Poudre 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.

The Need
  • 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 inform visitors about appropriate 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 2016 FACT SHEET

KINKids in Nature

Eighty-one kids enjoyed the wonders of the National Forest as they attended 9 different hikes with PWV rangers on Lower Dadd Gulch and Lady Moon/Disappointment Falls Trails during the 2016 season, along with 23 family members and agency staff and volunteers. Boys and Girls Club of Fort Collins, Cub Scout Pack 12, Generation Now and GrandFamilies Coalition participated, along with a couple hikes for PWV Families. The Kids in Nature volunteers followed the kids’ lead, going at their pace and exploring whatever interested them, often the stream, mushrooms, rocks, plants, insects, spiders and birds. In addition, each hike included a special curriculum of either aquatic macro-invertebrates, trees, or mammals in our mountains. We always teach Leave No Trace, ‘It’s All Yours’ and basic safety, as well. Most of the kids who participated had never been in the mountains before and they loved it! The kids’ unsolicited comments say it all:

  • “This is a fun day!”
  • To another kid: “You don’t hurt nature.”
  • “I wish I lived here.”
  • “Whoa! Look at the waterfall!”
  • “This is the best day ever!”

In 2016 the Kids in Nature committee completed Hiking with Kids in the Roosevelt National Forest brochure. These are available at the Fort Collins USFS Visitor Center and also on the PWV website under the TRAILS tab (along with a more complete listing of the enticements of the recommended trails).

Read more: PWV Select Committee Reports 2016

Margaret Shaklee Chair2016 2017I’m so excited to be the new Chair!  I joined Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) in 2007 and have been active in several committees.  I was elected to be a member of the Board as Treasurer in 2009 and continued on the Advisory Board, until I became Chair Elect this past year. 

Read more: PWV's New Chair Looking Ahead To 2017

Alan Meyer Chair2015 16The 2016 patrolling season has been another very active year for Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, with significant accomplishments from our 337 volunteer members. PWV members performed 1,105 patrols; contacted 12,072 forest visitors on the trail; and contributed a record 27,901 total volunteer hours which translates to a value of over $650,000 for the USFS.

Read more: PWV's Most Recent Past Chair Looking Back At 2016

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.

The Need

  • 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

Mike CorbinThis past year has been an active one for PWV. We accomplished a great deal out in the forest. PWV conducted 973 patrols; contributed 27,182 volunteer hours to the USFS, which equates to $623,000 in value; contacted over 8900 forest visitors and 1,354 trees were logged out all with NO accidents.

Read more: PWV's Most Recent Past Chair Looking Back At 2015

Upcoming Events

Wed May 03 @ 6:00PM - 09:30PM
Kick Off Night
Thu May 04 @ 8:00AM -
AGL & Role Player Training Trail Walk Through
Fri May 05 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
PWV - Monthly Chat with the Board Chair