Friends of Fourmile archive 2005-2008

Spring and Midsummer 2008 “Maintenance and New Directions”

Revegetation progress at Sevenmile and Spanish Mill (play areas closed in 2005)

Fourmile Volunteers continue to track restoration and revegetation at two former play areas, Spanish Mill and Sevenmile. The photos illustrate Sevenmile, and the first is from June 2005 as closure was being completed, the second July 2008, three full years later. The short report is that this has been successful: native grasses planted in 2005 did not do very well in the first two years because they were overwhelmed by a heavy growth of sticker bushes. But in the third season grasses are now much more evident, and as expected by FS and BLM specialists, sticker bush is less dominant. Eventually grasses will replace sticker bush in coverage more like that on nearby undisturbed land. Although Sevenmile (and Spanish Mill) had some motorized vehicle trespass in the first year after closure, in the 2nd and 3rd years this has not been a problem.

Setback at Homestead Wash (play area closed in 2007)

The third and final play area closed by the Forest Service and Volunteers (in May 2007) had an uneventful first season but suffered vandalism on the heavy-use Fourth of July 2008 weekend. The photo shows sections of buck and rail fence splintered and shoved aside by ATVs, which spent time climbing steep sides of the wash just beginning to recover. Rangers quickly did temporary repairs and it is hoped-like at other closed areas-this is a one-off event by just a few individuals. In general, ATV and motorcycle users have shown good respect of the Fourmile’s regulations to stay only on trails and roads marked for particular users.

Closing the books on the Midland Bike Trail Grant

As of December, 2007, the 3 year Midland Bicycle Trail grant funded by a Small Trail Grant from Colorado State Parks came to a successful end. A final pieces was installation of a handsome concrete slab surrounding the project’s big signboards at the Whipple/Midland Trailhead in Buena Vista, funded jointly by the grant and the Town of Buena Vista. The Salida District Forest Service and BLM were other partners. Volunteers and supporters gathered at the signboards (photo) to celebrate a job well done and receive tee shirts. Project funds were stretched to include both a Midland Bike Trail and a Whipple Trail brochure, soon to be reprinted.

Pinch Points and other controls on “ATV Only” routes installed

In late June 2008 Volunteers joined the Forest Service in installing a 4×4 excluder to discourage wider bodied jeeps and pickups from entering routes designated for narrow (less than 50in) ATVs (and motorcycles or mountain bikes). This is on ATV route 1434 along the southern edge of Fourmile where in past seasons drivers of larger vehicles, especially during hunting season, have ignored the signs. Nearby, on ATV-only 1423, the crew installed wooden posts 50 inches apart and a buck and rail fence to make it more obvious that only narrow vehicles are allowed. Compliance has been encouraging on most ATV routes which have been “pinched down” earlier in the project.

OHV conference highlights Fourmile management success

In mid July 2008 the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition COHVCO held its annual working conference in Salida. This group is Colorado’s most influential representative of the interests of this user group, and among other initiatives sponsors the “Stay The Trail” program encouraging motorized users on public lands to respect regulations. Conference organizers chose Salida for the opportunity to highlight the Fourmile area and its successful management of multiple use by the BLM and Forest Service, with whom the Friends of Fourmile are partners. Nearly 100 participants including public agency representatives from around the state had a day of classroom activities which included a BLM/FS presentation on Fourmile and other programs, and next day about 50 headed out for evaluation of Fourmile. Led by Forest Service and BLM staff Friends Volunteers, participants split into groups, motorcycles to check out the newly-extended Triad Ridge singletrack (see later report) and ATVs to follow the Friends patrol ATV along route 1434 which marks the border between Fourmile and the proposed BLM and Forest Service Browns Canyon Wilderness Area.

COHVCO staff demonstrated measuring sound produced by an ATV or motorcycle. This is in preparation for enforcement (by agency staff, not COHVCO) of a 96 decibel sound limit set by recent state legislation. Loud motors are a feature often cited by other users as a downside of motorized use on public lands.

Friends collaborate with new bike group “Ark Valley Velo”

In the spring of 2008 northern Chaffee County cyclists of all stripes-road, mountain, commuter and youth riders-gained critical mass and formed the Ark Valley Velo cycling advocacy group http://arkvalleyvelo.org. The Friends of Fourmile has been encouraging development of a cycling organization and looking forward to working with them where their interests bring them to Fourmile. The Friends have already been working with groups like the Buffalo Peaks Backcountry Horsemen, Hi Rocky Riders (an OHV organization), Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (a hiking trail builder) and local chapters of Trout Unlimited and the Quiet Use Coalition because the Friends mission is to help provide balance in all the different uses allowed in Fourmile.

Among other goals, Ark Valley Velo wants to cooperate with the BLM and Forest Service in helping maintain trails open to bicycles and, where justified, encourage additional trails. In July 2008 a great collaboration with BLM resulted in bringing an informal trail into the BLM’s official system in Fourmile just above the Whipple Trail east of Buena Vista. Known mysteriously as the Broken Boyfriend (6032A) this 1.5mi addition to the Whipple system is now open to hikers and bikers. A short reroute of another Fourmile hiking/biking/horse trail (6034) is underway to address erosion and sustainability issues. The Friends welcomes Ark Valley Velo into the mix and salutes your early successes!

Triad Ridge Singletrack completed

As called for in the Fourmile Travel Management Plan, the Triad Ridge singletrack (motorcycle) trail 1425 has been completed into a full loop. With a lot of help and encouragement from Hi Rocky Riders, the Forest Service staked out the completion in 2007 and physical work, all by hand, was completed this past June. Hi Rocky Riders Volunteers, Forest Service staff and their seasonal Off Hiway Vehicle Trail Crew (funded by a grant from the statewide OHV program and its dollars from OHV registrations) put in lots of hot hours for a resulting loop that, after small modifications based on use, is going to provide great intermediate to advanced motorcycle riding.

Trails Training with Salida District Forest Service

Friends volunteers participated in 2 days of excellent Forest Service trails training in early May 2008. A wide array of local area volunteers from other institutions also attended, suggesting there is rising interest in helping to maintain, and in some cases establish more, local trails. One goal of the training was to bring volunteers closer to being qualified “crew leaders,” meaning that with guidance from the responsible agency people, they can manage volunteer crews on their own, relieving that burden from hard-pressed agency trail specialists.

Short Takes….

The Friends are concerned over increased visitor use during peak periods, and related campsite expansion. This is particularly true for people from outside who come in RVs, Fifth Wheels and mobile garage trailers housing ATVs or motorcycles. As reported above, there is also increasing use by local mountain bikers, and hiking trails such as the Davis Meadow are more popular. The Friends are pleased to be collaborating with the Forest Service this summer in doing GPS-based inventories and locations of campsites to establish accurate baseline information. However, Volunteers report from informal tracking since 2002 that there have been expansions of many camping sites by 5- or even 10-fold, and that on peak weekends virtually all sites are being filled, tempting late arrivals to establish new sites although regulations in Fourmile make it clear this is not acceptable. Stay tuned for this summer’s results, which may help the case for additional restrictions.

The Davis Meadow Trail, open to hikers, bicyclists and horses, is getting good use following several trail rerouting projects organized by the Forest Service, Friends of Fourmile and statewide Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado between 2004 and 2007.

Spring and Early Summer 2007 Update “Keeping up the good work”

The Friends of Fourmile chapter continued its assistance to the Forest Service and BLM through the spring and early summer of 2007.

Highlights:

Closure of the final “play area” at Old Homestead Wash

In late May a mixed group of USFS, Friends and other Volunteers (High Rocky Riders, Quiet Use Coalition) placed about 200 yards of buck and rail fence at a wash in the northern part of Fourmile.  This was the third and final unauthorized motorized “play area” identified in the 2003 Travel Management Plan and scheduled for closing due to excessive erosion which was dumping into nearby Fourmile Creek.

As of late June this closure was being well respected, and the corridor was being properly used by ATV and motorcycle users (and bicyclists) along the “ATV Only” designated route 1415.

Successful guided hike on Cottonwood Overlook Trail

The second Annual Friends of Fourmile/GARNA guided hike was judged a resounding success by 8 intrepid walkers and 3 Friendly guides.  Last year’s expedition was to the Davis Meadow and this one hit another of the Fourmile’s designated hiking/biking (no motorized) routes, labeled 1435 on the map and informally referred to as the Cottonwood Overlook Trail.  This 3 mile + loop south of Castle Rock near the upper end of Bassam Park leads to some awesome overlooks of the Cottonwood Creek drainages within the proposed Browns Canyon Wilderness. In fact the trail itself would be entirely within wilderness if that designation takes place

Local Volunteer awarded BLM Volunteer of the Year honors

The whole Fourmile planning and volunteer program got welcome publicity in May when Alan Robinson (second from right) was the recipient of the Bureau of Land Management’s “Making a Difference” National Volunteer of the Year Award.  At the Department of the Interior in Washington DC, the award was presented by top BLM officials and happily witnessed by John Nahomenuk, BLM’s local River Manager form the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (second from left), a representative from Senator Ken Salazar’s office, and Alan’s wife Karen (third from right), another founding member of the Friends Chapter. Alan accepted the honor on behalf of the many others who have consistently stuck with the process for the last 7 years and who have contributed thousands of hours to assisting both the BLM and the US Forest Service in managing the 100,000 acre Fourmile area to which the Chapter is dedicated.

Installation of Whipple Trail entrance signs and maps

Nearing the end of a 3 year small grant from the Colorado State Parks trails program, the Friends informal subgroup on the Midland Bicycle and Whipple Trails recently completed a three-panel entrance sign at the Boathouse at the end of East Main in Buena Vista.  The featured center panel is a brand new map of the Whipple Trail, the much appreciated and heavily used trail system developed and managed by the Town of Buena Vista and the BLM.  This trailhead also provides access to the 18 mile long Midland Bicycle Trail which passes along the old Midland Railroad grade and eventually ends at the top of Trout Creek Pass.  It also is one of several gateways to the whole Fourmile Travel Management Area, so this new trailhead sign grouping makes a great place to introduce all three opportunities.  Thanks yet again to Friends Volunteer and graphic designer Kathy McCoy for the art work, and to the Salida District Forest Service’s sign builders for fabrication and installation.

Chapter representation on GARNA Board shifts

Alan Robinson, the publicity guy for the Friends, and formerly Board Chair of GARNA, has recently replaced Sheryl Archuleta as the Friends Chapter representative on GARNA’s Board.  Sheryl-also a founding member of the Chapter-will continue as its president.  A big THANK YOU from the Board to Sheryl for her more than four years of dedicated and active participation!  (The ATV, purchased with grant funds more than three years ago, has been an excellent investment for patrolling the 165 plus miles of roads and ATV routes in Fourmile.)

Memorial Day Patrols and observations

Friends Volunteers joined BLM and Forest Service for the fourth year of special patrol efforts of 2007’s Memorial Day weekend.  There is good news that for the most part the visiting public is respecting designated trails that the volunteers and managers have been working so hard to sign, restore and maintain.  However, this year’s traditional beginning of the season brought even larger numbers of recreational visitors from the Front Range and elsewhere, together with their 5th wheels, RVs and an increasing number of ATVs and motorcycles.  Recall that the Fourmile has no formal “hardened” campgrounds and allows “dispersed” camping virtually anywhere along its 165 miles of roads (within 100 ft of the road and only if no damage to resources occurs).  As more and more visitors arrive, especially in these larger vehicles, favorite dispersed camping areas are now three and four times the size they were five years ago. An especially frustrating issue for managers is that growing use of downsized ATVs and motorcycles by young riders around these camping areas is leading to rapidly increasing areas of bare ground and potential erosion.  Although no easy solutions are in sight, this problem really needs to be addressed soon or the camping areas will become virtual dusty deserts encircled by vehicle tracks and mini raceways.

Davis Meadow Trail east end

In late June the Forest Service organized a final push to improve the Davis Meadow Trail in northern Fourmile, this time to reorganize and reroute the eastern-most sections.  The western end of this little-known but beautiful trail (for hikers and bicyclists, no motorized) was extensively reworked in two successive projects with the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and the Friends in recent years; now with the eastern trailhead parking area improved and the first ½ mile or so rerouted, the trail is even more accessible and inviting. A group of 11 did a major day’s work, here represented (left to right) by Friends Volunteer Sig Jaastad and Salida District Forest Service staff Brett Beasley, Tambi Gustafson and Trevor Thonhoff.  This eastern trail head is accessed by FR 311D.

Fall 2006 “Driving Tour, Restorations and Midland Bike Trail”

Fall Color Driving Tour a Big Hit!

On a gorgeous September 30 some 15 GARNA members and others joined 5 Friends of Fourmile “guides” for a (no fee) driving tour of the Fourmile. This was GARNA’s 15th (!) and final scheduled Summer Seminar for 2006, and was judged by all concerned as a fun and fitting end to a really successful season.

The group was a great mix of several 40+ year veterans of Buena Vista, who could share stories of their own explorations in Fourmile over the years, and relative newcomers who were seeing this easily-accessible year-round backyard treasure for the first time.  Here we paused before lunch along FR311 to point out the elusive but locally-famous Natural Arch. Many visitors to Fourmile have traveled this route for years but failed to locate the arch (arrow), which can be reached on foot on a moderate scramble from a simple parking area a bit farther on.

After visiting historic sites associated with the Midland RR in Chubb Park north of US 285 the group crossed to the southern section for a quick visit to a Native American chert quarry, but ran short of time.  The unanimous recommendation by the satisfied crowd was to continue the tour to the south around Castle Rock Gulch and Bassam Park to Aspen Ridge next season-and even to consider this a GARNA/Friends fund raiser by collecting donations.

Spanish Mill/Sevenmile Restorations doing well…

A bit of background: the 2003 Travel Management Plan for Fourmile identified three areas which had been severely damaged by years of unauthorized use by vehicles, and called for their control and restoration.  The BLM, Forest Service and the Friends of Fourmile were aware of these areas but it took some time to arrange for the considerable financial resources, detailed design and volunteer labor needed to tackle them.  By mid 2005 a wide-ranging partnership developed in which the BLM provided  budget and technical design, GARNA/Friends contributed grant funds originating in registration fees for off-road vehicles, a contractor for heavy work was hired, the Forest Service cut and donated hundreds of timber poles, the AHRA and volunteers transported them, the Correctional Facility scheduled work teams, and volunteers from several other local groups (High Rocky Riders, Quiet Use Coalition, Trout Unlimited) were lined up to complete the lighter tasks. Result: by midsummer 2006 two of the three areas had been successfully fenced, signed, reshaped, fertilized and seeded with native grasses.  Read on for a “before and after” view of the Spanish Mill and Sevenmile project sites.  Hopefully the third site will receive similar treatment in the coming year.

Overall the BLM and the Forest Service are really pleased both with physical results as well as the effectiveness of the partnerships, and in GARNA’s role in administrating contracts and funds.  They also note the cooperation illustrated by participation of various volunteer groups that worked side by side with the Friends, and cite this as a measure of the progress the Fourmile as a whole has made in bringing groups of different perspectives and priorities together.

A sobering note at the end of this otherwise positive tale: the cost of these two restorations was substantial, with contracted work accounting for upwards of $40,000, agency staff salaries adding thousands more, and literally hundreds of volunteer hours in both labor and coordination. Everyone involved in this kind of work recognizes what a better deal it will  be for the taxpayers-and the landscape-if Fourmile’s motorized users just stick to the hundreds of mile of roads open to them and resist the temptation to make tracks on their own.

Midland Bike Trail Grant

Space has run out for this webpage update, so the full Bike Trail project will make its appearance in the next (spring 2007) edition.  Suffice to say that the new grant-funded brochure has been well-received, all trail logo posts and trailhead signboards have been installed and that work is nearing completion on a major three-panel set of maps at the boathouse/restroom facility at the end of East Main Street in Buena Vista.  Yeah Midland Team!

Spring and Early Summer 2006 Update“Hiking and Biking Trails”

In early May the Chapter joined the Salida District of the San Isabel National Forest in hosting Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (www.voc.org) in the second phase of trail building to the Davis Meadow in the northern section of Fourmile.  Some 80 volunteers-15 locally “recruited” from the Chapter or other groups or as individuals-spent a tough but rewarding weekend completing another ¾ mile of hiking, bicycle and horseback trail at the old track’s western end.  Typical of “VOC” projects, months of collaboration and planning preceded actual workdays.  Even the decision to improve this trail was not taken lightly, coming as part of the 3-year long citizen-driven process of developing a Travel Management Plan for the whole 100,000ac area, completed in 2003.  In 2004 a similar VOC group helped with the first phase.

For this continuation, the Forest Service, with help from Chapter member Lyn Berry and others, flagged a trail alignment that would avoid the existing steep, erosion-prone old jeep trail and provide a gentler as well as more scenic route.  VOC project leaders then planned yard-by-yard where switchbacks, waterbars, even steps and retaining walls would go. On the first day volunteers were divided into crews of 8 under trained leaders and assigned certain sections. Then they trooped off 2 miles to the site, carrying a goodly share of the rock bars, chain lifts, shovels, hoes, buckets and tarps which form the VOC’s tool arsenal.  In remarkably short order crews had their sections underway, and had developed proprietary attachments to their little piece of the action-see photos.

Following a full day Saturday (including snow showers) the volunteers were served a great hot meal and entertained by a local musical group.  Sunday saw frantic activity again as groups finished off their sections and moved on to others. The result, combined with the 2004 work, is a fine, well-engineered trail, with spectacular views over the valley and the 14ers, which leads up to the ridge above the meadow.  From there to the historic buildings of the Davis Meadow itself the existing trail is well defined, and the local Friends will handle small improvements over the next year.  Cyclists and horseback riders are cautioned to walk through steep sections with steps.

The Midland Bicycle Trail rehabilitation project has made good progress too, primarily in developing a large map and a brochure dedicated to the trail, its various options and a little history of the Midland Railroad which it follows in part (see sidebar).  The brochure has arrived and is being distributed to local bicycle and outdoor equipment stores and will be available at the trail’s four principle trailheads (Trout Creek, Shields Gulch, CR/FR 304 and the Whipple Trail in Buena Vista).  Large trailhead signboards have been installed at the first three sites next to similar Fourmile signs, and they will soon sport bike trail maps.  Thanks AGAIN to volunteer graphic designer Kathy McCoy for many hours of creating, tweaking and occasionally cursing the computer graphics software that is behind modern mapmaking! Next on the agenda is to complete a new set of signs and maps for the Whipple Trailhead in BV, since this area serves as the western entry/exit of the Midland Bike Trail.

The brochure is now being distributed to local bicycle and outdoor equipment stores and will be available at the trail’s four principle trailheads (Trout Creek, Shields Gulch, CR/FR 304 and the Whipple Trail in Buena Vista).  Large trailhead signboards have been installed at the first three sites next to Fourmile signs, and will soon sport large versions of the bike trail map.

Thanks AGAIN to volunteer graphic designer Kathy McCoy for many hours of creating, tweaking and occasionally cursing the computer graphics software that is behind modern mapmaking! Next on the agenda is a new set of signs and maps for the Whipple Trailhead in BV, since this area serves as the western entry/exit of the Midland Bicycle Trail.

On a down note, chapter members and our partners in the Forest Service and BLM have been disappointed at this spring’s increase in vandalism of signs and disrespect shown at several restoration sites (Spanish Mill and Seven Mile, both on the historic Lenhardy Cutoff-FR376).  A few motorcyclists in particular have been carelessly or deliberately riding outside designated tracks, climbing hills, running down signs and crossing restoration area barriers.  In other cases ATVs or larger 4WD vehicles have deliberately torn down large sections of buck and rail fence which volunteers and agency people spent many hours (and public funds) erecting. The BLM has contacted individuals allegedly responsible and would like to prosecute, but without direct evidence convictions are difficult.  Our partners the High Rocky Riders off-road club are equally concerned, and have offered a reward for information leading to prosecution.  Responsible off-highway riders know that bad behavior by a few leads to concern and even restriction on use by all. The good news is that both the Forest Service and BLM have found funds within their increasingly tight budgets to hire staff that will spend a certain portion of their time in Fourmile.  In the case of the Forest Service, they had been unable to replace a vacant Fourmile position for over a year, which may have contributed to problems in vandalism.  The Friends are trying to address these concerns by developing posters and other materials targeting the young, independent aggressive rider who is most likely to ignore the rules.

For the fourth year Friends joined Forest Service and BLM rangers for a concentrated Memorial Day patrol May 26-29.  More about increasing use issues in our next update, but the short version is that more recreational use, particularly by motorcycles, ATVs and camping with 5th wheels and large RVs, was observed this year than ever before, continuing a dramatic upward trend.  The fact that the Pike San Isabel Forest is in a Stage One Fire Ban added to the importance of contacting these many visitors.  The two agencies continue to express appreciation for the patrols and feedback (and litter collection) contributed by Friends volunteers on their 1000+ hours annually.

Year 2005 in Review

Chapter members and volunteers from other groups contributed over 1,000 hours of labor this past year. There were dozens of patrols by foot, bicycle, on the Chapter’s ATV and with private vehicles, plus special events such as Memorial Day collaboration with BLM and Forest Service to show a united visitor-friendly presence.  We had members as courtesy “outriders” for the locally-sponsored Fall Color OHV ride in September, and as usual one of our own made presentations at the Buena Vista Middle School’s Environmental Camp.  Many Friends turned out for AHRA/GARNA’s traditional Clean Up Green Up along the Arkansas, as well as for a cleanup the Collegiate Peaks Anglers Chapter Trout Unlimited organizes.

Special projects accounted for much of the effort.  One, revitalizing the Midland Bicycle Trail from Trout Creek Pass to Buena Vista along the old Midland RR, is on-going, and will be featured in a future update. (More volunteers are needed in the spring-contact Alan Robinson robinson@chaffee.net if you are interested in exploratory rides, installing signs and reopening an unused stretch through Chubb Park!) Another project was helping the BLM restructure the Turtle Rock informal camping area.

But the showcase 2005 activity was rehabilitation of disturbed areas in Fourmile, one at Spanish Mill and another at Sevenmile Creek, both on FR376 (the old Lenhardy Cutoff). These areas, which were used over the past decade as unauthorized play areas by motorcycles and other vehicles, were identified in the 2003 Fourmile Travel Management Plan as needing closure and revegetation to control erosion.  Both areas border seasonal watercourses which not only support viable trout populations but are also habitat for beaver, other wildlife and characteristic willows and other vegetation.

Since 2003, Friends of Fourmile has assisted the BLM and Forest Service in implementing management plan actions (new signs, closing some unauthorized roads and converting others to ATV-only routes, developing a map and brochure, making visitor contacts).  We have done this by obtaining grants and contributing 1000’s of hours to supplement the agencies’ limited staff and budgets.  One of the final grant-funded activities was to contribute to play area rehabilitation, which has now been completed in a joint effort among BLM, Forest Service and GARNA/Friends of Fourmile that also involved other volunteer groups, a private contractor, and Buena Vista Correctional Facility crews.

In early summer, the contractor (Frontier Environmental Services) began bringing in heavy equipment to place barrier rock, and transporting stocks of steel pipe and cable.  BLM and Forest Service staff, with a big assist from the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area and Correctional Facility crews, cut and transported hundreds of timber poles from public lands. Volunteers from Friends of Fourmile, High Rocky Riders (a local OHV club), Collegiate Peak Anglers Chapter Trout Unlimited, the Buffalo Peaks Backcountry Horsemen, the Quiet Use Coalition (a group favoring non-motorized recreation) and the BLM, Forest Service and prison crews all pitched in on half a dozen hard work days throughout summer and fall, constructing several hundred yards of steel post and cable barriers and some 400 yards of buck and rail wood fence.  The final step was to return with earth-shaping equipment and then by hand spread fertilizer and native grass seed and cover the areas with straw mulch.  This happened on a December day after a four inch snowfall (which in spite of the hassle was a plus since the seed will benefit from the moisture). Agency biologists, assisted by the Friends, will monitor revegetation, comparing it with “before” photos which we have been taking the past 3-4 years.

Observations during the summer indicate that most of the public is respecting these newly-closed and protected landscapes.  Unfortunately there is some evidence that folks who used to get off the road there have increased their use in a third location, one not scheduled for restoration until next season.  In spite of this particular issue, the BLM and Forest Service staff involved in Fourmile, as well as the Friends and other groups, continue to be impressed with overall compliance with regulations and respect for signs throughout the area.  We all feel this has a lot to do with the citizen-input and consensus building during planning, and subsequent volunteer-assisted implementation.

A big plus has been direct involvement of these other volunteer groups, which the Friends are pleased to acknowledge and sincerely thank for their efforts.  We see this as a positive step showing that a variety of “users” in the community are sharing responsibility to help land managers keep Fourmile up to high standards set by the management plan. This work also benefited greatly from Correctional Facility crews, whom all involved found to be hard working, friendly and well-disciplined. Thank you!

Stay tuned for news of next season’s program, which includes a repeat hosting of trail-building Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado in early May for more work on the Davis Meadow Trail, completion of the Midland Bicycle Trail project, and more work at Turtle Rock.

We’re also awaiting news on an additional grant, partnering with the Upper Arkansas Motorized Recreation Coalition, to pretty much complete all the proposed repairs and extensions to Fourmile’s motorized roads and trails.

Also watch for a call for volunteers to join a few chapter members and others interested in a summer 2006 “trial run” on forming a group to help the Forest Service manage the Buffalo Peaks and other Wilderness areas in Chaffee County.