RMFI News

Find the latest in RMFI news, announcements, and media coverage here.

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    I've been writing about the Waldo Canyon floods since March.

    So I didn't really expect many surprises when my co-worker Matthew Schniper and I agreed to go on a tour of Upper Williams Canyon with an expert from the Rocky Mountain Field Institute. I mean, I had already read all about this. I had seen it on maps and in photos.

    I wore white.

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Until this year, the Williams Canyon watershed was known to spew out reddish water and a few smallish boulders during more spectacular rainstorms. Exciting, but generally not particularly damaging. The floods were fodder for gabbing neighbors — just another quirk of living in Manitou Springs. Of course, that's hardly the case anymore. Storms on July 1 and Aug. 9 sent water raging out of the canyon, destroying homes and vehicles, damaging businesses, and injuring residents who were happy to escape with their lives.

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    1. UNDERSTAND THE TERRAIN.
    The upper portion of Williams Canyon, far above the steep rock walls familiar to locals, has been the source of most of the flooding problems that have plagued Manitou Springs this summer. Once thickly forested, the area was left black following the Waldo Canyon Fire....

  • Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    For Immediate Release

    Colorado Springs, CO - Rocky Mountain Field Institute was recently honored with a Blue Grama Award for its ecological management program in Garden of the Gods Park by the Colorado Open Space Alliance.

  • Thursday, September 5, 2013

    A non-profit organization is conducting flood restoration and flood mitigation efforts at Black Forest Regional Park. Volunteers and employees of the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) started the mitigation work on Thursday.  RMFI works with local land managers in the southern Pikes Peak region and does the technical ground work.  The mitigation is funded by a grant from the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. "The water is going to come and there's really not a lot we can do about that," said Amber Shanklin, program director for RMFI.  "But what we can do is prevent some of that sediment

  • Friday, August 30, 2013

    Blodgett Peak Open Space will be open to the public on Saturday morning after volunteers and city officials wrapped up more than a year of recovery work since the Waldo Canyon fire scorched more than half of the land in the city park. A group of about 40 people representing the city, volunteer agencies, donors and the media took a hike along the Gambel Oak Trail on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the reopening of the area along the Wildland-Urban Interface in northwest Colorado Springs.

  • Thursday, July 25, 2013

    In Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains, volunteers with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute have been working for years on projects in South Colony Basin, a stunning valley used by climbers to access four 14,000-foot peaks. But after all of that time spent digging trails, moving heavy rocks and repairing the damage of thousands of boots a year, the nonprofit had a "tough fight" just to squeeze $7,000 from the U.S. Forest Service for this summer's work....

  • Monday, July 22, 2013

    Instead of spending the day in the sky, Airforce Academy Airmen rolled up their sleeves and did some volunteer work on the ground. With shovels and rakes in hand, fourteen Airmen participated in flood mitigation work on the Waldo Canyon burn scar. The Airmen worked alongside members of the Rocky Mountain Field Institute. The project focuses on preventing erosion near the headwaters of William's Canyon.

  • Monday, July 1, 2013

    Pappardelle's Pasta Company, based in Denver, has generously donated 75 lbs of pasta to feed our backcountry work crews this summer! Big thanks to this local, family-run business for their support and commitment to land conservation. In the wake of devastating wildfires and budget cuts to land management agencies, community support is needed more than ever. Thank you, Pappardelle's, for being a community leader.

  • Friday, June 28, 2013

    RMFI met with El Paso County parks director Tim Wolken this week to discuss Black Forest Fire restoration. We will be assisting with an assessment of the burned areas, including a prioritzation of work. Once the assessment is completed we can begin work days to stabilize soils, revegetate, trail work and assist with re-opening recreation areas. 

    Stay tuned for more information.

    Image: U.S. Air Force Academy firefighters fight the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs, Colo., June 12, 2013. MSgt Christopher DeWitt.

  • Friday, June 28, 2013

    Thank you to all our volunteers who helped complete burn recovery work in Blodgett Pk OS! This spring, RMFI treated 13 acres of burned area within the open space. We installed 241 log erosion barriers, 46 cross vanes, and spread 165 lbs of seed with the help of 2,300 hours donated by local community volunteers.

  • Friday, June 28, 2013

    Many a RMFI volunteer have toiled in a bucket brigade line. The seemingly endless line of buckets of dirt can quickly become an arduous task. Because many of the sites in which we work cannot accomodate heavy machinery to accomplish the work, we rely on our dedicated volunteers to come together and use people power to move tons of material.

    Check out this photo sequence of the process of stabilizing and filling an erosion gully in Garden of the Gods. This is what your hard work can accomplish!

  • Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    RMFI is pleased to announce that our work in the Bear Creek Watershed has been chosen as a Quarters for Conservation project at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! Q4C is an initiative of the zoo to provide funding in support of wildlife conservation work. By collecting quarters from zoo visitors who choose the project they want to support, the zoo provides funding for projects worldwide. Last year, the zoo raised over $60,000 through the program. RMFI's Bear Creek project is the sole local project this year.

  • Friday, May 10, 2013

    If you missed this year’s Fashion for the Forest, 5th annual Greenie Awards and Fashion Show event, you missed out! This remarkable and inspiring event brought the Colorado Springs community together for a night of fun and fashion, with an environmental flair. Proceeds from the event support Rocky Mountain Field Institute and our Waldo Fire forest restoration efforts. The Waldo Canyon Fire burned 18,000 acres in our backyard almost one year ago. This evening provided reflection, hope, and a call to action, amidst a fabulous display of eco-fashion and creativity.

  • Monday, May 6, 2013

    A night of fashion will all go back to the earth. Literally. April is Earth Month, and Veda Salon and Spa will celebrate with its annual recycled fashion show and Greenie Awards. The proceeds will go to the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, which is rehabilitating the burn area caused by the Waldo Canyon fire. 

  • Friday, April 19, 2013

    We're looking for hardy volunteers for a unique volunteer experience! We have been working in the Bear Creek watershed along Trail 667 building sediment detention structures to prevent sediment from washing into the creek, which is habitat for the threatened greenback cutthroat trout.  We are working with an AmeriCorps crew to clean the structures and fill sandbags. We need YOUR help to transport the sandbags out of the watershed. Say what?! Yes, we are looking for hardcore groups that are interested in hiking around the Bear Creek watershed with sandbags on their backs (up to 40 pounds).

  • Saturday, April 6, 2013

    Why Soil Erosion Matters?

    Soil is critical to the health of our forests and is an important resource for growing food and cleaning water. Erosion from forests indicates a loss of nutrients that are essential to the regrowth of plants. When this eroded soil ends up in our reservoirs, the amount of clean water we receive from a forest is greatly reduced. Additionally, eroded sediment from burned areas poses serious threats for our homes, roads and businesses.

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Give me your tired, your poor... BACKPACKS!
    Your huddled BACKPACKS yearning to breathe free...
    Send these, the BACKPACKS, tempest-tost to me...

  • Monday, March 18, 2013

    Don't miss the 5th annual Veda Fashion Show and Greenie Awards on April 28th at 7pm. Proceeds benefit the Rocky Mountain Field Institute and our forest restoration projects.

    More info here

  • Friday, February 15, 2013

    Trails and Open Space Coalition and Catamount Insitute, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Sierra Club, Energy Resource Center, Southern Colorado Clean Cities Coalition, Green Cities Coalition, Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights and the Colorado Springs Independent are holding an Environmental City Council Candidate Forum.

  • Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    See what amazing things RMFI volunteers accomplished in 2012 here!

  • Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    South Colony Lakes Basin Restoration Project
    Field Studies in Geography (GES 446)
    Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, Colorado

  • Monday, December 10, 2012

    Join us for a slideshow/video by Jes Meiris about her record-breaking ascent of the Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

    $10 suggested donation at the door through Indy Give!

    Thursday, December 13th at 7pm

    Sport Climbing Center: 4650 Northpark Dr. Colorado Springs, 80918, 719-260-1050

  • Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of two US Forest Service Chief’s Honor Awards in 2012. The Chief’s Honor Award is the highest award given out by the US Forest Service and publicly recognizes outstanding accomplishments that contribute to the Forest Service’s strategic goals. US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell recognized the Rocky Mountain Field Institute for two of nine total awards at a ceremony on December 3rd in Arlington, Virginia.

  • Monday, November 26, 2012

    Join RMFI and 4 other fabulous local nonprofits for an evening of fun and adventure!

  • Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Dozens in our community got a firsthand look at the destruction caused by Colorado’s most devastating fire and found out what’s being done to restore our land. And organizers want everyone to know that they are in need of volunteers and it will take everyone to rebuild and restore our mountains.

  • Thursday, November 8, 2012

    The Rocky Mountain Field Institute's 4th annual Fall ShinDIG will be held 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. Join fellow outdoors lovers for an evening of lively talk, refreshments and music by The Mitguards. The awards and recognition ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. Reserve a spot by contacting Liz Nichols at 471-7736 or [email protected].

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Colorado Springs - Three area nonprofit organizations have come together for a unique fundraiser and to offer a small group of local residents an exclusive look into the Waldo Canyon burn area. In partnership with the Flying W Ranch, the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP), Mile High Youth Corps, and the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) have come together to provide a Saturday morning field trip that brings together professionals in the field.

  • Monday, October 29, 2012

    “After the Fire...

  • Thursday, October 25, 2012

    T-6 days until Indy Give! starts. Are you ready? http://www.indygive.com/

  • Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Join us for our annual volunteer recognition and Indy Give! kickoff event!

    You are cordially invited to our annual fall gathering at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. Enjoy free food, beer, wine, and live music by The Mitguards. This is our largest social event of the year and serves as a thank you to our funders, partners, and volunteers, as well as an open house for those unfamiliar with our programs. Please join us!

  • Friday, October 12, 2012

    On October 9, 2012, Rocky Mountain Field Institute received the Bureau of Land Management Utah Youth Program Partnership Award for our youth-focused environmental service work in Indian Creek Canyon, Utah. Every year RMFI runs a spring break program in collaboration with Colorado College whereby students spend 5 days completing an environmental service project and 5 days backpacking through Utah's amazing landscape near Canyonlands National Park.

  • Thursday, October 4, 2012

    RMFI talks with Black Diamond about where we've been and where we're going: 

  • Thursday, August 23, 2012

    Check out our cool new digs at the Old Midland School!

    Wine, refreshments and hor d'oeuvres served. Join us to learn more about what we do and take a peek at what goes on behind the scene!

    Friday, September 7, 4-8pm
    815 South 25th Street, Suite 101, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    We are excited to report that Rocky Mountain Field Institute was chosen at the 2012 recipient of The Stewardship Award of the Southern Colorado Conservation Awards.

    Palmer Land Trust honors 2012 Southern Colorado Conservation Awards winners on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort in Colorado Springs. Cocktails begin at 5:00 PM.  Dinner will be served at 6:00 PM.  Cost is $60 and includes a farm-to-table dinner, featuring local foods.

  • Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    RMFI is once again helping out with the Craft Lager Festival and will receive proceeds from the event to support our trail and restoration work throughout the region.

    Craft Lager Festival is looking for volunteers to help out during the day. Volunteers get into the festival for FREE! Volunteers need to work one shift (AM or PM, PM is preferable). 

    To learn more about volunteer roles and to sign up CLICK HERE.

  • Friday, July 13, 2012

    We moved! After 5 years of working out of a small cottage on West Colorado Avenue we moved to have a little more elbow room for our growing staff. Please note our new address:

    815 South 25th Street, Suite 101
    Colorado Springs, CO 80904

    Our phone number remains the same: 719-471-7736

    We'll have an open house later this fall for everyone to see our cool new digs in the Old Midland School.

  • Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Join Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Coalition for the Upper South Platte, and many other partners in rallying support for wildfire restoration and recovery in our beautiful Pikes Peak region. Concert lineup includes Haunted Windchimes, Radio London, Ceol Ceili, Charlie Milo Trio, Thorn's Musical Journey, Florissant Fossils, and Ben Knighten. Event is at Aspen Valley Ranch. $15 advance tickets, $20 at the door. Firefighters get in FREE!

  • Thursday, June 28, 2012

    The Hayman Fire was the largest and most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history.  On June 8, 2002, the fire began raging through the Pike National Forest, as well as state, county and private lands, burning a total of 137,760 acres.

  • Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    4 days into the Waldo Canyon Fire we are getting numerous requests from volunteers to help restore the area. Wonderful!! Thank you so much for your willingness to jump in and give back to this amazing and beautiful area that is our home. For those that are unfamiliar with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, we are a local conservation organization that does large-scale restoration work at heavily impacted natural areas throughout the region including Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and Hayman Burn in the South Platte.

  • Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Rocky Mountain Field Institute is hiring a Program Director based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado to develop, plan, and oversee field-based restoration and trail projects in Southern Colorado. Job announcement.

  • Monday, May 7, 2012

    You don’t have to tell me Colorado Springs is a great place to live. As a Palmer High School grad, I consider myself fortunate to call the Pikes Peak region home.

    In April, as many of us celebrated Earth Month, I experienced once again what makes this community so extraordinary. Each year, Colorado Springs Utilities employees and volunteers get the opportunity to work side by side with nonprofit organizations...

  • Monday, May 7, 2012

    Twice a year, the Rocky Mountain Field Institute organizes a youth workday at Garden of the Gods....

  • Sunday, April 22, 2012

    Colorado is known for its hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails. Since they are so often traveled, they see a lot of wear and tear. Thanks to dozens of volunteers, however, not only will trails in the Pikes Peak Region be cleaner and safer -- there will soon be new trails to trek.

  • Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Over the last few years, the city has witnessed a lot of brown grass, free-flying trash, weeds and trail damage in its open spaces and parks.

    Money has been spotty, and not all of the problems have been addressed adequately by the city. Thus, the city parks department and the Trails and Open Space Coalition have been working together since 2010 to train volunteers that could take up where city workers left off. The program is called the Open Space Volunteers.

  • Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    We wish to give a big shout out to Wild Connections and their extremely generous tool donation as part of our Spring Tool Drive. Jean Smith and her wonderful organization donated over 2 dozen tools, plus a handful of buckets, survey stakes, and a survey wheel. WOW! This has a value of over $900.

  • Monday, March 12, 2012

    Do you have trail tools in your garage that haven't seen any action in awhile? We're looking to boost our tool inventory to keep up with our expanding project load and we need your help. Please consider donating a tool or two in March and April during our Spring Tool Drive. Our tools see a lot of heavy use, so please only donate sturdy tools in top-notch condition. Here's what we need:

  • Thursday, March 1, 2012

    RMFI is now a 1% for the Planet Nonprofit Partner! 1% for the Planet inspires members of the business community to contribute 1% of sales to environmental groups around the world. As a partner nonprofit, RMFI has been vetted and approved by 1% as a credible environmental group with clear objectives and a track record of effective environmental initiatives. Woop woop!

  • Thursday, February 23, 2012

    The father daughter running team of Kalee Ricks and Thomas Ricks are planning to embark on a running challenge this May of truly inspiring nature. They are going to run/hike the first 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 40 days, which means they are moving at least the distance of a marathon each and every day. To add to the prowess of this physical feat these Colorado Springs locals are running for a cause. They are collecting money through donations on their website to give back to their favorite trail-building non-profit, RMFI!

  • Thursday, January 19, 2012

    What a wonderful testimonial from a local Colorado Springs climber and guide:

    "Thank you for the magnificent work you have done in the central area. The climbing trails have finally been clearly defined and constructed - and located in precisely the right places. True restoration has been established thanks to the netting and associated ground work. I had not been to the central area for months, until recently, so all your work was a fine surprise." - January 11, 2012

  • Friday, January 13, 2012

    Let's face it: No one can argue that the most important thing to sustain life, including here in Colorado Springs, is water. It's a topic that should be near and dear to everyone. And to help pay homage, Colorado Springs Utilities is planning a local launch of Colorado Water 2012.

  • Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Thanks to 114 Indy Give! donors, RMFI raised $5,950... plus came in 2nd for most young donors in the environmental category ($750)... plus reached our matching grant provided by Bob and Elly Hostetler ($1,000). This totals $7,700. Also impressive, 40% of RMFI's donors were "young donors" in their 20s and 30s. This is the highest percentage in the entire environmental category.

    A big thank you to everyone who gave and got the word out.

  • Monday, November 21, 2011

    ’Tis the season for giving and such charity should begin at home. That is the premise behind the creation of Colorado Gives Day and its slogan: “24 Hours to Give Where You Live.”

  • Tuesday, November 1, 2011
  • Saturday, October 29, 2011

    It's that time of year again... time to party. This is RMFI's largest social event of the year.

    You are cordially invited to our annual fall gathering at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. Enjoy food by La'au's Tacos, live music by The Mitguards, and a rare chance to try Warning Sign high-gravity beer (the official beer of the Craft Lager Fest). This is our largest social event of the year and serves as a thank you to our funders, partners, and volunteers, as well as an open house for those unfamiliar with our programs. Please join us!

  • Thursday, September 29, 2011

    The road is one of the worst — or best, depending on your interest in rock crawling — in Colorado, the often-loathed, sometimes-controversial forest track known as Lake Como Road.

  • Monday, June 20, 2011

    An extra workday has been scheduled by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) in the project it began this spring to close off social trails in the heavily used, central grassy area of the Garden of the Gods (just west of the Gateway Rock formations).

  • Sunday, June 5, 2011

    More than 100 Vail Resorts employees worked Thursday to restore an area in the Pike National Forest that was damaged by the 2002 Hayman fire.

  • Sunday, May 15, 2011

    We are thrilled to announce a BRAND NEW RMFI program for those who want to help educate Garden of the Gods park users about the importance of restoration and trail work.

  • Thursday, August 26, 2010

    The Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) is pleased to announce that it will begin trail and restoration work on Blanca Peak in the summer of 2011. At 14,345 feet, Blanca Peak is the 4th highest summit in Colorado, towering 6,000 feet above the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado. The project will focus on reconstructing the summit trail from Como Lake to the summits of both Blanca Peak and its ridgeline neighbor, Ellingwood Point. The lack of a defined summit trail has resulted in a proliferation of user-created social trails, gullied and denuded areas, and severe vegetation loss.

  • Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Program sends them into the mountains for the summer

  • Thursday, June 3, 2010

    RMFI began the Strausenback Trail Reconstruction and Restoration Project in 2008 in an effort to address deteriorating sections on the trail and surrounding slopes.  The Strausenback Trail, located near the Garden of the Gods Trading Post and South Spring Canon Picnic Area, is one of the most heavily used in the park as it provides direct access to the park’s interior rock formations from the southwest and exceptional scenic views of the Pikes Peak summit as well as the amazing sandstone formations of the Garden.

  • Thursday, June 3, 2010

    This summer an exciting new 3-year collaboration between the National Forest Foundation (NFF), Vail Resorts, and the USDA Forest Service will re-energize efforts to complete on-the-ground restoration work in the Hayman Burn area of the Upper South Platte watershed. Projects will be completed as part of the NFF’s Upper South Platte/Hayman Conservation Campaign. Areas damaged by the fire are still producing a large amount of sediment. The sediment is being delivered to the South Platte River, impacting water quality and wildlife habitat.

  • Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    The mission of Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) is to integrate environmental stewardship, education, and research through the exemplary restoration of key natural areas. RMFI works in partnership with a variety of local, state, and federal land management agencies to provide on-the-ground stewardship including, but not limited to, trail construction, restoration of social trails and undesignated campsites, stream and wetland restoration, and alpine restoration.

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