by Robert Barossi
In some of this country’s enormous wilderness areas, it’s volunteers who often keep an eye on things. Monitoring activities by visitors while acting as the eyes and ears of the larger organizations and agencies who own/manage the land, volunteers are an invaluable resource. This great story out of Colorado details how a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers have been doing this kind of work for ten years now. Since 1994, Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness have been assisting the U.S. Forest Service through its volunteer ranger program. The volunteer rangers spend time during the summer months hiking into the wilderness. Among other things, they “count people, track group sizes, note weather, collect trash and focus on education instead of law-breaking,” according to the article. The volunteer rangers log thousands of hours spent in the wilderness, doing whatever they can to help protect and preserve this pristine area.
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