The 2018 annual application cycle has begun for the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers.  The link to the on-line application is available January 10 to March 5, at the SurveyMonkey website. 

Think about attending one of our preview events to meet some of our volunteers, learn more about what PWV is and does, the training, and ask questions.

First Preview Event

February 1 (Thursday), 6:30-8:00 p.m.
US Forest Service Visitor Center Conference Room
2150 Centre Avenue, Building E, Fort Collins

Second Preview Event

February 24 (Saturday), 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Community Room, Council Tree Library at Front Range Village
Front Range Village, 2733 Council Tree Ave, Ft. Collins

After the application closes, we will be scheduling brief interviews on March 24 and 31 (Saturdays).  Applicants who are selected then enter a training phase that is mandatory:  for stock riders a horse evaluation on May 5, and for everyone, the evening of April 25 and the weekend of May 18-20. The obligation of membership is six days of patrolling between June 1 and October 1, and we schedule those patrols for you the first year, according to your availability and preferences.  This 22-year-old all-volunteer organization now has about 320 members, aged 18-over 80, who ride and hike with a purpose, serving the US Forest Service and everyone who values our wilderness.

Please address questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Weed CrewWeeds

  • Trained 40 new PWV recruits to identify, report, and treat five target noxious weed 
  • Held 20 weed pulls to treat noxious weeds at 23 locations in 9 different areas. Musk thistle, Houndstongue, Bull thistle, and Common mullein were treated on a total of 114 acres. Scotch thistle, Diffuse knapweed, and Common burdock were seen and treated at a few locations. Canada thistle was seen at many locations but not treated while Leafy spurge and Yellow toadflax were each seen at one location but not treated. Fourteen different PWVs participated in one or more weed pulls. Collectively, they volunteered a total of 479 hours on these weed pulls.
  • Held two public weed pavilions; one at the North Fork trailhead (where a total of 42 people learned about noxious weeds – where they occur, the negative impacts they have on native ecosystems, and what PWV, Canyon Lakes Ranger District, and Larimer County are doing about them) and one at the Little Beaver Creek trailhead on Old Flowers Road.

Read more: PWV Select Committee Reports 2017

Ratliff RandyI am honored to serve as the new Chair for 2018 and I am looking forward to continuing the momentum and evolution of Poudre Wilderness Volunteers in the coming year. I have been a member of Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) since 2014. I joined initially as a member of the Stock Patrol as I recognized the opportunity to “ride with a purpose” consistent with PWV’s mission to assist the United States Forest Service “in managing and protecting the wilderness and backcountry areas.” In addition to patrolling on horseback, I have enjoyed the wilderness on hiking and backpacking patrols. I have served as a mentor to new members, participated in Spring Training as a role player and have been active on the Board of Directors.

Read more: PWV’s New Chair Looking Ahead To 2018

Reminiscing : While I was PWV Chair... Margaret Shaklee

PWV had a Remarkable year while I was the Chair:

  • Congress voted to delay a Federal Gov’t shutdown with days to spare.
  • A late-spring, 3-ft deep snowstorm made us move Spring Training from Camp to Campus; we had 48 hours to move the entire event to the USFS campus in Fort Collins.
  • The CLRD (USFS) required PWV members to be recertified every 5 years; we established a Recertification Committee to address this and held our first Recertification
  • Effects of beetle-kill significantly impacted trails; in 2017, we cleared 2,658 downed trees from our trails
  • Over 300 members submitted a Volunteer Agreement form in 2017.
  • We were challenged to find volunteers to fill key positions, which may result in some changes to the expectations of PWV members.

Read more: PWV's Most Recent Past Chair Looking Back At 2017

Judy Christensen was a long-time and very active member of PWV. Sadly, Judy suddenly passed away on Aug 24, 2017. The PWV Executive Committee wanted to pay tribute to Judy and her boundless energy, especially as it pertains to her activities with PWV. The following tributes have been received from PWV members about Judy.

A favorite picture of Judy. What a joyful person!


In the 21 years since I founded Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, there have been many individuals who have made exemplary contributions to this award-winning organization. While its success has been the product of many volunteers, a few of them stand out for their unique contributions. Judy was one of these few. Every PWV activity in which she became involved was enhanced by her dedication, energy and ability to get things done. In my mind, the way she put her all into building the fledgling PWV Endowment was perhaps her most effective and lasting contribution. Her imagination in launching a series of Back Yard Auction Parties, her unique abilities to organize and promote them, and her active role in the Endowment committee were largely responsible for pushing the Endowment up to and over its $50,000 threshold so it could begin giving back to PWV. We will all be forever thankful to her for leaving us this legacy.  (Chuck Bell)

Read more: Judy Christensen Tributes

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.


Upcoming Events

Mon Mar 05 @12:00AM
PWV Application Closes
Mon Mar 12 @ 6:00PM -
Affiliation Gathering
Thu Mar 15 @ 6:30PM - 08:30PM
PWV Board Meeting