Messick has been a key figure in volunteer outdoor stewardship efforts for the region.
Monte Vista, Colorado – May 17, 2017 –The state’s largest outdoor stewardship organization, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), announced today that Brink Messick will leave his position as Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator effective Sunday, May 21, 2017. The position is jointly funded by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is critical to the development of volunteer resources and stewardship projects across the San Luis Valley.
Messick’s work has had a measurable impact on the region’s natural spaces and public lands in the past five years, and will continue to do so through local programs that Messick helped establish. He was instrumental in coordinating 147 volunteer opportunities across the San Luis Valley – including clearing illegal dump sites, removing invasive species, constructing new trails and fences, and improving wildlife habitat – collectively engaging 1,898 volunteers for a total of 42,437 hours valued at more than $1.1 million.
Messick also partnered with the BLM’s San Luis Valley field office on the design and construction of more than 25 miles of trail to provide new access to natural spaces and opportunities for recreation. He helped found the Crestone Wilderness Stewards, a local volunteer group dedicated to assisting with management and maintenance of wilderness areas in the Upper San Luis Valley including the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness Area, a 220,803-acre area managed by the USFS and National Park Service.
“We greatly appreciate the passion that Brink has brought to volunteerism in the San Luis Valley,” said Mike Blakeman, Public Affairs Specialist for the Rio Grande National Forest, “Not only has his work had a tangible impact on many of our public lands, but he has helped us motivate the local community and inspire an ethic of stewardship that will continue to improve the land for years to come.” Messick is leaving in order to spend time with his newborn daughter, pursue art, and continue his passion for the outdoors through part-time work with the Colorado Mountain Club.
Messick’s departure provides an opening for a new Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator to support the volunteer stewardship efforts of VOC, the USFS and the BLM in the San Luis Valley. The position is based out of the Rio Grande National Forest Headquarters in Monte Vista, CO and reports directly to the USFS and VOC. Candidates with prior experience in volunteer management, project planning, and outdoor stewardship are encouraged to apply at www.voc.org/join-our-team.
“The partnership with the USFS and the BLM in the San Luis Valley is just one way we’re able to broaden outdoor stewardship efforts in Colorado,” explained Dean Winstanley, Director of Statewide Stewardship for VOC, “Taking care of our state’s lands is too big a task for any one organization. Together, we’re able to streamline efforts, engage more people, and ultimately have a bigger, more positive impact on Colorado’s outdoors.”
To learn more about Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, visit www.voc.org. To learn more about the U.S. Forest Service’s work in the San Luis Valley, visit www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande. To learn more about the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado, visit www.blm.gov/colorado.
About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to be active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Since 1984, VOC’s award-winning volunteer, youth, and leadership training programs have engaged nearly 110,000 people of all ages in caring for Colorado’s outdoors – a total donated labor value of $22 million. Such volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact on Colorado through hands-on work in fire and flood restoration, trail building and maintenance, tree planting and re-forestation, and more. For more information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.
About United States Forest Service (USFS)
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 30 percent of the nation’s surface drinking water to cities and rural communities and approximately 66 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.
About Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.
303-715-1010 ext. 130