2024 CBCC Trail Care and Stewardship Crew Update #1–May 15-July 3

Comin’ in HOT! 

The temperatures and the crowds are already comin’ in HOT and it’s been an interesting start to the season. You can see it on Elk Avenue and the line of cars already queued up coming down the hill into Town.  Let alone, the abundant trail usage and designated camping numbers to date.  Last year started slow then went into madhouse mode for 4 weeks in late July/early August.  Let’s hope this year is smooth and steady.  So far for this 4th of July weekend, it’s full, and it’s busy, but it’s been manageable from a maintenance and upkeep point of view. 

The Crested Butte Conservation Corps (CBCC) is in its eighth season and hit the ground running mid-May. We are better staffed and prepared than ever before, and we’re aiming for a stellar season ahead.  With seasoned pros being four of the six crew members this year, and two newbies with previous experience and some serious backyard skills, we have a crew of 6 CBCC members that are already doing glorious work.

New to the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) and the CBCC this year… another acronym – Yay!  In addition to our full-time trail care and stewardship crews, the CBCC, we’re adding a specific outreach and education component on the weekends during the busiest weeks of the summer.  On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, look out for our CBCC Backcountry Outreach Crew (BOC).  You will find them in any of the drainages surrounding Crested Butte, where they will be tending to busy trailheads and parking areas.  They will be there with a wave and a smile, helping to educate users, minimize impacts on resources, provide camping and trail information, give out PACT Outdoors kits (how to poop in the woods) and WAG bags, pick up trash, collect user data, and provide more boots on the ground to help instill an even greater stewardship ethos amongst users and visitors.  The BOC is already at it (week 2), and we’ll be out there with this further CBCC reach until August 11th.  Like our 6 CBCC trail care crews, our 4 CBCC/BOC members are an eager and energetic crew looking to help steward our beloved backyard.

Also new to CBMBA/CBCC/BOC (we just love more jargon), we’ll be tending to the maintenance and upkeep of the West Maroon Trailhead and Bathroom.  We’ve already been tending to the trailhead, but we’ve never added the actual cleaning of the bathroom itself to the mix.  We’ll be there twice a week at a minimum, making sure it’s clean and supplied, but also deep cleaning the vault toilet itself.  In partnership with the Gunnison and White River Ranger Districts, we’re taking this on as a highly important need that was a challenge due to a lack of ability to get cleaning crews in there.  It’s right up our alley with our existing efforts and reach, and we’re glad to be a partner in this very well used, very sensitive, and very important component of keeping our most treasured and sensitive places in the best shape they can be in.

We’re off to a great start for several reasons.  One is because we have AWESOME crew members.  They are pros, with the six of them representing over 21 years of trail experience.  We are always grateful to have ‘born and raised in CB’ trail crew members, where along with the rest of the crews, they have a true desire to steward our backyard and open spaces.  Another reason we are off to a great start is b/c we have the best support, partners, and funding than we’ve ever had.  Although we rely so much on community and local support, we have newly acquired grants that are allowing us to plan even further in advance, hire and maintain existing crews, and pay a living wage.  Our biggest expense for the CBCC is labor, representing 62% of the CBCC annual budget.  Along with the consistent and integral support we’ve received from the Town of Mt. Crested Butte, 1% for Open Space, the Town of Crested Butte, and the Gunnison County Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation/National Forest Foundation over the years, we have two new grants that are game changing for our organization.  For the second year in a row, we are so grateful to partner with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), where we have received a non-motorized trail stewardship grant that is so ideally suited to match the mission and efforts of our CBCC trail care crews.  This was a rather competitive grant application, and we are so honored to have the trust and support of CPW, where, at a state level, we can help be a part of the solution for the vast amount of area they tend to.  Another true game changer for us, is the recent addition of three-year operational support from our local Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District (Met Rec).  This local tax payer funded initiative from Met Rec is helping so many local non-profits and our municipalities with the operational and program support they need to fulfill their missions and enhance the quality of life that so many of us live here for.  For us, it’s inspiration to continue to do what we do, with more staff, bigger crews, and bolder initiatives to help our public lands partners and steward a vast area.  Those grants we have acquired represent 68% of our CBCC annual budget.  They get us started strong, and help us realize a full season of expenses.  We rely heavily on support from our community and our visitors, and to date, they have never let us down in reaching that budget fulfilment. 

CBCC crews steward an area over 433 sq. miles.  We work closely alongside so many partners whom we are so grateful for, as they give us the opportunity to fulfill our mission. We are ever grateful for our partners at the Gunnison Ranger District, and their support and partnership in the continuation of the monitoring and maintaining of designated camping and backyard infrastructure.  We are so thankful for our partnership with the Town of Crested Butte, Mount Crested Butte, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Crested Butte Land Trust for partnering with us to help them steward the recreation amenities and open spaces they have so nobly provided. 

CBMBA volunteers and trail heros have been hard at it already too, with the new Upper Upper Loop trail extension (Pointed Laccolith Trail) and work done on the Upper Upper Loop.  We have many trail work opportunities ahead, and along with our other events and happenings, they can all be found on our website – cbmba.org.  When you see any of the 10 CBCC/BOC crew members out there, say hi and stop by to chat.  We love user observations and hearing from our constituency.  CHEERS – to another wonderful season ahead on our near and dear trails and in our most glorious backyard.  Thank you for the massive community support and backing that helps us continue to fulfill and grow our mission, and this 41-year-old local organization.   

2024 CBCC: Grant Spear, Jake Scott, Riley Gibson, Hansen Lister, Mark Harrison, Jack Morgan

            BOC: Rhyann Lowrey, Ian Haney, Jack Kish, Michael Salat

 

CBCC stats to date:

Miles of trail worked on: 18.9 miles
Drainages Built: 92
Trail armoring: 65’
Fallen trees cut out: 126
Trail Decommissioned: 1,725’
New Trail Built: 5,300’
Number of People Reached (converstaions/education): 298
Campsites Monitored/Maintained: 228
Illegal Firepits Decommissioned: 13
Unattended Fires (we put it out!): 1
Human Waste Piles: 3
Dog Waste Bags: 8
Trash Collected and Properly Disposed: 493.7 lbs.

 

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