Founded in 1996, Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) are citizen Forest Rangers. PWV has grown from an initial 105 founding members to 276 active members. Visitors to the 650,000 acres of Wilderness and National Forest and National Grassland lands of Northern Colorado have been steadily increasing, and to assure adequate coverage of northern Colorado’s backcountry, volunteers are crucial.
PWV is made up of trained volunteers who assist the U.S. Forest Service Canyon Lakes Ranger district in protecting and managing the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grasslands through on-trail service and public education. They serve as wilderness rangers; hosts of the forest that guide and educate the public about designated wilderness areas, low impact camping, leave no trace, and much more.
As part of Poudre Wilderness Volunteers Restoration Program, trail crews repaired areas of the forest ravaged by fire and flood. In 2015 they removed 1,354 fallen trees along more than 150 miles of trail, and removed or rehabilitated hundreds of illegal or inappropriate fire rings. The Weed Crew pulled noxious weeds on 91 acres of National Forest lands.
Volunteers of the PWV can serve on foot, on horseback, with mules or even llamas. They have found lost hikers, averted potential forest fires, and have shared their expertise with over 8,800 Wilderness and backcountry users.
PWV’s Kids in Nature Program plan fifteen hikes for 2016 for pre- and young teens, most of whom have never been in nature before.
To find out more about Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, click here, connect with them on Facebook , and attend an informational meeting on Saturday, March 5 from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at the Harmony Library at Front Rage Community College in Fort Collins.