VOC Weeklong Crosscut at Weminuche Wilderness


Spanning nearly 500,000 acres in southwest Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness is three-quarters the size of Rhode Island and the state’s largest Wilderness area. On this project, you’ll be camped out in the backcountry approximately 7 miles and 1,000 vertical feet up a Wilderness trail.

Come experience a week of wonder in the wilderness away from it all, with great backcountry cooking like you’ve never had before from our volunteer Crew Chefs! Volunteers will focus our work on hiking the upper reaches of the Wilderness trails in the area and cutting out fallen trees from the trail using traditional crosscut saws. If all log clearing is completed, volunteers will do some basic trail surface and drain structure maintenance. No experience is necessary to attend this project as a volunteer, but certified sawyers are required to lead sawing operations.

Why crosscut saws? These are a traditional tool that carry a long history of work on the land in our country, and have made a modern resurgence as the tool of choice for clearing fallen trees on trails in federally designated Wilderness areas, where workers are required to use the minimum possible tool. But it’s not just about policy: using traditional tools allows us the opportunity to experience the quiet, solitude and characteristics of more remote areas, as well as become attuned to the characteristics of trees themselves. Crosscut sawyers often talk about how they enjoy the experience of hearing the fibers of trees pop and crack as cuts are made.

We welcome you to give crosscut sawing a try, not only to experience for yourself the use of a fun and powerful traditional tool, but to also allow yourself to spend time in nature in a way that perhaps you have not before. No experience is necessary to attend this project as a volunteer, but certified sawyers are required to lead sawing operations. If you would like to learn more about becoming certified as a Crosscut Sawyer, visit voc.org/training or contact Dan Williams by email or at 303-715-1010 ext. 117. Learn more about crosscut sawing at go.nps.gov/lavocast.

Wilderness trails on the Rio Grande National Forest are becoming increasingly inaccessible (and dangerous) to hikers and equestrians due to the falling dead Engelmann spruce trees in the area. The U.S. Forest Service cannot keep up with the demand for keeping the trails clear, making volunteers an increasingly critical asset to assist the Forest Service in keeping these Wilderness trails open and accessible to the public.

About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is the state’s oldest, largest, and leading outdoor stewardship nonprofit organization. Founded in 1984 to motivate and enable people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources, VOC has engaged nearly 126,000 people in more than 1,000 volunteer projects for a donated labor value of $25 million. Through award-winning youth and volunteer programs, leadership training, capacity-building programs, and collaborative efforts with nonprofits and land management agencies, VOC is an invaluable resource in Colorado, especially as our outdoor stewardship needs are approaching near-crisis levels. For more information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.