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Handbook

WELCOME TO THE GRAND COUNTY WILDERNESS GROUP!

Who We Are: We are a group of individuals and couples who share a common interest in outdoor activities and are willing to put time and energy into helping the forest.

Our Mission is: TO ASSIST THE US FOREST SERVICE IN THE PRESERVATION,
PROTECTION, IMPROVEMENT AND PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING
OF THE WILDERNESS AREAS IN GRAND COUNTY.

What We Do: All members are encouraged to host at trail head cabins and to be an ambassador while hiking on national forest and wilderness trails.

  • An orientation is provided at both the Monarch Trailhead Cabin and the Junco Trailhead Cabin. The orientations are for new members and those who have not hosted in the past. Any member wanting a refresher is welcome. Information about our group's history, wilderness areas in Grand County and specific details on being a trail ambassador and hosting at the cabins are shared. Location of the cabin key, radio protocol at Junco and telephone protocol at Monarch are presented. How to issue backcountry permits and ANRA day passes are discussed.
  • Each couple or individual is expected to host at least two times at the cabins and a minimum of two times on the trail.
  • Those unable to attend orientation can arrange to cabin host with experienced members. This can be done independently or though the volunteer coordinator for the cabin.
  • The volunteer coordinator is identified on the membership list and on the website, see Cabin Hosting. The Hosting Schedule is also listed .
  • Hours of hosting may vary on your time available. In general hosts are at the cabin from 9 to 4.
  • Being a trail Ambassador includes anytime you are hiking on national forest or wilderness trails. Hours for being a trail ambassador are portal to portal. (when you leave your house or “portal”) Members should wear their volunteer tee shirts and, if you have one, your forest service volunteer ID.
  • In an effort to be more supportive of hikers, being a trail ambassador is encouraged on weekends when the hiker numbers are highest.
  • We are not at the cabins or on the trails to enforce regulations. We can share information about regulations since many times that is all that is needed. Examples are Indian Peak's Wilderness leash law (some members take and offer leashes when needed) or camping 100 ft. from water ( 40 good strides equals approximately 100 ft).
  • Time spent cabin hosting is recorded by the coordinator while each individual needs to record thier time on the trail. These hours are sent to the member tallying our volunteer hours for the Forest Service. These hours are used in grant applications and reports.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVOLVEMENT:

  • Trail and Cabin Maintenance: After the road to Junco is free of snow, we ask member volunteers to gather at the Junco trailhead to spruce up the cabin and the outhouse and to do trail maintenance. The outhouse and vault were moved to the area using GCWG grant money. We are supported in our maintenance activities by forest service expertise, equipment and manpower.
  • Registration Boxes: We built and now maintain 9 registration boxes. A member volunteers to provide registration sheets, retrieve them and tabulate the numbers for that trail. These numbers are given to another volunteer who pulls them together and writes a report for the Forest Service. This report has been identified as being very important in Forest Service planning and funding.
  • Bulletin Boards: New BB are being constructed and installed at the major trailheads in Grand County by GCWG members and Forest Service personnel. They will need photos and informational signs. The boards will need to be updated and maintained for many years and will require member effort and involvement.
  • Daisy Days: When the ox-eye daisy and other noxious weeds are “ripe” an e-mail goes out with the date of daisy day. Volunteers gather at Monarch Lake and pull and bag noxious weeds. We are again assisted by knowledgeable Forest Service Staff.
  • Nation Public Lands Day: A Volunteer from our group coordinates members wishing to participate in Public Lands Day. GCWG members are encouraged to wear our organization's shirt and to represent us at the event.
  • Newsletter: We try to have two newsletters a year. Any member can write for the newsletter. Our editor encourages members to submit articles and then organizes them into a “good read”
  • Other Opportunities: E-mails are sent out when other tasks or volunteer needs are known.

POT LUCKS, PICNICS AND PARTIES:

  • Official meetings take place in the fall and the spring. The fall is a time for saying “job well done”. We usually have a speaker of general interest. Members share funny tales and experiences from the summer and business is minimized. The spring meeting is a time to recruit volunteers and let the membership know of plans for the summer. Forest Service staff brings us up to date on their activities. We have a cocktail “hour”, great maincourses (provided by the board), salads, veggies and abundant deserts.
  • Summer Picnic. This is a party held at a Forest Service barn on the Colorado River. It is a chance to mingle, eat great food, and get to know other members.
  • Winter white deer party. Save those gifts that are funny, weird or bizarre and bring them wrapped to a gift choosing event. This is pure fun with lots of laughs. As usual there is good food to eat.

OTHER GET TOGETHERS:

  • Announcements of trips, hikes, projects etc can be sent out via e-mail by individuals in the group using their membership list. It is requested that you be selective in this by sending to those you think would be interested in the activity. At times notice of a trip such as our spring Canyonlands trip, may be sent out to all members. Political messages should not be sent since ours is a non political group.

GROUP ORGANIZATION:

  • We are a 501(c)3 organization with bylaws and a board. A board member may serve 2 three year term. Spouses are invited to board meetings and may participate in discussion. Only board members may vote. Officers are elected by and from the board. Each spring the membership is offered names of interested members to vote onto the board. The names are offered by the current board. Nominations can be offered from the floor. People who have taken responsibilities for group activities are usually those nominated. If you are interested in becoming more involved there is always a need for leadership. If an activity of interest already has a chairperson, you can assist and usually take over the next year.
  • Board meetings are held twice a year and as needed. There is usually a dinner.

HELPFUL INFORMATION

  • Our membership list is the way we communicate. If you change your address, e-mail, phone number etc, please send that change to the membership person.
  • Dues are $20 per household. They are collected anytime after September 1st and must be paid by June first. The membership list is updated to include only dues paying members. The updated list is then sent out to each household. An e-mail is sent with new member info to add to the list as new members join. New members are sent an updated membership list when they join.
  • The president of the group usually has a complete e-mail list and will send out appropriate messages. The membership person also can forward messages to the membership.
  • Officers, board members, cabin hosting coordinators, newsletter editor and others that you may need to contact are identified on the updated membership list each year. If a change occurs, an e-mail would be sent with that information.
  • We now have a web site at www.GCWG.org. It is very complete and provides up to date information on cabin hosting schedules, activities, events, trail status, etc.