Colorado Mountain Club and City Wild - 2010
Nine youth participants and five adult leaders camped at the Pumphouse Campground from June 14 to June 16, 2010. None of the inner-city youth participants had visited the Upper Colorado River Corridor before, so this project exposed them to a new part of the state and showed them the complexity of managing popular outdoor recreation areas on public lands. The youth worked in teams to prepare meals, including over a campfire, and complete other campsite tasks.
The youth participated in hands-on activities focused on Leave No Trace river camping ethics, bird identification, use of field guides and astronomy. The youth particularly enjoyed an activity that demonstrated why packing out human waste from river campsites is important. They were amazed by how much waste, simulated with orange flagging tape, would accumulate if it was not packed out. There was also immeasurable value in unstructured time in the outdoors, which the youth experienced during lunch and evening breaks.
On the first day of the project, the group completed a one-day rafting trip from Radium to Rancho del Rio, with a stop at the “Benches” river campsite. At this campsite, the volunteers improved the campsite condition by helping the BLM convert two backcountry outhouses to pack-it-out style privacy screens for portable river restrooms, known as “groovers.” Volunteers dug and transported sand to cover the old outhouse bases.
On the second work day, volunteers installed post and cable barriers in a new loop of the Pumphouse campground. The youth helped sink wooden posts in the ground and compact soil around them. They also strung cable between the posts to delineate the edge of the road and prevent vehicles from damaging native vegetation. Through this, they learned how management of heavily-impacted areas, such as campgrounds, leads to sustainable recreation opportunities.
Three BLM staff from the Kremmling Field Office participated in this project and worked closely with youth participants to supervise the stewardship components of the project. Through hands-on work, the youth participants learned about resource management careers with the BLM. The youth were particularly impressed that the management of river campsites requires BLM staff to use rafts for transportation. The youth also learned about the planning required to maintain healthy ecosystems, including the use of tools such as controlled burns.
Middle Park High School Sophomore River Trip - 2009
28 students from Middle Park High School volunteered time to build a buck and rail fence at Pumphouse Recreation Site on the Colorado River. This fence reduces excessive access points to the Colorado River and launching along the newly constructed campground. These students constructed 300 feet of buck and rail fence in one day!
Trout Unlimited - Fraser River Access Trail Maintenance - 2009
This project was a continuation of the 2007 National Public Lands Day project. In 2007, the National Public Lands Day project was to re-route a fishing access trail from private property onto BLM-administered lands. This foot access trail leads to a popular fishing area along the Fraser River outside of Tabernash, Colo. Some of the trail already existed on BLM lands but an additional 0.22 miles needed to be constructed to mitigate trespassing issues. The trail now totals 0.55 miles (one-way) but still needed many water bars, rock steps to alleviate sedimentation into a small stream, reroute/rehab, and general tread maintenance/corridor cleaning.
Volunteers from Trout Unlimited completed 0.2 miles of reroute and rehab of the existing trail. This section was an old two track road which was reduced to one sustainable tread. The volunteers installed 22 check dams that were constructed from harvested beetle kill trees to reduce the amount of runoff on the trail. Other volunteers built 14 rock steps that lead visitors down and up from a small stream to prevent sedimentation into the steam. Another group of volunteers completed general tread maintenance and corridor cleaning, which included trimming branches out of the trail, moving rocks, and rebuilding trail tread to allow for water drainage across the trail.
Overall, this was a great project that included many local community members as well as people from the Front Range. This project continues to provide a more sustainable access trail to the Fraser River for fishermen, hikers and wildlife viewers. This project also continues to build a successful partnership with Colorado Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimted.