Residents concerned about recreation growth have helped monitor impacts to natural resources and outdoor experiences by using their smartphones to geotag and submit pictures of impacts at Chaffee County’s most popular dispersed camping areas. Collected data is used to plan work projects and sustainably manage resources into the future.
More than 100 volunteers recorded 1,000+ campfire rings in the county’s popular dispersed camping areas in 2019. Data shows 100 football fields — 132 acres — worth of impacted ground soil and 14 miles of social trails around these sites. This important information about the size and location of dispersed campsites and the condition of our favorite trails is used by public lands agencies and Envision Recreation in Balance teams to plan for future management solutions to sustain our recreation system and the local economy that it supports.
We are learning from other communities with similar recreation growth challenges. View a report to read the team’s research! We are currently using the Recreation Impacts Monitoring System to collect information. Thanks to all involved in this fun project. Please contact us to get involved in future monitoring opportunities.
See you out there in it — our Great Outdoors!