NEWSLETTERS OF FRIENDS OF EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS
CONTENTS

34. March 2019: FENW changing its name? - FENW committee
33. February2019: Combating Noxious Weeds - Jim Alexander
32. January 2019: New Leadership at FENW - Bill Betz
31. December 2018: Saving the Lower Blue River Valley - John Fielder
30. September 2018: Trail Maintenance Trip report - Kate Demorest (not available)
29. 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 34

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. 
Before we begin - FENW announces a new advocacy campaign - Buck Berlaimont. We support a grassroots campaign led by Wilderness Workshop to stop a luxury development that threatens wildlife deep inside the White River National Forest above Edwards. Join the RALLY on Saturday, March 16! Click HERE for details.
March 2019
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! Our topic this month is

FENW considers changing its name - what do you think?
INTRODUCTION:
     Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness is thinking of changing its name. Below we weigh the pros and cons, and critique several possible new names (a leading candidate is Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance). We want your input!

     The new-name idea, long simmering, was raised at the FENW Retreat held last spring. A committee* was formed and submitted its final report last month. Ordinarily, we wouldn't print an entire committee report, but this decision is so important, and our many volunteers and other friends so devoted to Wilderness, that we want to provide you with all of the information, so that you can make an informed decision and send us your "vote." We will publish and tally these important results, and consider them carefully before a final vote is taken by the Board later in the spring. We would like your input before the end of March. Send an email to name@fenw.org (we'll print it anonymously unless you say otherwise).
     Why the fuss? Two main reasons:
1. Our name no longer accurately describes our purview. In addition to helping look after Eagles Nest Wilderness, we help with two others (Holy Cross and Ptarmigan Peak), and if the Bennet/Neguse CORE bill passes Congress, we'll add three more (marked with asterisks in the map below).
MAP


2. Our name is easily confused with other local "Friends of ..."non-profits with similar names.
Friends of ...

Below is the complete report, followed by opinions submitted by board members and other active volunteers. Send us your thoughts and opinions - we will publish them anonymously (unless you sign your name) on our website (www.fenw.org/) . Send it to name@fenw.org.

* Committee Members: Laurie Alexander, Bill Betz, Tim Drescher, Ken Harper, Cindy Muesing, Dan Seibert
COMMITTEE REPORT
8 February 2019
Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness
Report of Committee to Change Our Name
Summary: In 2018, Board President Tim Drescher appointed a committee* to examine the advisability and feasibility of changing the name of the organization. The primary rationales for such a change were: i) our name no longer accurately describes our purview, and ii) our name is easily confused with other local non-profits with similar names.
            Below we report the results of our inquiry in six sections: background information, the rationale for considering a name change, the steps that would be necessary to implement the change, a consideration of financial and volunteer resources that would be needed, a list of potential new names, and a plan for obtaining input from our members, volunteers, and other interested people.
 
1. Background
            Eagles Nest Wilderness was created in 1976. Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness (FENW) was established in 1994 to support the US Forest Service in caring for and maintaining Eagles Nest Wilderness, and to advocate for its protection and for other environmental causes. FENW has accepted responsibility for helping with two additional Wilderness Areas: Ptarmigan Peak (1994) and Holy Cross (~2007), which doubled the scope of our responsibility (to about 250,000 acres) - composing virtually all of the designated Wilderness in Summit and Eagle counties, all of it today in the White River National Forest.
            In 2018, FENW agreed that, if the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act (CDRWCHA) - now part of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act - passes Congress, we would add to our inventory the approximately100,000 additional Wilderness acres (including 3 new Wilderness Areas) in Summit County and Eagle County.
 
2. Rationale
            Any organization's name should meet several criteria for accurate and simple descriptors. Unfortunately, our name fails, or at least falls short, for each criterion:
   A. Describe what it does: Our current name is simply not comprehensively descriptive: we are friends with two other Wilderness Areas in addition to Eagles Nest, and if the CORE Act passes Congress, we'll add three more (Williams Fork, Tenmile, and Hoosier Ridge Wildernesses). By itself, such a partial omission might not seem a particularly strong justification for changing our name; after all, Southwest Airlines flies far beyond the Southwest, but has announced no plans to change its name. That makes sense for an organization with widespread name recognition. The situation at FENW is vastly different: we rely on people; many, perhaps most, of whom don't know that our map of destinations includes many trails outside of Eagles Nest Wilderness, namely in Holy Cross and Ptarmigan Peak Wildernesses. Moreover, some of our Volunteer Wilderness Rangers (VWRs) are committed to trails in Holy Cross and Ptarmigan Peak, and they might prefer that their favorite areas are not given an evidently diminished stature in our name.
   B. Be easily recognizable: In 1994, our name stood out. Unfortunately, there are now two other "Friends of…" non-profit organizations in our backyard: Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR, founded in 2000) comprises mainly property owners committed to preserving the rural qualities of the lower Blue River valley. More importantly, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD, founded in 2007) plays a role similar to ours, but focuses mostly on trails outside Wilderness Areas in Summit County (but not Eagle County). With four full-time paid staff, FDRD has wide name recognition, and dwarfs us in terms of the size of its budget and number of its programs. It is understandable that our name is easily and frequently confused with or lumped together with theirs. Almost all of the potential new names described below drop the word "Friend" to avoid this confusion. Would this loss of "Friend" diminish the sense of support that we give the Wilderness? We don't think so; there is no doubt, for example, that The Wilderness Society is a good friend of Wilderness even though their name does not explicitly say so.
   C. Have a simple acronym: FENW is somewhat ambiguous as an acronym. Does one say the letters - F-E-N-W - or call it "fen -w"? It is not a particularly major concern, but with the growth of non-profit environmental groups in Colorado, the air is thick with acronyms (e.g., IPWA, PWV, SUWA, FOV, NWSA, FOMELC, SJMA, RMEF), and simple-to-pronounce names are the easiest to remember. Some of the potential new names discussed below fill this criterion better than our current one does.
            While these considerations make a good case for exploring the possibility of a new name, it is important to consider any negative consequences of changing our name. The main such consequence would be loss of name recognition, particularly in Summit County. This is valid concern; its mitigation would require a concerted effort of public education via the usual targeted communications - newspapers, newsletters, and posters. Such a campaign, however, need not be focused solely on the new name, because 2019 is the 25th anniversary of our founding, and celebrating this birthday in combination with announcing our new name (and perhaps new logo) could become an effective and recognized campaign. Finally, it is worth noting that we have little name recognition in Eagle County, and so the negative impact of a name change there would be minimal.
          A second concern is inertia: leave well-enough alone! The past several years have witnessed a spate of calls for renaming a variety of entities, mostly named after men whose careers comprised both good and bad deeds. Determining the threshold at which the bad should overshadow the good and warrant renaming is a tedious, usually contentious, zero-sum process, and has led some people to make a blanket decision that we should always leave well-enough alone. We can only point out that our situation is different: there is no push (nobody acted badly), just a pull, as described above.
 
logos            Have other non-profits changed their name? We identified the Colorado History Museum, which became History Colorado when their new building opened in Denver. We surmise that they wanted to drop the word "museum" from their name because they curate contemporary as well as historical shows. The Denver Natural History Museum changed its name to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. We guess that the name change was driven in part by a desire to sound more contemporary and to be the Science Museum in Denver.
 
3. Implementation
            Effecting the name change efficiently and expeditiously would require the concerted work by a committee working on several fronts simultaneously on both one-time and continuing chores.
   A. One-time chores
      i. Legal and other administrative considerations:
            FENW is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, and it is critical that we retain that designation.
            Acronym: Confirm that any acronym of the new name is not already taken.
            DBA designation: The most commonly used, and easiest way to make the name change official would be to use a “DBA” (Doing Business As) designation. Example being: Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, DBA (insert new name). The only reason why the FENW name would continue to be used at that point would be for legal purposes only. From a marketing and daily usage standpoint “Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness” would cease to exist.
            Bylaws: The bylaws would need to be updated with the new name
            Articles of Amendment: The Secretary of State would need to be informed of the name change and we would need to file an “Articles of Amendment” to the Articles of Incorporation
            IRS: We would need to notify the IRS of the name change on our next 990 or 990-EZ form
            DUNS: USFS DUNS number from Dunn and Bradstreet for our cost share agreement [and also SAM?]
      ii. Notifications needed to be made: The Summit Foundation (hosts FENW endowment), US Forest Service (Dillon Ranger District, Holy Cross Ranger District), Colorado Gives (by September), partnering organizations (FDRD, VOC, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, PWV, FOV, IPWA, FOLBR), and local government agencies (Eagle and Summit County Commissioners).
     iii. Changes to marketing collateral
            Website: The new Domain would have to be created, and the suffix (.org, .net, etc) selected. The new email address would need to be established. The website itself would of course have to be changed to present the new name. Some suffixes are already taken, and it might be necessary to use a different name. For example, the URL for Indian Peaks Wilderness Alliance - IPWA - is www.indianpeakswilderness.org.
            Social Media: Our facebook and Instagram accounts would have to be changed from FENW to the new name       
            Trailhead signs (n= about 20) would have to be updated
            Flyers, brochures, business cards, and banners would need to be reprinted with the new name
            The VWR Training Manual would need to be updated
 
   B. Sustained efforts: In addition to the one-time activities described above, we would need to mount a sustained campaign over a period of months to inform the public of the new name. This would include announcements and articles in newspapers, our own publications, social media posts, and hard copy posters in public buildings. As noted above, such a campaign has the advantage that it could be combined with our 25th anniversary celebration.
 
            It would be important to create an Implementation Committee, with an identified Chair, to insure a smooth and successful implementation process.

   4. Resources
            Do we have the resources to accomplish the name change, without compromising the other projects in which we engage, such as Volunteer Wilderness Rangers, Trail Maintenance trips, and Invasive plant mitigation? From a general overview, it seems that the process would not be unduly taxing to financial resources, but will require considerable extra efforts from volunteers, some of whom are already heavily invested in other activities.
   A. Finances
            FENW is an all-volunteer organization operating with limited funds, relying on donations from interested members of the public, and conscious of costs. At present (February 2019), the balance in the current account is about $13,000. After deducting recurring annual costs, about $10,000 will remain. From this, we donate funds to the Forest Service (e.g., llama rental); these costs have not yet been determined for 2019 and thus the funds available for implementation of the name change are difficult to estimate at present with much certainty.
            The majority of Implementation tasks fortunately would not require much money. The legal requirements, notifications of organizations, and most publicity tasks would need little financing. The new trailhead signs, and printing of flyers, business cards, and banners would require several hundred dollars. Paid notices in local newspapers would also require hundreds of dollars. Taken altogether, it seems reasonable to estimate that the total cost would be less than $2,000, which seems not an onerous amount, given our current state of finances.
   B. Identifying and recruiting volunteers to carry out the Implementation would be a greater challenge than financing the project. There is quite a large collection of chores, and while none of them in isolation is daunting, the totality would require considerable organization and time, for example to create and submit materials to government agencies, to create and post signage at trailheads, to update the website with a new domain name, to design and have printed new hard copy materials, and to mount a campaign to alert the public to the change. Currently FENW has only a small number of people who help with such ‘backroom’ services (planning, outreach, marketing, legal, etc.). While increasing the number of volunteers active in these endeavors is one of our highest priorities, in 2019 we likely would have to rely mostly, if not entirely, on the current roster. It seems reasonable to conclude that soliciting and gaining the full agreement of the current leadership in participating in the Implementation is a prerequisite.
 
   5. Potential new names
            A considerable list of names has been proposed, including Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance (ESWA); Summit Eagle Wilderness Advocates (SEWA); Vail Pass Wilderness Advocates (VPWA); Wilderness Advocates of Vail Summit (WAVS); Vail Summit Wilderness Advocates (VSWA); Colorado Wilderness Volunteers (CWV); Wilderness Eagle Summit Team Advocates (WESTA); Wilderness Eagle Summit Alliance (WESA); Vail Summit Wilderness Stewards (VSWS); Wilderness Friends of Summit and Eagle Counties. [See below for critiques of these names]
 
   6. Input from members, volunteers, and the public: As an all-volunteer organization, we need to be certain that we listen carefully to our constituency. Before the Board takes its final vote on whether to change our name, we need to solicit, collect, and publish input from others, especially our volunteers, past and present. In particular, there are a number of people with many years of deep experience with Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness; their opinions matter to us deeply. After the Board accepts the final Committee Report, it should be publicized widely, with invitations to submit opinions, and a mechanism should be created to publish those opinions. In particular, key stakeholders should be contacted individually for their input. Finally, once the new Advisory Board is established in April, their collective input should be obtained. As these data are collected, the Board members can draw upon them to make a final decision about the name change.
We would love to get your opinion. Send it to name@fenw.org ]

 
INDIVIDUAL CRITIQUES OF POSSIBLE NEW NAMES
Send us your thoughts at name@fenw.org (published anonymously unless you sign your name)

Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance
.
1. It's a nice, pronounceable acronym. ESWA is geographically accurate - we service virtually all of the Wilderness Areas in Summit and Eagle counties, and virtually none anywhere else. I like the two words - eagle and summit - because they evoke visions of wilderness (better, for example, than Pitkin&Gunnison, or Giplin&Grand). The word Eagle keeps a connection to our former name (for a different reason). We are two almost isolated groups, separated by Vail Pass, but bound into this alliance
     I do not favor any name with the word "Vail" in it. Vail evokes different things to different people - a highway engineer, a pass, a town, a huge conglomerate of private ski areas that cater to people with a lot of money - none of these particularly evokes visions of a pristine wilderness that nurtures opportunities for solitude. Moreover, A-Basin, our biggest donor (by far) for more than 20 years recently severed its ties with Vail.
     The other candidates that require pronouncing four or five letters are not very mellifluous - not like ESWA. ESWA is easy to remember, and will stand out in our increasingly acronymophonic world.
     SEWA (Summit Eagle Wilderness Alliance) sounds like a New Englander's "sewer" and is too close to SUWA (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance).
     I do not favor keeping the word "Friend" in our name, as we are trying to get away from the confusion we face now with FOLBR and FDRD. Steamboat Springs also has an organization called Friends of Wilderness.

2. I completely agree with [these] comments….

3. ESWA is also my preference and I agree with all the reasons … listed. In addition, … I think the word Alliance is a more accurate description and more inclusive of our mission than “Advocates” or “Stewards.”

4/ I support ESWA

5. I'm still not all that happy about changing the name after having gotten used to it for 10+ years. However if we have to change it, ESWA is a good alternative

6. ... you bring up some very excellent points here. After reading this, I would strongly favor ESWA as well

Vail Summit Wilderness Stewards
7. (VSWS): This is actually my favorite – despite what people say, I think having Vail in the name will pull interest from the Vail valley and that is very important to our future growth – member wise and finance wise.  Also I can envision a great logo where the V’s and W’s are mountains and the S’s are ski tracks coming down the mountains.  
   I don’t think any name with Advocates works, we are more stewards or an alliance.
Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance (ESWA): This one is ok but awkward.  I like Summit Eagle Wilderness Alliance better (SEWA). It is pronounceable and doesn’t really get confused with “sewer” in my mind.
   Wilderness Advocates of Vail Summit (WAVS) This might be ok if it was Wilderness Associate of Vail, Eagle and Summit.  I think the nautical nature of the acronym is not good though.
   Vail Summit Wilderness Advocates (VSWA) I like this if you replace Advocates with Association (but Stewards below is better). Again it could be Vail{Eagle}Summit
   Colorado Wilderness Volunteers (CWV) Too big
   Wilderness Eagle Summit Team Advocates (WESTA) or Wilderness Eagle Summit Alliance (WESA):  I don’t think either of these read like good English.  Maybe works if you go with       Wilderness Alliance of Eagle and Summit Counties or something like that.
   Wilderness Friends of Summit and Eagle Counties: What I particularly like about it is we could create one of two handles (not acronyms) that are easy to remember (and the URLs are open): WilderFriends.org (this wasn't my original, inspired by Wilderbash) or 
WildFriends.org (my original) …. Something that could become Wilder<something>.org is my real goal.

A-Basin logoA huge thanks to ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREAFor more than two decades, A-Basin staff have donated generously to their Employee Environmental Fund, of which FENW has been a steady beneficiary. Last year, more than 150 employees donated, led by A-Basin Director Alan Henceroth. Our enduring THANKS!
A-Basin slopes
TARGET SILVERTHORNE made a GENEROUS DONATION to FENW to help relieve the pain that the government shutdown caused to Forest Service WIlderness Rangers. Target Silverthorne has a special relationship with the Forest Service - when customers (aka guests) enter the store, they can look up to see EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS, and when they leave, they can look up to see PTARMIGAN PEAK WILDERNESS. In addition, the store is right across the Blue River Parkway from the Dillon Ranger District offices. THANKS TARGET for helping protect Wilderness!Target Silverthorne
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.
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Our 2018 Trail  & Campsite Projects, led by Trail Boss Kate DeMorest, took us to Slate Lakes, Piney Lake, Salt Lick Trail, Gore Creek, Deluge Lake, and more.We were greatly aided by two very special friends - Dom and Powell - LLAMAS! Join us in 2019 - learn more HERE.
Volunteer Wilderness Rangers met more than 10,000 wilderness visitors in 2018. Become a VWR in 2019 - training will be held on Saturday, June 8. Learn more here.

Join us! for our next  Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, March 14, 5:30 PM,
USFS offices in Minturn & Silverthorne (video link)
Details at www.fenw.org/
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Hard copy newsletterOur current hard copy newsletter is available. Sent by mail, 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
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EAGLE POST 33

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. 
February 2019
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! Our topic this month is

The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty Ugly
by Jim Alexander
 INTRODUCTION
In 2019, FENW will be revitalizing its program to preserve the health of the wilderness ecosystems. As part of the program, we have applied for two grants to bring professionals in to: 1) treat and control several noxious weed infestations, and 2) survey and map plant life in the Wilderness. To be successful in these projects, we need volunteers - all you amateur botanists and flower lovers - to help survey and record plant life as you hike. If you'd like to learn more about the surveys contact contact Jim Alexander.

The Good, The Bad, and the“Pretty” but Ugly

By Jim Alexander
 
Jim AlexanderIn 1964, the Wilderness Act created boundaries that set aside certain primeval lands to preserve their natural conditions, with minimal impact by man. These laws cordoned off the dozens of beautiful areas across Summit County, Colorado and the entire United States. The wilderness boundaries are effective at controlling the human impact upon the wilderness – because of vigilant efforts of the USFS and groups like FENW. Unfortunately, biology doesn’t respect Wilderness boundaries and non-native plants cross freely into the fragile wilderness ecosystems and cause trouble. The invasive weeds may completely change the lands.
On any mid-summer stroll in Eagles Nest, Ptarmigan Peak, or Holy Cross Wilderness you’ll come across a magnificent array of flowers and plants: Lupin, Fireweed, Indian Paint Brush. And who isn’t thrilled to find a section of Colorado Blue Columbine swaying in an aspen grove? On that same stroll, you might see some others – pretty white Oxeye Daisy, striking red-pink Musk Thistle, delicate yellow Dalmatian Toadflax. Those last few, however pretty they may be, are ruining the wilderness ecosystems. They are invasive species that out-compete the native flora [and fauna] creating an ecological barren that little plant life can survive within. 

KudzuInvasive species are not just in the wilderness areas; you can find them almost anywhere because they are mostly spread by people.  Some are decorative [garden] plants imported from distant lands for gardens.  Some have been used to address agricultural problems. Kudzu is a good example. Kudzu is an effective ground cover and was brought from Japan and planted in Georgia for erosion control. And it was effective, so effective it spread everywhere across the American South, shading and killing many stands of trees.Another problem weed, found throughout the west and Colorado, is Cheatgrass. It is a delicate grass that bends gracefully to reveal yellow or purplish seed heads – you’ll see it all along Route 9 in Summit County. Cheatgrass has ruined many farms in the mid-west.  It germinates and blooms much earlier than native or agricultural grasses, so it gradually takes over. [In South Dakota it has taken over entire farmlands.]  Some farmlands are so infested, they are completely useless. The land can’t even be sold as banks won’t loan money to buy the infested lands, and they are just abandoned.

Downy broom - cheatgrassCheatgrass has invaded at least one Wilderness Area – Joshua Tree Wilderness. Here the grass grows among the trees, without any immediately-apparent impact on the area.  But in the event of a wildfire, Cheatgrass causes a terrible problem: normally, fires in that region don’t burn hot enough to kill the trees, but cheatgrass makes the fires hotter, and trees die. To make matters worse, after the fire cheatgrass grows back first, further squeezing out more of the native plants.So far, we don’t think there is cheatgrass in our wilderness areas (Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak). Though plant ecologists I’ve talked with at the Denver Botanic Gardens worry that it is just a matter of time before it works its way in. If the ground is disturbed in some way – trails being cut, hikers scuffing up the ground, horse prints, camping areas, or dogs digging in the dirt.  Those disturbances are what provide the gap, the invitation for a noxious species to grow and often those hikers or animals unknowingly bring in the seeds as well,
Summit County and Eagle County lands are replete with noxious weeds; there are more than 30 types tracked by the various government agencies. (see a list below). You’ve certainly seen the major ones: Oxeye Daisey, False Chamomile, Musk Thistle, Bull and Canada thistle. They may even seem like a beautiful addition to the forest.  A common joke is if you see an ugly thistle, it’s a native thistle (not quite true, but close)! All these plants take hold in private lands and their seeds make their way to federal lands and on into the wilderness. There are hundreds of infestations now, and once an infestation takes hold, it takes years of diligent effort to remove.
Noxious weeds have a variety of bad impacts upon wilderness. Generally they reduce the food supply for the forest’s inhabitants. Some invasive plants bear spines and thorns that keep animals away.  Some produce nasty chemicals that irritate the animal’s mouth or skin. Others are inedible, distasteful, or even toxic to many native creatures, including insects and animals.  When these weed infestations spread and spread, the native food supply shrinks and shrinks.
Even more than the effect on the wildlife, the weeds affect the very land. Some examples:
  • Musk Thistle and Bull Thistle create monocultures that aggressively take over burned areas.
  • Chamomile’s odor is so unpleasant, animals won’t even graze nearby.
  • Orange Hawkweed produces a chemical that inhibits pollination and germination of seeds of native plants
  • Dames Rocket changes the soil, so some tree species are unable to grow (by suppressing mycorrhizae (fungi that grow symbiotically in intimate association with plant roots)
  • Oxeye daisy hosts tiny worms that invade and eat the roots of other plants.

Noxious weed infestations are a problem across the Eagles Nest, Ptarmigan Peak, and Holy Cross Wilderness areas – there are hundreds, if not thousands of infested areas. A good example is the Slate Creek Trail in the Eagles Nest Wilderness. As you can see from the map below, more than sixty infestations dot that valley. For many years FENW has fought to contain and fight back those infestations. We will treat that area again in 2019, and do so annually, until we eliminate the weeds.

Slate Creek weeds
It is critical that we treat such wilderness infestations, especially new ones. Once a noxious weed infestation takes hold, it is nearly impossible to kill. Noxious weeds drop seeds – sometimes thousands or millions – and create a seed bank. Even if you kill this year’s weeds, new weeds will pop up from the seed bank the very next year or later - sometimes decades later!

Beyond controlling existing infestations, we need to map new infestations and kill them before they gain a foothold in the wilderness. In 2019, FENW is launching a program to survey the wilderness ecosystems. The resulting data will provide a picture of the impact of weeds on our ecosystem, and guide the development of refined techniques for weed management.

Our survey work will depend on reports from hikers who love plants. For those budding botanists, we plan several educational events in 2019. The first is a private tour of the Denver Botanic Gardens on Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 PM, focusing on plant species of Summit and Eagle Counties.  Join us for this exciting event - contact Jim Alexander for more information. 


9 Bad Weeds in our wilderness areas …9 bad weeds


The rest of the invaders…The U.S. Forest Service tracks 37 invasive species in Eagle and Summit Counties. Check out the Summit County Web site:  http://www.co.summit.co.us/993/Summit-County-Noxious-Weeds.

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!

Join us in 2019 - There are many ways to take part!
Our 2018 Trail  & Campsite Projects, led by Trail Boss Kate DeMorest, took us to Slate Lakes, Piney Lake, Salt Lick Trail, Gore Creek, Deluge Lake, and more.We were greatly aided by two very special friends - Dom and Powell - LLAMAS! Join us in 2019 - learn more HERE.
Volunteer Wilderness Rangers met more than 10,000 wilderness visitors in 2018. Become a VWR in 2019 - training will be held on Saturday, June 8. Learn more here.

Join us! for our next  Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, February 14, 5:30 PM,
If SHUTDOWN: Copper Mountain Community Center (MAP)
IF NO SHUTDOWN: USFS offices in Minturn & Silverthorne (video link)
Details at www.fenw.org/
Follow us
         

Hard copy newsletterOur Fall 2018 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 32

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. 
January 2019
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! Our topic this month is

Leadership turnover at FENW
Bill Betz is President in 2019, while TIm Drescher (President in 2018) becomes Past-President
  INTRODUCTION
Nearly two years ago, the FENW Board of Directors voted to change the term of the FENW president to just one year. Some expressed concern that one year was too short, that leaders need more time to make their mark.The counter argument - that a three year series of President-elect --> President --> Past President would provide the needed continuity - prevailed as the Board voted unanimously in favor of the change. The process was set in motion a year ago, when Tim Drescher succeeded co-founder and longtime President Currie Craven. Bill Betz was named President-Elect.

Now the process has racheted a notch as Bill replaces Tim for 2019.

Below, read their reports - Bill's hopes for 2019, and Tim's review of accomplishments in 2018.

Bill BetzBILL BETZ
FENW President 2019

I joined FENW about five years ago as I neared retirement. Raw guilt provided the push: having frequented the Gores for decades, saying my silent thanks as I cruised along trails cleared of deadfalls and enjoyed lakeside campsites free of fire rings, I decided it was payback time. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there existed an even stronger pull: the great joy that came from the fellowship of new friends of all ages who share a passion for wilderness, its protection and preservation. Today, a little residual guilt still persists, reflecting my net gain - no matter how hard I try, I keep receiving more than I've given back. My gratitude runs deep. 
 
I've worked on several different projects and I feel that I understand the workings of FENW in considerable detail. I am an experienced Volunteer Wilderness Ranger, and I've been on a number of trail maintenance & campsite rehab trips. I rejuvenated our website and rebooted our biannual hard copy newsletter, and I'm the editor of our monthly eNewsletter (you are reading number 32). I led successful efforts to create an archive, update our bylaws, and establish our Endowment Fund. I also screwed up, trying in my enthusiasm to organize an event that we were just too small to undertake effectively. The effort was summed up succinctly by a board member and friend who said simply, "We don't do Mardi Gras."
 
He was correct.                                                                                      
 
As we begin 2019, our signature boots-on-the-ground programs are doing well. It’s our boots-OFF-the-ground projects that present a challenge – planning and staffing events (including a celebration of our 25th year), keeping track of stuff, nurturing our endowment, creating an Advisory Board. It's not that we want to put on a Mardi Gras, but we do want to expand our committee structure. Remember the pull: if you join us, you’ll get back more than you invest, I promise. Begin by attending a monthly planning meeting (second Thursday, 5:30 PM). We'll feed you, and you'll see in action our mantra of "have fun, no drama." You might even decide to join the happy melee.
 
Of course, we won't be neglecting work in the forest. We're reviewing our Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program (led by Mike Mayrer and Ken Harper); last summer more than 50 rangers contacted more than 10,000 hikers. That's a lot, but it's less than 10% of the total. We also will consider starting a winter VWR program. Our Trail Maintenance program (led by Trail Boss Kate DeMorest) augments the hard work by Forest Service and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps rangers. And our renewed Noxious Weed program (led by Jim Alexander) is set to launch in 2019. 

Our work has never been more important. The Forest Service, that wonderful agency with an awesomely broad charge, a ginormous amount of acreage to look after, and a pitifully scanty federal budget (and none as I write: our FS advisors Cindy Ebbert (Dillon RD) and Mike Beach (Eagle/Holy Cross RD) are furloughed, due to the government shutdown) needs us more than ever.

ABOUT BILL BETZ
Joan, Jen, Emmy, Bill - 1979Bill and his wife Joan moved to Colorado in 1971, joining the faculty at CU Medical School as basic scientists (neuroscience and molecular biology, respectively). Today they hold emeritus status, and still do a little teaching.
In 1973 they bought a rustic - no, primitive - log cabin on Pebble Creek on the east side of the Gore Range. Little did they guess that the cabin would so shape their lives - for example, it was the subject of college and medical school essays by their two daughters. It remains a focus of their lives, and they delight in seeing their four grandchildren discover the joys of Nature like their children did. As FENW begins its second quarter-century of service, Joan and Bill begin their third quarter-century of marriage.
TIM DRESCHER 
FENW President 2018


It has been an honor to serve as FENW President over the past year. Twenty-Eighteen served as the first year in more than two decades since our organization has had a new President. Currie Craven passed the torch to me just over a year ago, and I’ve enjoyed leading FENW into year twenty-five. That’s right! - 2019 marks Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness’s 25th Anniversary. We plan to commemorate this year in a few different ways, so keep your eyes and ears out for the details.
There have been many accomplishments in the past year; I’ve decided to list some of the biggies:
•            New Board Members: Jim Alexander, Laurie Alexander & Mike Browning. The board continues to revisit and review our bylaws in order to update and refresh guiding policies.
•            Received a grant from the Summit Foundation that went towards the cost of hiring Rocky Mountain Youth Corps to clear hundreds of deadfall from the Gore Range trail in Summit County
•            FENW paid for the rental of two Llamas that the USFS in Minturn was able to use on work trips into designated Wilderness throughout this past summer. The feedback that we received for covering this cost to the Forest Service was tremendous, and we plan to do the same for 2019.
•            Eight different FENW-sponsored summer work projects completed, including two overnight trips with the llamas
•            Cross-cut saw sharpening cost covered and completed for Volunteer Wilderness Rangers and the USFS
•            March FENW Board and Leadership team retreat & workshop which resulted in a number of streamlining processes and action items for improvement
•            Production of two hardcopy newsletters that were mailed out to about 250 core supporters and donors.
•            Revitalization of the FENW noxious weed program
•            Creation of the FENW Endowment Fund through the Summit Foundation, and a beginning gift of 20K to help establish it. There are now different options of donating to FENW: traditional (to the general operating budget), bequest & endowment.
•            The number of active Volunteer Wilderness Rangers is at an all-time high, and we contacted over 10,000 Wilderness visitors last summer
•            Colorado Gives contributions totaling $2400
•            Our monthly email newsletter now reaches over 900 individual mail boxes
•            We held a fun Volunteer Wilderness Ranger “Thank you” party at the Vail Pass huts to look back at our accomplishments over the past summer, and to recognize our terrific volunteers
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!

Join us in 2019 - There are many ways to take part!
Our 2018 Trail  & Campsite Projects, led by Trail Boss Kate DeMorest, took us to Slate Lakes, Piney Lake, Salt Lick Trail, Gore Creek, Deluge Lake, and more.We were greatly aided by two very special friends - Dom and Powell - LLAMAS! Join us in 2019 - learn more HERE.
Volunteer Wilderness Rangers met more than 10,000 wilderness visitors in 2018. Become a VWR in 2019 - training will be held on Saturday, June 8. Learn more here.

Join us! for our next  Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, January 10, 5:30 PM,
Copper Mountain Chapel (MAP) and Minturn
Details at www.fenw.org/
Follow us
         

Hard copy newsletterOur Fall 2018 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 31

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. 
December 2018 
Dear *|FNAME|*
Gr
eetings! Our topic this month is

Saving the Lower Blue RIver Valley
John Fielderby John Fielder
DonateBEFORE WE BEGIN...
COLORADO GIVES DAY is this Tuesday. As an all-volunteer organization we target every dollar in our budget directly to protecting three Wilderness Areas in Summit and Eagle counties, with programs like Volunteer Wilderness Rangers and Trail Maintenance, and Forest Health projects. FENW is critically dependent upon the generosity of others. If you can support these efforts click HERE to donate to FENW. Any amount works. $35 buys a shirt for a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger shirt. $100 supports a Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crew for an afternoon. A larger contribution might build a bridge on a lovely trail. Consider donating to our ENDOWMENT FUND, which will make your gift give year after year.

About FENW




 
 

IN ADDITION... Look for your FENW Fall Newsletter! It was mailed out a week ago. If you haven't received one, WE DON'T HAVE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS. Send it to us at info@fenw.org and we'll send you the newsletter - it's chock full of trip reports and information about us.
                                 SAVING THE LOWER BLUE RIVER VALLEY
INTRODUCTION

QuarryAn open pit mine is proposed for the lower Blue RIver Valley, in the last stretch that retains the historic purity of meadowed and pastured ranchlands, nestled betweem Eagles Nest and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. The proposal arrives like a gut punch to those who cherish the place, because they thought they had gained a respite from the relentless (some say voracious) spread of gravel quarries from farther upstream.
 
Several years ago, the Summit Sky development on Maryland Creek, originally approved for 80 homesites, suddenly was allowed to triple in size to 240, and was annexed by the town of Silverthorne. Preservationists appealed, but lost. There was, however, a consolation: developer Tom Everist put a deed restriction on the downstream (northern) part of his property, which blocks additional annexations by Silverthorne (town annexations must border existing town boundaries). A sigh of relief arose from farther downstream.
 
Alas, the consolation didn't prevent this new application for an open pit gravel quarry in the pastoral valley below.
 
John Fielder, our Photographer Laureate of Colorado and champion of environmental causes, has founded a grass roots effort to block the creation of the quarry. Below, John pleads his case in a personal essay. Below that (and at the FENW website) is his public call to action.
[photos by John Fielder]
John Fielder

To my Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness
By John Fielder
Photographer

I moved to Summit County in 2007. I had always known that when my children flew the coop, I would head for the hills…permanently. I found land high in the Acorn Creek drainage of the Williams Fork Mountains 10 miles north of Silverthorne. I built a home that overlooks the Lower Blue River Valley, and I can see the entire Gore Range to the west. As a nature photographer, I know a good thing when I see it…it’s my job!
 
Over the past 40 years I have photographed just about the entire Eagles Nest Wilderness, including all of its alpine and subalpine lakes. The Gore Range and the Needle Mountains in the Weminuche Wilderness are my two favorite ranges in Colorado. They are both rugged, remote, and partly untrailed, my definition of paradise.

 
The Lower Blue River Valley is not only one of Colorado’s most scenic riverine valleys, it’s one of its most bucolic. In between the two mountain ranges lie working cattle ranches, most of which are protected forever from development by conservation easements, including the 1,123-acre Knorr Ranch, eased in September. In addition, there are more than 8,000 acres of Summit County Open Space open to the public.
 
ElkThe valley, itself, is a collection of superlatives. The second largest purple lupine wildflower meadow that I have photographed in Colorado lies along a certain public road. Not far away bloom the stalks of green gentian (monument plant) in a meadow that is the largest I know of in Colorado. Our aspens are the highlight of any Summit County autumn, and Lower Cataract Lake provides my favorite two-mile hike around a subalpine lake. And how about those magnificent elk and mule deer herds that hang with us down low in spring and fall?
 
quarry siteAll of these values are now threatened by a proposed new gravel mine at the confluence of Slate Creek and the Blue River along the west side of Highway 9 immediately south of Ute Pass Road. As I write this, I look down on this soon to be ravaged 80-acre property, the river itself, and the Gore Range behind it all. If the mine is approved, views from Ute Pass and other high places will be destroyed, 230 gravel trucks a day on the highway will send their tire noise through home windows up and down Highway 9, dust will cloud the valley, those elk and deer will disappear to friendlier places, and I can only imagine the adverse impacts on the already dwindling fresh waters of the Blue River.
 
I have created a non-profit organization, Lower Blue Residents United, to lead the fight to defeat the mine. Let there be no doubt, we will stop it, but we must do our diligence. Please email me and I will add you to our list of supporters, and apprise you of developments. We must raise $100,000 immediately to hire the expert witnesses and attorney to present our case at the first Summit County review, which could be as early as February. Consider how badly you do not wish to have gravel mining in the Lower Blue River Valley. Send your generous checks now to:
 
Lower Blue Residents United
c/o John Fielder
POB 26890
Silverthorne CO 80497
 
Sincerely,
 
John Fielder
Acorn Creek
john@johnfielder.com


ABOUT JOHN FIELDER
With more than forty coffee table photography books published - including Colorado's all-time best-selling book (Colorado 1870-2000) - John Fielder knows our mountains with an intimacy borne of countless backcountry trips. Among his many honors, he is the recipient of the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award, the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s Achievement Award (first time given to an individual), and most recently (2017) an Honorary Degree in Sustainability Studies from Colorado Mountain College.
 
Blue River ValleyThose backcountry photography expeditions doubled as scouting trips for John as he sought a spot to build a mountain home of his own. His ultimate choice was smack in the middle of FENW country - next to Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness, looking west across the Blue River valley into the heart of Eagles Nest Wilderness. It is easy to understand his passionate desire to protect the last slender thread of unsullied river valley that connects those two magnificent Wilderness Areas, to preserve the pastoral ranchlands and bucolic public wildlands.
 
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!

Join us in 2019 - There are many ways to take part!
Our 2018 Trail  & Campsite Projects, led by Trail Boss Kate Demorest, took us to Slate Lakes, Piney Lake, Salt Lick Trail, Gore Creek, Deluge Lake, and more.We were greatly aided by two very special friends - Dom and Powell - LLAMAS! Join us in 2019 - learn more HERE.
Volunteer Wilderness Rangers met more than 10,000 wilderness visitors in 2018. Become a VWR in 2019 - training will be held on a Saturday in early June. Learn more here.

Join us! for our next  Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, December 13, 5:30 PM,
USFS Offices (video link) Silverthorne (MAP) and Minturn
Details at www.fenw.org/
Follow us
         

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!
PUBLIC LETTER FROM JOHN FIELDER
                     
   Stop gravel mining in the Lower Blue River Valley
November 18, 2018
 
Hello Neighbors of the Lower Blue River Valley:
 
On October 15, our neighbor Julie Hillyard sold her 80-acre lower Blue River ranch to Peak Materials (formerly LG Everest), operators of the Maryland Creek gravel/aggregate mine north of Silverthorne. Her ranch lies along the west side of Highway 9 near the confluence of Slate Creek and the Blue River. Peak Materials is a subsidiary of
Kilgore Companies, which in turn is a subsidiary of Summit Materials, a national company based in Denver that specializes in mining aggregates and making concrete. (http://summit-materials.com/companies/kilgore-companies)
 
Peak Materials apparently has determined that only limited inventory of aggregate remains at the Maryland Creek site necessitating the company to seek new gravel mining locations. We understand that Peak is planning to mine aggregate at the Hillyard site and truck it to Maryland Creek for processing. This proposal would fundamentally change the character of the Lower Blue River valley and would require up to 230 truck trips per day (full load south, empty load north).
 
Summit County Planning Dept. requires that a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) be acquired for such operations. The application would be evaluated based upon the Summit County Land Use and Development Code. The Lower Blue Planning Commission is responsible for conducting the review, which could happen as early as February of 2019. The Hillyard property permit would be a new one, but Peak Materials may also need approval of an updated Maryland Creek permit since that permit may not allow material to be imported from other locations (processing operations may increase in intensity).
 
As neighbors in the Lower Blue Valley, we must sustain and protect the valley’s traditional agricultural character, promote the safety of the residents, livestock and wildlife, and maintain the environmental integrity of the valley through education, collaboration and community involvement. We cannot allow our water quality and air quality to be degraded.  A gravel mining operation would be antithetical to these values and as neighbors we must influence the permitting process to defeat this destructive project.
 
Specifically, we will need to:
•           gain the support of the entire Lower Blue Valley community, as well as other interested and/or vested parties
•           evaluate the impact of gravel mining on Highway 9 traffic (noise from both the trucks and the mining), air quality (from dust and diesel fumes), water of the Lower Blue River and its groundwater, wildlife, wetlands, recreation, and overall property values
•           hire expert witnesses to evaluate these impacts who can effectively testify at hearings and proceedings before the county and State. We will need to retain a mining engineer, wildlife expert, water expert, property appraisers, and others.
•           hire a consultant to develop, coordinate, and oversee our strategy
•           hire an attorney to advise us in certain matters
•           raise the money needed to finance the campaign
 
All of this must happen immediately. We must have our evidence available by the date of the earliest possible hearing of the Lower Blue Planning Commission (LBPC), which could be the first Thursday in February. If that body votes not to issue the CUP, Peak Materials has the right to appeal the decision to the Summit County Board of Commissioners. At that time, we would need to present the same case again with the expert witnesses.
 
The Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board (MLRB) also has jurisdiction over gravel mining in Colorado. An applicant can apply for a permit from MLRB through its staff agency, the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety (DRMS).  This can precede or follow review by Summit County.  We do not know in what direction Peak Materials will go, therefore, we must begin to prepare a case to present to MLRB with the same research. The denial of a permit at either the state or local level usually signals the defeat of the application. However, the mining company can continue the process with litigation.
 
The existing valley advocacy organization, Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR), cannot be involved, other than to provide unbiased information, due to conflicts of interest related to its three board members who simultaneously serve on the LBPC. Therefore, I volunteer to supervise the campaign for no compensation and use my full visibility as nature photographer to gain support for the campaign. I have reached out to Harris Sherman, one of Colorado’s premier natural resource experts, to serve as our strategist and consultant in this effort. Harris is a former Executive Director of Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources, former Chairman of MLRB, and former Undersecretary USDA overseeing the U.S. Forest Service. He supervised the 2017 defeat of a proposed gravel quarry near Colorado Springs. He has agreed to represent us in this matter.
 
The name of the entity that will lead the campaign is Lower Blue Residents United. It is the new trade name of a non-profit corporation I started 20 years ago. The first phase of our campaign will be to make a presentation to LBPC as early as February and will require us raise initially $100,000 to finance the hiring of the aforementioned experts, an attorney, and Harris Sherman. I have already begun the fundraising process. If the IRS approves the reorganization of Lower Blue Residents United, donations will be tax deductible. We will learn this outcome in 30-90 days.
 
In any event, we are now soliciting donations to stop gravel mining in the Lower Blue Valley. Please consider just how much you wish not view, smell, and hear an industrial operation in our valley, and give generously. Send your checks today to:
 
Lower Blue Residents United
c/o John Fielder
POB 26890
Silverthorne CO 80497
 
Finally, there must be public outrage to this unacceptable attempt to rape our valley with an industrial operation. For now, the best thing YOU can do, other than donate money, is to be patient. A unified force of valley voices leading the charge will be far more effective than each of you individually speaking your mind at this time. The first and best opportunity for you to do exactly that will be at the Lower Blue Planning Commission hearing early next year. In the meantime, we will keep you up to date on any and all developments, and prompt you when good opportunities arise for you to express your feelings to the state, county, and the media.
 
We WILL stop this outrageous attack on our beautiful valley!
Sincerely,
 


John Fielder, Acorn Creek
john@johnfielder.com

 
 
 
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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
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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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