Poudre Wilderness Volunteers 2014 Fact SheetPoudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) is a Larimer County, Colorado nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1996 to assist the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the United States Forest Service in managing and protecting the wilderness and backcountry areas within its jurisdiction. To achieve this mission, PWV recruits, trains, equips, and fields citizen volunteers to serve as wilderness rangers and hosts for the purpose of educating the public, and provides other appropriate support to these wild areas.
PWV has grown substantially and diversified since its founding and is considered to be one of the largest, most effective organizations of its kind in the nation.
- Federal appropriations for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are not sufficient to cover the costs of forest management and conservation. Furthermore, the USFS doesn’t have enough staff to adequately patrol and monitor the Wilderness and backcountry trails in our area.
- Backcountry use continues to rise, reflecting population growth and demographic changes along the Front Range and elsewhere in the nation. A recent National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (2000 – 2007) indicates that participation in outdoor recreation activities increased by 25 - 31% and that Americans’ interest in nature and nature-based recreation is changing. While activities such as hiking, backpacking, horse riding, mountain climbing, and snow skiing have recently shown declines in popularity, viewing or photographing birds, wildlife, and flowers and trees have increased by 19 to 26%, and kayaking has increased by 63%. In 2010, the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests were visited by 6 million people, the second highest number of visits to a National Forest in the nation.
- Many backcountry users have no idea what a designated Wilderness is or why it must be left “untrammeled" by man. A majority of them know very little about low-impact camping. If there is nobody to guide visitors in Wilderness use, some of our Wilderness areas could become so heavily impacted that additional restrictions on public use will be imposed.
Read more: Poudre Wilderness Volunteers 2015 Fact Sheet