Initiatives / Accomplishments
Coming up on its third winter season, Silent Tracks has teamed up with the Western Colorado University, Master in Environmental Management (MEM) Program to provide funding for graduate students to collect recreational user data in the backcountry of the Gunnison Valley. Silent Tracks has raised $9,000 for this program via matching donations from Silent Tracks, individuals and other organizations, and generous grants from the Community Foundation of Gunnison Valley (CFGV), and the Town of Crested Butte.
Silent Tracks has partnered with the Gunnison National Forest. We recruited volunteers to conduct solitude monitoring surveys on two trails in the West Elk Wilderness, Mill Castle Trail #450 and Coal Mesa Trail #451. Members and volunteers donated over 100 hours of their time to complete the monitoring in the summer and fall of 2018. We anticipate this project will be ongoing and look forward to working on other solitude monitoring projects in the future.
Silent Tracks has been active in leading and participating in community engagement and outreach
- Roaring Judy Bird Walk: Led by Arden Andersen, an avid bird watcher, and bird expert. It was well attended with 12 birder enthusiasts who joined for lunch afterward at Tassinong Farms in CB South.
- CB Arts Festival: Silent Tracks was an exhibitor at the 2018 Crested Butte Arts Festival. Members and volunteers manned the display over three days, provided educational information, and we increased our membership by nearly 30%, in addition to collecting significant monetary donations in support of our goals.
Our advocacy for preservation and quiet use has resulted in policies that reflect our member’s desires regarding our public lands. Initiatives include:
- We have participated in forums such as the Gunnison County Planning Commission public comment meetings to make our members’ sentiments known on issues ranging from helicopter tourism to expansion of over-snow vehicular travel in the Gothic Corridor.
- Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI): Although ST was not an official member of the “working committee”, ST participated by attending GPLI working group meetings as observers and submitting written comments over the past two years. ST has been a voice for the preservation of quiet places and has voiced strong support for wilderness extensions and new wilderness areas proposed by the GPLI working group.
- GMUG National Forest Revision Plan: ST has submitted written comments to the Grand Mesa, Uncompaghre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest throughout the Forest Plan revision process. We continue to review, comment and inform our members and supporters through our e-newsletters and Action Alerts on the developing plan.