other things, the crews will be conducting a comprehensive campsite inventory and solitude monitoring project in the Holy Cross Wilderness. The data collected this summer will enable us to assess trends in biophysical impacts occurring on the ground, as well as social impacts such as perceived crowding. These data will be essential to future stewardship of the Holy Cross Wilderness.

Other work this summer in the Eagles Nest Wilderness includes trail improvements on the ever-popular Booth Lake, Bighorn, and Deluge Lake trails in East Vail, working with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. These drainages have seen steady increases in use over the years and are in need of stewardship to preserve their character. We'll be improving drainage, restoring social routes, and stabilizing trail treads in attempts to keep users on the trails and prevent degradation of the surrounding landscape. We'll also be contacting many visitors and making sure they're informed on Leave No Trace principles and wilderness ethics.

We're excited about working with FENW and continuing their successful volunteer ranger patrol as well as working on a project at Missouri Lakes and in the Upper Piney area in concert with Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS). FENW will assist our wilderness rangers in conducting campsite inventories and restoration in the Missouri Lakes area. Along the Upper Piney trail, FENW and COBS will collaborate to complete a day of trail work on this popular route. Additionally, we're anticipating another productive year for the Eagle County Adopt a Trail program - FENW maintains the Deluge Lake trail as part of this program.

Over the past nine years, I've grown to love Eagle County for its sense of community and remarkable beauty. The diversity of topography, weather, vegetation, and wildlife never gets old. Despite having traveled many summers through the most remote corners of the area, I still have many unseen places to explore. I look forward to seeing many of you in the woods; don't forget to say hello!



FENW is now on INSTAGRAM

Visit the FENW booth at the REI Dillon grand opening
May 5-7

Congratulations! to poet Erin Robertson (who wrote A View From Ute Pass for FENW) on winning a "Voices in the Wilderness" prize for work in Alaska this summer.
DUST OFF
THEM BOOTS!

Apply to become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger

Details here.
Training day: Sat, 6/3.
In 2016, more than 50 VWRs contacted more than 12,000 hikers.
Greet & teach!
Volunteer for our 2017 Trail projects:
  • June 3 - Nat'l Trails Day. Joint day project with FDRD. Location TBD.
  • June 17 - Gateways Day project: damage repair, tree removal, run-off control. Location TBD.
    Overnight pack-ins:
  • Thu-Sat, July 27-29: Location TBD. Reservations necessary.
  • Thu-Sun, Sept 14-17: Missouri Lakes, Holy Cross Wilderness Area. Reservations necessary.
    Details
    In 2016, we spent two weekends at alpine lakes and obliterated 54 illegal campfire rings. Join our crews in 2017!
    We also need volunteers outside the Wilderness
    If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! contact us
    Make a donation
    to FENW

    Make a difference!

    Recent Newsletters
  • April: "Future of Eagles Nest" by April Phule
  • March: "Managing High Use Areas in Wilderness" by Kay Hopkins
  • February: "A Cry From The Wilderness" by Bill Reed
  • January: "Public Lands at Risk" by David Lien
  • December: "My life as a Wilderness Manager" by Cindy Ebbert
  • November: "Saving Native Cutthroat Trout" by Matt Grove
  • October: "Loved to Death" by Jackie Fortier
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
    Join us! for our next Planning Meeting
    Thursday, May 25, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
    CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)



  • 6
    FENW Newsletter

    EAGLE POST 13
    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.
    Greetings!
    Our topic this month: REQUIRED PERMITS IN WILDERNESS?

    Introduction: Bill Reed's 'Cry From the Wilderness' (link) last month poignantly laid out the problem - trammeled lakeside campsites in our Wilderness Areas. This month, we learn about our neighbor Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness, no less clobbered, where the Forest Service has proposed a new management plan (link) to address the problem there. Kay Hopkins, US Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Planner and co-author of the draft plan, writes about the proposal - the extensive background data gathering, the input from multiple stakeholders, the components yet to come. It is a journey at once exhilarating and exhausting to read about, and we are facing something similar, if not identical, in the Wildernesses of Summit and Eagle counties. We'll hear about our local plans, rising from the shoulders of giants like Kay and her colleagues, in the next FENW newsletter.
    Managing today's HIGH USE AREAS for tomorrow
    By Kay Hopkins

    Managing high use wilderness - balancing preservation with increased demands - has long been a challenge for public land managers. The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness (MBSW) is one of many Wilderness Areas across the west that are experiencing alarming damage from increased use. From 2007 to 2015, overnight visitors on the ten most popular trails in MBSW more than doubled; some increased nearly four-fold. Signs of overuse include denuded campsites, vegetation loss, braided trails, exposed human waste, trash, wildlife habituation, and more. Visitor conflicts reflect the increasing demand for the finite wilderness resources.

    US Forest Service (USFS) wilderness rangers are increasingly diverted from their traditional roles, such as clearing trails and maintaining structures, and are becoming backcountry janitors. For example, in MBSW in 2016 wilderness rangers packed out 438 pounds of trash, buried 273 incidences of exposed human waste, obliterated 327 illegal campfire rings and issued hundreds of violations for things like dogs off leash, illegal fires, exposed human waste, and lack of bear canisters - all this in addition to contacting directly more than 9600 individual visitors.

    Since the mid-'80s the White River National Forest (WRNF) has been following a minimum tool philosophy to preserve wilderness experiences. The toolbox included vigorous education and interpretation efforts, increased visitor contacts, and focused special order regulations, restrictions, and closures. In 2006, the last tool was put into service: mandatory, no-fee overnight registration. Now all of the tools in the agency's tool box are in use, but still problems persist, and grow.

    The Draft Overnight Visitor Use Management (VUM) Plan (released in November 2016) looks to the next step - limited permits - but with a carefully monitored adaptive management strategy that defines how and where monitoring will be done and what adjustments can be made in the future to ensure that desired conditions are being met.

    What's next? This month (March 2017) we (WRNF & Gunnison NF) will release an Environmental Assessment and an updated VUM Plan for public comment. The VUM Plan applies only to overnight visitors. The goal of the plan is to reclaim and maintain the natural condition of some of the high use corridors while preserving opportunities for wilderness experiences and visitors related socio-economic benefits to our communities, all within the guidelines of the Forests Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMP).
    Adaptive Management. The VUM Plan seeks to implement an adaptive management strategy, that is, one that sets threshold values for the defined capacity (maximal sustainable number of visitors) to each one of the many different identified camping zones. If the threshold is exceeded at one area, then a mandatory permit system will be implemented for that area.

    How is capacity determined? Extensive usage data have been gathered for more than a decade for more than 700 impacted campsites across the entire MBSW. Data sources include required overnight registration (with 96% compliance), ranger patrol logs, violation notices, incident reports, and campsite inventories. About half of the campsites were illegally situated (usually closer than 100 feet to a lake, stream, or trail); the others, numbering 374, meet LRMP standards and form the baseline of the overnight "Groups At One Time" (GAOT) campsite capacity. GAOT is a new descriptor: the number of groups at any moment per camping zone.

    Next, thresholds were determined: the entire MBSW was divided into thirty camping zones according to watersheds and visitor use patterns, and LRMP Management Areas (MAs) were mapped over the camping zones. Camping zones zones may have one or more MA's within them that prescribe densities as follows: Pristine (low density of occupied campsites), Primitive (moderate density), and Semi-Primitive (camping restricted to designated sites). Application of these prescriptions created the final allocation of campsites per zone.

    Thresholds serve as the minimum acceptable condition for indicators and serve as triggers for management action when exceeded. As an example, if annual monitoring shows the GAOT indicator has been exceeded in a zone, the overnight permit system would be triggered for that zone for the following season. The permit would be used to limit the number of “groups at one time” that can camp overnight in that zone.

    Implementation details how a permit would be issued and managed will be determined later based on a number of considerations, including legal authorities, feasibility, internal expertise and USFS physical and financial capabilities.

    Fees: The VUM Plan will authorize implementation of the management tools described in the plan but does not include a decision or methods of implementation of associated fees if a permit system is triggered. A separate process will be necessary to address any potential fees. Permitting could be implemented a variety of ways. For example, we could use the government's reservation system (link), which charges a small reservation fee, much like how campgrounds operate today. Under this alternative, fees are strictly for the reservation and do not come back to the site. Alternatively, permits could be issued out of a local office for no fee. Another option could be to charge a fee to cover USFS on-site management needs and associated costs. This option would have to be implemented in accordance with the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) and would necessitate an additional public input process.

    You may be wondering - with similar issues in Eagles Nest Wilderness - when will planning begin here? Hopefully as we and other agencies move forward in setting management direction for some of Colorado's "hot spots", the path for sustainable long term management scenarios will become more common and supported by local communities, visitors, stakeholders, and other interested parties. The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Draft Environmental Assessment and updated Draft Overnight VUM Plan are scheduled to be released later this month. Another round of public comments will follow. More details are at the project website (link).
    About Kay Hopkins: Kay Hopkins has been the Outdoor Recreation Planner for the White River National Forest since 2008 and is based in Glenwood Springs, Co. Prior to working for the USFS she worked as a recreation planner for 16 years for BLM in Colorado, ran a bike shop in Grand Junction and worked for both Colorado and California State Parks. Her degree is a BS - Parks and Recreation Resource Management. She lives on a small ranch with her husband Brian and her 4 mules north of New Castle. Kay's passions include horse and mule riding and packing, fly-fishing, boating, hiking, biking, snowboarding, painting, welding and gardening.

    Our Secretary-Treasurer, George Resseguie, is stepping down after a decade of exemplary service. HELP US FIND A REPLACEMENT! Send us your suggestions (link).

    Make a donation
    to FENW

    Make a difference!

    2016 Trail projects:
    We spent two long weekends - one at Upper Cataract Lake, and one on Slate Creek - improving trails and campsites. We obliterated a total of 54 illegal rock-ringed campfire pits at lakes.
    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18, July 9
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    Recent Newsletters
  • February: "A Cry From The Wilderness" by Bill Reed
  • January: "Public Lands at Risk" by David Lien
  • December: "My life as a Wilderness Manager" by Cindy Ebbert
  • November: "Saving Native Cutthroat Trout" by Matt Grove
  • October: "Loved to Death" by Jackie Fortier
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
  • August: "Save the Colorado River" by John Fielder
  • July: 150th anniversary by Bayard Taylor
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
    Join us! for our next Planning Meeting
    Thursday, February 23, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
     
    CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    WE* have identified you as someone who will value our news updates. But if you do not wish to receive further emails from us, just click unsubscribe. *The FENW Board: Currie Craven (Pres), George Resseguie (Treas/Secy), Bill Reed, Bill Betz, Ken Harper, Cyndi Koop, Mike Mayrer, Frank Gutmann, Tim Drescher.
    March 2017

  • 6 FENW Newsletter

    EAGLE POST 12
    1 April 2017: EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our topic this month: Future of Eagles Nest

    Introduction: This is the not-quite-final panel in the tryptich about the White River Forest Service's management plan for high use Wilderness areas. In the first installment, in February, Bill Reed described the despair that many campers feel when encountering over-used Wilderness campsites. Then, in March, Kay Hopkins' outlined the carefully crafted "adaptive" plan to limit traffic by requiring overnight permits in Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. This month (April) was to be the third installment, an introduction to the plan for managing Eagles Nest Wilderness (ENW). The ENW plan, however, is not quite ready for prime time, so please stay tuned... In the meantime, our reporter from Phaque News has gleaned some interesting information via illegal leaks and other clandestine activities, appropriate for this special day.

    THE FUTURE OF EAGLES NEST
    -by April Phule

    SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, May 20 is the first celebration of Colorado Public Lands Day. Colorado is the first state in the nation to pass a bill of this type, bringing attention to the myriad opportunities about public lands. The auction will begin at 10 AM. "Everything will be on the block," said guest auctioneer Jason Shovits. "While land currenlty referred to as 'National Park' contains parcels that are especially coveted by bidders," Shovits explained, "purchasers of the less-desirable BLM lands will be reimbursed for half their purchase price." Door prizes include Lily Pad Lake and Missouri Lakes.

    GROWING POWELL: Work on the new gravel pits slated for the Lower Blue River Valley will begin in the summer of 2017 at Slate Creek. However, the quarries will have a relatively short lifetime, says Chief Engineer Sunit Skye. "We are partnering with Summit County Landfill," explained Skye, "who will be moving their operation down the Blue, and we'll have those gravel pits filled before too long." Sunit will be seeking assistance from volunteers to move the mined gravels. "If we can add 414 feet to the top of Mt. Powell, then Eagles Nest will have its first fourteener. That should attract thousands of new hikers," he enthused.

    FACTORY OUTLET stores will be expanding to each of the eighteen trail heads that are entry points for Eagles Nest and Holy Cross Wilderness Areas. Says Silverthorne Town Council member Marge Lounge, "No worries anymore if you forget your socks, Jura Impressa, or Chateau Margaux '82 as you prepare for your Wilderness experience. Just pick them up at the trail head." She further noted, "The new Walmart will sell a 'Wilderness Experience Kit' with earphones and a VR headset," she said. "Guests can then pause briefly at the lounge in the store, before getting on with their shopping."

    BOOTH CREEK TRAIL will be getting some needed attention. Ranger Mikela Playa said in a statement, "After years of overuse, neglect, and despoilment, the Booth Creek Trail finally will be paved." However, it was learned that plans are delayed due to protests by "a few disgruntled Gen-Xers" in Ranger Playa's words, who insist that heating coils be installed in the pavement.

    WALL: The Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness adaptive management plan will be extended to Eagles Nest, with one addition. USFS engineer Andy Jakkson said, "My great-grandaddy knew something about getting rid of people he don't like, and we'll do the same to hikers. We will build a wall around Eagles Nest." He later added, "And we'll make them pay the construction costs."

    BIKING: Garden lights will be installed along the length of the Gore Range Trail. "They will make is easer for bicyclists to gain access to pristine locations after dark," explained Forest Service Manager E. Bert Sindee.

    WATER: The Denver Water Board is planning to revisit its original plan to channel water from all the streams in Eagles Nest to Dillon Resevoir. Says planner Jeremy Blokhead, "As a compromise, we plan a water feature with tubing down the gentle canals that will drain both sides of the Wilderness."

    DOGS OFF LEASH: Fran Goodfellow is leading a campaign that proposes to detect dogs off leash with smart drones. "The drones will deal with each situation immediately, with, um, 'extreme prejudice'," says Goodfellow.

    About April Phule: April is a freelance journalist whose professional techniques are inspiring today's new troupe of newsgatherers. To the recent question on the cover of Time magazine ("Is Truth Dead?"), April gives a resounding and cheerul "Yes - no, I really mean it - Yes!."





    Our Secretary-Treasurer, George Resseguie, is stepping down after a decade of exemplary service. HELP US FIND A REPLACEMENT! Send us your suggestions (link).

    Make a donation
    to FENW

    Make a difference!

    2016 Trail projects:
    We spent two weekends at alpine lakes and obliterated 54 illegal campfire rings. Join our crews in 2017! Details
    Our Volunteer Wilderness Rangers
    contacted more than 11,000 hikers in 2016? Join us this summer!Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
    contact info@fenw.org
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    Recent Newsletters
  • March: "Managing High Use Areas in Wilderness" by Kay Hopkins
  • February: "A Cry From The Wilderness" by Bill Reed
  • January: "Public Lands at Risk" by David Lien
  • December: "My life as a Wilderness Manager" by Cindy Ebbert
  • November: "Saving Native Cutthroat Trout" by Matt Grove
  • October: "Loved to Death" by Jackie Fortier
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
    Join us! for our next Planning Meeting
    Thursday, Apil 27, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
    CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!



  • 6 FENW Newsletter

    EAGLE POST 11
    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings! Our topic this month
    :
    A CRY FROM THE WILDERNESS
    Introduction: Bill Reed founded FENW's backcountry crew, who, on overnight trips, clean up and restore trails and campsites deep inside Eagles Nest Wilderness (link). Last summer, while ten miles deep into the Wilderness, Bill took stock, and his conclusion wasn't pretty. A new strategic vision emerged, which he outlines below. It involves giving the Wilderness lakes a rest. He speaks for everyone on the FENW board.

    Bill's vision is shared elsewhere. Last November, our neighbors at Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness released a draft plan to limit backcountry traffic there (pdf 13MB). That plan's co-author, Kay Hopkins*, will explain their proposal in next month's (March) FENW newsletter.

    Naturally, one wonders what is in store for us here in Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas. That, too, is being addressed: our local Wilderness Manager Cindy Ebbert and her colleagues will describe their plans for us in April's FENW newsletter. So this month begins a trilogy of essays about limiting access to Wilderness lake campsites.
    *Kay Hopkins, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Forest Supervisors Office, White River National Forest. Phone: 970-945-3265. Email: kchopkins@fs.fed.us
    A Cry From the Wilderness
    By Bill Reed

    For the past several years our FENW trail crews have focused much of their effort on removing illegal campsites from our wilderness lakes. Hundreds of fire rings have been removed. Trash has been packed out. Countless rocks, heaps of ash and partially burned logs have been scattered in undergrowth. From the Wheeler Lakes north to the Slate Lakes with many stops in between, hundreds of FENW volunteer hours and several thousand member dollars have been expended.

    The intent of all this effort has been to restore a semblance of natural, wilderness character around our lakes. By removing illegal campsites we hope to remove the invitation that an existing ring extends to build another illegal fire... and, perhaps, to help alleviate some of the camping pressure in these delicate areas. There is good reason to believe that we do at least slow down the proliferation of illegal campsites. When we remove twenty sites it might take a few years for five or ten to re-appear - but re-appear they do. And, try as we might, we aren't able to restore denuded vegetation or the thick duff and thin topsoil on which ground covers depend. We slow down the damage. We don't stop or reverse it.

    My personal epiphany in this matter occurred this past summer at Slate Lake. Though we removed the campfire rings and the worst of the trash we found there, we left behind wide swaths of bare mineral soil contaminated with ash, partially buried toilet paper and countless bits of micro-trash. The limited area amenable for camping adjacent to Slate Lake was trashed when we found it last summer and remained so after we left.

    Something has to change. Otherwise we are fighting a losing battle against loss of the wilderness character of the lakes in Eagles Nest Wilderness and against continued real environmental damage to them. Our beautiful alpine lakes are, understandably, visitor magnets that concentrate camping pressure in their very limited spaces. Campfire rings are a symptom of this but their removal alone does not halt, much less reverse the consequences of the concentrated usage.

    The answer I believe is to institute active management of the resource. We should emulate the system long established for backcountry camping in our national parks - designating disbursed campsites and managing access to them with a reservation system. It works well in the national parks. It works well in other Wilderness Areas. It would work in the Eagles Nest. And by stopping the damage sooner rather than later, FENW could then focus its stewardship efforts on repairing trails, restoration of damaged sites and sustaining the wilderness character that we treasure.

    Instituting such a system in the Eagles Nest would be a major challenge for FENW and the Forest Service. It will take several years of data gathering, public education, planning and implementation to pull it off. FENW volunteer efforts - rangers and trail crews - would be essential in all the phases of such an undertaking. We can do it though. Let's get started.


    About Bill Reed: Bill Reed has served on the FENW board since 2009 and has run the volunteer trail maintenance program since then. Starting out doing campsite inventories, he was a member of the original class of FENW volunteer rangers and continues as a ranger today. During his tenure with the board Bill introduced and expanded the pack-in trail maintenance program and what has become the annual joint trail-head hosting day with FDRD. Currently he is developing a program for FENW to partner with such groups as the Wilderness Society and Colorado Outward Bound to conduct FENW-led trail maintenance projects for their members and staff. The first of these projects will occur this year.

    Bill and spouse Suzanne landed in Silverthorne in 2004 after his twenty-five year career in management positions with various technology companies. When he is not rangering or removing campfire rings, Bill spends his time as CEO of the Ceres Group.


    Make a donation
    to FENW

    Make a difference!

    2016 Trail projects:
    We spent two long weekends - one at Upper Cataract Lake, and one on Slate Creek - improving trails and campsites. We obliterated a total of 54 illegal rock-ringed campfire pits at lakes.
    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18, July 9
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    Recent Newsletters
  • January: "Public Lands at Risk" by David Lien
  • December: "My life as a Wilderness Manager" by Cindy Ebbert
  • November: "Saving Native Cutthroat Trout" by Matt Grove
  • October: "Loved to Death" by Jackie Fortier
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
  • August: "Save the Colorado River" by John Fielder
  • July: 150th anniversary by Bayard Taylor
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
    Join us! for our next Planning Meeting
    Thursday, February 23, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
     
    CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!

  • 6 FENW Newsletter

    EAGLE POST 10
    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our topic this month: PUBLIC LANDS AT RISK

    Introduction: A bill now before Congress seeks to transfer millions of acres of National Forest to the states, a pit-stop on the road to privatization (link).

    "Every American citizen is an equal owner of our public lands. Yet that birthright, so unique to our country, is being threatened by misguided individuals and legislative attacks from fringe interests that seek to seize, transfer or dispose of our federal public lands by promoting state ownership or, worse, selling our children's inheritance to the highest bidder for private financial gain."

    That statement is from the website of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), a volunteer organization leading the effort to stop the transfer of public lands. They are dedicated to the highest principles of sportsmanship, including "Fair Chase" (e.g., muscle-powered access, no drones), wildlife habitat preservation, and land and water access protection for the public.

    We are fortunate to have David Lien, Chair of the Colorado BHA, explain more about the unsettled - and (surprisingly) somewhat hopeful - political landscape underlying the current situation.
    Public Lands At Risk
    By David Lien

    Federal public lands - owned equally by all Americans - constitute about 28 percent, or approximately 650 million acres, of our nation's landmass.1 These public lands are part of what historian Frederick Turner called the "greatest gift ever bestowed on mankind."2 Without this vast public estate, hunting, fishing, hiking and camping would, at best, be reduced to commercial transactions, restricted only to those who can afford them.

    Although it's easy to take our nation's great public lands legacy for granted, and hard to imagine it could be in jeopardy, public lands conservation has become an increasingly partisan issue during recent years. Regrettably, in July 2016 the platform panel of the Republican National Committee (RNC) endorsed an amendment promoting the transfer of public lands to individual states.3

    While many sportsmen, myself included, wear the badge of Theodore Roosevelt Republicanism with honor and pride, the state of the current party - seemingly hijacked by radical elements - represents a very different set of values. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) has consistently criticized efforts by members of Congress to sell or transfer public lands and is calling for the new administration to squelch these efforts.4

    It's also important to remember that the RNC's position is a dramatic departure from long-held traditions of the Republican Party which, more than a century ago, led the creation of the U.S. public lands system and a conservation paradigm that has managed land and wildlife resources since the early 1900s.5 In addition, numerous past presidents, from both parties, have been stalwart advocates of wildlands, wildlife and public lands.

    They knew instinctively, as Gifford Pinchot (America's first Chief Forester, appointed by Teddy Roosevelt) said: "It's a greater thing to be a good citizen than to be a good Republican or a good Democrat." And in the wake of a presidential election characterized by unsettling conflict and vitriol, BHA President/CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement, saying (in part):6

    "BHA stands for the public lands sportsman, for conservation of important lands and waters, for continued public access to our most valuable of resources. These values are not owned by any party, and they have historically been championed by leaders on both sides of the political aisle. Following an unprecedentedly contentious presidential election and many hard-fought congressional races... We are encouraged that president-elect Trump, along with some courageous House and Senate Republicans, have broken from their party on this issue."7

    One of these rogue Republicans is U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (MT), who president-elect Trump has chosen to be his Interior Secretary. Zinke, a lifelong hunter and fisherman, calls himself a "Theodore Roosevelt Republican" who cares about conservation while also championing developing natural resources.8 Last summer, he quit his post as a member of the GOP platform-writing committee after the group included language that would have transferred federal land ownership to the states.9

    Steven Rinella (author, hunter and host of the Sportsman Channel's Meateater) called the idea of land transfers "downright stupid." "Forfeiture of our federal public lands is another one of those ideas put forth by reckless politicians looking to make a short-term splash without any serious thought to the consequences of their actions," Rinella said. "This will lead to more gates, more industrial disturbance, and less wildlife."10

    Unfortunately, we have an uphill climb to convince many legislators. As explained by Randy Newberg, host of Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg (on the Sportsman Channel): "Every bill in every state legislature, every bill in congress that has been floated around, that has been introduced to try to screw you out of your public lands, has an R beside it."11

    Because the very future of public lands hunting and angling is at stake, sports-men and -women are following the lead of hunter-conservationists like Land, Steven and Randy. And we recognize the pressing need for more selfless people and politicians who can put aside partisan politics to focus on "the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time," as Gifford Pinchot said.

    Sports-men and -women, and all Americans, have a special stake in this fight, because America is one of a handful of developed western democracies where hunting and fishing are broadly accessible regardless of income. We've been granted a precious legacy of access to public lands and waters. It would be criminal to leave future generations of Americans anything less.12

    For additional information see these two organizations: BHA - "Our Public Lands: Not For Sale" (link) and Sportsmen's Access (link).
    About David Lien: David Lien is a former Air Force officer and current chairman of the Colorado BHA. In 2014 he was recognized as a Hero of Conservation by Field & Stream magazine.13

    David grew up in a smalll town in northern Minnesota. He began fishing at 4 and hunting at 11, bringing down a deer at 12 with his grandfather's rifle (he is a life member of the MN Deer Hunters Association). He graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a political science BA and second lieutenant bars.

    A world-class mountaineer, David has summited six of the Seven Summits (the highest points on each continent), and climbed above 25,000 feet on the north (Tibetan) side of Mt. Everest.

    David has been a resident of Colorado for the past few decades. A celebrated writer who contributes often to a wide variety of national and Colorado publications, he has chronicled some of his adventures in the following books:
  • 4/44/14 I (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners): First Fourteeners (Outskirts Press, 2010) link
  • 4/44/14 II (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners, II): (Nemesis, 2011) link
  • Age-Old Quests II: Hunting, Climbing & Trekking (Outskirtspress, 2014) link
  • Hunting for Experience II: Tales of Hunting & Habitat Conservation (Outskirtpress, 2015) link

    Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) is built on a foundation laid down by hunter-conservationists like Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold, men who understood that America's outdoor heritage depends upon healthy habitat, and we take the advice of Roosevelt, who said: "Preserve large tracts of wilderness... for the exercise of the skill of the hunter, whether or not he is a man of means."

    REFERENCES
    1. Rachel Carley. Wilderness A to Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001, p. 254.
    2. Michael P. Dombeck, Christopher A. Wood, Jack E. Williams. From Conquest To Conservation: Our Public Lands Legacy. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2003, p. 5.
    3. Katie McKalip, BHA communications director. "Post-election, Congress wants to give away American lands." Hatch Magazine: 11/22/16.
    4. Katie McKalip, BHA communications director. "Post-election, Congress wants to give away American lands." Hatch Magazine: 11/22/16.
    5. Katie McKalip, BHA communications director. "Post-election, Congress wants to give away American lands." Hatch Magazine: 11/22/16.
    6. Katie McKalip, BHA communications director. "Backcountry Hunters & Anglers' Statement on the U.S. Election Results." Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA): 11/9/16.
    7. Katie McKalip, BHA communications director. "Post-election, Congress wants to give away American lands." Hatch Magazine: 11/22/16.
    8. Ben Long, BHA board co-chair. "Ryan Zinke Named Secretary of the Interior." Outdoor Life: 12/15/16.
    9. Juliet Eilperin. "Trump taps Montana congressman Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary." The Washington Post: 12/13/16.
    10. Paul A. Smith. "Public lands too valuable to sell." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 9/21/16.
    11. David Smith. "Who's Stealing Your Public Lands?" WideOpenSpaces.com: 9/7/16.
    12. Paul A. Smith. "Public lands too valuable to sell." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 9/21/16.
    13. Click HERE for additional information ("David A. Lien Recognized by Field & Stream as 'Hero of Conservation.'" AmmoLand.com: 7/2/14.)
  • Make a donation
    to FENW

    Make a difference!

    2016 Trail projects:
    We spent two long weekends - one at Upper Cataract Lake, and one on Slate Creek - improving trails and campsites. We obliterated a total of 54 illegal rock-ringed campfire pits at lakes.
    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18, July 9
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    2016 Newsletters
  • December: "My life as a Wilderness Manager" by Cindy Ebbert
  • November: "Saving Native Cutthroat Trout" by Matt Grove
  • October: "Loved to Death" by Jackie Fortier
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
  • August: "Save the Colorado River" by John Fielder
  • July: 150th anniversary by Bayard Taylor
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
  • May: "Bikes in Wilderness" by Tim Drescher
  • April: "After Malheur" by Currie Craven
    Join us! for our next Planning Meeting
    Thursday, January 26, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
     
    CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    WE* have identified you as someone who will value our news updates. But if you do not wish to receive further emails from us, just click unsubscribe. *The FENW Board: Currie Craven (Pres), George Resseguie (Treas/Secy), Bill Reed, Bill Betz, Ken Harper, Cyndi Koop, Mike Mayrer, Frank Gutmann, Tim Drescher.
    January 2017

  • 6 FENW Newsletter

    EAGLE POST 9
    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our topic this month:
    Profile of a WILDERNESS MANAGER

    Introduction: Cindy Ebbert is central to everything that we do at Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness (FENW). Officially the Trails & Wilderness Manager for the Dillon Ranger District of the US Forest Service, she is also the USFS liaison with FENW. Her intimate knowledge of the Wilderness, her wise counsel on thorny governmental issues, and her irrepressible cheerfulness go much further than a mere administrative link. She really loves the wilderness, and below she tells us about the roots of her commitment.
    My journey to Eagles Nest
    Wilderness Manager

    By Cindy Ebbert
          Greetings from the Forest Service! I'm delighted to have this opportunity to be a part of the FENW newsletter this month. I was asked to introduce myself and provide some background about how I came to work for the Forest Service on the Dillon Ranger District.

    I grew up with my family - Mom, Dad, and two older brothers - on the Mojave Desert in Southern California. From a young age, I loved exploring the desert arroyos and visiting the nearby California Poppy Preserve every spring, when the flowers were in full bloom and blanketed the desert in an orange carpet. My father was a test pilot so we would often take in an aerial view of the desert landscape - not in an F-15, but from the seat of a Cessna airplane or engineless glider. Soaring above a landscape without the sound of an engine is an amazing experience.

    The majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range was located a few hours north of home, and my family spent many weekends exploring the eastern side of the Sierra in the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wilderness Areas. My father would often pick a hike that was near a stream, or had a beautiful lake as a destination (pictures below), in order to keep my brothers and me engaged and interested in our surroundings. Well, it worked! From a young age, I was totally enthralled by the high granite peaks and beautiful alpine lakes of these mountains and looked forward to every opportunity to visit them.

    I attended San Diego State University where I received a degree in Outdoor Recreation Management. After college, I worked as a wilderness instructor for Summit Adventure, a small non-profit organization based in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I led people of all ages on backpacking trips that ranged from 5-21 days in the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area. This experience as a young adult truly solidified my love of the outdoors and wild places. It also provided me with the opportunity to learn more about congressionally-designated Wilderness Areas and the stewardship of these special places.

    I made my way to Estes Park, Colorado in 1993 after being offered a position teaching environmental education at the YMCA of the Rockies. My classroom was 860 acres of forested YMCA property that was bordered on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park. I led school groups from the Front Range on educational hikes that explored the ecology of the area with topics that included wildlife, plants, wetland habitat, geology, and forest habitat.

    In 1999, I was offered a position with the Forest Service on the Dillon Ranger District as a Seasonal Wilderness Ranger. This was an amazing job! I hiked in the backcountry of the Eagles Nest and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas with job duties that included trail maintenance, campsite clean-up, and visitor education about Leave No Trace ethics. It was a physically-demanding yet rewarding job as it allowed me to explore some of the more remote and pristine drainages of the Gore Range. Because this was only a summer position, I worked at Copper Mountain Resort during the winters as a ski patroller. I worked this combination of two jobs until 2007 when I was offered the full time position of Trails & Wilderness Manager for the Dillon Ranger District, a job I currently hold. This position has allowed me to grow professionally as it has expanded my job duties beyond the management of the Wilderness Areas to include motorized recreation and the trail system on national forest lands throughout Summit County.

    This summer was a success for our Wilderness Program! We hired two additional Forest Service Wilderness Rangers (Kate DeMorest and Kait Lemon) and two Student Conservation Association interns (Greg Hughes and Mary Kelley) for a total of four people committed to on-the-ground wilderness management. This might not seem like very many rangers, but it was the most seasonal wilderness staff that we've had since 2001. As a result, they were able literally to cover a lot of ground this summer, focusing on clearing trails, talking with visitors, and backpacking to remote lakes for campsite clean-up. Altogether, they hiked 250 miles, cleared 320 trees, naturalized 134 campfire rings, and talked to 1,500 visitors.

    Another amazing contribution to the wilderness program this summer was the continued commitment of the FENW Volunteer Wilderness Rangers. These volunteers are truly "the friendly face of the Forest Service" as they hike the trails and talk to forest visitors - more than 11,000 in 2016. I would also like to thank the volunteer trail crews led by Bill Reed who were out this summer doing trail maintenance and campsite clean-up (more than 50 campfire rings). We truly appreciate all that FENW has done over the years as stewards of the Eagles Nest and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas....a heartfelt THANK YOU from the Dillon Ranger District staff!

    Working and living in Summit County for twenty years has been a great privilege due to the outstanding natural beauty and the wonderful community of people who live here. My husband, Dave, and I love getting outside to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and sailing. One of our traditions is a yearly backpacking trip into the Eagles Nest Wilderness to explore the off-the-beaten path areas of the pristine drainages. We are always amazed by the beauty that is so readily accessible yet affords such a deep sense of solitude not far from home.

    Make a donation

    Make a difference!

    2016 Trail projects:
    We spent two long weekends - one at Upper Cataract Lake, and one on Slate Creek - improving trails and campsites. We obliterated a total of 54 illegal rock-ringed campfire pits at lakes.
    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18, July 9
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    2016 Newsletters
  • November: "Saving Native Cutthroat Trout" by Matt Grove
  • October: "Loved to Death" by Jackie Fortier
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
  • August: "Save the Colorado River" by John Fielder
  • July: 150th anniversary by Bayard Taylor
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
  • May: "Bikes in Wilderness" by Tim Drescher
  • April: "After Malheur" by Currie Craven
    Upcoming events
    Join us! for our next
    MONTHLY MEETING
    Tuesday, December 6, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
    Visit the FENW website for in-depth information at www.fenw.org/

     

  • CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    WE* have identified you as someone who will value our news updates. But if you do not wish to receive further emails from us, just click unsubscribe. *The FENW Board: Currie Craven (Pres), George Resseguie (Treas/Secy), Bill Reed, Bill Betz, Ken Harper, Cyndi Koop, Mike Mayrer, Frank Gutmann, Tim Drescher.

    6 FENW Newsletter

    EAGLE POST 8
    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness (fenw.org), apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our topic this month: Saving native cutthroat trout
    in Eagles Nest Wilderness

    Introduction: The Forest Service has begun an exciting new research project in Eagles Nest Wilderness. They will inventory the dwindling native cutthroat trout population (it's found in less than two percent of its historic range) in every stream and lake using new, cutting-edge DNA technology, like that used on the famous TV program, CSI. The aim of the project is to discover and document new populations of genetically-pure, native cutthroat trout, with a long term goal of restoring their numbers and range.

    Background: Originally, the only trout in Western rivers was the cutthroat, descended from ancient Pacific species (how they crossed the Continental Divide is anybody's guess). Then, in the 1860s, began the relentless introduction of non-native species (e.g., rainbow, brook, brown...), for anglers' sporting pleasure, marking the beginning of the near-end for the native cutthroat. In fact, cutthroats were reckoned to be extinct in 1937, thankfully incorrectly. Recovery efforts began in the 1950s, and the species moved from endangered to threatened status, although today non-native trout, overfishing, and habitat loss continue to hamper cutthroat recovery efforts.
          Unfortunately, it gets worse. A new challenge - global warming - has emerged. Why? Well, the final refuge for cutthroats is found in the highest mountain lakes and streams, because the non-natives don't like the cold waters there. But with global warming, the invaders are moving upstream and hybridizing with the native cutthroats. Whether you find that acceptable or not, the hybrids are turning out to be less fit than their parents, thereby threatening the entire future trout population! (see NPR article)
          Monitoring cutthroat populations has traditionally relied on visual observations made directly in the field, which are subject to myriad uncertainties. However, in just the last few years, measurements have been put on more scientific ground with the development of environmental DNA, or eDNA, analysis, which brings the wonders of molecular biology into the wonders of the Wilderness. Analysis of eDNA has been successful in detecting a huge range of plants and animals, both extinct and alive, on land and sea, without having to see them at all in the wild.
          It turns out that Eagles Nest Wilderness, especially on Meadow Creek, is a key eDNA study site. Read below how USFS Fish Biologist Matt Grove is using eDNA to assess cutthroat populations on every stream and lake in Eagles Nest Wilderness.
    Saving the cutthroat trout with eDNA
    By Matt Grove
          All animals shed their own DNA into the environment as they lose hair, skin, scales... whatever. This makes it possible for fish DNA to be retrieved from any aquatic environment. Working on a project funded by the Fisheries Program of the Holy Cross Ranger District, I collect these pieces of environmental DNA (eDNA) by pumping ten liters of stream water through a fine filter, then saving the filter with its trapped contents. Back in the office, I freeze the filters, which are later delivered to the lab. The eDNA is then identified using a technique known as PCR, which relies on short stretches of DNA sequences that are unique to each species of trout (more about PCR HERE). With PCR, we can distinguish which trout species are present in the stream based on the presence of the individual species' markers. This technology can be used to discover "lost" populations of cutthroat trout and to identify expanded ranges of existing populations. Because eDNA degrades as it moves downstream, I collect samples periodically along the stream. So far, I've sampled 13 of 31 target streams in Eagles Nest Wilderness.
          Why is Eagles Nest Wilderness a preferred study site? It's because of the extensive historic database of trout presence, especially on East Meadow Creek, which allows us to compare results using the new eDNA technology with decades of field observations. So far, we find pretty good agreement between the historic and the eDNA data, and we have also determined that eDNA travels intact for about one-half mile in the streams (which determines how often I take samples).
          A recently completed status assessment in the White River National Forest suggests that cutthroats occupy only 14% of their former range. Most of these cutthroats, however, are hybrids with non-natives; genetically pure native cutthroats are found in only one percent of their former range. These are the most remote headwater streams and lakes, isolated from lower reaches by impassable barriers to upstream fish movement. This isolation, though protective in the short term, decreases the probability that native cutthroat populations will persist over longer time periods.
          Results of our inventory so far are preliminary, but encouraging. We documented cutthroat trout in three new streams of the 13 that we have sampled in Eagles Nest Wilderness. Naturally, we are hopeful that more populations will be identified in the remaining 18 streams to be sampled.
          How will these results be used? They will be a big help guiding our management decisions over the next decade, and beyond. We hope to create a new system of classification of watersheds, one that relies on genetic lineage of the native fish that reside in them. This will guide us to watersheds and even to individual streams that have the potential for native cutthroat restoration, not just in Eagles Nest Wilderness, but across the entire Upper Colorado River Headwaters.

    About Matt Grove : In 1998, after being awarded a BS in Zoology from Southern Illinois University, Matt joined the National Park Service, where he worked for seven years on a variety of biological monitoring projects. In 2006, he moved to a new position - lead fisheries technician - with the Eagle/Holy Cross USFS Ranger District. Since then, he has been promoted to Fisheries Biologist. His full title is East Zone Fish Biologist, Eagle/Holy Cross and Dillon Ranger Districts, White River National Forest.
          Does Matt enjoy fishing for cutthroats in his spare time? "I pretty much only fish at work with electrofishers.... Other than that I only fish in Florida when I am visiting my family. However, I do enjoy floating down a river and sipping on a cold beer," he says.
    Make a donation

    Make a difference!

    2016 Trail projects:
    We spent two long weekends - one at Upper Cataract Lake, and one on Slate Creek - improving trails and campsites. We obliterated a total of 54 illegal rock-ringed campfire pits at lakes.
    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18, July 9
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    2016 Newsletters
  • October: "Loved to Death" by Jackie Fortier
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
  • August: "Save the Colorado River" by John Fielder
  • July: 150th anniversary by Bayard Taylor
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
  • May: "Bikes in Wilderness" by Tim Drescher
  • April: "After Malheur" by Currie Craven
    Upcoming events
    Join us! for our next
    MONTHLY MEETING
    November date TBD, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
    Visit the FENW website for in-depth information at www.fenw.org/

     

  • CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    WE* have identified you as someone who will value our news updates. But if you do not wish to receive further emails from us, just click unsubscribe. *The FENW Board: Currie Craven (Pres), George Resseguie (Treas/Secy), Bill Reed, Bill Betz, Ken Harper, Cyndi Koop, Mike Mayrer, Frank Gutmann, Tim Drescher.

    6 FENW Newsletter

    EAGLE POST 7
    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness (fenw.org), apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our topic this month: LOVED TO DEATH

    Introduction: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." Yogi Berra wasn't referring to popular hiking destinations in the White River National Forest, but the quote is appropriate today. While Hanging Lake and Conundrum Hot Springs are not in designated Wilderness Areas, their growing traffic (~1000 visitors per day!) does seem to portend a similar future for parts of Eagles Nest Wilderness. In fact, even deep inside our Wilderness, a recent FENW trail crew found lakes surrounded with illegal campfire rings, human-browsed trees, bare packed dirt at tent sites, braided trails around the lakes, and woods dotted with white T.P. leavings. What to do? Send us your thoughts - info@fenw.org and we'll post them on the FENW website.

    The essay below, by Jackie Fortier (reporter for Public Radio station KUNC - 90.7 MHz in Dillon), is part of a five part series, "How Colorado's outdoors are being loved to death," created by Jackie and her colleagues at KUNC (see the complete project HERE). Jackie's article concerns Hanging Lake, just outside Glenwood Srpings. After reading it, send us your thoughts and we'll post them on the FENW website - info@fenw.org.

    Is Social Media Spoiling Colorado's Hanging Lake?
    By Jackie Fortier, printed with the permission of KUNC
    KUNC Growth & Economic Issues Reporter
    All Things Considered

    Clear mountain water cascades into a greenish blue lake, with pines dangling over the edge. Even for Colorado, it's unique. Hanging Lake is described as a jewel in the White River National Forest. For many years, it was an unspoken secret that only Coloradans knew.

    But there's a problem. The secret is out.

    In the past eight years, visitation to the site just off Interstate 70 west of the Continental Divide has tripled. In 2015 more than 130,000 people visited Hanging Lake. The 2016 hiking season is on track to beat it.

    Social media is exacerbating that trend - not just at Hanging Lake but at other sites around Colorado. Pictures and articles go viral and become synonymous with a particular place - making more and more people want to replicate it.

    A search of Instagram yields 44,000 pictures with #hanginglake. Sometimes that quintessential shot breaks the rules and leads to the eventual destruction of the area, a fate officials hope to avoid at Hanging Lake.

    "Its not going to last much longer, if people keep walking on it," said Aaron Mayville, acting ranger at the White River National Forest. People walk right past the sign saying "Please Keep Off The Log" to stand on the downed tree that juts across the water. It's become for many a must-have social media picture.

    It wasn't as much of a problem when it was just a few errant visitors. But the popularity of places like Hanging Lake in part driven by their fame on social media is degrading the rare travertine rock, the water quality and the infamous log.

    "With that number of people, you increase the number of people breaking the rules like jumping in the lake, walking out on log - even though it's not allowed, it's really popular," Mayville said.

    Hanging Lake is an economic driver for nearby Glenwood Springs and Garfield County, making protecting it, while keeping it accessible a delicate balancing act.

    "No one wants to close Hanging Lake," Mayville said. "We're putting together a long term management plan so we can manage visitation more effectively. In the interim, we are trying to educate people about better times than others to visit [Hanging Lake] and have them be responsible visitors."

    But why take and share the same photo as everyone else?

    "We need the public to start thinking about putting the collective experience first."
    "Places are symbolic and they have symbolic value and there are culturally shared meanings of particular places," said Germaine Halegoua, assistant professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas.

    "Visiting these places have some sort of value within social networks," she added. "Although it's the same picture, it doesn't hold the same type of value and meaning for everyone... it might be that a travel blog said, 'that's the place to go' that year, or your best friend went and you want to share that experience with her, or an image has become iconic and has come to stand in for Colorado."

    How we share these images has evolved. Instead of slide shows in a room of friends or photo albums, social media presents us with potentially tens of thousands of people - most of them complete strangers - who can access and replicate personal images. That in turn makes places like Hanging Lake too popular for their own good.

    It's so crowded at the lake that fist fights break out in the parking lot when frustrated drivers find it full, Mayville said. People park illegally and sometimes even back up onto I-70, causing traffic and safety problems.

    "We need the public to start thinking about putting the collective experience first. There is value in unplugging on the forest, but there is also value in snapping a beautiful photo memory and sharing it on your news feed. It's really fun," said Kate Jerman, social media coordinator for the forest.

    "The White River National Forest isn't here to say how people should or shouldn't experience the outdoors," she said.

    But not everyone is indifferent to the destruction caused. According to Jerman, they've seen social media users call law enforcement and object online by shaming rule breakers and their pictures.

    In 2017 forest officials will use social media to ask people what they think should be done about the overcrowding problem at Hanging Lake. Ideas include a shuttle from Glenwood Springs, about 10 miles away to control crowds. Tickets may also be required.

    The Forest Service hopes that the public will understand the need to restrict access for the good of the ecosystem - even though it may make those photos even more desirable when they are harder to get.

    About Jackie Fortier: One of my earliest memories is listening to Car Talk and eating a cinnamon roll at the breakfast table. I grew up with my ears full of NPR, but it wasn't until I reached high school and started paying attention to the media landscape that I realized how unique it is.

    I graduated from Windsor High School and earned my bachelor's degree at Colorado State University in English. I decided to pursue a career at NPR and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Master of Arts in journalism. I am very excited to be a part of such a well respected and award winning station.
    Make a donation

    Make a difference!

    2016 Trail projects:
    We spent two long weekends - one at Upper Cataract Lake, and one on Slate Creek - improving trails and campsites. We obliterated a total of 54 illegal campfire rings at lakes. The final project (Eaglesmere Lake) is scheduled for later in October.
    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18, July 9
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District(FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    2016 Newsletters
  • September: "Toward a Natural Forest" by Jim Furnish
  • August: "Save the Colorado River" by John Fielder
  • July: 150th anniversary by Bayard Taylor
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
  • May: "Bikes in Wilderness" by Tim Drescher
  • April: "After Malheur" by Currie Craven
    Upcoming events
    Join us! for our next
    MONTHLY MEETING
    Thu October 27, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/
    Visit the FENW website for in-depth information at www.fenw.org/

     

  • CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    WE* have identified you as someone who will value our news updates. But if you do not wish to receive further emails from us, just click unsubscribe. *The FENW Board: Currie Craven (Pres), George Resseguie (Treas/Secy), Bill Reed, Bill Betz, Ken Harper, Cyndi Koop, Mike Mayrer, Frank Gutmann, Tim Drescher.

    6 FENW Newsletter


    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness (fenw.org), apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings! Our topic this month:
    TOWARD A NATURAL FOREST

    Friday, September 16, 6-8 PM
    Silverthorne Library MAP

    JIM FURNISH, former US Forest Service Deputy Chief
    Introduction: In today's sharply divided political world, Jim Furnish must be feeling "deja vu all over again," because more than twenty years ago, he lived - and ultimately solved - an analogous debate between loggers and environmentalists in the U.S. Forest Service. It was the spotted owl controversy that forever changed the direction of the agency. Jim discovered that the key to achieving a civil, and ultimately productive, dialog between tree cutters and tree huggers was to be found in a particular native species... read about it in his essay below, and in his acclaimed book, Toward a Natural Forest.

    Join us Friday, September 16 at 6PM at the Silverthorne Library (MAP) to learn the inside story of Jim's personal journey as he reshaped the U.S. Forest Service.

    Toward a Natural Forest
    by Jim Furnish

    I chose to spend our 1976 Bicentennial backpacking in the Never Summer Mountains, which form Rocky Mountain National Park's western border. Remnant ice at midsummer on Lake of the Clouds was a reminder of the long winters and brief summers in the high peaks. I approached an ice shelf hugging the western shore, evidence of the lake's cobalt waters slow emergence from a long slumber. A faint tinkling sound caught my ear. At the margin where open water and ice met, waves from a brisk breeze separated long daggers of ice that now danced and bumped in the water.

    Each icicle a chime now, they numbered in the thousands. From the waters emanated a sublime symphony of tinkling bells, delicate and magnificent. Exquisite.

    Winter lost its grip, and the ice did, too, breaking up as it slowly disappeared. But the loss of ice was accompanied by the gain of something beautiful. With nature, this miracle of death and rebirth happens every year, part of nature's cycle, comforting in its regularity. Human endeavors also confront change but are often accompanied with grief and stress, not comfort. So it was with the breakup of the US Forest Service's old order.

    The Forest Service of the 1950s was heavily populated with men of righteous zeal, the kind described by Brokaw in The Greatest Generation. They aimed to log national forests aggressively for a wood-hungry nation. And did so. By the late 1960s, the highly acclaimed Forest Service was engaged in a pitched battle for the soul of public lands and a decades-long, slow-motion collision with a robust and rising environmental movement.

    How has the Forest Service confronted the sobering new reality? I believe the old Forest Service I knew has largely perished, along with many of their cherished traditions, but vestiges remain. My memoir Toward A Natural Forest speaks to the hope that a new Forest Service might awaken to make music with the icy shards of its past.

    The book weaves two intertwined tales. The first involves my beloved Forest Service, which, stewarding a natural world with the best of intentions, managed wildness unto submission and, perhaps, death. The second tale involves my personal transformation as a forester, in my guts and in my blood. I began my career accepting without reservation the prevailing ethics of the Forest Service, then began to question, confront, and change them, and finally arrived at a place where I felt I was unwelcome and had to leave.

    Here's what I hear in the symphony of landscapes that speaks to us all: How do we get what we need from our forests without ruining them? After decades of ambitious logging in these vast, natural forests, there emerged a growing, glaring awareness of heavy environmental costs, and a citizenry clamoring for an agency that cared more about the values of common people than timber industry profits. The clash yielded a dispirited, wounded Forest Service confused about the future. Humpty Dumpty could relate.

    I observed the growing animosity through an internal lens; I was actually one of those guys responsible for all the trouble. My immersion in the roiling waters of conflict left me troubled, colored, and ultimately changed to become, yes, an environmentalist. As supervisor of Siuslaw National Forest on Oregon's coast, I confronted an organization in free-fall with no viable vision. The Forest Service seemed lost, floundering to fashion a future. Remarkably, in the wake of the spotted owl crisis, we turned our focus to improving water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities, rather than simply producing wood products. The environmental community - former foes - enthusiastically supported the changes. The timber industry, whose supply of wood was much reduced, accepted a different and smaller role. For the first time in decades, the timber wars ceased. This was a journey from despair to hope, building a new forestry paradigm based on restoring naturalness to a landscape. I remain hopeful of a different and better future, a future that stewards forests humbly and respectfully to sustain their inherent functionality and worth.

    A key principle in resolving conflict was finding something virtually all parties could agree on. For the Oregon Coast, recovering iconic salmon served this purpose. Importantly, changing forest management practices was essential to improve salmon habitat. We used the salmon issue to mobilize change.

    If my long career taught me one thing it is that Americans love their national forests, but not necessarily the Forest Service. To be trusted, the agency needs to be seen as managing public lands honorably and consistent with their inestimable worth. I remain hopeful of a different and better future, a future that stewards forests humbly and respectfully to sustain their inherent functionality and worth.

    How much are our public forests worth? Far more than money. I contend they are priceless.


    About Jim Furnish:


    In 1965, Jim signed on with the U.S. Forest Service; he was enthusiastic and naive, proud to be part of such a storied and accomplished agency. Nothing could have prepared him for the crisis that would soon rock the agency to its foundation, as a burgeoning environmental movement challenged the Forest Service's legacy and legitimacy, especially in terms of timbering.

    Rising through the USFS ranks, in 1994, as Supervisor of the Siuslaw National Forest, he radically changed course, steering managers, who had been "getting out the cut" for decades (and ringing up substantial income for the Forest Service), but also racking up sizeable environmental deficits. His repurposed staff reduced harvesting levels, closed down logging roads, restored battered riparian habitat and once-fertile estuaries, and protected endangered species, building a management framework whose principal goal was the regeneration of the natural forest.

    Jim's successes did not go unnoticed, and in 1999 he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Forest Service, where he was a principle leader in creating the Roadless Area Conservation Rule (2001).

    Jim retired from the Forest Service after 34 years of service. Currently, he is a consulting forester in the Washington D.C. and author of the acclaimed book, Toward a Natural Forest.
    Donate to FENW

    Make a difference!

    TOWARD A NATURAL FOREST
    JIM FURNISH, former USFS Deputy Chief
    Friday, September 16, 6-8 PM Silverthorne Library MAP

    -- Readings from Jim's book Toward A Natural Forest.
    -- 30 minute documentary: "Seeing the Forest"
    -- Panel discussion: Future of forests on a local level, with Jim, Dan Gibbs (Summit County Commissioner), Josh Kuhn (Conservaton Colorado), and Bill Jackson (USFS District Ranger). Details at Jim's website.
    Jim will also be speaking in Golden, Ft. Collins, Boulder, and Telluride (Schedule).
    FENW Trail projects are complete for 2016. We spent two busy weekends Upper Cataract Lake and at Slate Lakes. We obliterated a total of 54 illegal campfire rings. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District(FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    Newsletters
  • August: "Save the Colorado River" by John Fielder
  • July: 150 years on Ute Pass by Bayard Taylor
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
  • May: "Bikes in Wilderness" by Tim Drescher
  • April: "After Malheur" by Currie Craven
    Upcoming events
    Join us! for our next
    MONTHLY MEETING
    Our annual meeting, combined with the annual Volunteer Ranger Appreciation dinner - an informal get-together at the top of Vail Pass
    Wed September 28, 5:30 PM, Jay's Cabin, up on Vail Pass >> MAP

    Visit the FENW website for in-depth information at www.fenw.org/

     

  • CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    WE* have identified you as someone who will value our news updates. But if you do not wish to receive further emails from us, just click unsubscribe. *The FENW Board: Currie Craven (Pres), George Resseguie (Treas/Secy), Bill Reed, Bill Betz, Ken Harper, Cyndi Koop, Mike Mayrer, Frank Gutmann, Tim Drescher.

    6 FENW Newsletter


    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness (fenw.org), apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our main topic this month:
    SAVE THE COLORADO RIVER!
    Introduction: SavetheColorado.Org started just a few years ago in Ft. Collins, and has mushroomed into an organization with more than 50,000 supporters. It's good that it has grown fast, because its goals are breath-takingly ambitious, and the threats to the river are growing rapidly. Their youthful enthusiasm is evident in the iconic image on their home page (you will never forget it) and in their policy of working "with soul, passion, and fun!"
  • Colorado photographer John Fielder is a member of the board of SaveTheColorado, and offers this essay.
    BTW, every drop of water from Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas flows into the Colorado River.
    Save the Colorado River
    John Fielder

    Save The Colorado's mission is to protect and restore the Colorado River and its tributaries from the source to the sea. Save The Colorado focuses on
  • fighting irresponsible water projects,
  • supporting alternatives to proposed dams and diversions,
  • fighting and adapting to climate change,
  • supporting river and fish species restoration, and
  • removing deadbeat dams. Save
    The Colorado has thousands of supporters throughout the Southwest U.S. from Denver to Los Angeles and beyond.

    The Lower Blue River is Threatened
    In the future Denver Water Board's Moffat Project will remove additional water from Dillon Reservoir via Roberts Tunnel to the Front Range. To insure this DWB secured the cooperation of 18 signatories of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement on September 26, 2013, including Summit and Grand Counties. In addition, more Colorado River water will be diverted from the Fraser and Williams Fork Rivers and be piped through the Moffat Tunnel to Boulder's Gross Reservoir. The signatories agreed not to oppose expansion of Gross Reservoir. Outflows from Dillon Reservoir into the Lower Blue will be reduced by 4,836 acre feet or 26% of current flows.

    Not Necessary to Build New Front Range Reservoirs and Expand Existing Ones
    Colorado uses 5 million acre-feet of water annually. Eighty percent of that, or 4 million acre-feet, is used by agriculture. The remaining 1 million acre-feet go to municipal and industrial uses. Colorado's population will increase from 5.4 million today to 10 million by 2050. Municipal and industrial uses, mostly along the Front Range, will require an additional 1 million acre feet of water, or double what they need today.

    One-half of that shortfall will and can be met through water conservation. Colorado communities have a good record of saving when they try, and can do even more. (To wit, half of all summer water use irrigates lawns.) The new Colorado Water Plan proposes that the other half of the shortfall be met by building new reservoirs and filling them with more West Slope Water, as well as water from East Slope rivers such as the Poudre. It is my belief, and that of Save the Colorado, that this is not necessary.

    Water sharing is the solution to providing the additional 500,000 acre-feet needed for the Front Range.
    We can solve the municipal problem by "borrowing" water from farms and ranches via short term leasing of their water rights. A farm or ranch goes fallow one year and back into production the next. Leasing 12 percent of all agricultural water rights will mitigate the shortfall. We would not need to permanently "buy and dry" farms and ranches as has happened all too frequently in the past.

    What You Can Do
    Despite the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, it is not too late to stop the diversion of additional water from Dillon Reservoir and the Lower Blue River. Save The Colorado will lead the way. Please visit the website and study the issue. Support Save The Colorado financially. Attend their presentations and fundraisers.
    About John Fielder: Author of THE best selling book EVER about Colorado - "Colorado: 1870 - 2000," in which he tracked down locations and reshot images more than a century after the originals - John Fielder has been received the Ansel Adams Award (Sierra Club) and the Achievement Award (Aldo Leopold Foundation - the first given to an individual), among many others. More than 30 books about the rolling plains, the soaring Rockies, and the remote redrock river canyons grace his bibliography. A native of North Carolina, John experienced the beauty of Colorado as a child, and knew then that this would be his home.
          Speaking of home, of all the glories of Colorado, for John none exceeds that of Eagles Nest Wilderness; from his home he looks across the Blue River Valley into its very heart. He is a member of and true Friend of Eagles Nest Wilderness.
          John continues to promote his photography at his studio in Denver's Art District (833 Santa Fe Drive). See his offerings at www.johnfielder.com.
          All this is but part of the story, for John is a passionate environmentalist. Recently, he published a splendid book about the Yampa River Valley, which is at risk of serious environmental degradation. Even more recently, his horizons have broadened further, encompassing the entire Colorado River drainage. As a Board Member of Save The Colorado River, he actively promotes their ambitious agenda.
  • Make a donation

    Make a difference!

    FENW and the wilderness we care for lost a good friend a few weeks ago with the passing of Roy Carlson. Roy and his wife Sue were stalwart trail crew volunteers for quite a few years, participating in virtually all of our day-long and pack-in projects. From their mountain home in Blue River they trekked across the county each summer to help build countless water bars and drains, clear illegal campfire rings, and remove fallen trees in the Eagles Nest Wilderness. No matter how hard and dirty the task Roy was ready to pitch in with great energy and, always, good humor. We will miss him.
    2016 Trail projects:
    ONLY ONE CHANCE LEFT
    FOR 2016: August 12-14

    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18, July 9
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • Member Relations - develop and implement communications plans to keep FENW members informed and involved... and maybe have some fun too.
  • Volunteer Recruitment - devise and deliver plans to greatly expand the field volunteer base through publicity, community outreach and partnerships.
  • Public Relations - plan and implement ongoing PR programs to raise the public profile of FENW in the community.
  • Advocacy - preserve and protect our backyard wilderness areas by developing and promoting FENW wilderness public policy positions.
  • Grant Writing - apply for grants to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.

    Details: contact Bill Reed (billr412@icloud.com).
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District(FDRD)
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
    Newsletters
  • April: "After Malheur" by Currie Craven
  • May: "Bikes in Wilderness" by Tim Drescher
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
  • July: 150th anniversary by Bayard Taylor
  • Next month: Profile of Cindy Ebbert, U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Ranger
    Upcoming events
    Join us! for our next
    MONTHLY MEETING
    Thu August 25, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/

  • Thursday, July 28: FENW Monthly planning meeting
  • Fri-Sun, Aug 12-14: Pack-In Trail Project
  • Thursday, Aug 25: FENW Monthly planning meeting
    Visit the FENW website for in-depth information at www.fenw.org/

     

  • CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!
    WE* have identified you as someone who will value our news updates. But if you do not wish to receive further emails from us, just click unsubscribe. *The FENW Board: Currie Craven (Pres), George Resseguie (Treas/Secy), Bill Reed, Bill Betz, Ken Harper, Cyndi Koop, Mike Mayrer, Frank Gutmann, Tim Drescher.

    6 FENW Newsletter


    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our topic this month: Colorado: A Summer Trip
    Saturday, July 2 9AM - The event was POSTPONED due to inclement weather, but the dedicated folks who missed the postponement notice and showed up on Ute Pass reassembled indoors, where a spontaneous ceremony was held - see www.fenw.org/img/fb/160702/ for pictures. Please check the FENW website (www.fenw.org).

    July 2 is the 150th anniversary of the first written description of the magnificent panoramic view of Eagles Nest Wilderness from Ute Pass. Join us at 9AM for a sesquicentennial celebration of wilderness!
    The view from Ute Pass, first described July 2, 1866. Click here for high res image. Photo by Paul Winters.
    INTRODUCTION: It's not often in Summit County that we have an opportunity to celebrate a 150th anniversary, but that's what's going to happen on Ute Pass, Saturday morning, July 2. It will be an exhilarating, inspiring way to start your July Fourth Holiday Weekend. (MAP)
    PROGRAM: hosted by Currie Craven (left) & Sam Kirk (right)
  • 8:30 - coffee, pastries, meet & greet
  • 9:00 - Welcome. Invocation. Introductions. Sam Kirk will read from Colorado: A Summer Trip, by Bayard Taylor. Readings from the audience - bring your favorite quote about Wilderness (keep it short, please), or choose from several dozen that will be available

  • The Honorable Manuel Heart, Chair of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, will speak - providing a perspective of those Native Americans who knew Ute Pass more than ten thousand years before Bayard Taylor's visit.

  • Colorado poet Erin Robertson will read her POEM, "A View From Ute Pass", composed especially for today.




    In the early summer of 1866, William Byers (founder of the Rocky Mountain News) led a hearty group on a loop trip through the Colorado high country (MAP). The group included Bayard Taylor, a popular travel writer, who sent letters back to the New York Tribune, later collected in the splendid book, Colorado: A Summer Trip.
    Over Berthoud Pass and down the Colorado River through the heart of Middle Park they rode, and then up the Williams Fork River, following an old Ute Indian trail, crossing on July 2, 1866 the Williams Fork Mountains at what was then and is now Ute Pass- exactly 150 years to the day before our July 2 celebration on Ute Pass (see notice to the right).

    "This landscape is unlike anything I have ever seen," Taylor gushed. "How inadequate are my words...." He was looking straight west, into the heart of what would become, more than a century later, Eagles Nest Wilderness, and his was the first written description of that view. Read more below, and join us on Saturday, July 2 at 9 AM on Ute Pass for a fun sesquicentennial celebration, and an exhilarating way to start your Fourth of July Weekend in Summit County.
    an excerpt from
    Colorado: A Summer Trip
    Bayard Taylor

    [The party descended part way down from Ute Pass into the Blue River Valley before the full panoramic view appeared.]

    "From the top [of Ute Pass] we looked down a narrow, winding glen, between lofty parapets of rock, and beheld mountains in the distance, dark with shadow, and vanishing in clouds. The descent was steep, but not very toilsome. After reaching the bed of the glen, we followed it downward, through beds of grass and flowers, under the shade of castellated rocks, and round the feet of natural ramparts, until it opened upon wide plains of sage-brush, which formed the shelving side of an immense valley. The usual line of cotton-wood betrayed a stream, and when we caught a glimpse of the water, its muddy tint - the sure sign of gold-washing [in Breckenridge]- showed that we had found the Blue River. We had crossed the Ute Pass, as it is called by the trappers, and are among the first white men who have ever traversed it. We now looked on Park [Ute] Peak from the west side.

    "Instead of descending to the river, our trail turned southward, running nearly parallel with its course, near the top of the sloping plane which connects the mountains with the valley. The sun came out, the clouds lifted, and rolled away, and one of the most remarkable mountain landscapes of the earth was revealed to our view. The Valley of the Blue, which, for a length of thirty miles, with a breadth varying from five to ten, lay under our eyes, wore a tint of pearly silver-gray, upon which the ripe green of the timber along the river, and the scattered gleams of the water seemed to be enameled. Opposite to us, above this sage color, rose huge mountain foundations, where the grassy openings were pale, the forests dark, the glens and gorges filled with shadow, the rocks touched with lines of light - making a chequered effect that suggested cultivation and old settlement. Beyond these were wilder ridges, all forest; then bare masses of rock, streaked with snow, and, highest of all, bleak snow-pyramids, piercing the sky.
    "From south to north stretched the sublime wall - the western boundary of the Middle Park; and where it fell away to the canon by which Grand [Colorado] River goes forth to seek the Colorado, there was a vision of dim, rosy peaks, a hundred miles distant [Flat Tops]. In breadth of effect - in airy depth and expansion - in simple yet most majestic outline, and in originality yet exquisite harmony of color, this landscape is unlike anything I have ever seen. I feel how inadequate are my words to suggest such new combinations of tints and forms."

    Pretty potent words from a man who had traveled - and described - much of the world, including the Alps. The party moved on upstream along the Blue River to what is now submerged under Lake Dillon, then on to Breckenridge, and over Hoosier Pass to South Park, over to the Arkansas River Valley, and back (via South Park) to Denver.
    About Bayard Taylor: Bayard Taylor was a prolific travel writer, and also lecturer, novelist, and a poet. Born in Pennsylvania in 1825, at 19 he set sail for a two year grand tour of Europe, which shaped his subsequent career as a travel writer. His true passion, however, was poetry, but it didn't pay as well as travel prose.
          In 1850, Taylor married a childhood friend, Mary Agnew. She died only two months after their marriage, leaving Taylor bereaved and anxious to travel again to cope with his grief. He went on a two year trip to Arabia.
          During the Civil War, Taylor served as Washington correspondent for the NY Tribune until 1862, when he was appointed secretary to the U.S. Minister at St. Petersburg, Russia.
          In 1866, Taylor traveled to Colorado and took a strenuous loop trip through the northern mountains on horseback with a group that included William Byers, founder of Denver's Rocky Mountain News. His letters describing this adventure were later published as Colorado: A Summer Trip. During this decade, Taylor published 11 works and delivered more than 600 lectures (including one in nearly every town visited on the Colorado trip).
          Taylor's deep interest in German life and literature (especially Goethe) culminated in his appointment as Minister to Prussia in 1878. Sadly, he suffered repeated illnesses, and died in December, 1878.

    A Little Perspective
    Bayard Taylor wrote Colorado: A Summer Trip in 1866, two years before John Wesley Powell first climbed Mt. Powell, three years before the trans-continental railroad was completed, and six years before Mark Twain published Roughing It.

  • JOIN US! 150 years to the day - July 2, 1866 - for a sesquicentenniel celebration on Ute Pass of Eagles Nest Wilderness.
    SATURDAY JULY 2
    9AM
        map
    Light refreshments
    A refreshing start to your July fourth weekend! We will have brief readings (bring your favorite wilderness quote), and a special offering by Colorado poet Erin Robertson, created especially for today.
    MORE
    Make a donation

    Make a difference!

     
    Interested in becoming a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger? Details
    Trail projects - no experience necessary!
    Day Projects Saturdays: June 4, June 18,
    Pack-in weekends (Fri-Sun): July 15-17 and August 12-14. Details
    We also need volunteers
    outside the Wilderness
  • If you're a writer - HELP with newsletter editing, public policy advocacy positions, grant applications to raise funds for FENW and Forest Service stewardship programs and special projects.
  • If you're good on social media - HELP with Facebook (posts, ads, boosts, events) and other social media
  • If you're a website manager - HELP maintain our WordPress-based website (www.fenw.org/)
  • If Public Relations is your thing - HELP raise our visibility in Summmit County
  • If you like Event Planning - HELP put together our annual meeting, volunteer thank-you parties, educational events for members
    Your skills and experience are needed to assist with this important work. Please CONTACT US and join in!
    Friends, Friends, Friends! Check out our sister 'FRIENDS'
  • Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR)
  • Friends of Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)

    Newsletters
  • April: "After Malheur" by Currie Craven
  • May: "Bikes in Wilderness" by Tim Drescher
  • June: "Birds of ENW" by Dr. Susan Bonfield
  • Next month: "SaveTheColorado" by John Fielder
    Upcoming events
    Join us! for our next
    MONTHLY MEETING
    Thu July 28, 5:30 PM, Silverthorne >> MAP
    Details at www.fenw.org/

  • Thursday, June 23: FENW Monthly planning meeting
  • Saturday, July 2: Ute Pass party 10 AM
  • Fri-Sun, July 15-17: Pack-in trail project
  • Monday, July 18: Memorial Kiosk Dedication
  • Thursday, July 28: FENW Monthly planning meeting
  • Fri-Sun, August 12-14: Pack-in trail project
  • Thursday, August 25: FENW Monthly planning meeting
    Visit the FENW website for in-depth information at www.fenw.org/


  • CITY MARKET COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM
    Please register your City Market Value Card in 2016. This year, City Market will once again make a contribution to area non-profit organizations. The program allocates funds (rebates) to the organizations based on purchases made using the City Market Value Card. Organization members must go online at www.citymarket.com to register their Value Card, and link their card to FENW's organization name and/or registration number - 46910. Individual purchases will be counted towards FENW's rewards allocation without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!

    6 FENW Newsletter


    EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Wilderness Areas.

    Greetings!
    Our topic this month:
    BIRDS OF EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS
    By Dr. Susan Bonfield in THREE DIFFERENT VENUES:
  • The essay below
  • An illustrated talk: Wednesday June 15, 5PM, Silverthorne Library MAP
  • A guided walk: Sunday, June 26, 9AM to the A.M. Bailey Bird Nesting Area
    on Rock Creek MAP
  • SUBSCRIBE to the FENW monthly newsletter
    Name:
        Email:
    Introduction: Sue Bonfield's roots in Summit County, like her passion for birds, go deep. She has had a home adjacent to Eagles Nest Wilderness for several decades, and in the 1990s she directed educational and research activities at the A.M. Bailey Bird Nesting Area on Rock Creek.
        At present, Sue is Executive Director of EFTA (Environment For the Americas), "conserving birds by connecting people" (www.birdday.org/). In the autumn, when our migratory birds funnel down south, Sue is there, working to protect their habitat in Mexico and Central America, aiming especially to recruit local young people to the cause.
        After reading Sue's essay (below), please join us on June 15 (see sidebar) for an informal, illustrated talk - "Birds of Eagles Nest Wilderness" by this dedicated and inspiring leader.

    The Birds of Eagles Nest Wilderness
    Dr. Susan Bonfield

    Spring is a short, indecisive season in Summit County. One day sunny, the next day snowing, it toys with our patience as we put away our skis and pull out our hiking boots. If you aren't paying attention, it's easy to miss the willow catkins emerging, followed by their long, oval leaves. One day, you look out and suddenly notice that the aspen have leafed and that the first of the spring flowers have emerged. It is also easy to miss the return of the birds, until the first of the American Robins awakens you at an early hour.

    It's on those mornings that I think of the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area, nearly 133,500 acres of pristine wilderness in the heart of the Gore Range. This area has long been recognized by birdwatchers and ornithologists for its rich diversity of bird life, including the Hermit Thrush, whose flute-like song often rings through the thin, clear air, and the American Dipper, which exhibits its aquatic prowess in the cold mountain streams.

    Within this wilderness is an especially important place, the Alfred M.