Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Announcing The Release of My New Book on The History of Hiking

I’m very excited to announce the release of my brand new book on the rich history of hiking! Ramble On: A History of Hiking is the first broad historical overview of hiking in one volume. Among the variety of topics discussed about the early years of hiking, the book also includes anecdotal stories of trail development in some of our oldest and most iconic national parks, such as Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. To give you a better idea of what the book encompasses, I've copied the introduction to the book (below), which is now available on Amazon.


Ramble On:

How did hiking evolve from the upper-class European sport of alpinism and the publication of an English travel guide into an activity that now has millions of participants all over the world? Who built the thousands of miles of trails that now crisscross America? What did early hikers wear, and what were some of the key inventions and innovations that led to our modern array of hiking gear and apparel? How was information about hiking, trails and gear disseminated in the early years? And what were some of the reasons why people hiked, and how have those changed over time?

Ramble On, a general history on the sport of hiking (also known as rambling, tramping, walking, hillwalking, backpacking or trekking), attempts to answers these questions, as well as many others. This book chronicles hiking’s roots in alpinism and mountaineering, the societal trends that fostered its growth, some of the early hikers from the nineteenth century, the first trails built specifically for recreational hiking, the formation of the first hiking clubs, as well as the evolution of hiking gear and apparel.

When I first considered writing this book two years ago I wasn’t really sure how much relevant information I would be able to find, or how compelling of a story could be written about the history of hiking. I feared that I wouldn’t have enough material to write a full book. However, after diving into the project I soon realized that hiking actually has a very rich and compelling history, and has been profoundly influenced by a series of events that had nothing to do with hiking. I was continuously amazed by how much hiking has been molded by societal trends, as well as national and international events. The story of hiking took me in many directions that I never would’ve considered, from Romanticism and Transcendentalism, to the Industrial Revolution and the labor movement, to the rise of automobiles, environmentalism, club culture, and even art, to name just a few.

However, what intrigued me the most were the anecdotal stories of trail development in some of our oldest and most iconic national parks, as well as the peculiar and quirky traditions of some of the early hiking clubs. One of the most compelling stories was the apparel women were forced to wear during the Victorian Era, and the danger those fashion standards posed to women who dared to venture into the mountains.

This book also takes a look at some of the issues that currently impact hikers and trails, such as overcrowding and social media, and takes a peek into the future on how some of these trends could unfold. I also explain some of the solutions public land managers are currently considering, and offer a few suggestions myself.

My hope is that you will you come away with a better understanding of what it took to make hiking one of the most popular activities in the world, and what we need to do to preserve our trails and the spirit of hiking for future generations to come.

To order your copy now, please click here. Thank you very much!



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Colorado Parks and Wildlife leads state effort to compile comprehensive outdoor recreation plan

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has released a draft 2019 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) for public review and comment. As outdoor recreation participation booms in Colorado, the plan lays out top priorities to address the state’s needs for conservation and outdoor recreation over the next five years.

Increasing popularity for outdoor spaces plus a growing understanding of how important outdoor recreation is to Colorado’s economy, quality of life, and health make it essential that all Coloradans work collaboratively to conserve Colorado’s outdoor playground.

The draft SCORP includes new studies looking at outdoor recreation participation, including barriers and motivations, and management issues.

“According to the new information collected, 92 percent of Coloradans recreate outdoors at least once every few weeks,” said Dr. Mike Quartuch, human dimensions specialist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Almost 70 percent of Coloradans recreate outdoors one or more times per week,” Dr. Quartuch said. Coloradans’ favorite outdoor recreation activities are walking and hiking, while about a third enjoy picnicking, camping and fishing.

When asked about barriers to participating in outdoor recreation, Coloradans cited time constraints, crowding and traffic. When asked about future investments for where they live, Coloradans are interested in more walking trails and paths, nature and wildlife viewing areas and picnic areas with shelters that can accommodate small groups. When considering statewide priorities, people find long-term planning and management, operations and maintenance of existing facilities, and trails to be the most important.

“In 2014, our SCORP reported that outdoor recreation contributed $34.5 billion to Colorado’s economy. We anticipate this new report will show extensive growth in this powerhouse industry,” said Bob Broscheid, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Every report that comes out about this industry makes it one of the largest sectors in Colorado’s economy, greater than construction, finance, and manufacturing. The impacts ripple across both urban and rural communities and benefit our daily lives.”

Since the last statewide study for Colorado five years ago, the contribution of outdoor recreation continues to demonstrate its might both at home and nationally. The most recent Outdoor Industry Association report finds that the outdoor recreation sector contributes $887 billion in consumer spending nationwide.

Over the next twenty years, the state’s population is projected to grow by around 100,000 people every year. As a result, the acres of outdoor recreation lands per capita in Colorado will drop by about 20 percent. This means more crowding and pressure on the state’s outdoor resources, including outdoor recreation infrastructure and wildlife habitat.

“We are at a critical juncture in determining the future of conservation of the places we love and the demand for recreation opportunities. Our outdoor spaces, recreation opportunities and wildlife are defining characteristics of Colorado,” Broscheid stated. “We cannot look at these as separate from one another. Conservation and outdoor recreation are intertwined. It is up to each of us to play an active role in caring for and maintaining these valuable assets. Our way of life depends on it.”

To address these challenges, the draft SCORP identifies four top priorities:

1. Enhance sustainable access and opportunity to enjoy the outdoors
2. Promote stewardship of natural, cultural and recreational resources
3. Conserve lands, waters and wildlife
4. Ensure adequate funding to sustain Colorado’s outdoors for the future

The 2019 SCORP was prepared with extensive input from Colorado leaders in outdoor recreation, including members of the Colorado Outdoor Partnership. "For over a year, outdoor recreation interests met with conservation groups, sportsmen, outdoor educators, government and others to consider pressing issues and identify the top priorities for the future of Colorado's outdoors," said Allison Kincaid, Executive Director of Colorado Parks and Recreation Association. "This plan is Colorado's plan. It was developed through a collaborative process and will require strong partnerships to ensure its success."

With broad input, this plan provides the framework to strategically allocate Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars - combined with investments from other federal, state, local and private funding programs - and support collaborations between outdoor recreation providers that promote both recreational enjoyment and thoughtful conservation of Colorado’s special places.

The public has until October 22nd to review the draft 2019 SCORP and provide comments to CPW. For more information, or to comment on the plan visit: Coloradoscorp.org



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, September 28, 2018

Annual Elk Fest in Estes Park This Weekend

To celebrate the annual elk rut and learn about the "wapiti," the Native American name for elk, the city of Estes Park hosts the annual Elk Fest, Sept. 29-30.

Elk Fest offers visitors a chance to view elk during the rutting season in the wild, as well as expand their knowledge of elk and its habitat.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will have a booth to promote the message of how to view wildlife responsibility, will have a kids craft table, general showcases on elk and hunting information from CPW’s hunter outreach program.

Held in Bond Park, located in downtown Estes Park, the free festival will offer:

• Bugling competitions
• Education areas
• Seminars
• Music by the Elktones
• Mountain Man Rendezvous
• Native American storytelling and music
• Guided elk viewing tours
• Vendors that offer art from oils and pastels, hand made elk-ivory jewelry, scrimshawed antler knives, elk antler lamps and chandeliers, elk hide pillows, silver and gold jewelry and elk antlers.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, Sept. 29

• 8:30 a.m. - Rut Run 5k
• 10 a.m. - All Vendors Open
• 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Kids Corral w/ fun activities and crafts
• 10:30-10:50 a.m. - "Elk of Estes Park" film in Town Hall
• 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Native American Storytelling
• 12:15-1 p.m. - Bugling Contest
• 1-1:20 p.m. - "Elk of Estes Park" film in Town Hall
• 1:30-3 p.m. - Live Music from Amplified Souls
• 3-5 p.m. - Native American Music, Dancing & Storytelling
• 8 p.m.-12 a.m. - Elk Fest Afterparty at Hunters Chophouse

Sunday, Sept. 30

• 10 a.m. - All Vendors Open
• 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Kids Corral w/ fun activities and crafts
• 10:30-10:50 a.m. - "Elk of Estes Park" film in Town Hall
• 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Live Music from Cowboy Brad
• 12:45-1:45 p.m. - Rocky Mountain Raptors, educational performance
• 2-4 p.m. - Native American Music, Dancing & Storytelling
• 2:30-2:50 p.m. - "Elk of Estes Park" film in Town Hall

You can visit the Elk Fest web page for more information by clicking here. For information on lodging during your visit, please click here.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, September 24, 2018

Two Elk Poaching Incidents In Rocky Mountain National Park

On Sunday morning park visitors reported a dead bull elk next to Trail Ridge Road, near the Ute Crossing Trail south of Forest Canyon Overlook in Rocky Mountain National Park. Park rangers investigated and discovered the large bull elk had been poached during the night of Friday, September 21, or early morning Saturday, September 22.

On Wednesday morning September 12, park rangers discovered a large bull elk had been poached on Trail Ridge Road near Milner Pass. This occurred during the night of Tuesday, September 11, or early morning September 12. This bull’s head had been severed and the carcass remained.

Both cases are under investigation. Park rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park urge anyone with information on these incidents or other incidents related to wildlife poaching in the park to call or text the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau at 888-653-0009 or call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-332-4155. Persons providing information that leads to an arrest may receive a reward. If you have information that could help investigators, or if you were in the locations listed above please contact us. You do not have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know.

The group of elk near Milner Pass in particular had frequented that area. Park rangers are asking for any photographs taken of bull elk near Milner Pass. Please email those to nps_isb@nps.gov or post on the park’s Facebook page at RockyNPS.

Rocky Mountain National Park’s wildlife is a resource for all to enjoy and protect. Both of these elk were magnificent large bulls. Tens of thousands of park visitors have viewed and photographed these bulls. The individual(s) involved with these egregious poaching incidents have robbed park visitors from this experience and killed two strong bull elk during the rutting season. Please help the park protect wildlife by reporting any suspicious activity.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks

On September 22, join in the nation’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors on National Public Lands Day! All national parks will have free admission and many will host volunteer service projects open to all.

"Every year, Americans come together on National Public Lands Day to demonstrate their love of national parks," said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. "Activities hosted by parks across the nation will promote environmental stewardship and encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and good health."

Marking its 25th anniversary this year, National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest single-day environmental volunteer effort. More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in volunteer service events designed to improve the health of public lands and encourage shared stewardship.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke will celebrate the day by working alongside groups of military veterans and youth to paint several historic structures at Grand Canyon National Park. The volunteer project to restore the cabins is an example of the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance needs in the National Park System. Secretary Zinke will also meet with national park partners and congressional representatives to discuss legislative efforts to address the maintenance backlog.

Grand Canyon is just one of 100 national parks and 2,600 federal public land sites hosting National Public Lands Day events. In other national parks, volunteers will rehabilitate campgrounds, improve trails, restore native habitats, repair bluebird boxes, clean beaches, and refurbish historic buildings, among other projects. Check NPS.gov for more information and a list of sites.

Volunteer efforts on days such as National Public Lands Day demonstrate the willingness of people to give back to the land for the benefit of parks. Volunteers assisting on work projects on National Public Lands Day will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for free entrance to any national park on a date of their choosing.

National Public Land Day celebrations also include recreational and educational activities, such as hikes, bike rides, paddle trips, bird watching excursions, and water quality testing. To encourage everyone to join the fun, it is an entrance fee-free day for national parks and most other federal public lands and state parks.

The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments. The federal partners are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

All National Public Lands Day events are free, and open to people of all ages and abilities. To learn more, register an event, or find an event near you, visit NEEFusa.org/NPLD.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Monday, September 17, 2018

Colorado Parks and Wildlife announces discovery of unique cutthroat trout in southwest Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists have discovered a unique genetic lineage of the Colorado River cutthroat trout in southwest Colorado that was thought to be extinct. The agency will continue to evaluate the findings and collaborate with agency partners to protect and manage populations of this native trout.

The discovery was officially recognized earlier this year thanks to advanced genetic testing techniques that can look into the basic components of an organism’s DNA, the building blocks of life. This exciting find demonstrates the value of applying state-of-the-art genetic science to decades of native cutthroat conservation management and understanding.

“Anyone who just looked at these fish would have a difficult time telling them apart from any other cutthroat; but this is a significant find,” said Jim White, aquatic biologist for CPW in Durango. “Now we will work to determine if we can propagate these fish in our hatcheries and reintroduce them into the wild in their historic habitat. It’s a great conservation effort and a great conservation story.”

Eight small populations of these trout have been found in streams of the San Juan River Basin within the San Juan National Forest and on private property. The populations are in isolated habitats and sustained through natural reproduction. U.S. Forest Service staff and landowners have been cooperative in CPW’s efforts; they will also be instrumental in further cutthroat conservation efforts.

In August, north of Durango, crews from CPW and the U.S. Forest Service hiked into two small, remote creeks affected by the 416 Fire and removed 58 fish. Ash flows from the fire could have severely impacted these small populations.

Cutthroat trout originated in the Pacific Ocean and are one of the most diverse fish species in North America with 14 different subspecies. Three related subspecies are found in Colorado: Colorado River cutthroat trout found west of the Continental Divide; Greenback cutthroat trout in the South Platte River Basin; and the Rio Grande cutthroat trout in the San Luis Valley. A fourth, the yellowfin cutthroat trout native to the Arkansas River Basin, went extinct in the early 1900s. Cutthroats from each of these areas have specific and distinctive genetic markers. CPW propagates the three remaining subspecies, and actively manages their conservation and recovery throughout the state.

White and other biologists ‒ including Kevin Rogers, a CPW cutthroat researcher based in Steamboat Springs, and Mike Japhet, a retired Durango CPW aquatic biologist ‒ have been surveying remote creeks in southwest Colorado for more than 30 years looking for isolated populations of cutthroat trout. They found some populations in remote locations long before advanced genetic testing was available. The biologists understood that isolated populations might carry unique genetic traits and adaptations, so they made sure to preserve collected samples for genetic testing later. Significant advances in genetic testing technology over the last 10 years were instrumental in finding the distinct genetic markers that identify the San Juan lineage trout as being unique.

In 1874, naturalist Charles E. Aiken collected and preserved samples of fish found in the San Juan River near Pagosa Springs. Two trout were deposited in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. These samples were forgotten until 2012 when a team of researchers from the University of Colorado was hired by the Greenback Trout Recovery Team to study old trout specimens housed in the nation’s oldest museums. When the researchers tested tissue from those two specimens they found genetic markers unique to the San Juan River Basin. Armed with the knowledge of these genetic “fingerprints”, CPW researchers and biologists set out to test all the cutthroat trout populations they could find in the basin in search of any relic populations.

“We always ask ourselves, ‘What if we could go back to the days before pioneer settlement and wide-spread non-native fish stocking to see what we had here?’” White said. “Careful work over the years by biologists, finding those old specimens in the museum and the genetic testing gave us the chance, essentially, to go back in time. Now we have the opportunity to conserve this native trout in southwest Colorado.”

Developing a brood stock of these trout so that they can be reintroduced into San Juan River headwaters streams will be a key conservation strategy for increasing their distribution into suitable habitat and help their long-term stability. Protecting the fish from disease, other non-native fish, habitat loss and over-harvest are important factors that will be considered in a conservation plan that will be developed over the next few years. While that might seem like a long time, the discovery of this fish goes back more than 100 years.

Over the decades, CPW has worked with many partners throughout the state to find and conserve distinct cutthroat populations. Many of these efforts were conducted with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service, conservation groups and private property owners. CPW also works on projects with both the Colorado River Cutthroat Trout and Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout conservation teams.

All native cutthroats have been adversely affected by a variety of issues, including reduced stream flows, competition with other trout species, changes in water quality and other riparian-habitat alterations. Consequently, the various types of native cutthroats are only found in isolated headwaters streams. To ensure continued conservation of Colorado’s cutthroats, CPW stocks only the native species in high lakes and headwater streams. That stocking practice started in the mid-1990s.

CPW has also conserved cutthroats in headwaters streams by working with the U.S. Forest Service to build barriers to prevent upstream migration of non-native trout, removing non-native trout and subsequently stocking them with native trout. The conservation group, Trout Unlimited, has provided valuable assistance with many of these projects.

John Alves, Durango-based senior aquatic biologist for CPW’s Southwest Region, said the discovery shows the dedication of CPW aquatic biologists.

“These fish were discovered because of our curiosity and our concern for native species,” Alves said. “We’re driven by scientific inquiry that’s based on hard work and diligence. This is a major discovery for Colorado and it shows the critical importance of continuing our research and conservation work.”



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
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TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Decision Reached on Fall River Entrance Improvements In Rocky Mountain National Park

The Director of the Intermountain Region, National Park Service, has signed a decision document that will enable Rocky Mountain National Park to implement improvements to the Fall River Entrance Station, including the addition of a fast-pass lane for use by pass-holding visitors as well as employees and emergency vehicles. The Fall River Entrance is one of two major entrance stations on the east side of the park and is located on U.S. Highway 34, just inside the park boundary.

In addition to the new fast-pass lane, the selected alternative reconfigures the existing entrance and exit lanes, replaces all existing buildings with newly constructed ones having updated equipment and systems for ventilation and technology, improves the accessibility of all entrance facilities, and adds new parking spaces and pedestrian paths. The park will also develop an interpretive wayside exhibit at Sheep Lakes Overlook to depict the developmental history of the Fall River Entrance Station Area. Keeping the current configuration of existing buildings will minimize impacts on the Fall River Entrance Historic District.

An Environmental Assessment for the Fall River Entrance Improvements was prepared in June 2018, to examine alternative actions and environmental impacts associated with improving the entrance station area. Initial public scoping for the project occurred in the summer of 2017, including a public meeting held in August. It will be several years until the construction begins.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Monday, September 10, 2018

Orphaned Estes Park bear cubs begin rehabilitation process in San Luis Valley

Three orphaned black bear cubs taken from inside the Estes Park city limits are getting a new lease on life at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Frisco Creek wildlife facility near Del Norte in the San Luis Valley.

The three cubs were orphaned last Thursday after their mother was euthanized for attempting to break into a home on Ponderosa Drive in Estes Park. It was the sow’s third reported residential break-in of the summer; she had also caused damage at a local business in her search of food.

That sow become known in the town as “Scarface” because of wounds sustained on her snout two years ago when she touched a power line. Due to her comfort being around people, she was deemed a threat to human health and safety.

“She had become habituated to people and had associated humans with food,” said Kristin Cannon, area wildlife manager for CPW. “She posed a safety risk to the public and we felt compelled to act to protect the community. We also hope that by removing the cubs from this situation, they will not repeat the behavior of their mother and will have a higher chance of survival over the long term.”

The rehabilitation center now plays an important role in the development of these cubs. The cubs are isolated from people to deter habituation. The Frisco Creek Center also prepares these cubs for winter hibernation.

Frisco Creek has been very successful in the rehabilitation of black bear cubs. In 2017, the center rehabilitated two orphaned cubs taken from Hermit Park Open Space just east of Estes Park.

“They came from near Estes Park and they were returned to the same area later that year,” said Michael Sirochman, Frisco Creek wildlife facility manager. “We are not taking them away. We are not putting them in a zoo. We are not killing them. We are successfully returning them to the wild, once they are ready to be self-sufficient.”

In a typical year, the facility receives 15-20 black bear cubs that they prepare to survive a winter’s hibernation on their own. Sirochman said the process of rehabilitating these three cubs begins with keeping them away from people.

“To prevent habituation, we are very strict about keeping people away from the bears. We also have the enclosures set up with visual barriers,” he said, so the cubs cannot see the working staff. “We will have two pens adjacent to each other and when the bears hear us, they generally will retreat to the farther pen, just to get away from the sound of humans. We are trying to preserve that instinct to avoid humans".

The next step is to continue to build on the bears' natural instincts and pack on the pounds before winter.

“A lot of this isn’t really taught, they just know to follow their nose to food and we try to provide the widest variety of natural forage that we can so that they have experience with those things,” Sirochman said. “When they smell them one day, they remember: ‘Ah ha, gooseberries are good and I’m going to go eat them.’ ”

The staff puts whole berry bushes or rose hips in their pens so the cubs actually pick the berries off and get poked by the thorns, making it a realistic experience. They are also fed fish provided by the Monte Vista Fish Hatchery.

However, the bulk of their diet is made up of a nutritionally complete commercial bear formula to make sure the cubs are getting all necessary nutrients to grow.

The minimum target weight that facility staff would allow a cub to be released for hibernation is 60 pounds for a female, 70 pounds for a male. Most cubs they release are somewhere in the 90- to 110-pound range.

“This time of year, since we are in hyperphagia, they are really keyed in on food,” Sirochman said. “They want to spend a lot of their day eating and this commercial feed is just so packed full of calories that they can really get a lot more nutrients in a short amount of time than they could in the wild. So they grow very quickly.”

How quickly? Sirochman said these cubs will probably put on 30-40 pounds by the end of September.

“Visually, they are very healthy cubs,” he said of this trio. “Some of the cubs we get have been orphaned for weeks without mom and they are starving. These went straight from mom to us so there was no lag time for them to get hungry.”

Just like the other set of orphaned cubs from Estes Park last summer, the success rate of the facility in getting cubs through their first hibernation on their own has been good.

In 2012, the facility released 20 cubs, equipped with ear-tag transmitters, into the wild during hibernation. The ear transmitters stay on typically for no longer than six months, but CPW collected enough data off of that to know that all 20 cubs survived the winter.

“It is not an occasional thing, it is something we do all the time,” Sirochman said. “We are good at it and are very successful. I very rarely find out about these cubs getting into trouble after release, which is somewhat telling. They don’t seem to be getting into trouble any more often than a wild bear would get into trouble.”

And that is the goal here with these three orphaned cubs. Do what can be done to get them to be self-sufficient without having to go into town to look for food.

When released, these cubs will have white ear-tags on them to signal they are rehabilitated cubs. This does not count as a first strike against them, so if they get into trouble in the future, they won’t be euthanized on that first offense unless they pose an imminent threat to human health and safety, such as by breaking into a home.

“They are going to hibernate all winter, they are going to turn their fat into all the energy and water they need,” Sirochman said. “One of the things a little bit of the research I’ve seen has shown, is that the longer they can go between the release and encountering humans for the first time, the greater the likelihood that they will respond like a wild bear that wants to avoid people.”

As for the city of Estes Park, Cannon stressed the importance of its residents being bear aware to help prevent future conflicts. “It is imperative that the residents of Estes Park work to secure their garbage and houses to make town less appealing to the cubs and other bears,” she said.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
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HikingintheSmokys.com

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Enjoy the fall foliage with Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Though summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22, fall colors are already beginning to appear across the State of Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites you to plan your fall excursions, making the most of those fleeting fall colors. Whether you are looking for wildlife viewing, picturesque hiking trails or a scenic foliage drives, Colorado has got it all.

If you are interested in witnessing the changes to nature autumn brings, Colorado’s 41 state parks are a perfect place to start. With fall bringing dramatic changes to the aspen leaves, as well as unique animal mating rituals such as elk bugling, state parks are a great place to access all that the season brings. Take a weekend away at State Forest State Park to witness a phenomenal showing of changing aspen trees. If you are more interested in elk viewing, head to Mueller State Park to join a group hike to seek out the bugling elk and a chance to witness bull elk competing for females. While making the most of the wildlife viewing opportunities autumn presents, always remember to practice ethical wildlife viewing.

"Autumn is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy Colorado’s state parks. With opportunities to view wildlife and appreciate our fall colors in beautiful settings, our state parks are great places to experience the best aspects of the season. With the potential for fall colors to arrive a bit earlier this year, make sure to get outside and enjoy this special time before it passes for another year," says Julie Arington, Park Manager at Steamboat Lake State Park.

Fall in Colorado provides opportunities for those looking for a solo adventure, as well as those seeking some family fun. With hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding as well as a wide variety of camping options, Colorado’s state parks are sure to have a trail or site to fit every age, ability and interest. Whether you are interested in a nature walk at Barr Lake, a horseback ride at Golden Gate Canyon, a mountain bike ride at Mancos, or a relaxing overnight yurt stay at Pearl Lake, fall in Colorado has something that everyone will enjoy.

As the air becomes brisk, you may find a scenic drive preferable. Begin your drive at Trinidad Lake State Park, and wind your way through the Highway of Legends down to Lathrop State Park. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with views of mountain peaks and groves of changing aspens. If you’re looking for a new take on fall color viewing, head out to southwest Colorado for a visit to Navajo State Park. You will have a chance to witness the desert mountains, buttes, and mesas while they are highlighted by pockets of colorful brilliance and interest.

To find state parks with fall activities you may be interested in, please visit the Park Finder, as well as the CPW calendar.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Body Found Believed To Be That Of Jens “Jay” Yambert

Yesterday morning, August 31, a body was found by Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue ground team members west of Keplinger’s Couloir at 12,600 feet in elevation, in extremely steep, rugged terrain. Boulder County Coroner’s office will not release positive identification until completion of an autopsy. However, it is believed that the body is that of Jens “Jay” Yambert, 60, of Urbana, Illinois.

Based on this afternoon’s weather and erratic winds, rangers will be staying in the area overnight and an investigation will take place tomorrow. Recovery efforts will also begin tomorrow. Due to the extended weather forecast for high elevations, it is unknown when complete recovery efforts will take place. Once the investigation and recovery is complete more details will be released. Until then, no further information is available.

On Tuesday, August 28, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified by a family member that Jens “Jay” Yambert, 60, of Urbana, Illinois, was overdue. Yambert is believed to have started from the Longs Peak Trailhead at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 26. His rental car was found at the trailhead Tuesday night after park staff were notified by his family that he was overdue. It was unknown what Yambert’s planned destination or route was. After learning about the search for Yambert, park staff heard from visitors who saw Yambert on Monday morning, August 27, along the Keyhole Route. Visitors indicated that the weather was poor with ice, sleet, rain, and strong winds.

Extensive ground and aerial search efforts began for Yambert the morning of Wednesday, August 29, two days after he was last seen on the Keyhole. Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park's Search and Rescue Team members in today’s search operations were Rocky Mountain Rescue based out of Boulder, Larimer County Search and Rescue, including one dog team, and Northern Colorado Helitack.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
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Conquering A Granite Goliath

Below is an outstanding short film by Christopher R. Abbey on what it's like to climb 14,505-foot Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48. The film has recently become an official selection for the Highlands Park Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles. Enjoy!


CONQUERING A GRANITE GOLIATH - Summiting Mount Whitney from Christopher R. Abbey on Vimeo.




Jeff
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Friday, August 31, 2018

Operations Begin On Forest Canyon And Mirror Fires In Rocky Mountain National Park

Initial attack operations started today on both the Forest Canyon Fire and the Mirror Fire. On the Forest Canyon Fire hand crews hiked down from Trail Ridge Road. Mitigation and containment efforts are concentrating on preventing fire spread and spotting downhill. The Forest Canyon Fire is burning below Trail Ridge Road between Rock Cut and Forest Canyon overlook, and is approximately 5 acres. Two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS) dropped retardant on the Forest Canyon Fire this morning but it was ineffective due to the steep terrain and valleys. A Type 1 helicopter has been assigned to the fire and should be in the area this afternoon.

Trail Ridge Road remains open unless fire conditions change. Upper Beaver Meadows Road is closed due to aviation operations.

The Forest Canyon Fire is burning in mostly lodgepole pine forest, with 50 percent of the stand killed by recent insect infestations. This area of the Forest Canyon Fire has not burned in the last 800 years. Fire behavior is being driven by steep terrain and the amount of fuel. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. However, a thunderstorm with lightning moved through the Forest Canyon area yesterday afternoon.

The Mirror Fire continues to burn in the remote northern section of the park in spruce fir forest. The Mesa Verde National Park Helitack crew are assigned to this fire. Trail closures are in effect for the Mirror Lake Trail, from the junction with the Mummy Pass Trail northbound to Mirror Lake. The Comanche Peak trail is closed from the park boundary southbound to Mirror Lake. Wilderness campsite closures include the Mirror Lake site and the Koenig stock site, and reservations for these backcountry sites are canceled until further notice.

Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park fire staff include Mesa Verde National Park Helitack, Estes Valley Fire Protection District, Grand Lake Fire Protection District, Boulder County Fire, and Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest.



Jeff
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Two Small Fires Burning in Rocky Mountain National Park

Two small fires are burning inside Rocky Mountain National Park in remote locations. One fire has been confirmed burning near Mirror Lake in the northern section of the park. A second fire is burning in the Forest Canyon area below Trail Ridge Road between Rock Cut and Forest Canyon overlook. Trail Ridge Road remains open, unless fire conditions change. Upper Beaver Meadows Road will be closed, due to the potential of aviation operations tomorrow.

Aerial resources have flown the areas to determine best fire management tactics. The Mirror Fire is burning near treeline in mostly spruce fir forest. The Forest Canyon Fire is burning in lodgepole. The initial size up of the Mirror Fire is one/tenth of an acre. The Forest Canyon Fire is approximately 3 to 5 acres. Both fires have more than 50 percent of the forest stand killed by recent insect outbreaks.

Firefighters will hike into the Forest Canyon Fire this morning for initial attack using hand crews and available aviation assets. A small crew and helicopter from Mesa Verde National Park will help to begin suppressing the Mirror Fire tomorrow.

Trail closures are in place for the Mirror Lake Trail, from the junction with the Mummy Pass Trail northbound to Mirror Lake. The Comanche Peak trail is closed from the park boundary southbound to Mirror Lake. Wilderness campsite closures include the Mirror Lake site and the Koenig stock site. Reservations for these backcountry sites are canceled until further notice.

The cause of the fires have not yet been determined. However, a thunderstorm with lightning moved through the Forest Canyon area yesterday afternoon.



Jeff
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Rescue Effort Takes Place In Longs Peak Search Area

On Wednesday night Emma Long, 23, of Houston, Texas, was reported by a friend as overdue in the Longs Peak area. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members incorporated search efforts in the Keyhole Route area for Long as well as Jens “Jay” Yambert, who was reported missing on Tuesday night.

These efforts were underway early yesterday morning when park visitors notified rangers that they were assisting a female who indicated she had fallen at some time in the preceding 24 hours above the Keyhole. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members arrived on scene at 9:30 a.m. Long suffered serious injuries from the fall. Search and Rescue team members and visitors moved her via litter to The Boulder Field where a Flight For Life air ambulance from Colorado Springs flew her at 11:10 a.m. to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver.

Search efforts have continued for Jens “Jay” Yambert. After hearing about the search for Yambert, park staff have heard from visitors who saw Yambert on Monday morning, August 27, along the Keyhole Route. Visitors indicated that the weather was poor with ice, sleet, rain, and strong winds. Park staff greatly appreciate information that visitors are providing. From visitor descriptions, Yambert was wearing a black raincoat, gray shorts with high black socks, yellow gloves, sandals and a blue/gray backpack. He was carrying trekking poles.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Longs Peak or Mount Meeker area since Sunday, August 26, particularly on the Keyhole Route, Keplinger’s Couloir, The Loft, Chasm Lake, Clark’s Arrow and the Roaring Fork area. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
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Volunteers Needed for Young Gulch Trail Work

Restoration work is continuing on the Young Gulch Trail in the Poudre Canyon that was badly damaged by the 2013 Flood. Progress has been slow and steady by volunteers and Forest Service employees with plans to open the trail sometime in 2019.

There is still a little more than a mile of trail to build and about two miles that need finish work. The Wildlands Restoration Volunteers will be hosting a volunteer day on September 1 and 2, 2018. Details about the project as well as the sign-up, is available on Wildlands Restoration Volunteer’s website at https://www.wlrv.net/index.php?section=events&action=list&type=projects#event2435.

This event is a great way to learn how trails are built and to help protect and conserve your National Forest resource. The Forest Service greatly appreciates all the volunteer support that has taken place so far on this very popular trail.



Jeff
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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Search In Longs Peak Area For Overdue Man

On Tuesday night, August 28, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified by a family member that Jens “Jay” Yambert, 60, of Urbana, Illinois, was overdue. Yambert is believed to have started from the Longs Peak Trailhead at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 26. His rental car was found at the trailhead last night after park staff were notified by his family that he was overdue. It is unknown what Yambert’s planned destination or route was. One possible route may have been Clark’s Arrow to the summit of Longs Peak.

Yesterday morning members of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team began searching the Longs Peak area including Clark’s Arrow, the Boulder Field, North Face, Lamb’s Slide and Peacock Pool. Aerial surveillance also occurred with assistance from Northern Colorado Helitack.

Yambert was possibly wearing a black raincoat, khaki pants and hat, sandals and a blue/grey back pack. He may also be using trekking poles.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Longs Peak or Mount Meeker area since Sunday, August 26. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
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Thursday, August 23, 2018

USDA Forest Service Announces New Strategy for Improving Forest Conditions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) recently announced a new strategy for managing catastrophic wildfires and the impacts of invasive species, drought, and insect and disease epidemics.

Specifically, a new report titled Toward Shared Stewardship across Landscapes: An Outcome-based investment Strategy outlines the USFS’s plans to work more closely with states to identify landscape-scale priorities for targeted treatments in areas with the highest payoffs.

“On my trip to California this week, I saw the devastation that these unprecedented wildfires are having on our neighbors, friends and families,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We commit to work more closely with the states to reduce the frequency and severity of wildfires. We commit to strengthening the stewardship of public and private lands. This report outlines our strategy and intent to help one another prevent wildfire from reaching this level.”

Both federal and private managers of forest land face a range of urgent challenges, among them catastrophic wildfires, invasive species, degraded watersheds, and epidemics of forest insects and disease. The conditions fueling these circumstances are not improving. Of particular concern are longer fire seasons, the rising size and severity of wildfires, and the expanding risk to communities, natural resources, and firefighters.

“The challenges before us require a new approach,” said Interim USFS Chief Vicki Christiansen. “This year Congress has given us new opportunities to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with state leaders to identify land management priorities that include mitigating wildfire risks. We will use all the tools available to us to reduce hazardous fuels, including mechanical treatments, prescribed fire, and unplanned fire in the right place at the right time, to mitigate them.”

A key component of the new strategy is to prioritize investment decisions on forest treatments in direct coordination with states using the most advanced science tools. This allows the USFS to increase the scope and scale of critical forest treatments that protect communities and create resilient forests.

The USFS will also build upon the authorities created by the 2018 Omnibus Bill, including new categorical exclusions for land treatments to improve forest conditions, new road maintenance authorities, and longer stewardship contracting in strategic areas. The agency will continue streamlining its internal processes to make environmental analysis more efficient and timber sale contracts more flexible.

The Omnibus Bill also includes a long-term “fire funding fix,” starting in FY 2020, that will stop the rise of the 10-year average cost of fighting wildland fire and reduce the likelihood of the disruptive practice of transferring funds from Forest Service non-fire programs to cover firefighting costs. The product of more than a decade of hard work, this bipartisan solution will ultimately stabilize the agency’s operating environment.

Finally, because rising rates of firefighter fatalities in recent decades have shifted the USFS’s approach to fire response, the report emphasizes the agency’s commitment to a risk-based response to wildfire.

The complete strategy is available at www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/toward-shared-stewardship.pdf. Photographs of the event are available at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskGkVYkN



Jeff
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Monday, August 20, 2018

Rocky Mountain Region Begins Hiring for 2019 Field Season

The Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service recently announced the availability of over 900 temporary jobs for the 2019 field season throughout national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Temporary jobs are available in a variety of exciting and rewarding occupations such as fire, trails, forestry, engineering, wildlife, recreation, fisheries, archaeology and administrative support.

Job seekers can apply for temporary jobs through USAJOBS during these time frames:

* September 14 – October 12, 2018: Wildland fire jobs and other early season temporary jobs

* September 14 – September 28, 2018: Recreation, fisheries, forestry, engineering, and other jobs

For more information, please click here.



Jeff
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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Mountain Lion Enters Home in Boulder

Boulder Police Department and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers were dispatched last Thursday evening to the 400 block of Marine Street for a report of a mountain lion inside a home.

Boulder Police arrived on scene at 10:40 p.m. to the unoccupied residence and found that the mountain lion had entered the house through a screen door to get a cat that was inside.

When the CPW wildlife officer arrived at 11:30 p.m., they decided the best way to get the mountain lion out of the house was to use non-lethal bean-bag rounds to fire at it in an attempt to chase it out the front door. Officers were successful in getting the mountain lion out of the house. Officers saw the lion run up the street and believed it went up into the foothills near the Boulder Canyon vicinity.

CPW wildlife officers maintained an enhanced presence in the area on Friday and over the weekend to make sure the mountain lion didn' return.

If you have an encounter with a lion, immediately contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Before or after these hours, contact Colorado State Patrol or your local Sheriff’s office.

To report a sighting, please contact your local area office or the Northeast Region CPW Office (Denver): (303) 291-7227



Jeff
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sen. Bennet Introduces Protections for San Juan Mountains

Although this news is several months old I just found out about this piece of legislation, known as the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act, and fully support it, as some trails in the San Juan Mountains are being overrun and need further protection:

Earlier this year, in April, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet introduced the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act to protect approximately 61,000 acres of land located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. The bill would designate some of the state’s most iconic peaks as wilderness areas, including two fourteeners: Mount Sneffels and Wilson Peak.

“We must do our part in Washington to push this bill across the finish line,” Bennet said. “Not only are these iconic landscapes vital to outdoor recreation and local economies, but they also stand as a symbol of our public lands legacy in Colorado—a legacy we must pass onto our kids and grandkids. I’m grateful to all of the county commissioners and leaders who have tirelessly worked to advance this effort for over a decade, and I’m particularly grateful to Commissioner Hilary Cooper, who has played an instrumental role in shaping the legislation we introduced today.”

This legislation is the result of years of collaboration among San Miguel, San Juan, and Ouray Counties. Originally introduced in 2009, the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act passed the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously in 2010 and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in 2013.

Since 2009, Bennet has worked closely with local leaders in Southwest Colorado to update and advance the bill in the Senate. In March of this year he joined supporters in Ouray County to renew their efforts to pass the legislation. Bennet looks forward to engaging with all stakeholders and interested parties to hear any additional input on the legislation.

In addition to the expansion and designation of new wilderness areas, the legislation would create the Sheep Mountain Special Management Area, which would provide special protection for the Ice Lakes Basin.

For more information, please click here for a map of the areas impacted, and click here for the text of the bill.



Jeff
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Friday, August 10, 2018

Proposed Campground Fee Increase in Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument is requesting public comment on a proposal to increase the daily fee for overnight stays at Saddlehorn Campground. The current fee is $20.00 per night. The proposed increase will be $22.00 per night. Holders of the America the Beautiful Access and Senior Lifetime passes would continue to receive 50% off the per night campground fee.

The campground fee was last raised in 2011. Since then the administrative costs associated with the campground, including the National Recreation Reservation System service charges have gone up. “We are committed to keeping the park affordable, but we also want to provide visitors with the best possible experience,” said Colorado National Monument Superintendent Ken Mabery. “The money from camping fees is used to fund projects benefiting the park visitor’s experience.”

To comment on the proposed campground fee increase, please provide your comments between August 15 and September 15, 2018 online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/SaddlehornFee or through the mail to:

Colorado National Monument
Attention: Chief Ranger
1750 Rim Rock Drive
Fruita, CO 81521.



Jeff
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Monday, August 6, 2018

Reward for killing of two mountain goats on Quandary Peak increased to $15,000

Thanks to donations, Colorado Operation Game Thief is increasing the reward offer from $5,000 to $15,000 for information leading to an arrest or citation in the case of two mountain goats that were shot and found dead on July 3, approximately 2.8 miles up the Quandary Peak Trail.

Anyone with any information can call or email Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648 (1-877-COLO-OGT) or game.thief@state.co.us to report any information. Callers or emailers may remain anonymous if they choose.

For more information on Colorado Parks and Wildlife regulations or stopping poachers, please visit cpw.state.co.us.



Jeff
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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Celebrate The Night Sky At Rocky Mountain National Park

America's national parks contain many cherished treasures. Among them are captivating natural sounds and awe-inspiring night skies. Seeing the Milky Way or a particular constellation can be inspirational for park visitors. In Rocky Mountain National Park, as in other parks, natural darkness of starry skies is an important resource of this special place. Rocky Mountain National Park invites you to celebrate darkness!

Tonight, August 4th, at 9 p.m. join park staff on the west side of the park for a Celestial Wilderness Night Sky Program at Harbison Meadows

Enjoy the Perseid meteor shower by attending our Night Sky Festival August 10, 11, and 12. During this 3-day event, special night sky programs and speakers will be offered at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park Campground, Glacier Basin Campground, Harbison Meadow, and Timber Creek Campground. Solar viewing, family activities, and information booths. NASA scientists will be available at Moraine Park Discovery Center August 10, 11 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stop by Kawuneeche Visitor Center during the three days from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to learn more about meteors.

Check the park website or visitor centers for the schedule of events at: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/night_sky_festival.htm



Jeff
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Recovery Efforts Completed For Brian Perri

Brian Perri’s body was recovered yesterday morning by helicopter from Rocky Mountain National Park. His body was transferred to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office. Boulder County Coroner’s office will not release positive identification until completion of an autopsy. However, it is believed that the body is that of Brian Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado.

On Saturday afternoon, July, 28, 2018, a ranger was responding to a SPOT device activation from a visitor recreating in the area. While looking for the source of the SPOT activation, the ranger came upon Perri’s body. Perri was located southwest (not northwest which was originally listed in a previous news release) of the summit of Mount Meeker in steep terrain. Mount Meeker (13,911 feet) is the second highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Perri took an approximate 25 to 40 foot tumbling fall and appears to have died instantly. He was located downhill and southwest of the Mount Meeker summit photo that he texted to a friend on June 30. He was found above tree line at the base of a steep, nearly vertical drop off, consisting of large boulders, loose rock and talus scree slope.

Searchers, including ground teams, a dog team and helicopter aerial operations were in the vicinity of where Perri’s body was located. Unfortunately, the steep terrain, angle, sheer size of the rocks and boulders as well as the coloring of his tan and green clothing made it extremely difficult to see him.

Late Thursday July 5, 2018, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man on July 5, six days after he was expected back, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead. Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30.

Extensive search efforts began the evening of Thursday, July 5, and encompassed significant sections of 22.5 square miles above tree line as well as forested areas. The majority of the search area was in rugged and remote terrain with loose rock, steep ridges, and exposed cliffs, on ridge lines and couloirs. The area was searched by helicopters, ground searchers, dog teams, and UAS reconnaissance. Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members has been Larimer County Search and Rescue members and dog teams, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Fort Collins Police, Northern Colorado Helitack, Colorado State University Police Department, Front Range Rescue Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States(SARDUS) and Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado (SARDOC), Flight For Life Air Ambulance and Colorado Search and Rescue Board members.

Boulder County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause and date of death.

The visitor who activated the SPOT device was located Saturday evening, July 28, by other rangers in the Keplinger Couloir area with a lower leg injury. Rangers remained with the man overnight. On Sunday morning, July 29, the hiker was taken by Flight For Life Air Ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center where he was treated and released that morning.



Jeff
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Update On Search Efforts For Missing Man Last Seen On Mount Meeker

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members continued search efforts in the field for Brian Perri through Sunday, July 15. Unfortunately, no clues have been found. Search managers are analyzing and continuing investigations. Dog teams will be used again this weekend. It has been twenty-one days since Perri was last heard from.

Extensive search efforts began the evening of Thursday, July 5, and have encompassed significant sections of 22.5 square miles above tree line as well as forested areas. The majority of the search area is in rugged and remote terrain with loose rock, steep ridges, and exposed cliffs, on ridge lines and couloirs. The area has been searched by helicopters, ground searchers, dog teams, and UAS reconnaissance. Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members has been Larimer County Search and Rescue members and dog teams, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Fort Collins Police, Northern Colorado Helitack, Front Range Rescue Dogs, Flight For Life Air Ambulance and Colorado Search and Rescue Board members.

Perri’s destination was believed to be the summit of Mount Meeker. This would be approximately 14 miles round trip from the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead. His exact route was unknown. Most of the route is beyond trail access which would necessitate bushwhacking, mountaineering and route finding through thick forests and the ability to travel in rugged remote terrain with loose rock, steep ridges and exposed cliffs.

Late Thursday July 5, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man on July 5, six days after he was expected back, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30. In the photograph he texted, he was wearing a tan full brim hat, sunglasses, and red backpack. He has minimal equipment and may have a yellow rain jacket and yellow orange puffy jacket. He had no known tent or camping equipment. Perri is 5’9” and weighs 160 pounds.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Mount Meeker area since Saturday, June 30. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call or text the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau at 888-653-0009.



Jeff
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Total Fire Ban Lifted At Rocky Mountain National Park

The complete fire ban that was put in place in Rocky Mountain National Park on July 6, 2018, has been lifted due to current conditions. Rocky Mountain National Park always has Stage 1 fire restrictions in place, where campfires are prohibited in the park, except within designated campfire rings in picnic areas and front-country campgrounds. The last time a total fire ban (Stage 2 fire restrictions) was in place in the park was in June of 2012.

The use of disposable or portable charcoal grills, wood fuel camp stoves and gas grills is allowed. Fireworks are always prohibited within the park. Park visitors are urged to use caution and vigilance regarding the use of fire in authorized locations.

For further information on fire conditions in the park, please visit www.nps.gov/romo or contact the park’s Information Office at 970-586-1206.



Jeff
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Updated cancellation policy will benefit campers at Colorado State Parks

Customers who need to cancel their campground reservations at a Colorado state park can now do so online at cpwshop.com or at 1-800-244-5613 at any time prior to or during their stay. The new policy allows greater flexibility for customers and helps CPW staff more easily track campground cancellations in real-time. The new system will also help CPW staff implementing the reservation-only camping pilot program allowing for last-minute reservations at six state parks.

The new rules are as follows:

14 or more days prior to arrival: Customers may cancel online or by phone and receive a full refund of the reservation use fees. (Customer is still charged the $10 reservation fee and $6 cancellation fee.)

13 days prior to arrival through the day of arrival: Customers may cancel online or by phone and receive a refund of the reservation use fees. (Customer is still charged the $10 reservation fee and first night's use fee.)

The day after arrival through the day of departure: Customers may cancel online or by phone and receive a refund of the reservation use fees. (Customer is still charged the $10 reservation fee and use fees for any nights the customer has stayed.)

Customers who wish to receive a refund outside of these rules will need to contact the park at which they have the reservation directly. Refunds of nights stayed, the reservation fee, or the cancellation fee will not be considered for bugs, bad weather, campfire bans, or low water levels.



Jeff
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Search Efforts Continue For Missing Man in Rocky Mountain National Park

Yesterday was day five of search operations for Brian Perri, day ten from the last time he was heard from. Unfortunately, no clues have been found throughout this extensive five day search effort. Yesterday, efforts were concentrated on search dog operations and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) reconnaissance flights. The UAS was utilized in a segment of the search area southeast of Peacock Pool and a section of the north face of Mount Meeker. Ground search efforts were concentrated in and around Hunters Creek and Lookout Mountain.

Since Thursday, the search area has encompassed significant sections of 22.5 square miles. The area has been searched by helicopters, ground searchers, dog teams, and UAS reconnaissance, providing a great deal of coverage. Today, search managers are analyzing the UAS reconnaissance footage and information from the previous days search efforts and continuing to adjust search tactics accordingly.

Late Thursday July 5, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known day hiking on Saturday, June 30, in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30. Perri’s destination was believed to be the summit of Mount Meeker. This would be approximately 14 miles round trip from the location of his car. In the photograph he texted, he was wearing a tan full brim hat, sunglasses, and red backpack. He has minimal equipment and may have a yellow rain jacket and yellow orange puffy jacket. He had no known tent or camping equipment. Perri is 5’9” and weighs 160 pounds.

The search and investigation is ongoing. Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Mount Meeker area since Saturday, June 30. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Update on Search Efforts For Missing Man Last Seen On Mount Meeker

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members continue search efforts today for Brian Perri. Perri’s last known location was the summit of Mount Meeker (13,911 feet) on Saturday, June 30. Northern Colorado Helitack is again supporting today’s aerial search efforts. Also assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members today is Larimer County Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County. There are 64 people involved in today’s efforts, including 46 searchers in the field.

Search efforts will again concentrate on ridge lines and couloirs including the Loft Route via Keplinger’s Couloir, the Dragon’s Egg Couloir and Meeker Ridge, as well as lower sections of Mount Meeker.

Late Thursday July 5, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known day hiking on Saturday, June 30, in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30. Perri’s destination was believed to be the summit of Mount Meeker. This would be approximately 14 miles round trip from the location of his car. In the photograph he texted, he was wearing a tan full brim hat, sunglasses, and red backpack. He has minimal equipment and may have a yellow rain jacket and yellow orange puffy jacket. He had no known tent or camping equipment. Perri is 5’9” and weighs1 60 pounds.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Mount Meeker area since Saturday, June 30. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
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Friday, July 6, 2018

Search Underway In Mount Meeker Area Rocky Mountain National Park

Late yesterday afternoon, Thursday July 5, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known day hiking on Saturday, June 30, in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Late yesterday, before nightfall, a Flight For Life Air Ambulance assisted park staff by conducting a brief aerial search near the summit of Mount Meeker. Early this morning, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members began ground search efforts. The search efforts will focus on the summit of Mount Meeker and ridge lines extending off of Mount Meeker above tree line. Northern Colorado Helitack will assist with aerial search efforts today, pending weather and conditions.

Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30. Perri’s destination was believed to be the summit of Mount Meeker. In the photograph he texted, he was wearing a tan full brim hat, sunglasses, and red backpack. He has minimal equipment and may have a yellow rain jacket and yellow orange puffy jacket. He had no known tent or camping equipment. Perri is 5’9” and weighs 160 pounds.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Mount Meeker area since Saturday, June 30. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
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Rocky Mountain National Park Announces Complete Fire Ban

Due to the continued extreme fire danger, extended weather forecast and current level of fire activity in the State of Colorado, park officials have announced a ban on all fires within Rocky Mountain National Park. This ban is effective beginning today, Friday, July 6, and will remain in effect until further notice.

Campfires, including charcoal briquette fires, are not permitted anywhere within the park. However, petroleum fueled stoves and grills will still be permitted in developed campgrounds, picnic areas and in designated backcountry campsites. Stoves must be able to be turned on and off. Smoking is also prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, or stopped within a developed paved area devoid of vegetation for at least three feet. Visitors are reminded to properly extinguish all lighted smoking materials and dispose of properly. Fireworks are always prohibited within the park.

Rocky Mountain National Park always has Stage 1 fire restrictions in place, where campfires are prohibited in the park, except within designated campfire rings in picnic areas and front-country campgrounds. The last time a total fire ban (Stage 2 fire restrictions) was in place in the park was in June of 2012.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fire Restrictions Increase on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests is enacting Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on National Forest System lands on the all of Sulphur Ranger District and portions of the Clear Creek Ranger District within Grand, Clear Creek, Park and Jefferson counties. These restrictions are in addition to the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes and Clear Creek ranger districts in Boulder, Gilpin and Larimer counties.

The Forest Service works closely with counties, monitors conditions as they change and continually evaluates with cooperators the need for restrictions. Fire restrictions further limit where and what type of activities and fires visitors may have and remain in effect until rescinded.

Within the Stage 2 Fire Restriction area on National Forest on the Clear Creek and Sulphur ranger districts within Grand, Clear Creek, Park and Jefferson counties forest visitors may not:

* Build, maintain, attend or use a fire, campfire, or stove fire. This includes charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves and sheepherder’s stoves and includes their use in developed camping and picnic grounds except devices using pressurized liquid or gas (stoves, grills or lanterns) which include shut-off valves are permitted when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.

* Smoke, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.

* Weld or operate an acetylene or other torch with open flame.

* Operate or use any internal combustion engine (e.g. chainsaw, generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order. (See order for specific details).

* Operate a chainsaw without an approved spark arresting device as described above, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.

* Use explosives.

* Possess or use a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.

Within the Stage 1 fire restriction area on National Forest on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes, ranger districts within Boulder, Grand, Gilpin and Larimer counties forest visitors may not:

* Build or maintain a fire or use charcoal, coal, or wood stoves, except in permanent fire pits or fire grates within a developed recreation site (e.g., campgrounds where fees are charged).

* Smoke, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of all flammable materials.

* Use any internal or external combustion engine (including chainsaws) without a spark arresting device properly working and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a round point shovel.

* Weld or operate acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.

* Use explosives.

Additionally the Stage 1 and 2 fire restrictions for National Forest on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes and Clear Creek ranger districts within Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Park and Jefferson counties prohibit the:

* Discharge of a firearm unless in possession of a valid Colorado hunting license and lawfully involved in hunting and harvesting game.

Violation of Stage 1 fire restrictions could result in a maximum fine of $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for more than six months, or both. If responsible for causing a wildfire, one could be held accountable for suppression costs of that fire.

To view the fire restriction orders and maps, go to www.fs.usda.gov/arp. They will be listed in the “Alerts and Notices” box on the right. Please note that many counties are also under fire restrictions; information is available at www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com