INTRODUCTION: After 23 years at the helm, FENW President Currie Craven stepped down (he remains on the board as Past-President). Tim Drescher is our new President. Below, Tim writes an introductory letter to everyone interested in wilderness. He outlines an exciting agenda that, while preserving our core Volunteer Wilderness Rangers and Trail Projects, aims to examine what more we can do to combat the growing threats to public lands in general and wilderness in particular. You are invited to join us in our long range planning process - we will value your input and participation. We will be announcing details about the planning workshop in next month's newsletter (which will be authored by State Senator Kerry Donovan).
FENW 2018 President Tim Drescher writes:
Greetings Wilderness Enthusiasts!
I wanted to write a quick note to introduce myself and tell you a bit about what is in store for Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness as we move into 2018.
First of all, I am honored to serve as the new FENW President for this upcoming year and I look forward to a new chapter in the history of this great organization. Since moving to Eagle County over ten years ago, I've been an active backpacker and backcountry skier throughout the many corners of both Eagles Nest and Holy Cross Wilderness. My weekdays are occupied with being employed by the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, where I oversee operations as Supervisor at the Avon Wastewater Treatment Facility. This position is extremely gratifying to me as I have a direct influence on the water quality of the Eagle River in the heart of the Eagle Valley. I also stay busy while maintaining a trip report blog I started after thru hiking the Colorado Trail in 2011 (www.timdcy.com).
I first heard about FENW while launching a multi-day trip in Eagles Nest nearly five years ago. I recalled seeing an informational poster about the organization and the need for more people to volunteer at a trailhead. Fast forward two years when my wife and I completed a circumnavigation of the Gore Range. We spent 24 hours in the Upper Slate Lake drainage and the amount of disturbance and garbage we found was heart breaking. I sent an email explaining my experience to FENW, and my involvement with Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness launched from there.
FENW continues to work closely with USFS Wilderness Rangers in both Eagle and Summit counties in an effort to help achieve our goals. Now more than ever, the threats of reductions to our public lands and degradation of the character of our great Wilderness areas impact us from a variety of sources. Organizations like ours need to not only work increasingly harder, but also smarter.
Our Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program continues to be the lifeblood of our organization. We will continue to strongly support this effort moving forward and hopefully even strengthen it. Stewardship projects such as trail and campsite maintenance will also be a high priority. Make sure to pay close attention to our online calendar and newsletter for upcoming dates of projects!
There is much to be done, but we don't want to bite off more than we can chew. Thus, our first order of business will be to hold a comprehensive workshop to define specific goals, looking one, two, and five years ahead. Some issues are broad, for example defining our role vis-à-vis other partner organizations that assist the USFS - FDRD, VVMBA, Summit FatTire, and FOLBR, for example. Other issues include old standbys - recruitment, fundraising, bylaws updates, boots on the ground projects like invasive weeds… right on down to monthly meeting days.
A focal point for the plan that emerges will be FENW's twenty-fifth anniversary in 2019. It provides us with a perfect opportunity to celebrate our past as we begin to implement our new plans.
Through all of these processes, we will be looking for new faces to join in. If you love wilderness the way we do, come to our meeting on January 25, or contact me to find out more about how you can participate. As we close an era of more than two decades under the genial leadership of co-founder Currie Craven (who remains on the board as Past-President), our success in opening a new era at FENW depends totally on volunteers like you.