Trail Column: Looking for someone to step up for public lands |

Trail Column: Looking for someone to step up for public lands

Christine Lee tosses aside some branches alongside other volunteers on East Shore Trail during National Public Lands Day, Sept. 28. Over 400 volunteers participated in Grand County this year.
Amy Golden /

What a day for the 25th National Public Lands Day. The weather was perfect, the projects all organized and ready to go, registration was smooth and volunteers showed up at either registration or at the project itself. Also, almost all of the anticipated work was completed yet again, and everyone was back to the Inn at SilverCreek for beer, wine, pizza, lasagna and door prizes for the volunteer appreciation party. All of the items were donated by local businesses as part of their support for our Public Lands, and we so appreciate our volunteers and our donations.

But some of us are tired. Several of us have been organizing NPLD now for 25 years as volunteers. It is a huge job when we are unable to find people to help with parts of the process. New people float in and out of the committee and need to be acquainted with what we are actually doing and how we do it. We kept adding in different partners and the projects keep coming. Every year we accomplish what some say the US Forest Service could do in 2.5 years. For the last 5-10 years, I myself have been looking for people to help organize this effort, as the last two months before NPLD is now effecting my health. I might succeed getting helpers for a few years, but then I get the job back as people move on or get other interests. Others in our committee are being affected the same way and we cannot continue without people stepping forward to lend a hand.

As people began to move on in their jobs, I created (with help from a volunteer) a chart of timeline, responsibilities and contact information to aid our process. That chart has saved my butt several times over the past couple years, as it made the contact process much easier when the jobs got handed back to me. It will help immensely anyone who decides to step forward to help coordinate NPLD. All the info is there in nine full pages, updated again this summer by another volunteer.

Also, the NPLD committee has a wrap-up meeting at the USFS Sulphur district headquarters in Granby from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 24. Every year we evaluate what we have done and look at ways to simplify and improve our process.

This year we are looking for people to step up and volunteer for the organizing committee and take on a part of this huge job. I just can’t do it anymore. We just can’t keep doing it anymore.

Now in my 70s, I want to enjoy the trails I have worked on, the places I have helped create and protect, the family and animals I have around me. I will help guide the process, but I just can’t do all that work anymore. I know my sentiments are shared. There are three of us who have been there all 25 years and we want to see this fabulous event continued. It is the largest and longest running NPLD event in the entire country. But it is time to pass the torch.

If you share the love of the public lands that we share and have some time to give from May-October, step up now or this event may be lost as you have known it through the years.


Mark your calendars and pray for snow in November. Hopefully since we got a taste, people are thinking about Nordic gear.

Due to construction around the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center, the Grand Nordic Ski Swap and Dessert Potluck will be Oct. 25 in the Schlessman Commons building at Snow Mountain Ranch. This year marks the event’s 19th anniversary and aims to bring together the local Nordic community for an evening of fun, socializing and shopping for bargains on Nordic ski gear. If you have personal gear to sell, bring it to the Commons between 5-6 p.m. to register and label your equipment. You can print a copy of the equipment check-in form, fill it out ahead of time and bring it with you. To print the form, go to

The Nordic Swap will run from 6-8:30 p.m. Please bring your favorite dessert to share but it is not required. Check out new and used gear from Snow Mountain Ranch, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Winter Park Trading Company and more. Renew your Grand Nordic Membership, and purchase early season passes for Snow Mountain Ranch and Grand Lake Nordic Center. Bring unwanted equipment to donate to our kids programs. Credit cards will be accepted for ski swap purchases and membership dues. Service fees apply. Swap volunteers are needed to assist with food, equipment registration, member and volunteer signup. For more or to volunteer, contact Chris Lee at or call 970-887-0547.

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