Summit County lodging companies contribute funds to benefit National Forest land
Think of Summit County without its hiking trails, its fishable rivers, its ski runs.
More than three-quarters of the county’s land is national forest, and from locals loving the Rocky Mountain way of life to the tourism industry reaping the benefits, the entire community is dependent on that land.
“Letting the forest go into disarray is not an option,” said Marcus Selig, the Colorado program director for the National Forest Fund.
The fund was congressionally chartered in the 1990s to be the nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service.
This summer, the organization partnered with Breckenridge Grand Vacations and Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center to establish the Summit Fund. The program gives guests at the lodging companies the option to contribute $1 per night to protect the national forest.
The money will be collected and given directly to the Dillon Ranger District as well as nonprofits that partner with the Forest Service in Summit County, like Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Blue River Watershed Group, Trout Unlimited and Colorado Mountain Club.
Selig hopes to add as many more lodging businesses as possible to contribute to the fund, which for the next two years will go toward restoring degraded habitat, re-establishing native cutthroat trout and improving trail systems in the Swan River Watershed. In future years, the funds will support a five-year scope of similar work around the Dillon Ranger District.
The National Forest Fund already partnered with Vail Resorts, Copper Mountain Resort and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to invest more than $3.5 million in the last eight years to the nonprofit partners of the White River National Forest.
For more information, contact Marcus Selig, NFF’s Colorado program director, at (720) 437-0290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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