The Marlatt property is a new open space property near Hygiene that will soon be open to the public for hiking and fishing. The property has several ponds, all with excellent fishing potential. This reclaimed gravel pit area has suffered from bank erosion on its eastern shore due to prevailing-wind-generated wave action. Over 500 feet of pond bank are collapsing and sloughing. Untreated, this migration of the eastern shoreline could eventually breech the boundary between this and another lower pond to the east. Activities will include: willow planting to stabilize the pond banks; creation of wave force reducing structures, enhancement of fish habitat; construction of 800 feet of post and dowel fence; removal of two invasive species-knapweed and Russian Olive. Lunch will be provided.
Areas of habitat along Forest Road 286, in Left Hand Canyon, have been severely impacted by years of motorized recreation. The Forest Service, and many members of the motorized community agree that this area needs help. In 2004, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers will collaborate with the Forest Service, Trail Ridge Runners, and Walsh Environmental Services, to continue a multi-year effort to restore the area. This year, we'll concentrate our efforts to restore 14 acres of meadow and Ponderosa woodland. This work will actually benefit a much larger area of the watershed by reducing the extreme erosion of the site, thus improving downstream riparian habitat and water quality. The restoration area has already been protected by post and cable fencing. Heavy equipment will prepare the site. Volunteers will seed multiple areas, apply mulch or erosion fabric, construct sediment trapping structures in a series of deep erosion gullies, and plant trees. Lunch will be provided.
Since 1999, WRV and its partner, the James Creek Watershed Initiative have involved hundreds of volunteers in seven different projects to restore health to this watershed. In 2004, we will continue, focusing on the riparian corridor. After heavy equipment is used to improve road drainage and reduce sediment deposition into creek, volunteers will put the fine touches on these road drainage structures, stabilize stream banks with various bioengineering techniques, plant native seed where needed, remove weeds, and apply erosion fabric as needed. Those attending the project will be invited to an evening party on May 1 at the Jamestown town hall. There will be great live music and yummy food provided by the Masa Grill.
On October 29, 2003, nearly 4000 acres of foothills land burned in a fast moving high intensity fire, driven by tinder dry conditions and high winds. Luckily, much of the burn was ecologically "healthy" for the land. However, in some areas, the fire burned so intensely that it cooked the soil. WRV will work with the community of Jamestown and the Balarat Outdoor Education Center to plant seed, spread straw mulch, and possibly install erosion control wattles in erosion prone gulches. Without treatment, these areas could erode severely in a heavy rain next summer, sending sediment into the South St. Vrain River and James Creek watersheds. Those attending the project will be invited to an evening community celebration on May 1 at the Jamestown town hall. There will be great live music and yummy food provided by the Masa Grill.
ANWR is a 25,000 acre National Wildlife Refuge located near Walden Colorado, including 27.4 miles of the Illinois River. At 8200 feet in elevation, willow is the dominant riparian species (including 7 subspecies). This place is gorgeous, with abundant elk, moose, birds and a spectacular panorama of surrounding mountains. ANWR's mission is migratory birds. Its high mountain willow riparian habitat has been designated as one of the 50 most important areas in the United States for neotropical migrating songbirds. Much of the willow community was removed by previous ranching practices, and regeneration of willows is thwarted by grazing deer, elk, moose and cattle. This project hopes to restore songbird habitat. Volunteers will plant willows at several sites along the Illinois River, employing a variety of planting and bioengineering techniques as part of a research project. The knowledge gained from this study will be applied on a massive scale in the years to come to restore many miles of river habitat. Volunteers may also help with the restoration of an historical structure, debris removal, and/or other tasks. Volunteers will camp at a location to be determined, either on the refuge or on nearby forest lands. Meals will be provided.
This 1040 acre nature preserve was established over 50 years ago as the Cal-wood Environmental Education Center. Cal-Wood is a public non-profit organization and its land is protected by a conservation easement with Boulder County. This gorgeous area provides a perfect outdoor learning environment for hundreds of youth each year. Work is underway to care for the ponderosa woodland on the property. Dense unhealthy, "dog hair" thickets of Ponderosa need to be thinned to improve forest health and decrease the risk of catastrophic fire. WRV volunteers will assist in this process for a day of fun forest restoration! Lunch will be provided.
Rocky Mountain National Park is a prime destination for millions of summer travelers. WRV will assist the Park Service in revegetating several acres of alpine tundra near Fall River Pass. This area has truly spectacular views and was once the site of a water treatment holding pond. Volunteers will transplant 17,000 plants grown in the RMNP Greenhouse from locally gathered seeds and cuttings. Volunteers may also help with the removal of invasive weeds near Horseshoe Park. Volunteers will camp at Morraine Park Camp, a site devoted specially to volunteer and other special groups. Meals will be provided.
WRV strives to include a diverse spectrum of volunteers in its project activities. Among these are youth, including disadvantaged youth. Youth are the next generation of land stewards. Involving them in our work is essential to the long term cultivation of a caring community of land stewards. WRV will continue its 4 year old successful partnership with Thorne Ecological Institute involving disadvantaged youth. The goals of these youth projects are to provide team building, leadership development and conservation education opportunities to these youth while accomplishing tangible ecosystem restoration goals. Many of these youth have never visited or camped in the high country so this is a tremendous opportunity for them. The youth will stay overnight at the historic Brainard CMC Cabin and learn about conservation and watershed restoration as they work hard to revegetate several sensitive areas of subalpine vegetation along the north shore of Long lake, and close off social spur trails. The youth will stay overnight at the historic CMC Brainard Cabin. Meals will be provided.
The trails extending into the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Brainard Lake are the most heavily used wilderness trails in the country. Lake Isabelle receives a lot of traffic-and, for good reason, since it is truly spectacular, situated in a classic glacial valley. At the west end of this valley the Continental Divide towers above the Isabelle Glacier. The trail above the lake, toward the glacier, is in need of serious trail maintenance. Volunteer activities will include trail maintenance/closure/reroutes and trimming of encroaching trail side willows. The willow trimmings will be used for revegetation in damaged wetland areas. Normally, the area is closed to camping, but we have received special permission from the Forest Service to camp at a location north east of the lake. Meals will be provided. This project includes a 2 mile backpack into Lake Isabelle. The food and some of the gear will be hauled in by llamas.
WRV adopted the Mitchell/Long Lake area several years ago and has completed about 10 projects in the area to improve trail conditions and restore/protect sensitive habitat. In 2004, we will continue this tradition with additional trail reconstruction work above Mitchell Lake. This section of trail 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. Volunteers will stay overnight at the historic CMC Brainard Cabin. Meals will be provided.
There is a gorgeous area northwest of Nederland, a popular recreational corridor between Caribou and Rainbow Lakes. This area includes Forest Service lands and protected City of Boulder Watershed lands. Old mining activity, cattle grazing, and motorized recreation have impacted the area. In a collaborate effort with the Forest Service, Boulder watershed authorities, and the Hillbillies 4x4 Club, we will begin a multi-phase process to obliterate and restore nearly 2 miles of officially closed roads; restore creek habitat; and restore several areas of severe hillside erosion, roadway erosion gullies, and creek sedimentation. The benefits of this work will include improved water quality and wildlife habitat, protection and enhancement of vital water resources, and the general return of hundreds of acres of beautiful subalpine country to a more natural condition. Volunteers will camp near the worksite and meals will be provided.
In pre-settlement times, frequent low intensity natural fires thinned out small trees, thus creating healthy open stands of large Ponderosas with a diverse under story of shrubs, wildflowers, prairie grasses and other native plants. Today, fires burn much less frequently. As a result, patches of Ponderosa saplings can grow into unhealthy dense "dog-hair" thickets prone to disease and catastrophic high intensity wildfire. These dog-hair stands tend to be relatively sterile, lacking the diversity of plant and animal species common in a more natural Ponderosa woodland. Volunteers will help improve forest health on several dozen acres of a site, TBD, by thinning out thickets of very small diameter trees-trees small enough to cut with loppers or hand saws. These efforts will prepare this area for a future prescribed burn that will rejuvenate the health of the forest and protect homes from future uncontrollable wildfires. Lunch will be provided.