volunteers will help improve forest health on several dozen acres of Shanahan Ridge by thinning out thickets of very small diameter trees; trees small enough to cut with loppers or hand saws. Volunteers will also collect and bag Myrtle Spurge, a common landscape plant that has "escaped" to become a series exotic weed problem on open space. The efforts of the volunteers will help prepare this area for a future prescribed burn that will rejuvenate the health of the forest and help protect homes from future uncontrollable wildfires.
The Mammoth Reservoir area (9700') is a popular destination for good reason. It is simply spectacular, with classic Rocky Mountain views up a glacially carved valley lush with forest. The reservoir has been drained and the Forest Service is reclaiming the area. Many spur roads have been created by motorized recreation in the area. After heavy equipment is used to prepare the site, volunteers will seed multiple areas, apply erosion matting, transplant native trees and other subalpine vegetation, install buck'n'rail fencing, and install interpretive signs to protect the reclaimed areas. The forest service can provide significant funding to us for doing this project. Volunteers will car camp near the reservoir.
This project is part of our on-going "Adopt Mitchell Lake" program, now in its fourth year of activity. We will concentrate on a 250 yard section of trail above the lake with spectacular views over Mitchell Lake and up toward the continental divide. This section of trail has been in need of help for years. It is steep, rocky, and highly prone to erosion. Volunteers will construct rock steps, retaining walls, and waterbars to reduce erosion in this steep rocky terrain. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the art of backcountry rock work.
Overnight stay at historic CMC Brainard Cabin.
The new 14,000 acre James Peak Wilderness was established in summer 2002. This gorgeous area, roughly west of Rollinsville, has been used heavily for decades. Many trails, roadways and camping areas have been severely impacted and need help. The Forest Service has begun a multi-year effort to improve conditions in this area that will increase in popularity with the new wilderness designation. In 2002, WRV rerouted 1100 feet of trail to protect a sensitive wetland area along upper south Boulder Creek. In 2003, WRV plans to reroute a 1000 foot section of trail just east of where we worked last year. The old trail is very steep, wide and heavily eroded. Much work is needed to put it to bed, prevent continued erosion, and re-establish vegetation. We will construct much of the new trail in a more sustainable location with help from the Forest Service.
In a joint effort with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), we will continue the effort, initiated by WRV in 2002, to improve and restore conditions around this beautiful lake. The lake is home to beavers and spectacular views of the continental divide. Activities will include: close and revegetate lakeside social trails cutting through fragile wetland areas; construct 700 feet of sustainable trail above the lake; construct 150 feet of puncheon to eliminate a maze of social trails through a willow thicket near the lake outlet; mark additional designated campsites; remove illegal campsites and fire rings. Camping near Hessie Trailhead.
This gorgeous open space area receives heavy use. Unofficial "social" trails sometimes appear on the landscape as users venture away from the official trail system. These unofficial trails affect wildlife and will often erode and deteriorate over time. On September 20, volunteers will close two of these social trails, and revegetate a segment of old road. Volunteers will also collect precious wild native grass seeds for future restoration projects and pull a small population of knapweed, to slow the spread of this highly invasive weed.
This project was originally scheduled at Glacier Park Wetland, but was moved due to low water table