The Estes Crew lives in an old Victorian house in the town of Estes Park, Colorado. They spend six weeks working with the Facilities Management division of the National Park Service on trail maintenance projects in Rocky Mountain National Park and two weeks with Resource Management assisting with re-vegetation, exotics, and restoration. This crew is part of the team that keeps heavily-used front and back-country trails accessible for over three million visitors each year. Typical trail work includes building and cleaning drainage structures, restoring trail surfaces and trimming encroaching vegetation. Revegetation includes salvaging native plants and removing invasive species.
Shadow Mountain Crew
The Shadow Mountain Crew lives and works in Arapaho National Forest near Grand Lake, Colorado. Bunkhouse cabins in Shadow Mountain Village provide comfortable accommodations and connection with the professional team that manages the Sulphur Ranger District’s resources. Typical trail work includes restoring trail drainage, building bridges, and using cross-cut saws in removal of hazard trees that could limit public access to the forest and Indian Peaks Wilderness.
The Rawah Wilderness Crew is largely self-supervised and lives and works in the back-country of Roosevelt National Forest. Stub Creek Bunkhouse is this crew’s comfortable base camp when not overnighting somewhere along the trail. Typical work includes the use of hand tools and saws in restoration of drainage and removal of downed trees that block trails and degrade watersheds by altering back-country travel patterns. The autonomous nature of this crew’s work allows considerable flexibility in achieving its goals and places high priority on team leadership, spirit and commitment. Rawah Crew often teams up with Red Feather Crew on joint projects in Canyon Lakes Ranger District.
Red Feather Crew
The Red Feather Crew, is moving back to Dowdy Lake this year. With updated housing, the crew will be well poised to complete deferred maintenance in the Red Feather Lakes and Poudre Canyon areas. The Red Feather Crew will be doing significant work in drainage restoration, slope stabilization, and erosion control installation. They will also be finishing up on work started last year on the flood affected Lions Gulch and North Fork trails. Additionally, many of the areas they will be working in will require backcountry hitches.
The Boulder Crew will be working with the Boulder Ranger District of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. They will be stationed just outside of Nederland, CO at the Kelly Dahl Campground. Much of their work will be completed along the St. Vrain drainage and in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, specifically in areas affected by the flood. Like Rawah and Fort Collins crews, the Boulder Crew’s season will involve work that requires backcountry hitches.
This year the Rocky Mountain Conservancy – Conservation Corps is introducing a new crew. The Kawuneeche Crew will be living and working in the Kawuneeche Valley and throughout the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Rather than focusing on the natural resources, the crew will work to preserve the cultural resource of the Park alongside the special projects division. These historical preservation projects will require the crews to learn traditional methods using hand tools to help restore historic structures within Rocky Mountain National Park.