Eagle-Holy Cross ranger district taking volunteer training on-line | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Holy Cross ranger district taking volunteer training on-line

The U.S. Forest Service is asking people to respect seasonal closures on local trails.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com |

Spring conditions draw people outdoors to recreate in the forest and on the trails. Spring is also a critical time for deer and elk populations. The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance, asks for your assistance to help protect wildlife.

The Adopt-a-Trail Wildlife Ambassador program has educated over 2,000 trail users since the program started in 2018. Given current local, state and national guidance for the COVID-19 virus, the White River National Forest is moving the volunteer program to a virtual schedule at this time. There is still a great need to continue educating forest users about the importance of wildlife closures as people continue to seek outdoor recreation while practicing social distance. 

While the Forest Service has postponed trailhead ambassador duties until further notice, officials want volunteers to be trained to safely get back out to the field and engage with the public when restrictions lift. The next volunteer training will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 8, at 6 p.m. and can be live-streamed on Roku, Apple TV, and High Five Access Media. A live forum for questions will be available after the training at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Please join this session and learn how you can become a wildlife and trails ambassador.

During the spring 2019 closure, the North Trail had 148 human and dog violations. The Forest Service is asking the public to please respect closures. Human activities in deer and elk winter habitat can flush them from areas of nutrient-rich spring forage that is essential for females to successfully raise their young in seclusion. By respecting the seasonal closures, we can all help wildlife survive the toughest time of year and contribute to the sustainability of the herd.

Gates and closure signs are located at all trail closure points. Please respect the following closures:

  • Knob Hill #2021: Closed through April 15.
  • Whiskey Creek #2348: Closed through June 20.
  • Eastern Hillside #2347: Closed through June 20.
  • Everkrisp #2122: Closed through June 20.
  • North Trail #1896: Closed April 15 – June 20.
  • Buffehr Creek #2111: Closed April 15 – June 20.
  • Son of Middle Creek #2136: Closed April 15 – June 20.
  • Paulie’s Plunge/Stone Creek #2349: Closed May 15 – June 20.
  • Two Elk #2005 (from the west entrance at the second bridge to the east end at the Vail Bike Path): Closed May 6 – June 30.

For information about other seasonal trail closures, open trails, and current trail conditions in the Eagle Valley, go to: https://www.vvmta.org/trail-closures/.

Contact Michelle Wolffe, Adopt-A-Trail coordinator (adoptatrail@vvmta.org), for more information about the Wildlife Trail Ambassador prpogram and attending the online training session. For more information about Forest Service trails and recreation opportunities, call the Eagle-Holy Cross Office at 970-827-5715.

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