Notes from the Field

The Dirt Diaries Blog

Musings from RMFI staff about all things related to public lands and environmental stewardship.

‘Queen of the 14ers’: Outdoors lure employee into 33-year career atop 14,000+ foot mountains

Kathryn Sosbe

Office of Communication

April 27, 2022

Loretta McEllhiney surveys flora on San Luis peak in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest. As the Colorado Fourteeners Program manager, she is responsible for not only the safety of trails on 47 Colorado mountains higher than 14,000 feet, but she also has grown into an expert about alpine plants. (Photo courtesy Executive Director Lloyd Athearn, Colorado Fourteeners Initiative)

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Waldo Canyon History

Written by Eric Swab. Reposted from the Trails and Open Space Coalition Website


(Eric Swab offers a fascinating account of the man behind of the region’s most beloved canyons. A man who swallowed documents, got into gun-fights, had several near-death experiences, borrowed money 14 times and it would seem attempted to swindle the federal government)

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The Pisgah Paradox

Shared from Patagonia, Author: Kristian Jackson


A series of logs hangs precariously over the edge of a muddy hole, forming a makeshift bridge across what used to be the trail alongside Grogan Creek. I watch my companions tiptoe past, gracefully navigating their bikes through the encroaching rhododendron, before following them across the greasy byway to the safety of solid ground.

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Public Comment: Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind

In May 2020, Colorado Parks and Wildlife began an effort to overhaul a 1998 document titled, "Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind." This document was created to support land managers in planning for trails while incorporating strategies to address wildlife impacts. While it has served as an excellent tool for trail planners throughout the state, it had not been updated in 20 years.

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Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department to pilot new electric bike policy on City trails starting May 31

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Electric bike (e-bike) access on City trails will be expanded during a year-long pilot program starting May 31. The program will allow Class 1 e-bikes, pedal-assist bicycles that can only be activated through a pedaling action, on all City trails that currently allow bicycles, rather than just urban trails. The pilot program will also allow, for the first time, Class 2 e-bikes on urban trails only. Class 2 e-bikes can be activated by pedaling or through a throttle element limited to low speeds.

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Guidelines and Procedures for RMFI Field Crews in Response to COVID-19

RMFI is authorized to complete trail and restoration work by the following public land management agencies in 2020: Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services; Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office; El Paso County Parks; U.S. Forest Service Pikes Peak Ranger District and Saguache Ranger District. In delivering these essential services, RMFI will keep the health and safety of our employees and community as the first priority. This document was most recently updated on March 11, 2021.
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CPW aquatic biologists studying troubling decline in greenback cutthroat population

Dec. 22, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Aquatic biologists and researchers at Colorado Parks and Wildlife have launched an intensive review of data on Bear Creek after a routine survey revealed a troubling decline in greenback cutthroat trout populations.

In 2012, CPW confirmed that tiny Bear Creek, on the city’s southwest edge, was home to wild greenback cutthroat trout, which are the Colorado state fish and are native to the South Platte River in the northeast.

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