Headwaters Trails Alliance wins prestigious Colorado Parks and Wildlife award
Grand County’s Headwaters Trails Alliance was honored last week with the 2022 Partners in the Outdoors Northwest Region award for their dedication to supporting Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s mission to “perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.”
Parks and Wildlife Area 9 Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington and District Wildlife Manager Serena Rocksund nominated the alliance.
“HTA recognizes the importance of outdoor recreation and strives to balance impacts recreation has on wildlife,” said Huntington and Rocksund in their nomination form. “HTA members work to preserve the region’s natural resources and ecological value by promoting sustainability and stewardship.”
The alliance is the local trail user advocacy group that serves as the boots on the ground to improve our trails while also educating the public about the stewardship of our natural places, said co-founder Maire Sullivan.
During the 2021 field season, the Headwaters Trails Alliance reported 1,351 hours spent on trails with a total of 6,158 volunteer hours. This includes 530 miles of trail maintenance, 9,718 hazardous trees removed, 2,320 drains cleared or constructed in wetlands, 27,720 feet of new trail construction and 18,480 feet of trail reroutes to promote sustainability and social trail decommissioning.
Parks and Wildlife has partnered with the alliance on a variety of projects to promote developing trails with wildlife in mind, advocate for sustainable trail systems and sponsor educational events around the community.
“(This award) shows how we have grown from a simple trails organization primarily representing users to really more of a true alliance that focuses on collaborative efforts for the greater good of our community,” said Maire Sullivan, the alliance’s director of development and finance. “And by collaborative I mean working to educate all users that by working together as various user groups in conjunction with land management agencies, we can achieve so much more to improve the user experience while also being conscious of how our use impacts the natural environment and how we can minimize that impact.”
“In partnering with HTA, CPW has been successful in promoting responsible recreation with wildlife in mind to those living and recreating in our area. We look forward to continuing and building upon this multifaceted approach to recreation within wildlife habitat in Grand County,” said Rocksund.
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