Meet Your Forest: Become a volunteer for FDRD’s Ranger Patrol Program
If you like hiking, chatting with other forest lovers, and don’t mind jotting down some data while you’re out enjoying yourself on a Summit County trail, then Friends of the Dillon Ranger District’s (FDRD) Ranger Patrol Program may be the perfect fit for your summer plans.
With over 420 miles of trails in Summit County, FDRD’s volunteer ranger patrollers are the face of the Forest Service to the thousands of hikers, bikers, motorized and other recreationists who play here every year. The goal of FDRD’s Ranger Patrol program is to provide a friendly presence on local public lands, educate forest visitors and collect vital information, such as visitor numbers, that will better help the Dillon Ranger District staff serve the community.
FDRD is a local nonprofit excited to be entering its second decade of service to the White River National Forest, one of the most visited national forests in the nation. Each year, FDRD hosts numerous events, volunteer projects and educational opportunities. Interested members of the community and all sorts of visitors are welcome to join in on the fun. We’re lucky to work and play in an area where people are so invested in the care of our forests and are proud to harness this interest into tangible results.
If you’ve frequented some of our area trails, you’ve likely seen some of our Ranger Patrol volunteers on the trails interacting with the public. The U.S. Forest Service and FDRD train volunteers to be a helpful and friendly presence on the trails. In addition, these trained volunteers act as the “eyes and ears” for our local Dillon Ranger District reporting activity such as downed trees, unsafe trail conditions, uncommon wildlife behavior, etc.
Last year, these valuable rangers patrolled 202 hikes across Summit County covering 1,044 miles and encountering 10,862 trail users from late May to the end of September.
With the recreation and trails budget for the White River National Forest decreasing, we need devoted volunteers more than ever. If you would like to be a part of a great group of people, love being outdoors on our trails and want to play an active role with our local forest, please contact Doozie Martin, program manager, regarding an upcoming training to become an official ranger patroller. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (970) 262-3449. The FDRD website will provide more detailed information as well: fdrd.org.
If you prefer to spend your time in wilderness areas, Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness (FENW) is another great organization that coordinates a similar program with like-minded goals. More information can be found at: fenw.org.
FDRD looks forward to adding you to our dozens of existing rangers to make our assembly of volunteers the strongest we’ve had to date. There will be a limited number of spots available so please reach out with any questions regarding this program. See ya on the trails!
Jasmine Hupcey is the office and volunteer manager for Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. She can be reached at email@example.com. For more information on the organization and volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.fdrd.org.
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