Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Conservation Corps crew preps for 2019 season

Conservation back in full swing

By Kendra Walker

Keep your eyes out for the Crested Butte Conservation Corps (CBCC) professional trail and stewardship crew this summer, now out with a full-time schedule helping to maintain and preserve Crested Butte’s backcountry.

The CBCC collaborates with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the town of Crested Butte, the Crested Butte Land Trust and other land managers to assist with protecting open spaces in the area.

Under the umbrella of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA), CBCC’s sustainable efforts include trash/trail pickup, traffic/parking mitigation near popular trailheads, supporting and creating community volunteer efforts, among other projects.

In 2018 (mid-May to October), the CBCC worked on more than 111 miles of trails, picked up more than 1,541 pounds of trash and cleared 453 trees from roads and trails.

So far this spring, the CBCC has been working to stay on top of trails that will be ready the earliest, and orientation with the USFS and Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.

“We have worked up on the Upper Loop area to remove trees, mitigate water and have those trails ready for rubber as they are indeed the only things open,” said CBMBA executive director and CBCC founder Dave Ochs. Additionally, the crew has been prepping other areas not yet open, including Lupine Trail, Gunsight Connector, Lower Cement Creek Trail, Walrod Gulch and Warm Springs Trail.

“We have also been working with the town of Crested Butte at the Bike Park and have almost completed the new ‘beginner loop’ out there. We’ll be working on the Granite Basin Trail and Roaring Judy in the coming week as well.

“We know our backyard, we want to take care of it, it’s all about grassroots and we’re proud to be out there doing what we do,” Ochs said. “We take a lot of pride in the fact that we’re a bunch of locals on the crew, some born and raised in the Gunnison Valley.”

Ochs also stressed the CBCC’s goals are to instill stewardship values in our visitors, reach as many people as possible, create better experiences for those who come here and “preserve our precious, rare and sacred open spaces.”

If interested in participating in one of the CBCC’s upcoming volunteer opportunities, including “Wednesday Workdays,” “Women’s Work Force” workdays and CBMBA group rides, visit crestedbuttemountainbike.com/conservation-corps/ and crestedbuttemountainbike.com/events.

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