Volunteers to the Canyon Lakes Ranger District are worth more than a million – literally.
The more than 900 volunteers the district hosted in 2012 donated 51,636 hours to the local national forest in Larimer County. These hours are valued at approximately $1.1 million. Volunteers provide over $60 million in value nationwide.
This is the second time the volunteers have reached this million dollar mark and is a new record for hours donated as well. In fact, 51,636 hours is 1.8% of the 2.8 million volunteer hours for the U.S. Forest Service nationwide. The district ranks second among all U.S. Forest Service districts across the country in the number of volunteer hours contributed.
The Hewlett and High Park Fires greatly impacted the volunteer program this year. Fewer patrols took place as much of the Poudre Canyon was closed this summer; however, volunteers played a huge role in restoration efforts on trails and during the 2012 National Public Lands Day – planting trees and shrubs in two Poudre Canyon campgrounds.
Many groups and individuals make up the dedicated cadre of volunteers who benefit the district, including the Adopt-a-Road, Adopt-a-Trail, Cameron Pass Nordic Rangers, Colorado State University Interns, Deadman Fire Tower volunteers, Diamond Peaks National Ski Patrol, Northern Colorado Mounted Patrol, Overland Mountain Bike Club, Poudre River Rangers, Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, Wildland Restoration Volunteers and visitor information hosts to name a few.
The services they provide the district are vast. In 2012, volunteers made over 16,000 public contacts helping inform visitors on a variety of topics. Besides providing the public with recreation and safety information, volunteers help improve wildlife habitat, repair trails, pull and monitor weeds, build fences and kiosks, scan photos, and collect information about forest conditions.
If you are interested in participating in one of the groups mentioned above or would like to find out how to get involved in giving back to your local forest, please contact Kristy Wumkes at 970-295-6721 or visit online.