National Forest Foundation

Gunnison County Stewardship Fund Supports Trails, Infrastructure in 2020

NFF Grant Partners and Projects

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This summer the NFF worked alongside Gunnison County Stewardship Fund (GCSF) donors to allocate funding for several projects that will enhance public lands in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley. The NFF created the Fund in 2018 in response to the community’s call for a greater emphasis on public land stewardship. The Fund is supported by local, regional, and national businesses, local governments, and other entities who echo the community’s prioritization of public lands.

The GCSF, working in alignment with the Gunnison County Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (STOR) Committee, is an innovative, bold partnership dedicated to sustaining and enhancing Gunnison County’s public and conserved lands.

The Fund’s vision is to finance stewardship projects and support the economy by engaging people and leveraging resources to proactively protect stated community values.

The NFF, STOR Committee, U.S. Forest Service, Gunnison County, Town of Crested Butte, Crested Butte Mountain Resort/Vail Resorts, Eleven/Irwin Guides, Three Rivers Resort, Scenic River Tours, Gunnison Energy, Crested Butte Nordic, Mt. Emmons Mining Company, the Gunnison Metropolitan Recreation District and other partners chose to support the following projects in 2020.

Crested Butte Conservation Corps, a program of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association, received $50,000 to work alongside the Forest Service to provide a robust field presence across Gunnison Ranger District lands from May to October. The Corps helped mitigate resource damage, complete regular trail maintenance, educate users, and reduce impacts to Gunnison Valley public lands.

The Crested Butte Conservation Corps received Fund dollars to support implementation of a designated camping project in the Slate River Valley.

Gunnison Trails Professional Trail Crew received $10,000 to maintain and increase access to Gunnison Basin trails on Bureau of Land Management and National Forest System lands. The Trail Crew’s work also included carrying out revegetation and habitat improvement projects.

With the help of $10,000 from the Fund, Gunnison County began the construction of Shady Island River Park. The new park will eventually include restrooms, campsites, a camp host, picnic shelters and tables, fishing access, trails, kid’s nature play areas, and a boat staging area.

The Crested Butte Land Trust received Fund dollars to construct the Gunsight Connector Trai

The Crested Butte Land Trust received $29,130 from the Fund to oversee the Gunsight to Oh-Be-Joyful Connector Trail to connect the Lower Loops to the OBJ Campground/Recreation Area. The 0.75-mile trail connects the Raggeds Wilderness to Crested Butte via natural surface trails.

The Coal Creek Watershed Coalition coordinated with the Gunnison Ranger District to install a permanent vault toilet on Forest Service land in Washington Gulch. The donated toilet was refurbished and installed with $5,000 in support from the Stewardship Fund.


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Here’s the STOR-y: The NFF and Gunnison County Team Up to Create Stewardship Jobs

As with many mountain communities in Colorado, visitation to the Gunnison Valley is at an all-time high. Land managers observe that they have never seen our public lands as busy as they have been in recent years. NFF and Gunnison County officials acted urgently this past spring to prepare for the anticipated onrush of summer visitation. The partners quickly hatched the idea for the STOR Corps – a jobs-creation program modeled in-part after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1920’s and in-part after the youth corps model that is so successful today.

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