Grand County Wilderness Group plans summer work |

Grand County Wilderness Group plans summer work

Submitted to Sky-Hi News
GCWG volunteers clear a fallen tree.

Are you looking for an opportunity to be actively engaged in showing your concern for our mountain environment and the wilderness areas of Grand County? The Grand County Wilderness Group has been providing exactly those kinds of opportunities for over 20 years. We are a group of 120 volunteers who participate in work projects in wilderness areas during the fair weather season, under the direction of the Sulphur Ranger district of the National Forest Service.

What exactly do we do? With the NFS, we work on trail maintenance, improvements, and reroutes, with a special interest in the trail to Columbine Lake. We build and install information kiosks at trailheads and maintain the signage in them. We hold orientation hikes to acquaint our volunteers with the wilderness trails while carrying clippers to prune back overgrown vegetation as we go.

If yielding a Pulaski, a cross-cut saw, a hammer, or pruning shears is not your thing, cabin hosting provides an opportunity to contribute for those more socially inclined. We open Junco Cabin during summer weekends and holidays, and man Monarch Cabin 3 days a week starting soon after the access road is clear of snow. This involves greeting area visitors, advising them on possible activities in the area, and communicating NFS rules and policies. We also do this when we hike the wilderness trails as NFS ambassadors.

For the accountant types, there is the opportunity to adopt a trailhead registration box, which involves keeping the box supplied with blank forms and pencils, and retrieving and tallying the completed forms. The USFS uses this data to keep track of trail usage and to allocate funding for trail work.

Other activities include a weed eradication effort around Monarch Lake, bluebird box and osprey nest monitoring (an activity that may interest youngsters), and monofilament collection for recycling.

Find more information at http://WWW.GCWG.ORG, or come to our spring meeting, an annual planning and information session accompanied by a potluck. This year’s meeting takes place at 5:30 p.m. April 14, in the Rawley Room at Snow Mountain YMCA, beneath the chapel at the end of the Administration Building. An entrée and coffee and tea are provided. Bring a side dish or dessert to share and your own wine, beer, pop, or other beverage, and learn about the specific projects planned for this summer.

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