Category Archives: FOMP

Canceling Oct 13th Trail Night

Canceling Oct 13th Trail Night


With the current USFS COVID-19 guidelines, FOMP is canceling our Oct 13th trail night. 

We ask that you please do not perform any trail maintenance, alterations, and blocking (with branches/rocks) on the trail system in the Monument Fire Center without the express permission from FOMP or the USFS.

Thanks for your support and thoughts throughout the pandemic, and we look forward to seeing everyone again.

FOMP

Canceling Sept 8th Trail Night

Canceling Sept 8th Trail Night


With the current USFS COVID-19 guidelines, FOMP is canceling our Sept 8th trail night. 

We ask that you please do not perform any trail maintenance, alterations, and blocking (with branches/rocks) on the trail system in the Monument Fire Center without the express permission from FOMP or the USFS.

Thanks for your support and thoughts throughout the pandemic, and we look forward to seeing everyone again.

FOMP

Lewis-Palmer Class of 1975 Donation in Tim Watkins Name along with Recognition of Randy Jones

The Lewis-Palmer High School Class of 1975 celebrated their 45th Class Reunion this year. A big congratulations for making it to that milestone, which by coincidence, I have reached the same illustrious age!

As we are all aware during this year of 2020, the COVID-19 Pandemic has dramatically altered our lifestyles, with sheltering-in-place, masks, social distancing, and smaller gatherings being required for safety purposes. The LP 75 class pulled the plug on doing their Reunion for safety reasons. Still, in a perfect melding of circumstances, they decided it would be an excellent opportunity to honor their classmate and our beloved Tim Watkins by donating on his behalf to FOMP. Tim was extremely passionate about the Monument Preserve area and mapped, built, and maintained much of the trail systems within our complex that we have all grown to love.

Russ, Bonnie Watkins, and Randy

Randy Royal offered a perfect statement about the presentation and donation:

Classmates and Friends

Thank you all for your generous donations in honor of Tim Watkins and recognizing Randy Jones as well as all of our previous classmates that we have lost. Russ, Marlene and I were able to present to members of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Monument Preserve a check totaling $2400. We also relayed to them that a couple of you had also donated directly to them online. So ultimately, we were in the $2500 range for our donation. Bonnie Watkins, Tim’s sister, was there as well, representing the family and wanted to share her thanks to all of you as well. The FOMP was very thankful and stated the funds would be used to continue the development and maintenance of the trails within the preserve, many of which Tim had a direct impact on formulating and perfecting. They couldn’t say enough about his work, his service, and his passion for helping others. Marlene took some pics and was going to get word to the local paper.

Happy 45h Reunion, and be proud of a successful event!!

Next one, we will hopefully meet face-to-face again!!

I knew Tim for over 30 years and considered him an incredible friend and an exceptional human being, and I can rightfully say we deeply miss him on this earth with us. The entire community knows how much Tim loved the Monument Preserve, the outdoors, Monument, Palmer Lake, Colorado, Utah, and especially bicycling.

We humbly appreciate the Lewis-Palmer Class of 1975 donation in Tim’s name, as he was an avid part of our FOMP organization and a massive part of the general community. This donation will allow us to continue our mission to protect and preserve the historical artifacts and recreational opportunities available at the USFS Fire Center in Monument, CO.

Thank you once again!

Brian Mullin – President FOMP

We greatly miss you, Timmy. #BeLikeTim

August 2020 Trail Night


Tuesday, August 11th at 6:00 PM

FOMP is pleased to be holding our second monthly volunteer trail work maintenance session for 2020.  We’ll be under COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing, smaller groups, and facial coverings. If you are sick, please stay at home.

Special COVID-19 Safety Protocols:

  • We will distribute Self-Screen and Risk Assessment documents to all volunteers, prior to beginning any work
  • FOMP and other trained resources will provide safety briefing on trail work practices, and new COVID-19 related distancing guidelines
  • Workgroups will be limited to 5 or fewer people, with multiple groups deployed to separate work areas
  • Volunteers will follow measures highlighted in the Risk Assessment to including following all Local, State, and CDC guidelines for small group sizes (5 or fewer per workgroup), maintaining enhanced distancing guidelines of 10 feet, wearing a facial covering, and avoiding carpooling with nonfamily members

Please meet at the main parking lot at Mt Herman and Nursery https://goo.gl/maps/rdJuhbbQWEx

Check the website too! https://www.fomp.org

The rest of the info you need: FOMP and USFS provide all the necessary tools. Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for performing outdoor landscaping type of work. Volunteers should wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring leather gloves, a hat, a personal water supply, eye protection, sunscreen, and bug repellent. We meet rain or shine unless there is lightning active in the area.

We make every effort to accommodate volunteer preferences and abilities at each event. Generally, we perform activities such as water bar building or renovation, trail renovation, maintenance, and trimming, etc. So, pretty much everything from trimming back scrub oak or digging lots of dirt to moving boulders. We assign duties based on interests and capabilities. Kids are welcome to join their parents; however, we do ask that you evaluate whether this is an appropriate activity for your child or not.

Be aware all participants will need to sign a wavier before than can begin any trail work.

Thanks, and we hope to see you out there!

FOMP

This is the upcoming list of FOMP events through the end of the year.  

November 10, 2020

  • Board Meeting
    • Starts: 7:00 PM
    • Ends: 8:00 PM
    • Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, 17750 Knollwood, Monument

July 2020 Trail Night

FOMP needs you for this trail work session!

Tuesday, July 14th at 6:00 PM

FOMP is pleased to be holding our first monthly volunteer trail work session for 2020. We have been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, and we’ve finally been released by the USFS to commence our trail maintenance work once again. We’ll be under COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing, smaller groups, and facial coverings. If you are sick, please stay at home.

Special COVID-19 Safety Protocols:

  • We will distribute Self-Screen and Risk Assessment documents to all volunteers, prior to beginning any work
  • FOMP and other trained resources will provide safety briefing on trail work practices, and new COVID-19 related distancing guidelines
  • Workgroups will be limited to 5 or fewer people, with multiple groups deployed to separate work areas
  • Volunteers will follow measures highlighted in the Risk Assessment to including following all Local, State, and CDC guidelines for small group sizes (5 or fewer per workgroup), maintaining enhanced distancing guidelines of 10 feet, wearing a facial covering, and avoiding carpooling with nonfamily members

Please meet at the main parking lot at Mt Herman and Nursery https://goo.gl/maps/rdJuhbbQWEx

Check the website too! https://www.fomp.org

The rest of the info you need: FOMP and USFS provide all the necessary tools. Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for performing outdoor landscaping type of work. Volunteers should wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring leather gloves, a hat, a personal water supply, eye protection, sunscreen, and bug repellent. We meet rain or shine unless there is lightning active in the area.

We make every effort to accommodate volunteer preferences and abilities at each event. Generally, we perform activities such as water bar building or renovation, trail renovation, maintenance, and trimming, etc. So, pretty much everything from trimming back scrub oak or digging lots of dirt to moving boulders. We assign duties based on interest and capabilities. Kids are welcome to join their parents; however, we do ask that you evaluate whether this is an appropriate activity for your child or not.

Be aware all participants will need to sign a wavier before than can begin any trail work.

Thanks, and we hope to see you out there!

FOMP

This is the upcoming list of FOMP events through the end of the year. Please come out for our trail work nights and help maintain the trails that we all use and love.  

August 11, 2020

  • FOMP Trail Night
    • Starts: 6:00 PM
    • Ends: 8:30 PM or until dark 
    • Location: Mt Herman Trailhead Parking lot – Corner of Mt Herman/Nursery

September 8, 2019

  • FOMP Trail Night
    • Starts: 6:00 PM
    • Ends: 8:30 PM or until dark
    • Location: Mt Herman Trailhead Parking lot – Corner of Mt Herman/Nursery

October 13, 2019

  • FOMP Trail Night
    • Starts: 6:00 PM
    • Ends: 9:00 PM or until dark
    • Location: Mt Herman Trailhead Parking lot – Corner of Mt Herman/Nursery

November 10, 2019

  • Board Meeting
    • Starts: 7:00 PM
    • Ends: 8:00 PM
    • Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, 17750 Knollwood, Monument

Respect The Trails And Volunteer Work

We ask that you please do not perform any trail maintenance, alterations, and blocking (with branches/rocks) on the trail system in the Monument Fire Center without the express permission from FOMP or the USFS.

With the exponential usage at the Monument Fire Center, the trails are getting torn up and widened, and we need to begin some much-needed maintenance work. Thanks for your support and thoughts throughout the pandemic
.

Please come out on our next work night on Tuesday, July 14th, and help maintain the incredible trail system in the Monument Fire Center. We make every effort to accommodate volunteer preferences and abilities at each event. Generally, we perform activities such as water bar building or renovation, trail renovation, maintenance, and trimming, etc. So, pretty much everything from trimming back scrub oak or digging lots of dirt to moving boulders. We assign duties based on interests and capabilities.

Canceling June 9th Trail Night and Trail Etiquette

With the current USFS COVID-19 guidelines, FOMP is canceling our June 9th trail night. We’ll hope to see you all on our July 14th trail night after the sanctions are lifted; albeit likely still practicing social distancing and working in smaller groups.

We ask that you please do not perform any trail maintenance, alterations, and blocking (with branches/rocks) on the trail system in the Monument Fire Center without the express permission from FOMP or the USFS.

With the exponential usage at the Fire Center, the trails are getting torn up and widened, and we need to begin some much-needed maintenance work. Thanks for your support and thoughts throughout the pandemic, and we look forward to seeing everyone again.

FOMP

Etiquette: How to Share a Trail

All users play a role in reducing trail conflicts. Here are some etiquette guidelines we can follow to improve trail experiences for everyone.

Dog Owners

  • Note: The Fire Center is a USFS off-leash area. Please keep all pets under control (and leashed in designated area), especially excitable, unruly, or aggressive ones, so that they don’t negatively impact or injure other users.

Mountain Bikers

  • Ride with a bell, announce your presence in a friendly way.  Try not to startle other users.
  • When passing hikers, cyclists must yield.  What does yield mean?  As a cyclist, it is ultimately your responsibility to avoid crashing into someone (or entering their safe space). This means riding in control at all times, able to slow down and stop if necessary to negotiate a safe pass. This may include dismounting, and even backing up.  Often, it’s easier for a hiker to move to the side of the trail to let you pass, and most hikers will do this if there is a safe place and you communicate with them.  Pass slowly and safely, thank them, and continue on your way.
  • If you are riding downhill and encounter someone riding uphill – you must yield to them.  Usually, this means slowing and getting to the side or stopping. Get as far off the trail or as far as possible, and allow the uphill rider to ride past.
  • If you encounter an equestrian, moving either toward or away from you, slow down, stop as necessary, and engage in a conversation about the best way to pass.
  • If there are others in your group, let the person you’re passing know how many are behind you.
  • If you stop for any reason, move off to the side – don’t block the trail.
  • Don’t ride muddy trails. If you’re leaving ruts, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, ride through it. Don’t widen the trail: Keep singletrack single.

Hikers/trail runners

  • Maintain situational awareness – you are sharing the trail with others.  Expect and watch for them.
  • If using headphones or earbuds, keep the volume low enough to hear and engage with other users.
  • Cyclists are required to slow down and yield to hikers. Often it is much easier for hikers than cyclists to step off a narrow trail. It also creates less trail widening. Hikers are not required to yield to cyclists, but if you are able to, please cooperate with cyclists to let them pass quickly and safely.
  • Avoid standing along the outside edge of a switchback/climbing turn.  When riding up or down, most cyclists prefer to use them outside of the turn – it’s safer and easier to get through the turn.  Please stand on the inside edgeof these turns, or away from the turn altogether
  • If hiking in groups spread out so that other users can pass safely.
  • If you stop along the way, move to the side –don’t block the trail.
  • Don’t use muddy trails. If you’re leaving footprints, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, go through it. Don’t widen the trail.

Equestrians

  • Choose trails that are appropriate for your skill level, and for the comfort level of your horse.
  • If your horse (and you) need practice on technical trail moves or being around other users – use El Paso County Parks’ Equestrian Skills Course to improve your skills and familiarity with other users.
  • Work with other users to share the trail.
  • Don’t ride muddy trails. If you’re leaving deep prints, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, ride through it. Don’t widen the trail: Keep singletrack single.

#RecreateResponsibly

#RecreateResponsibly to Protect Yourself, Others, and the Outdoors

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches.

Etiquette: How to Share a Trail

All users play a role in reducing trail conflicts.  Here are some etiquette guidelines we can follow to improve trail experiences for everyone.

Dog Owners

  • Note: The Fire Center is a USFS off-leash area. Please keep all pets under control (and leashed in designated area), especially excitable, unruly, or aggressive ones, so that they don’t negatively impact or injure other users.

Mountain Bikers

  • Ride with a bell, announce your presence in a friendly way.  Try not to startle other users.
  • When passing hikers, cyclists must yield.  What does yield mean?  As a cyclist, it is ultimately your responsibility to avoid crashing into someone (or entering their safe space). This means riding in control at all times, able to slow down and stop if necessary to negotiate a safe pass. This may include dismounting, and even backing up.  Often, it’s easier for a hiker to move to the side of the trail to let you pass, and most hikers will do this if there is a safe place and you communicate with them.  Pass slowly and safely, thank them, and continue on your way.
  • If you are riding downhill and encounter someone riding uphill – you must yield to them.  Usually, this means slowing and getting to the side or stopping. Get as far off the trail or as far as possible, and allow the uphill rider to ride past.
  • If you encounter an equestrian, moving either toward or away from you, slow down, stop as necessary, and engage in a conversation about the best way to pass.
  • If there are others in your group, let the person you’re passing know how many are behind you.
  • If you stop for any reason, move off to the side – don’t block the trail.
  • Don’t ride muddy trails. If you’re leaving ruts, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, ride through it. Don’t widen the trail: Keep singletrack single.

Hikers/trail runners

  • Maintain situational awareness – you are sharing the trail with others.  Expect and watch for them.
  • If using headphones or earbuds, keep the volume low enough to hear and engage with other users.
  • Cyclists are required to slow down and yield to hikers. Often it is much easier for hikers than cyclists to step off a narrow trail. It also creates less trail widening. Hikers are not required to yield to cyclists, but if you are able to, please cooperate with cyclists to let them pass quickly and safely.
  • Avoid standing along the outside edge of a switchback/climbing turn.  When riding up or down, most cyclists prefer to use them outside of the turn – it’s safer and easier to get through the turn.  Please stand on the inside edge of these turns, or away from the turn altogether
  • If hiking in groups spread out so that other users can pass safely.
  • If you stop along the way, move to the side – don’t block the trail.
  • Don’t use muddy trails. If you’re leaving footprints, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, go through it. Don’t widen the trail.

Equestrians

  • Choose trails that are appropriate for your skill level, and for the comfort level of your horse.
  • If your horse (and you) need practice on technical trail moves or being around other users – use El Paso County Parks’ Equestrian Skills Course to improve your skills and familiarity with other users.
  • Work with other users to share the trail.
  • Don’t ride muddy trails. If you’re leaving deep prints, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, ride through it. Don’t widen the trail: Keep singletrack single.

Canceling May 12th Trail Night and Monument Fire Center History

With the current Colorado and USFS COVID-19 guidelines and issues, FOMP is canceling our May 12th trail night. We’ll hope to see you all on our June 9th trail night after the sanctions are lifted, albeit likely still practicing social distancing and working in smaller groups.

With the exponential usage at the Fire Center, the trails are getting torn up, and we need to begin some much-needed maintenance work. Thanks for your support and thoughts throughout the pandemic, and we look forward to seeing everyone again.

In the meantime, here is some brief history of the Fire Center.

478301

Forest Service employees at the Monument Nursery, 1925.

Monument Fire Center

Monument Fire Center is the home base for the Monument Helitack Crew and the Pike Hotshots. Although known as a hub of activity for fire operations today, the first work boots to walk these grounds were worn by pioneering Forest Service employees in the early days of the agency. Five tent houses and a barn on 480 acres was the beginning.

6315292

Monument Nursery in the early years.

In 1907 men from the Bureau of Forestry recognized this area would be an ideal spot to create a tree nursery; a fertile, easily accessible spot to produce seedlings for National Forests in the five-state Rocky Mountain Region. Their mission was to conduct reforesting efforts in areas that had been heavily logged or destroyed by large wildfires. The Mt. Herman Planting Station was born, soon to be known as the Monument Nursery. This was one of the first such nurseries in the newly created National Forest System. Monument Nursery served in that capacity for 58 years, providing millions of seedlings locally and nationally.

In 1920 the site was selected as a “Memorial Grove”, established in memory of Forest Service employees from the Rocky Mountain Region who were killed during WWI.  Individual trees were planted for each servicemember lost, and the Memorial Grove was later expanded to honor the memory of all deceased USFS Rocky Mountain Region employees. A memorial is held in the spring of each year to honor those from our past.

1369423790

In 1934 the Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp here, setting hundreds of men to work during the lean years of the Great Depression. The residents of Monument saw the faces of men from all over the country come and go from the train station as they fulfilled their six-month “hitch” with the CCC.

7036743

The last train load of CCC men departing Monument after the camp’s closing.

Those men constructed many of the buildings at the center, which are still in use today. When fire season arrived these men would aid in suppression efforts; those early fire crews laid the groundwork for the federal firefighting system to come.

The current configuration of the Fire Center was drafted in 1979 when the Pike Hotshots moved in. The old CCC buildings and dwellings were converted to accommodate the 20-person fire crew and their equipment. In 1996 Monument Helitack set up at the Fire Center, establishing a helibase just up the hill from the hotshots. Today the site consists of three barracks buildings, a large workshop, kitchen building, classroom, multiple storage structures, administrative building, the helibase, and the dwelling which originally housed the Chief Nurseryman. Each summer thirty or more firefighters call this place home, walking in the steps of those who broke ground before us.

Unlike some duty stations, the Monument Fire Center is ideal for crew operations, housing, and community access. Surrounded by miles of singletrack, at the foot of Mt. Herman and the Pike National Forest, only minutes away from downtown Monument and a short drive to Colorado Springs and Denver, this is a great spot for firefighters to call home. Ongoing efforts to modernize our facilities ensure that our base of operations will be here for years to come, continuing the tradition of service at Monument Fire Center.

Etiquette: How to Share a Trail

From our friends at Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates

How to Share a Trail – especially during Stay-at-Home Order

Most of us live in the Pikes Peak Region because of the amazing access to trails and natural spaces. Getting out into these spaces heals our minds, bodies, and souls.  With the state-wide shutdown, our trails are being taxed more than ever. The additional use, including from many new users who aren’t familiar with some aspects of trail etiquette, can lead to misunderstandings and even conflicts.

All users play a role in reducing trail conflicts.  Here are some etiquette guidelines we can follow to improve trail experiences for everyone.

Mountain BikersEveryday MTB etiquette

  • Ride with a bell, announce your presence in a friendly way.  Try not to startle other users.
  • When passing hikers, cyclists must yield.  What does yield mean?  As a cyclist, it is ultimately your responsibility to avoid crashing into someone (or entering their safe space). This means riding in control at all times, able to slow down and stop if necessary to negotiate a safe pass. This may include dismounting, and even backing up.  Often, it’s easier for a hiker to move to the side of the trail to let you pass, and most hikers will do this if there is a safe place and you communicate with them.  Pass slowly and safely, thank them, and continue on your way.
  • If you are riding downhill and encounter someone riding uphill – you must yield to them.  Usually, this means slowing and getting to the side or stopping. Get as far off the trail or as far as possible, and allow the uphill rider to ride past.
  • If you encounter an equestrian, moving either toward or away from you, slow down, stop as necessary and engage in a conversation about the best way to pass.
  • If there are others in your group, let the person you’re passing know how many are behind you.
  • If you stop for any reason, move off to the side – don’t block the trail.
  • Don’t ride muddy trails. If you’re leaving ruts, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, ride through it. Don’t widen the trail: Keep singletrack single.

Additional guidelines for MTBs during the Stay-at-Home order

  • For now, it’s better to ride solo or in very small groups – not with the squad.  Envision the perspective of a slow-moving hiker or new user, when 5, 6 or more mountain bikers charge pass like a sweaty, possibly infected, unstopping freight train….  Please, share your photos and stories about the ride for everyone to enjoy – but keep your actual riding groups SMALL.
  • Tame the ride down a little to reduce the risk for everyone, including you.  Don’t wind up in the ER chasing a personal record or that big jump you’ve always been eyeing.
  • Training for a race?  Consider putting in more time than normal on the road to reduce trail congestion.
  • When possible, ride to the trail instead of driving, to reduce crowds on the trail and at trailheads.

Hikers/trail runners

  • Maintain situational awareness – you are sharing the trail with others.  Expect and watch for them.
  • If using headphones or earbuds, keep the volume low enough to hear and engage with other users.
  • Cyclists are required to slow down and yield to hikers. Often it is much easier for hikers than cyclists to step off a narrow trail. It also creates less trail widening. Hikers are not required to yield to cyclists, but if you are able to, please cooperate with cyclists to let them pass quickly and safely.
  • Avoid standing along the outside edge of a switchback/climbing turn.  When riding up or down, most cyclists prefer to use them outside of the turn – it’s safer and easier to get through the turn.  Please stand on the inside edge of these turns, or away from the turn altogether
  • If hiking in groups spread out so that other users can pass safely.
  • If you stop along the way, move to the side – don’t block the trail.
  • Don’t use muddy trails. If you’re leaving footprints, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, go through it. Don’t widen the trail.
  • The Fire Center is a USFS off-leash area. Please keep all pets under control, especially excitable, unruly or aggressive ones, so that they don’t negatively impact or injure other users.

Equestrians

  • Choose trails that are appropriate for your skill level, and for the comfort level of your horse.
  • If your horse (and you) need practice on technical trail moves or being around other users – use El Paso County Parks’ Equestrian Skills Course to improve your skills and familiarity with other users.
  • Work with other users to share the trail.
  • Don’t ride muddy trails. If you’re leaving deep prints, turn around. If you encounter a muddy section or puddle on an otherwise dry trail, ride through it. Don’t widen the trail: Keep singletrack single.

ALL USERS, during the Stay-At-Home order.

  • The health and safety of our whole community is the most important thing right now.  We all have a role to play in lightening the load on our medical system.  If we work together we can weather the storm AND keep our beloved trails open for responsible, safe use.
  • With limited exercise options, our trails are getting more use than ever.  Help reduce crowds by riding or walking to trails whenever possible.
  • Don’t crowd trailheads. Don’t congregate in groups on trails. Groups present the biggest risk of spreading the virus AND to our sustained access to our parks.
  • Wear a neck gaiter or other non-surgical mask.  If you find you can’t wear it all the time, pull it up when passing anyone.
  • Remember that everyone is here to enjoy the trails, just like you, and they should.  Smile, cooperate, help others. If you feel the need to educate another trail user about etiquette, do it politely. Breathe.
  • Don’t spread COVID. Stay up-to-date on public health recommendations: CDC Colo Dept of public healthEl Paso County Health.
  • We recognize the range of critical needs right now in our community due to the health and economic disruptions. Meanwhile, Friends of the Monument Preserve relies on the ongoing support of trail users to continue the work that we do. Please donate and/or join to support great trails if you have the means to do so.
  • Although our Trail Love build days are on hold for now, we have plenty of opportunities for interested volunteers to help us get ready for when we can dig again. If you’re interested in helping, please contact us at info@fomp.org.

 

FOMP