Educate

 

Educating the estimated 260,000 people who climb the Fourteeners annually is vital to reducing impacts on the rare and fragile alpine tundra found on these peaks. A small number of hikers engaging in impactful behaviors can cause a greater amount of damage to native vegetation than a large number of hikers using minimum impact techniques. Colorado Fourteeners Initiative uses a multi-pronged strategy to educate Fourteener enthusiasts nationwide about Leave No Trace practices, including web videos, community presentations, trailhead kiosks, and on-mountain talks. Short videos on a number of educational topics ranging from alpine botany to mountain weather are posted on CFI’s YouTube Channel. During peak hiking season, CFI gives talks at Denver-area REI stores as part of the company’s “How to Climb a Fourteener” clinics. Educational trailhead kiosks have been installed at many of the most popular Fourteener trailheads. Volunteer “Peak Stewards” donate their time to educate hikers on the peaks about ways to protect fragile alpine ecosystems from damage due to inappropriate use. Since 2002, Peak Stewards have volunteered more than 1,200 days educating the hiking public.