Beyond the Trail

Posted by: admin April 24th, 2019

As the snow begins to melt in the high country, I anxiously look forward to another season as a proud
steward of our land and water engaged in trail and eco-restoration projects. Many volunteers give what
they can on the ground restoring our heavily used land and over-tapped waters.

Beyond the Trail Frisco Lodge.png
I contemplated over the years as a dedicated volunteer, if there was anything else I or any of us could be
doing beyond the trail and decided emphatically that we can.

We work passionately to rejuvenate our natural assets and here are a few ideas on how we can do even
more beyond the trail to complement our impactful work.

A. Acquaint yourself with current legislation that promotes healthy rivers, streams and
environmental initiatives that help lessen the effects of pollution and Green House Gas emission
on our natural assets. For instance, there are bills in Colorado that address river health, electric
vehicle infrastructure expansion, and public land protection and in time funding.

B. Lower your Greenhouse Gas emissions anyway that you can such as carpooling or taking more
sustainable forms of travel when you visit the towns surrounding your National Forest. The
Summit Stage bus system here in Summit Count is free and gets you most places easily.
Excessive GHG emissions have contributed to longer and more severe wildfire seasons. Our
forests health is in jeopardy. 

C. You can do this personally and by encouraging the companies you work for and frequent to do
the same. Put them in touch with the local conservation non-profits such as High Country
Conservation Center here in Summit County
to get advice on energy audits for energy efficiency.
Non-energy efficient residences and commercial buildings are big contributors to GHG.

D. Get involved with your town council to commit to higher renewable energy for your electric
energy needs. Coal still represents roughly 50% of our electric utility power generation in
Colorado. The burning of coal is considered highly injurious to the environment we love.

E. Begin to look at your investments to make sure the companies you are invested in are not at
odds with the job you are doing healing our land. Companies making a real effort toward
reducing their carbon footprint in their operations and engaging in water efficiency should
rank higher while those that do not should be sold.

I look forward to sharing more specific ideas on each of these and more areas on how we can all help
the environment and the health of our natural assets that many laboriously steward each year.

Tom Koehler
Sustainable Hiker