Volunteers Recognized for 2015 Service and Projects

Release Date: Jan 4, 2016  

Contact(s): Allison Stewart, 719-530-3977

SALIDA, Colo., Jan. 04, 2016 – It was a banner year for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Volunteer Program for the Salida and Leadville Ranger Districts. From October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015, volunteers contributed an impressive 23,425 hours of volunteer service on the USFS Salida Ranger District in Chaffee County with a value over $500,000. On the Leadville Ranger District in Lake County, 8,941 hours contributed a value of over $200,000.

The Recreation Staff and Volunteer Program were able to tackle priority projects that would not have been accomplished without the labor and dedication from these long-standing volunteers. Many individual volunteers personally provided hundreds of hours doing trail maintenance.

One such volunteer, Mike Lloyd, was recognized by USFS Chief Tidwell with a Chief’s Award in 2015.

Volunteers cleared brush, installed bat boxes, cleaned and staffed a local visitor’s center, fixed erosion and drainage issues, installed horse step-overs, reseeded, rehabilitated user-created trails, installed fences, patrolled, mapped areas, provided educational programs, interacted with the public, grip-hoisted trees and constructed new trail. Highlights include celebrating the designation of Browns Canyon National Monument, completing multiple stewardship projects on National Public Lands Day and formalizing a Trail Adoption program for the Districts.

According to Forest and Grassland Supervisor Erin Connelly, “This was a collaborative effort with multiple organizations and partners working together to make a positive difference on federal public lands. Community investment and involvement is strong in the Upper Arkansas River Valley.”

Some of the many volunteer groups include: Arkansas Valley Climbers Coalition, Friends of Browns Canyon, Colorado Trail Foundation, Friends of Twin Lakes, Friends of Fourmile, Greater Arkansas Nature Association, High Rocky Riders, Quiet Use Coalition, Salida Mountain Trails, Upper Arkansas Wilderness Volunteers, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and Southwest Conservation Corps.

Individuals and groups were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Pike and San Isabel National Forests. The USFS Volunteer Program hosted a Volunteer Appreciation event which featured a slideshow of special moments of these diverse volunteer efforts. Volunteers received Certificates of Appreciation and “Proud USFS Volunteer” appreciation gifts.

The USFS Salida and Leadville Ranger Districts extend thanks to everyone involved in donating their time and resources to improve user experiences on public lands.

To learn more, visit the Salida/Leadville Ranger Districts Volunteer Website, at: www.SLRDvolunteers.blogspot.com. Or, follow us on Twitter: PSICC_NF.