Forest Conservancy needs volunteers to succeed | AspenTimes.com

Forest Conservancy needs volunteers to succeed

Dear Editor:

In the Nov. 6 Inside Business article “Change the only constant in Aspen’s hot real estate market,” Sarah Woelfle, president of the Aspen Board of Realtors, was quoted as saying that “… a few years ago the Aspen Board of Realtors created Realtors for Wilderness to support the Wilderness Workshop, the only nonprofit working full time to protect the White River National Forest and adjacent federal lands.” This misconception must be addressed.

The Forest Conservancy, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated solely to protecting our White River National Forest’s Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Throughout the summer season, every day of the week, uniformed volunteer wilderness rangers and forest ambassadors interact face-to-face with tens of thousands of visitors with the primary purpose of educating the public about fragile forest resources.

Volunteer wilderness rangers also keep the trails safe by performing minor trail maintenance duties, dismantling illegal fire rings and providing basic first aid. Eradicating invasive species and collecting valuable forest data on such concerns as beetle infestation are a few more examples of how the Forest Conservancy volunteers protect the wilderness daily in our backyards.

If readers are interested in hiking with a purpose and leveraging their enjoyment to the benefit of their forest and community, they should become Forest Conservancy volunteers, the true champions of our forest.

Marcia Johnson

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executive director, Forest Conservancy

Aspen