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Our Extraordinary Partners

Buena Vista Correctional complex Work Crew

An unsung bright light in Colorado’s penal system.

Every September IPF works with the inmate work crew to tackle the most demanding jobs on the Pass.  These include trail and bridge construction and maintenance, campground cleanup and restoration, removal by hand of heavy metal and other human debris from difficult-to-reach Wilderness areas, steep slope revegetation, and fence, bench, and table construction and repair.  Our decades-long partnership with the hard working inmate work crew is one of IPF’s proudest accomplishments, and an unsung bright light in Colorado’s penal system.

2019 work crew

2019 work crew

Removing discarded snow fence—12’ aluminum panels—from the Mountain Boy area of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

Removing discarded snow fence—12’ aluminum panels—from the Mountain Boy area of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

Roaring Fork Valley schools and youth groups

Every fall kids from elementary through high school plant hundreds of trees throughout the Independence Pass corridor, and from 2016 through 2019 they removed hundreds of pounds of rebar and other metal debris from the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.  IPF strongly believes that involving our kids in fun and meaningful service projects on the Pass will forever connect them with, and instill a sense of pride and ownership in, their high alpine backyard.

Roaring Fork Valley Non-Profits

Throughout its 30-year history, IPF has partnered with dozens of local non-profits & organizations, including most recently the Aspen Global Change Institute, Jaywalker Lodge, ACES, Colorado Mountain College, Wilderness Workshop, and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers.  These groups have participated in trail projects, wilderness restoration work, and citizen science initiatives.  Their work has helped protect the ecological integrity and promote understanding of the Independence Pass region.

Tree coring in an avalanche zone with ACES at the Grottos

Tree coring in an avalanche zone with ACES at the Grottos

Defining and restoring the Bulldog climbing area access trail

Defining and restoring the Bulldog climbing area access trail

Colorado department of transportation

Year in, year out CDOT’s intrepid plow team gets the road open in late May, clears the road for IPF’s Ride for the Pass, performs road cut stabilization and restoration work, assists IPF on Winter Gate and other environmental and aesthetic improvement projects, and in myriad ways promotes safety on the corridor.

citizen volunteers

In 2019 IPF instituted its first “Volunteer Mornings on the Pass,” which were a huge success. Volunteers enjoyed a variety of projects—from avalanche clearing to fence building to tree planting—along with coffee and pastries! A number of individuals also volunteered their time to help IPF maintain the ecological health and beauty of the corridor by pulling weeds, picking up trash, and other day-to-day maintenance, along with participating in citizen science initiatives like the Pika Study. We are grateful to our community for caring about the Pass like we do.

Volunteers installing new fencing at the Lost Man Trailhead

Volunteers installing new fencing at the Lost Man Trailhead

Clearing the old wagon road trail in the Grottos post-avalanche

Clearing the old wagon road trail in the Grottos post-avalanche

US Forest Service

The agency that manages the National Forest and Wilderness areas on both sides of Highway 82 is IPF’s key partner in identifying priorities and coordinating all projects and events on the Pass.  IPF is indebted to the unsung guardians of our natural heritage from the Leadville and Aspen-Sopris Ranger Districts and is hugely grateful for the support they’ve shown IPF through the years. 

PITKIN COUNTY

From the beginning, Pitkin County has been a hugely important partner in many of its endeavors: from helping secure grants for and funding the Top Cut work, to providing weed management services and expertise in partnership with the Weed Advisory Board, to monitoring and helping with traffic and safety issues on the Pass, to making annual grants through its Healthy Community Fund for IPF operations. It truly takes a village, and we are fortunate to have Pitkin County as a leader of that village

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Our Donors

Needless to say, IPF wouldn’t exist without the support of our donors, including local governments, philanthropic organizations, businesses, local and national environmental and family foundations, and the hundreds of individuals from all over the country who love the Pass and wish to see it protected for generations to come.  Please see our DONOR page for a complete list of recent donors.

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