FDRD seeks volunteers for National Trails Day | SummitDaily.com

FDRD seeks volunteers for National Trails Day

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

Almost 60 volunteers cut 800 feet of new trail during Friends of the Dillon Ranger District's annual National Trails Day project on the Frisco Peninsula in 2014.

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District will host its annual volunteer event for National Trails Day this Saturday, June 6, at the Frisco Peninsula.

The nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service's local ranger district teamed up with Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness and the Summit Fat Tire Society to coordinate trail construction, closure and maintenance work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers will receive free coffee and breakfast as well as a taco bar lunch and beer provided by Pug Ryan's Steakhouse and Brewery.

FDRD programs manager Doozie Martin said the group selected nine sections of the heavily used peninsula for building new trails and trail features that can accommodate all types of recreation.

Martin said the peninsula was chosen for its central location and because its trails dry out faster for one of the first trail projects of the summer.

"This is just a great project to come out on," he said, as groups with different goals join forces and volunteers can meet others who care about maintenance of public lands.

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Participants are encouraged to register online at FDRD.org by clicking the volunteer button, finding National Trails Day on the calendar and then clicking "sign up." They will be provided with tools, hard hats and gloves, but volunteers should remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, rain gear and sunglasses or other eye protection. Closed-toe shoes are required as a safety precaution.

For more information, call the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District office at (970) 262-3449.

Parks and Wildlife honors Climax, Highway 9 partners

Outstanding contributors to the outdoors were recognized at a two-day Partners in the Outdoors Conference hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and held in Keystone May 7 and 8.

Parks and Wildlife director Bob Broscheid spoke about the importance of partners to CPW's mission and vision before announcing the awardees:

• Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Northeast Region Partner of the Year

• Lake County Open Space Initiative, Southeast Region Partner of the Year

• Grand Valley Audubon, Northwest Region Partner of the Year

• Taylor Challenge, Southwest Region Partner of the Year

• Climax Molybdenum- Henderson Mine, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Partner of the Year

• Citizens for a Safe Highway 9, Blue Valley Ranch, CDOT and Grand County, CPW Partner Collaboration of the Year

• Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo, CPW Partner Program of the Year

The second annual conference drew 7 percent more participation with more than 250 attendees representing more than 110 organizations, communities and agencies.

The conference united an assembly of stakeholders in Colorado's future outdoors and recreational opportunities who foster a strong conservation ethic and build awareness and respect for natural resources.

Environmental business group argues for more investment in Colorado wind industry

Smart energy policies at the state and federal levels have turned Colorado's wind industry into a national powerhouse that now employs nearly 10 percent of the nation's wind-industry workforce, according to a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs.

The national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors and others who promote environmental policies that drive economic growth argues new policies will be needed to keep the state on top in the report, "Winds of Change," released by the group's Rocky Mountain chapter.

The report said more than 2,500 permanent and temporary wind jobs have been announced in the state since September 2011 and detailed how Colorado's wind industry has created between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs at more than 50 wind farms and manufacturing plants.

Additionally, Colorado's wind industry has led to nearly $5 billion in investments in Colorado's economy; generates nearly $8 million in annual lease payments for farmers, ranchers and other landowners; and has saved Coloradans nearly $20 million in fuel costs.

Colorado is already producing enough wind energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes, and the report argues that Colorado should extend and expand policies like the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard and emphasize renewable energy in the state's implementation of the Clean Power Plan so the industry can continue to grow.