We are an all-volunteer organization committed to the health and preservation of three Wilderness Areas, and to spreading wilderness ethics to all who visit. Won't you join us? Click here
We help the US Forest Service look after three Wilderness Areas. Rollover to enlarge.
"THE CURRIE" - NOMINATE your favorite Wilderness champion for the annual CURRIE CRAVEN AWARD FOR WILDERNESS STEWARDSHIP Deadline is September 15. The winner will be announced (via Zoom) at our Annual Meeting, Thursday, October 8. The award presentation will take place at a later date, when we can gather together. The Currie Craven Award is given annually to a person who has been an exemplary advocate for the promotion and protection of designated Wilderness. The award is named for John Currie Craven, co‐founder of ESWA and president for more than two decades. We seek to honor those who, like Currie, have toiled energetically and advocated vigorously in an enduring pattern of support for Wilderness. While nominees may come from any area, we focus especially on those whose efforts have included Colorado Wilderness Areas, especially in and near Eagle and Summit Counties. The nomination should explain clearly the qualifications of the nominee in 1500 words or less. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. People may self‐nominate. Full details HERE Submit your photos for the second annual ESWA PHOTO CONTEST. Send your best landscape photos that evoke the splendor of the Wilderness Areas ESWA helps protect –Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak. Deadline is September 15. Winners will be announced at our Annual Meeting, Thursday, October 8 (via Zoom). Presentations will be made later, when we can gather together. Details are HERE. Submit photos HERE. Below is the 2019 winning entry by Maria Leech (Red Peak from Buffalo Mountain)
COVID-19 UPDATE: We are following developments regularly, and updating our procedures as necessary, under guidance from the US Forest Service. Read about some individual programs below.1. VOLUNTEER WILDERNESS RANGERS Training Day for new VWR applicants, originally scheduled for June 6, was cancelled. However, they are encouraged to accompany VWRs on their regular patrols as “apprentices”, which will give them good opportunities to see up close (but not too close) how the program works. You can apply for VWR training HERE.2. WORK TRIPS WITH LLAMAS Alas, the four overnight work trips with llamas will not take place in 2020, due to the pandemic. Have questions or need for information? Send us an email. Each trip was to have been Fri-Sun. July 17 – 19: Upper Cataract Lake July 31 – Aug 2: Lake Constantine August 14 – 16: Missouri Lakes August 28 – 30: Slate Lakes3. NOXIOUS WEEDS Our "Weedinar" on May 12 was a big success, with more than 40 participants, who tuned in to Zoom to learn how to identify common noxious weeds and how t0 become a WeedSpotter to help us take out noxious weed infestations in the Eagles Nest, Ptarmigan, and Holy Cross Wilderness Areas. For follow up info, send us an email.
USFS Manager of Wilderness (and more) in the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District KATHERINE "KAT" BAZAN (here with son Keller) is profiled in the latest ESWA eNewsletter. Read about her laser-like journey from her earliest days to her new position, and the unprecedented professional challenges that arrived due to the pandemic.
ESWA has a new ADVOCACY campaign: to protect the habitat of BIGHORN SHEEP in East Vail. In a letter to the Vail Town Council, ESWA Chair Mike Browning wrote, "ESWA’s primary interest in the proposed Booth Heights land swap is the protection of the Bighorn Sheep herd that uses the Booth Heights property for winter range. Wildlife in the Vail Valley is under increasing pressure from human development and the increased number of hikers in our local Wilderness Areas. It is vital that we protect the critical wildlife habitat that remains. This is particularly true of the winter habitat provided by the Booth Heights property as it is essential for the survival of the Bighorn Sheep that spend the remainder of the year in the Eagles Nest Wilderness." Read the entire letter HERE
In our July Newsletter ANDREW LEARY, National Outreach Manager at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, discusses strategies for enlisting screen technology in teaching young people how to appreciate Nature's bounty.
ESWA is advocating to protect HOMESTAKE CREEK AND HOLY CROSS WILDERNESS, asking the US Forest Service to deny a permit to the towns of Aurora and Colorado Springs for the construction of a large reservoir that would require removal of up to 500 acres from Holy Cross Wilderness. See the Eaglet for more information.
Our June eNewsletter celebrates the EAGLE VALLEY LAND TRUST (EVLT). Deputy Director BERGEN TJOSSEM write about their extraordinary work helping conservation-minded property owners create CONSERVATION EASEMENTS to protect open land. They manage over 36 such properties - over 11,200 acres - including 20 with public access featuring 34.8 miles of trails, 10 miles of river corridor and riparian habitat, over 10,116 acres of wildlife habitat, 6,396 acres of scenic vistas, and three working ranches.
In the ESWA May eNewsletter Ralph Swain describes a remarkable double centennial - the "Spanish Flu" pandemic and the birth of the wilderness movement - and how Arthur Carhart (1892-1978) was intimately involved with both events.
On Sunday, April 5th and again on April 19th ESWA appealed for volunteers in the Vail Daily and Summit Daily newspapers. We hope to attract people who want to help us steward Wilderness in Eagle and Summit Counties. The announcement will appear again on April 19th. Click HERE to learn more. Plans are subject to change depending on the pandemic.
In the April eNewsletter Dr. FRANK GUTMANN describes our work with the CROSSCUT SAW, the most important tool for clearing Wilderness trails of deadfall trees. In 2019, the US Forest Service and ESWA volunteers cleared from trails more than 2,500 trees that had been killed by the pine beetle a decade ago, and are now falling across trails in record numbers. ESWA is seeking volunteers to become CERTIFIED CROSSCUT SAWYERS. Please consider joining us! Send us an email at email@example.com.
DOGS IN WILDERNESS - In the March eNewsletter FRANCES HARTOGH examines the challenging issue of leash laws for dogs inside designated Wilderness. She reviews the compelling evidence that dogs - especially when off-leash - unfortunately have serious negative impacts on Wilderness.
Wolf reintroduction in Colorado? It's on the ballot. In the February eNewsletter two experienced, respected experts - Eric Washburn & Jim Pribyl - weigh the issues and come to an unambiguous conclusion.
Out with the old and in with the new. In the January eNewsletter outgoing Chair BILL BETZ talks about 2019 and incoming Chair MIKE BROWNING introduces himself and outlines an agenda for 2020.
The December eNewsletter is all about NWSA - The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, formed in Colorado about a decade ago. Author Dave Cantrell was there from the start. Read about how NWSA knits together the fabric of volunteer non-profit organizations, including us, into a vibrant, busy wilderness preservation network.
WE ADVOCATE. If you find value in wilderness, we hope that you will support the 5 worthy campaigns that form our ADVOCACY portfolio. Read updates from each in our special newsletter The five campaigns are: 1. The CORE Act - 400K acres protected 2. Buck Berlairmont - stop luxury development in WRNF 3. Lower Blue Residents United - stop open pit mine in unspoiled ranch country 4. Safe Passages - protect wildlife from collisions with vehicles on Vail Pass 5. Rename the Gore Range - possibly to the Nuches Mountains (Ute word for "Ute")
In the November eNewsletter LANE WYATT describes efforts to reverse the degradation of the Blue River, which lost its coveted GOLD MEDAL STATUS in 2016. Lane describes the criteria for achieving Gold Medal status, shows the data that reveal the sorry Blue River status, and describes the plans of a group (BREW) to restore the river through a series of carefully monitored variables and controlled treatments. The SUMMIT DAILY wrote a parallel article, derived from our newsletter
October 24: We are in the process of changing our name to Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance. And, we have a NEW LOGO. The logo comes in different arrangements, like the rectangle (right), or a square: or a circle, nice for patches: The jagged line through the letters traces the horizon of Eagles Nest Wilderness as seen from the west. The logo was created by the folks at KIND DESIGN, who generously discounted our cost. PLEASE NOTE: These changes won't become official until after COLORADO GIVES DAY (Dec 10), so look for us as Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness until then. Let us know what you think of the new logo. Send your comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post them here.
<background="blue">Our annual thank you party for volunteer rangers was held for the 5th year at Jay's Cabin above Vail Pass, thanks to the generosity of the Ogilby family, and the planning and hosting by Ken Harper and spouse Pam Kennedy. ELLIE FINLAY was awarded Volunteer Ranger of 2019 (she will use her REI gift card towards new boots - she burned hers out on the trail!) Lots more pictures HERE.
1 October: The FENW/ESWA October eNewsletter features an essay called NATURE AS HEALER by SUSIE KINCADE, environmental activist, Nature-based coach, and Founder of the Women’s Empowerment Workshop. Susie writes, "We know wild nature feeds our body, mind and spirit. Nature’s magic melts away the creases on our face; our breathing slows and deepens, shoulders let go, anger/frustration/anxiety dissipate, and a sense of calm softens our energy. This is Nature as medicine. And the science is pouring in to support this."
10 September: Our co-founder, CURRIE CRAVEN, was profiled in an article in the SUMMIT DAILY. Then, on 14 September, Currie was presented with the first annual Currie Craven Award for wilderness Stewardship by FENW/EWSA Chair Bill Betz (left), a stained glass panorama of Eagles Nest wilderness viewed from Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness, brilliantly fashioned by local artist Gail Shears (right).