Canyon Lakes Ranger District Partnership Coordinator Wins 2012 Volunteer Coordinator of the Year Award

Contact(s): Reghan Cloudman

FORT COLLINS, Colo.– U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced Kristy Wumkes, Partnership Coordinator for the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest, as the Forest Service 2012 Volunteer Coordinator of the Year.

With more than 900 annual volunteers on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District, Wumkes’s extraordinary outreach and commitment has directly expanded the Forest Service volunteer program over the last 17 years. Her innovative efforts resulted in 51,636 volunteer hours donated to the district, valued at over $1.1 million, in 2012. These 51,636 hours are approximately 1.8% of the 2.8 million aggregate volunteer hours for the agency nationwide last year.

Wumkes’s focus on community needs and interests gave rise to the development of new partnerships such as the Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol and Poudre River Rangers, and greatly expanded existing programs such as Adopt-A-Trail, Cameron Pass Nordic Rangers, and Deadman Fire Tower Volunteers. She manages a variety of long term partner-programs such as Diamond Peaks National Ski Patrol, Northern Colorado Mounted Patrol,  Overland Mountain Bike Club, Wildland Restoration Volunteers, and the Redfeather and Arrowhead Visitors Centers, to name a few.

“I love working with our volunteers, their passionate enthusiasm for public lands stewardship is contagious,” says Wumkes. “The Forest Service owes a debt of gratitude to our volunteers because without them so much would be left undone. Trail volunteers maintain 40% of the district’s 360 miles of trails, patrol volunteers contact over 8,000 people in the backcountry each year, and our remote visitor centers would be closed without volunteer summer hosts.”

Forest Service volunteers play a vital role in not only providing the public with recreation and safety information, but also with forest restoration efforts, wildlife habitat improvements, trail repairs and maintenance, invasive plant species management, fence and kiosk building, and data collection.

Last year, during the 2012 National Public Lands Day, Canyon Lakes Ranger District volunteers were essential in forest restoration activities. If the public is interested in planting trees for our future forests, then National Public Lands Day is the place to be on Sept. 28, 2013. The Canyon Lakes Ranger District is currently planning the event to include more tree and shrub planting at Bellaire Lake Campground.