Proud to be the most vibrant
volunteer organization in Summit County, Colorado

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Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that, with the help of volunteers, ensures that our National Forest is not negatively impacted by its immense popularity.

With more than 60 volunteer projects on our National Forest each year, FDRD volunteers contribute thousands of hours maintaining and improving trails, planting trees, pulling invasive weeds, educating visitors, and much more. FDRD is one of the most active, locally-based outdoor stewardship organizations in the country and by volunteering with FDRD or supporting us with a financial contribution, you benefit the National Forest that makes Summit County a world-class destination.

Staff & Board
Goals/Accomplishments

FDRD Team Best of Summit

Join Our Team!

Meet the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District Team

Michael Connolly
Michael ConnollyExecutive Director
Mike moved to Summit County a dozen years ago and started volunteering with FDRD as a Ranger Patroller shortly thereafter. He joined the FDRD Board in 2012 and stepped into the role as FDRD Executive Director near the end of the 2014 summer season. Mike is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. After working in the corporate world on the east coast he is thrilled to now call Summit County his home. In the past, he has been a volunteer firefighter, Jr Achievement and girl scout leader, and United Way organizer. He is a member of the Summit County Rotary Club and has been active with Mountain Mentors, Summit Social Services as a foster parent, the Summit and Breckenridge Chambers, and with various other county volunteer groups. He is an avid hiker, camper, mountain biker, downhill and backcountry skier, and sailor.
Doozie Martin
Doozie MartinPrograms Manager
Doozie, who grew up in Kansas City, followed his Midwest roots to graduate school at the University of Missouri. Upon the completion of the program, he followed his love of the forest and the mountains to the high country of Summit County where he stumbled upon Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. He’s now entering his 7th season of forest stewardship with the strong volunteer community that resides in Summit County. When he’s not rubbing shoulders with volunteers in this devoted mountain community, he can be found hiking with his dog, Titus, riding his bike, camping in the woods and strummin’ on his ol’ 6-string. He hopes to make your acquaintance on an upcoming forest health project on a trail near you!
Emily Bruyn
Emily BruynMarketing & Events Manager
Emily moved to Summit County in November 2013, after graduating with a bachelors degree in Communications from Ithaca College. She was born and raised in Vermont, spending summers in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Seeking bigger mountains and more snow, she moved out west to live the coveted ski bum life, fell in love with the mountains, and decided to stay put. Emily has been with FDRD for four years now, and you may have seen her running the show at the Farmers Market, Casino Night, Bacon Fest, or another local fundraising event. In her free time, Emily loves to spend time with her partner, Phil and dog, Darby; either on the lake in the summer or on the mountain in the winter. Her hobbies include skiing, hiking, camping, live music, traveling, reading, and gardening.
Cameron Breen
Cameron BreenEducation & Youth Programs Manager
Cameron moved to Summit County in the fall of 2016 in the hopes of doing a single season snowboarding on Colorado’s fine peaks. However, he found a passion while working with FDRD that summer as the Project Coordinator, and Summit County took its hold on him. The adage “Come for the winter, stay for the summer” rang true. As Project Coordinator, Cameron found a love for maintaining trails, while at the same time facilitating people giving back to their community through forest stewardship. Cameron moved to Colorado from Seattle, where he grew up and later obtained a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Economics from the University of Washington. In addition to maintaining trails around Summit County, Cameron loves to snowboard, skateboard, rock climb, and hike. He hopes to see you out on the trails!
Lizzie Morrison
Lizzie MorrisonSeasonal Programs Coordinator
Lizzie is returning for her third trail season with FDRD. She transplanted to Colorado from the Midwest about 7 years ago. After graduating from college with a degree in Environmental Science, she looked west for outdoor conservation work. Her trail background comes from participating and leading trail crews with the Student Conservation Association and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. She is inspired by FDRD volunteers and their dedication to giving back to their local forest. When she is not busy organizing volunteer projects and wearing her hard hat, she can be found outside biking, hiking, and skiing with her partner and powder hound Cheezy. In the winter, you can find her teaching people to glide on skinny skis at the Frisco Nordic Center. Lizzie is looking forward to digging in a borrow pit with you at one of our trail projects this summer! Happy trails!

The FDRD Board

Jim Borgel
Jim BorgelBoard President
Corporate Attorney at Holland & Hart
Frank Celico
Frank CelicoVice President
Summit County Assessor
Brian Blankenmeister
Brian BlankenmeisterTreasurer
Senior Vice President at Alpine Bank
Charlotte Clarke
Charlotte ClarkeSecretary
Retired College Professor
Brad Piehl
Brad Piehl
Watershed Planner at JW Associates
Amy Kemp
Amy Kemp
Founder of CampSight, a Digital Marketing Firm
Christine Zenel
Christine Zenel
Resource Specialist at Summit County Open Space & Trails
Rapid Cartelli
Rapid Cartelli
Professor of Business at Colorado Mtn. College
Kip McCarthy
Kip McCarthy
Senior Manager of Health & Safety at Breckenridge Ski Resort

FDRD Mission

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD)’s Mission is to partner with the White River National Forest’s Dillon Ranger District in Summit County to provide opportunities for the community to play a more active role in the sustainable management of the local forest and to enhance the experiences of all who recreate here by:

  • Conducting high quality projects to build and maintain trails, plant new trees, promote watershed restoration and perform other services to sustain the Dillon Ranger District
  • Developing and maintaining collaborative partnerships between the Forest Service and a diverse group of local organizations, stakeholders, individuals and users of the National Forest land
  • Creating excellent educational programs for our visitors, residents and youth to promote, protect and preserve our National Forest

History of FDRD

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) began in 2005 as a group of local community members who wanted to collaborate with the US Forest Service, Dillon Ranger District (DRD), to play a more active role in the sustainable management of our local National Forest. At the time, Ken Waugh was the District Recreation Staff Officer for the DRD. He also recognized the need for the Forest Service to make some “friends” and the inception of FDRD became his mission. In the past 15 years, the organization has grown to a four-person, full time, year-round staff, with two summer seasonals and over 1,000 dedicated volunteers. Our programs have grown steadily in response to a high level of demand for organized, effective outdoor stewardship projects, as well as the growing popularity of recreation in Summit County. FDRD was recognized as the US Forest Service’s National “Volunteer Program of the Year” in 2010 and won 2nd Place in the Summit Daily News’ Best of Summit competition for Best Nonprofit in 2019.

Here is a list of the awards received by FDRD –

  • Caring for the Land Stewardship Award
  • Summit Foundation Outstanding Community Organization Award
  • Continental Divide Trail Alliance Partner of the Year
  • Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Partner Organization of the Year
  • USDA Forest Service Sponsored Group of the Year Award
  • The SHIFT Youth Stewardship Award
  • Best of Summit County Award

Summer 2019 Accomplishments

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Volunteer Hours
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Seeds Collected
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Feet of New Trail Constructed
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Number of Youth Volunteers

Shop to Support FDRD

Buy a map at the Dillon Ranger District and support FDRD!
Location: 680 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, CO 80498
Phone: (970) 468-5400
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm (closed 12:30pm – 1:00pm for lunch)

Items for Sale

  • Maps
  • Hiking Guides
  • Naturalist Pocket Guides
  • OHV Guides
  • Local History Books
  • Children’s Books
  • Animal Puppets
  • FDRD t-shirts
  • FDRD hats
  • FDRD pint glasses

Educational Resources

  • Recreation Opportunity Guides (ROG) – a printed, one page guide for each individual trail in the Dillon Ranger District, complete with directions to the trailhead, trail highlights, topographic map and elevation profile

  • Local tourism brochures & magazines
  • Local wildlife displays
  • Knowledgeable front desk staff

Seasonal Permits for sale by the Dillon Ranger District (these do not benefit FDRD)

  • OHV/Snowmobile permits
  • Firewood cutting permits
  • Christmas tree cutting permits
  • Special Use Permits

Our Goals & Accomplishments

Our organization’s goals include:

  • Improving trail conditions on the National Forest in Summit County by engaging a diverse range of community members and other stakeholders in outdoor stewardship projects.
  • Providing a consistent volunteer outreach and monitoring presence on the National Forest in Summit County by engaging individual volunteers as part of FDRD’s Ranger Patrol program.
  • Providing a continuum of service learning opportunities for youth ages 6-18. Increased engagement of local, and visiting, youth remains a primary goal for FDRD in the years to come.
  • Improving natural resource conditions by engaging partners and community volunteers in a variety of volunteer service projects including ecological restoration and trail maintenance.
  • Seeking business and organization “field partners” to not only participate in field projects but also to help recruit additional sub-population of volunteers.
  • Educating the public about issues facing the National Forest, by providing and facilitating educational presentations, outreach opportunities, and interpretive hikes throughout the year.

Summer 2020

 Season Accomplishments

674 Volunteers

3,750 Volunteer Hours

Check Out Our Summer 2020 Accomplishments Blog