Stewardship, Holiday Trees & Trails
Sunday Honored for Years of Service
Steve Sunday of the Leadville Ranger District of the San Isabel National Forest has been recognized for his dedication and commitment to wilderness with a national award. Steve is the 2019 recipient of the “Bob Marshall Award for Wilderness Stewardship.” This award, given by the United States Forest Service, recognizes an individual that has gone the extra mile to preserve wilderness by considering both present and future generations, carrying out wilderness stewardship within, as well as outside, the agency and finding ways to improve stewardship.
Steve has spent 19 years dedicated to wilderness stewardship. His commitment to mentoring other rangers, volunteers, youth, and students has allowed him to share backcountry skills, traditional tool use, safety skills, photography, and Leave No Trace principles with his community. He further reaches outside the agency by maintaining relationships with four wilderness groups and certifying program leaders in crosscut saw skills. He definitely demonstrates what it means to go the extra mile through his time spent teaching photography classes and an after- school program for middle schoolers on wilderness stewardship outside his work as the district’s Lead Wilderness Ranger. Sunday has taught Leave No Trace principles to area 5th graders, reaching over 900 students over the past 12 years.
News From the Woods: Moache Trail
In other news from the woods, in an email notification to “interested” parties, Acting Leadville Ranger Erich Roeber District of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) is soliciting comments on the following project proposals. The one in Lake County concerns the Moache Trail Construction down near the Twin Lakes Visitor Center. According to the submission:
Visitors of Twin Lakes Village currently walk along Highway 82 to access the Moache fishing access site east of Twin Lakes proper. This proposal is to construct a trail to Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines that will connect the Twin Lakes Visitor Center parking area to the Moache site and mitigate the public safety and traffic concerns on Highway 82. The trail will be 36″ wide and approximately 0.4 miles long. Additional project information is available online HERE. Contact Twin Lakes to Moache Trail Construction – Project Leader: Jim Fiorelli, Recreation Specialist, phone: 719-486-0749; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to project websites, information may also be obtained at the Leadville Ranger District located in Leadville, Colorado or you may request information regarding these projects from Beth Davis, NEPA Planner; phone: 719-530-3959 or email: email@example.com.
Permits: Visit San Isabel National Forest Offices in Pueblo, Canon City, Salida, or Leadville during business hours, Monday – Friday. A Christmas Tree Permit will be issued for each tree and must be securely fastened to trees before transporting.
Mail-in Requests: Mail-in requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please do not send in requests before November 18th or after December 16th. Make checks out to the U.S. Forest Service and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Areas: Christmas tree cutting is allowed throughout the San Isabel National Forest with the exceptions of campgrounds, trailheads, ski areas, wilderness areas and recreation areas, such as Turquoise Lake or Lake Isabel. Permit holders are responsible for knowing public and private land boundaries. Maps and information about seasonal road closures are available at the district offices.
Trees: Species that may be cut include Douglas-fir, lodge pole pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, white fir, ponderosa pine, piñon pine, and Rocky Mountain juniper. Not all species are found in all districts. Please see our Holiday tree identification sheets.
Free Christmas tree permits for fourth graders!
Fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through the Every Kid Outdoors initiative. Fourth graders and family member/guardians can only collect a free tree permit at a Forest Service office by presenting a valid pass or paper voucher printed from the Every Kid Outdoors website. The mail-order form is not an option for this program and free permits are not available at vendor locations. Only one free tree permit is allowed per fourth grader.
Vehicles: Four-wheel drive vehicles or tire chains may be needed to access some areas due to icy and snowy conditions. Skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles may be used if snow conditions allow. Please remember to stay on designated roads and use caution when driving on winter roads, as a majority of Forest Service roads are not plowed.
Restrictions: Please do not top trees – do not leave high stumps! Trees should be cut at the ground and unused portions should be scattered. Trees with a diameter of up to 6 inches, at the base, may be cut. Permitted cutting lengths are from 3 feet to 15 feet. Chainsaws are prohibited. A good handsaw or an axe is adequate. Trees must be cut at least 50 feet from roadways, waterways, or trails. Persons removing trees from National Forest lands without a valid permit may be subject to a fine of up to $5000.00 and/or 6 months incarceration.