A season of stewardship events include Fourmile, Browns Creek and other popular recreation areas
Chaffee Rec Adopters launches a season of stewardship events on Earth Day, Saturday April 22, with a campsite cleanup in the Fourmile Recreation Area near Buena Vista.
The Adopter program provides the capability for volunteers to be effective stewards of the county’s outdoor resources, creating a shared culture around managing growing use.
In partnership with land managers and as visitation continues to grow, the program helps volunteers problem solve and achieve in a mission to care for all lands. Visitation to Chaffee County’s public lands has increased by an estimated 50 percent since 2020.
Surveys completed in 2020 showed 3,800 gallons of trash and 550 instances of human waste among 2,200 campsites on the county’s forested road system. Last year, program volunteers and partners cleaned up 15,000 pounds of trash and campfire ash during eight events attended by nearly 150 people.
This year, there are more events and a variety of stewardship opportunities in addition to cleanups, including fence removal and sign installation projects.
The Fourmile event is hosted in partnership with Friends of Fourmile. Meet at 9 a.m. on April 22 at the staging area on County Road 375, just off CR 371 near the tunnels. Sign up for this and other events by visiting ChaffeeRecAdopters.org.
The Adopters will participate in Buena Vista’s Keep Bewnie Buena annual cleanup on Sunday, April 30, by addressing campsites and campfire rings along County Road 304 in the Midland Trail System above town. Other events include sign and campsite containment installations at Chubb Park on May 4, and a dispersed camping area cleanup with Browns Creek Alliance on May 6.
Old range fencing will be removed from National Forest lands in two locations this summer to help make the land safer for migrating animals like antelope and mule deer. There also are plans to restore wetlands along Fourmile Creek.
In addition to attending an event, volunteers can steward recreational lands on their own by adopting an area on the website’s sign-up map. They also can use the Chaffee Rec Collector App on their mobile devices to monitor conditions on their adopted lands. Each app entry is aggregated in an online dashboard for land managers and volunteer program organizers to use for planning.
For more information, contact Rec Adopters Program Coordinator Jessica Downing at firstname.lastname@example.org.