Meet Your Forest: FDRD recognizes 2016 volunteers | SummitDaily.com

Meet Your Forest: FDRD recognizes 2016 volunteers

Jasmine Hupcey
Meet Your Forest

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) would like to extend a big thank you to all of our 2016 volunteers. Summit County is one of the most popular destinations in the United States, and summer is just as busy as winter. As the county's popularity grows, so does the usage of our trail systems and the surrounding national forest. At FDRD, we try to make giving back accessible to all who reside in, or visit, Summit County. We have over 60 projects and events during the year in which volunteers can contribute to our forest stewardship efforts.

We are happy to report 2016 has been a successful year for FDRD. This year, volunteers contributed 6,806 hours of work here in Summit County, worth almost $160,000. As an example of our work, in 2016 our Ranger Patrollers completed 250 hikes, covering just over 1,300 miles of trail in the county and contacting more than 11,600 locals and visitors on the trails. These volunteer hikers provide "eyes and ears" for the Forest Service, make trail users safer and more knowledgeable in regards to the environment around them.

Each year we single out a few volunteers for special recognition. We are happy to mention the following FDRD Golden Award Winners for 2016:

Comic Relief: Darrell Berger

Rookie of the Year: Suzanne Brannon

New Partner of the Year: Summit Daily News

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Event Volunteers of the Year: Bob and Carol Faust

Ski with a Ranger of the Year: Scott Dazey

Ranger Patroller of the Year: Jeff May

Recruiters of the Year: Summit Seniors, accepted by Rita Adams

Youth Partner of the Year: Town of Frisco Day Camps

We were delighted to meet our goal of expanding our youth program over the summer of 2016. Around 450 children (5-17 years old) participated in 25 FDRD projects, ranging from planting trees and shrubs, to cutting new trail and restoring land back to its natural state. FDRD Youth Partners included Frisco Day Camps, Keystone Science School, SOS Outreach, Bold Earth, YMCA, the Weyerhaeuser Group, The Cycle Effect, Girls on the Run and Colorado College.

"To all of the hundreds of volunteers in and around Summit County, I want to pass along a special thank you from the staff and board at Friends of the Dillon Ranger District," said Doozie Martin, FDRD programs manager. "We feel very grateful to provide forest stewardship opportunities to so many dedicated volunteers that share in our passion to help the U.S. Forest Service — Dillon Ranger District maintain and sustain our local national forest for decades to come. In 2016, we helped cut new trail, maintain existing trail, mend decaying bridges, plant new trees, rehabilitate affected areas and assist with the care of our local watersheds. Our planning is already underway for another productive season in 2017 and we look forward to working side by side with the good people of Summit County to keep our treasured National Forest majestic."

Jasmine Hupcey is the office and volunteer manager for Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. She can be reached at jasmine@fdrd.org. For more information on organization and volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.fdrd.org.