Dear Editor:

On Oct. 24, the Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office, U.S. Forest Service Salida and Leadville Districts and Colorado Mountain Club held a Volunteer Open House and Appreciation event at the community center in Buena Vista.

This collaborative effort celebrated the achievements of public land volunteers and partners in the Arkansas Valley. Local community members had the opportunity to learn about these organizations as well as engage with public land agency representatives.

Volunteers and partners in the Arkansas Valley contributed over 57,000 hours of work on public lands, which has a value of over $1.4 million.

A special recognition was given to Salida Mountain Trails, Colorado Off Road Enterprise and the Friends of Twin Lakes for their exemplary commitment and dedication to the stewardship of public lands through volunteer service.

Thank you to the sponsors of the event for their generous donations. This year Eddyline Brewery, Absolute Bikes, Salida Mountain Sports and Tomken Machine helped to make this event a success.

For any questions about volunteering on public lands in the Arkansas Valley, please call 719-530-3976 or email

Lisa Mellick, volunteer and

partnership coordinator,

Arkansas Valley USFS/BLM lands