Forest Health

Supporting the National Forest, in your backyard.

Healthy Forests = Healthy Communities

We all derive so much enjoyment from our surrounding forests, and our Forest Health volunteer projects allow us all to give something back. With visitation to Summit County continually on the rise and wildfire season getting longer and longer, it’s imperative we help the US Forest Service keep our beautiful forest growing strong for future generations to enjoy. Forest Health projects tend to be less physically demanding and are great volunteer opportunities for all ages. We look forward to working with you on our next Forest Health project!

Types of Forest Health Volunteer Opportunities

Forest Monitoring

Our forest health monitoring volunteers are trained as citizen scientists, collecting data that gives us insight into how our forest regenerates.

Seed Collection

Similar to animals, plants have adapted over time to survive in their specific microclimates. By harvesting seeds and replanting them nearby, the plants have the best chance to survive. 

Invasive Weeds

Some plants look pretty, but can spread seeds quickly and take over a landscape by forcing out other plants. It is important to control invasive plants.

Illegal Campsite Restoration

Camping too close to water can greatly impact stream health, and in turn fish populations. Restoring affected areas close to the rivers can greatly help overall stream health. 

Social Trail Removal

When hikers wander off trail, more of the forest is impacted than necessary. By rehabilitating social trails, we bring life back to the forest.

Wildlife Habitat Restoration

There are many barbed-wire fences denoting old or void property lines. Removing these inhibiting fences allows for freer movement of wildlife.

Forest Thinning

Lodgepole Pines can grow back in an unhealthy manner in clearcut areas. By removing some, it allows more healthy trees to grow and ground foliage to thrive. 

Burn Pile Rehabilitation

Foresters are putting fire breaks around the highly populated areas of Summit County by chopping down and burning trees. This can leave unsightly burn scars on the earth, rehabbing them can help the area grow back faster. 

Erosion Control

On many high usage trails, the outside edge can sluff off and widen the trail. We can keep trails single-track by putting up wood to control the sluffing. 

Fish Shocking

FDRD partners with the U.S. Forest Service and provides volunteers to “shock,” net, and measure fish in a local stream or river. This provides valuable data and helps USFS staff gauge the health of the stream. USFS employees will lead a volunteer group upstream, while shocking the water with a strong electrical charge, to stun the fish into submission so they can be collected. Volunteers follow with fish nets, catch all of the fish, and place them in buckets. We typically catch as many as 80-100 fish! After collection the volunteers will measure the fish, one by one, record the species, then set them free.

Check the Calendar page for upcoming Fish Shocking volunteer opportunities

Adopt-a-Trailhead Program

Each spring season, the winter snow slowly recedes back into the ground revealing all the treasures left behind by trail users from the fall and winter seasons. FDRD is offering the opportunity to volunteers to “Adopt-a-Trailhead” and take an extra step in helping FDRD, Summit County, and the USFS keep our local trailheads clean.

The Duties:

  • Sign up for an available trailhead by emailing with your top 3 choices. (Please see list of availability below)

  • Visit your trailhead at least 2 times per month

  • Supply your own trash bags and gloves (FDRD will supply trash pickers upon request)

  • Pick up trash at your trailhead – Please report dangerous things like needles, rather than picking them up

  • Take pictures! Of you cleaning up, any damage at the trailhead, funny/gross items, etc… We will feature your pictures on our social media channels and website

  • Submit your visit report, including how many bags of trash collected, damage to the kiosk, anything else of note

In partnership with


  • Acorn Creek

  • Angler Mountain

  • Argentine Pass

  • B & B

  • Baker’s Tank

  • Bald Mountain (Laurium)

  • Blue River Inlet

  • Brush Creek/Lost Lake

  • Buffalo Mountain/Lilypad Lake

  • Burro Trail

  • Cataract Lake (Lower)

  • Chihuahua Lake

  • Eaglesmere

  • Elliott Ridge

  • Frey Gulch OHV Staging Area

  • Gold Hill

  • Harrigan Creek

  • Horseshoe Gulch

  • Illinois Gulch

  • Incline Trail 9035

  • Lenawee

  • Mayflower Gulch

  • McCullough Gulch

  • Meadow Creek

  • Mesa Cortina

  • Miners Creek Road

  • North Tenmile

  • Officer’s Gulch

  • Old Dillon Reservoir

  • Oro Grande

  • Peaks Trail (Breck)

  • Peaks Trail (Frisco/Zach’s Stop)

  • Peru Creek

  • Ptarmigan

  • Quandary Peak

  • Rock Creek

  • Sallie Barber

  • Salt Lick

  • Snake River Inlet

  • Spruce Creek

  • Straight Creek

  • Surprise Lake (Upper Cataract)

  • Tiger Road

  • Ute Peak

  • Wheeler Lakes

  • Whispering Pines

  • Willowbrook

Adopt-a-Bin Program

The Forest Service has provided over 30 fishing line recycling bins throughout Summit County, positioned in specific locations for convenient line disposal for anglers. When the line is not properly disposed of, local birds will often find and use the material in their nests. Bins need to be emptied and kept clean, so anglers are able to utilize them for their intended purpose. Used fishing line is collected by FDRD to send in for recycling. Our hope is to keep these bins clean and keep the line out of our shores, waterways, and wildlife!

The Duties:

  • Bins must be emptied and cleaned at least 2 times throughout the summer, depending on visitor use

  • Empty the bin properly

  • Dispose of trash

  • Clean the fishing line

  • Turn cleaned line into FDRD – Line is then sent in to be recycled and made into new fishing line