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Volunteers spruce up Grand Mesa ski trails

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Volunteers spent Saturday, Sept. 26, clipping bushes, sawing tree limbs, clearing trails and generally "sprucing up" the cross-country ski trails on the Grand Mesa National Forest. Over 50 volunteers including the Colorado Mesa University cross-country ski team arrived at the Skyway parking area with gloves and tools ready to be assigned a task!

Sept. 26 was National Public Land Day (NPLD), the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. It is a celebration of the work, play and learning that takes place on public lands every day.

The Grand Mesa Nordic Council (GMNC) partnered with the Forest Service to sponsor the work day. GMNC president Dave Knutson was pleased with the turnout. "We got a lot of tasks accomplished to help us get ready for this year's ski season," he said. "We divided the volunteers and conquered ... some worked on the Skyway and Ward Lake trails, others on the snowshoe trail. We also resurrected the warming hut at Skyway," he said.

"This was color weekend on the Grand Mesa and one couldn't have asked for better weather and peak fall colors," he added.

"The turnout was excellent with over 50 volunteers supporting the Grand Mesa Nordic Council and National Public Land Day," said Albert Borkowski, the Forest Service representative from the Paonia Ranger District.

The Grand Mesa Nordic Council provided lunches and the Public Land Partnership (PLP), a collaborative group that promotes public education and awareness of issues related to public lands, provided t-shirts to volunteers.

For information on the scheduled events for the upcoming winter season visit the GMNC website at gmnc.org.

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