EAGLE POST 51

The newsletter of ESWA - EAGLE SUMMIT WILDERNESS ALLIANCE apprises you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas.
BEFORE WE BEGIN...  some brief updates of ESWA programs
- NOMINATE your favorite Wilderness champion for the Second Annual CURRIE CRAVEN AWARD FOR WILDERNESS STEWARDSHIP. Click HERE.
SUBMIT your favorite WIlderness photos for the Second annual PHOTO CONTEST. Click HERE.
VWR: While some ESWA programs are curtailed due to the pandemic, our VWRs are getting out on patrol. So far, 140 patrols (each ~4 hours) have occurred, covering 859 miles. 4900 hikers were encountered (4500 day hikers, 400 backpackers). Of 700 dogs encountered, 184 (26%) were off leash. 1300 vehicles were counted at trailhead parking lots. We are currently recruiting - apply HERE.
Trail work: While overnight backcountry work trips are postponed to 2021, we have been busy with the USFS cutting hundreds of trees that have fallen across trails.
Weeds: The ESWA WeedSpotters have had a great June!  Our contractors funded by the NFF Grant treated 9 trails for weed infestations, and our WeedSpotter volunteers have spent the month locating new infestations, confirming the treatments, and pulling other weed areas.  But there are still more weeds out there, if you'd like to try your hand at pulling Musk Thistle, send us an e-mail and we'll let you know where to go and what to pull!
Advocacy: We've become advocates for two new campaigns, both in Eagle County. One is to protect bighorn sheep habitat in East Vail. The other is protect the Homestake Valley from a new reservoir meant to provide front range water. Read about these and our other campaigns at our website
August 2020
Dear *|FNAME|*

Greetings! Our topic this month:

Meet Katherine "Kat" Bazan
US Forest Service
Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District
INTRODUCTION 
Life offers an abundance of opportunities that shape our pursuits. Some of us rebel. Some are late bloomers. Some change course repeatedly. And some have that rare consistency that charts an unwavering path from earliest childhood, through formal education, and on to professional work. Such has it been for KATHERINE "KAT" BAZAN (Baa'-zon), as she describes below.
 
Kat assumed her current position when Mike Beach departed last year, and it soon became highly challenging as the pandemic struck. While she has lost some resources this year, she and her crew are forging ahead with ambitious summer plans, and we at ESWA are pleased to be working with her and her colleagues - socially distanced, of course.
MEET KATHERINE "KAT" BAZAN

Hello Everyone! My name is Katherine (Kat) Bazan and I am the Wilderness, Trails, and Front Country Manager for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District. I do not know how I got so lucky to be in the position I am in, but I do know the path that led me here.

I was born and raised in central New York, in the small town of Ohio. It lies just inside the “Blue Line” of the Adirondack Park (see below for Blue Line). The Adirondacks are a 6.1-million-acre park made up of private and public land. Water is abundant and it holds the headwaters of the Hudson River.  The house I grew up in is located on 100 acres that connects to state land. It is filled with mixed hardwood forests, lush mountain streams, abundant berries, trails that I could walk for miles out my back door, and an astounding number of black flies. My years here were spent exploring the woods surrounding our home. The Adirondacks are a special place, and I highly recommend visiting if you have never been - just wait until black fly season is over! It was here that I fell in love with the outdoors. My mother and father would not have had it any other way.

My father was a Forest Ranger for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and my mother was, and still is, an Environmental Educator for multiple organizations in the area. Their passion and knowledge of our natural environment spilled over to me and my two sisters (below). All three of us followed suit and ended up studying natural resource management. 
I attended college at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, where I received a degree in Environmental Sciences. Plattsburgh is in the northeast corner of New York, nestled next to Lake Champlain and just next to the high peaks of the Adirondack Mountains. While in school, I thought that I would end up being a water quality technician. However, after learning how to alpine ski at Whiteface Mountain, I started down another path, one based a bit more in recreation and exploration of our wild places.

After graduating college, I spent one winter selling lift tickets at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia and then I found trail work. I got an internship with the Student Conservation Association in the Adirondack Park doing trail work as part of a 25-person crew that would camp out for 5-10 days at a time completing work all over the Park. I fell in love with the satisfaction of doing hard work for days on end in the middle of the woods and the gratification of building something and solving a problem on the trail, like a brand-new bridge over a deep mud hole. I emerged from the woods dirty, stronger, and more connected to our natural landscapes every week. I finally made it to Minturn, Colorado in November of 2012.

 I got a job at Beaver Creek Mountain as a ticket scanner that winter and in the summer of 2013, I applied to every trail job that I could find in Colorado. Somehow, I got lucky enough to land a position as a trail crew member for the Eagle Holy Cross (EHX) Ranger District, right down the road from where I lived. That summer was so much fun that I could not resist coming back and I have not missed a summer working in the Wilderness Areas of Eagle County since then. During the winters, I worked as Ski Patrol at Beaver Creek Mountain. I always tell new seasonal employees that having two jobs that I loved made the years fly by.

After working seasonally in Eagle County for 7 years I landed a full-time, year round position on the Eagle/Holy-Cross Ranger District in September of 2020. During those 7 years; I met my husband, Greg, and we had our son Keller (named for Keller Mountain in the Gore Range and Keller Glade at Beaver Creek Mountain). During our free time we spend a lot of time exploring the diverse landscapes of the Colorado Plateau via bike, hike, canoe, and camp. Preserving our wild places is so important for our future generations. I want Keller to have the opportunity to share these special areas with his family one day. That is why the Wilderness work that we do with the help of ESWA is so important!

This summer we have seven Wilderness and Trails crew members working in three Wilderness Areas: Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Flat Tops. They are working on completing a rec site inventory project in the Eagles Nest Wilderness in conjunction with the Dillon Ranger District Wilderness crew. They will be rebuilding a bridge on Cross Creek trail with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and will be logging out and patrolling our high use areas with the help of ESWA. We unfortunately had to scale back some projects this year because of COVID-19, including not having our llamas, Dominquez and Powell, join us this season. We hope to have our llamas back next year and to be able to complete great Wilderness work with them and ESWA! I am looking forward to seeing you all out on the trail!
 
What is THE BLUE LINE? It's the term used for the boundaries of the Adirondack and Catskill State parks. The state constitution requires that any property owned or acquired by the state in those parks "be forever kept as wild forest lands" and prohibits it from selling or transferring them. It is so called because blue ink was used when they were first drawn on state maps. Over time they have acquired legal impact on all lands, public and private, within them.
What do we want? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! That's right, we're talking how you do your business in the Wilderness - that business - specifically NUMBER TWO.
Exposed human waste is a seriously growing problem, especially around backcountry lakes, and it's high time to start packing it out, just like rafters in the Grand Canyon do. So make a new business plan for your next Wilderness trip - check out RESTOP, the leader in personal sanitation and hygiene in the backcountry. They have GENEROUSLY DONATED SAMPLE WAG BAGS to us, and while COVID-19 regs prevent us from handing them out on the trail, if you send us an email before your next backpack trip, we'll figure out a way to get some to you. A BIG THANKS TO RESTOP!
By wag bagthe way WAG is an acronym for Waste Alleviation and Gelling. Yeah, someone got paid to come up with that. A powder absorbs the moisture (and the smell). The bag fits conveniently inside another bag and is good for 2-3 uses.

A huge thanks to ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREAFor more than two decades, A-Basin staff have donated generously to their Employee Environmental Fund, of which ESWA has been a steady beneficiary. Last year, more than 150 employees donated, led by A-Basin Director Alan Henceroth. Our enduring THANKS to them.

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Join us! Next  Planning Meeting
Thursday, AUGUST 13 at 5:30 PM, We plan to hold the meeting outdoors - socially distanced - at Meadow Creek Park in Frisco (MAP). Any questions? Send us an email.
 
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Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to ESWA, which will end rebates to us without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!

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