This is a little posting by one of our supporting constituents (...our good neighbor Norm Vance in Pagosa Springs) to thePagosa Springs Journal about our post-fire trail mitigation project, and about the spirit of volunteerism for an "adopt-a-trail" project in general. Of course, we had an extraordinary thing happen with the Las Conchas Fire in 2011, but we all felt the same way even before the fire. We love our trails and want to pass on a living legacy to "our" future generations. Here's the piece he posted:
The Forest Service trails in and around Canada Bonita are very special to us, and they're used for SO many purposes: hiking, biking, running, xc skiing, snowshoeing, hunting access, and the list goes on. Seeing so many people out enjoying them in all seasons and weather inspires and motivates the local volunteers (and the local FS Espanola Ranger District) to keep the project going. It truly is a collaborative effort on many folks' part.
So many of you included on this message (Pajarito riders email list, the NM bike-racers, the local Nordic club and tri-club) have supported the project in various ways, through memberships, donations, volunteering, and etc., and so should be included in the story, because something like this couldn't happen without all of that support. Thankfully, people have been very supportive over the years, especially this one.
Thanks to all of you, we'll still be able to do all of those fun trail activities (hike, xc ski, snowshoe, the Pajarito Punishment mountain bike race, the Pajarito Trail Fest runs, the Pajarito Dirty Duathlon, hunting seasons, etc., etc.).
The Southwest Nordic Ski Club is the primary trail steward of this particular set of trails through a "volunteer cost-share" agreement with the Forest Service. Through club memberships, donations and the cost share program with the FS, we maintain the trails and enter into trail creation/maintenance programs with the Forest Service. It's a LOT of work, year round, and takes a lot of time, but it's totally worth it.
For all of you who have been involved in similar projects, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who are thinking about it, PLEASE take the next step and get involved -- there are lots of programs out there. It's as simple as volunteering, joining, or donating. You might even want to take on more once you see how rewarding it can be. It's especially rewarding when you can get kids involved and they start thinking of "taking ownership" as well.
Also thanks to Norm and all of the Pagosa Springs Nordic folks. You're good people!