‘Friends’ host fundraiser tonight | SummitDaily.com

‘Friends’ host fundraiser tonight

Special to the Daily/John Fielder This photo of Mohawk Lake in the Tenmile Range is included in John Fielder's book, "Mountain Ranges of Colorado"

If you’ve ever hiked Ptarmigan Mountain or explored the new Buffalo Mountain trail, you’ve seen the efforts people have made to maintain Colorado’s natural beauty. Now is the perfect time to say thank you.The Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness (FENW), one of the primary contributors in keeping Summit County’s wilderness areas clean, is hoping you’ll show your gratitude by attending its 10 year celebration and fundraiser tonight at the Frisco Community Center.”Maybe people will become a member, maybe they’ll drop a couple of bucks and maybe they’ll show up for a couple work days next summer,” said Jonathan Kriegel, vice president of the FENW. The organization was created in 1994 by a handful of Summit County outdoor enthusiasts who wanted to help the Dillon Ranger district maintain local wilderness areas, said Kriegel.

The nonprofit organization is funded by fees from its 115 members, grants and contributions from local businesses.During the last decade, its members and volunteers have logged countless hours cleaning up and maintaining trails, building new bridges and campsites and working to revegetate dying areas. The FENW also gives money to the Forest Service to help out during budget shortfalls. “We’ve had a lot of worthwhile projects, things like repair the trails, get water off the trails and provide what’s needed for people to go out and enjoy the area,”said John Taylor, who jumped on board nearly 10 years ago and is now the treasurer for the FENW.The group’s latest feat is the completion of the new Buffalo Mountain Trail, a four week project which resulted in 1.5 miles of new trail on the eastern side of the mountain. It’s an accomplishment that Kriegel calls the FENW’s “latest and greatest.””We really are kind of proud of it; we weren’t the only group that worked on it, but we did spearhead it,” said Kriegel. One of the main highlights of the fundraiser is the introduction of a new coffee table book created by a well-known Colorado photographer, author and avid lover of the outdoors.

“It’s the best book I’ll ever do,” said John Fielder of his latest endeavor, “Mountain Ranges of Colorado,” which he says has been 15 years in the making. Fielder has called Colorado home since 1972 and has spent most of that time backpacking and hiking in the state’s most pristine and hidden wilderness areas.The result is more than 30 guide books and coffee table books illustrating his treasured secret spots. But, he said, none of his past works can top his latest accomplishment.”It’s as good as I can do. It just took so much physical effort, in this lifetime, I won’t be able to do something this intense again, “said Fielder.

“Mountain Ranges of Colorado” is colorful collaboration of Fielder’s past adventures, covering almost 30 of Colorado’s diverse mountain ranges. It is filled with photos snapped by Fielder with his large format view camera and will be the focus of a slideshow at tomorrow night’s fundraiser. Fielder will complete his presentation with some of his favorite stories from life on the trail and an explanation of the geology behind his photographs.Fielder said he wanted to share his experiences at the FENW fundraiser because he’ll be supporting an organization that helps make his ventures into the backcountry possible. “Thank goodness for the nonprofits who help protect these areas, “said Fielder. The FENW is equally as excited to have such a prominent photographer headlining its fundraiser.”His name and his photos have tremendous recognition. We begged him (to come) and he agreed,” said Kriegel.

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