Volunteering on Flood-damaged Forest Trails near Estes Park

Contact(s): Reghan Cloudman

FORT COLLINS, Colo.– As part of the flood recovery process, the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) are continuing to help the Forest Service by coordinating volunteer trail work. The next scheduled trail restoration workday open to the public is June 14-15 for the Lion Gulch Trail near Estes Park.

The outpouring of support for recovery work has been greatly appreciated; however, this work has to be carefully coordinated. There are many crews helping the Forest repair and recover from the September 2013 floods and this work must be organized, prioritized, and meet the various requirements of the U.S. Forest Service. All work done on National Forest System lands must be approved by the forest before occurring.

PWV is the key contact for the Canyon Lakes Ranger District for public work days. PWV works closely with the Forest Service and are trained by the forest in trail restoration.

Volunteers of all skill levels can participate, but must be at least 18 years old. Work includes moving rocks and downed trees, reestablishing the trail and helping with drainage issues. Some work has already been done on portions of this trail to help make the area safer for volunteers. Volunteers spent a wet Memorial Day weekend working on the trail, but there is still much more to do. (Photos from this work is available on the PWV website at http://www.poudrewildernessvolunteers.org/news-and-information/news/268-lg-rebuild.)

Damage done to the first few miles of this trail was bad, but nothing compared to the middle part of the trail, where the trail is all but gone. Some analysis will be needed before this portion of the trail can be fully repaired. The Lion Gulch Trail will remain closed even after this volunteer trail work, until its length is safe for the public.

Those wanting to volunteer can sign up at http://www.poudrewildernessvolunteers.org/restoration. Details will be provided when volunteers sign up. Volunteers need to wear long sleeved shirts and pants (no shorts) and work boots. Be sure to bring water and snacks. Hard hats, gloves and tools will be provided.

More volunteer trail work days could be planned in the future. For additional work about flood recovery efforts or future events on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland, check the web at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/floodrecovery.